forgiveness

If Only I Could Feel the Pain

I am pleased to join The Glorious Table’s series on holiness. Because of grace, we often miss the pain of sin. What if we could feel the pain it caused? I don’t think about my ring-finger toe much anymore. The pinky toe guards it, so it doesn’t get rubbed by too-tight shoes. Tucked safely away from the oft-stubbed big toe, it’s spared from my clumsy steps. But one season I thought of [Read more...]

Look Up for Your Freedom

Look down! Look down! You’ll always be a slave. Look down! Look down! You’re standing in your grave! The opening lines from Les Miserables remind me of the days leading up to my grown-up decision to follow Jesus. You see, I asked Jesus into my heart in elementary school. I was a good girl, seeking to know all the rules so I could follow them. And then, life took a turn. I lived like a [Read more...]

Loss of Hope, Loss of Love

Do you ever get the feeling something bad is about to happen? In my younger years, I loved to watch horror films. Something about the anticipation of disaster thrilled me. The innocent girl walking down the steps into a dimly lit basement. The fateful decision to enter the creepy woods while a killer is on the loose. In each scene, the music was key, letting me know when something bad was about [Read more...]

What I Want to Learn about Living the Life of a Disciple

The most basic definition of disciple is a learner.  As disciples, we learn as we follow someone who is a few steps ahead of us. Jesus’ twelve disciples learned as they walked with Him. Because I am a disciple of Christ, I learn from the life of Jesus as described in the gospels, and from those who follow Him. The (if)Equip’s latest study Woven is an in-depth look at discipleship. [Read more...]

When My Worship Is All About Me

I stood in the worship service, hands lifted as music filled me. Emotions swirled in those moments: love for the God who first loved me, gratitude for both life and eternal life through Jesus, a sense of awe at the presence of the Holy Spirit. The speakers rattled just a bit as the volume of the music rose, my thoughts were lost in the chords and phrases. Worship is a sacred place for us to [Read more...]

What We Can Learn from the Empty Tomb

The small town I grew up in is home to Cathedral Caverns, a natural wonder. The cave invites me to explore with an expansive entrance, the largest among commercial caves.  A walk down the one-mile path reveals many feats of nature, including “Goliath,” the world’s largest stalagmite. At the end of that one-mile walk, a park ranger directs visitors to gather around him. He has his finger on [Read more...]

The Significance of Jesus’ Wounds: A Promise for You

It is Good Friday. This is the day we look to the cross to see the Lamb of God taking on the weight and shame of our sins. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5, ESV) By the time the sun set on that fateful day, Jesus’ body bore the wounds of our [Read more...]

5 Ways to Prepare Your Heart for Easter

I grew up thinking Lent was what you pulled out of the dryer between loads. The churches we attended in my early years never mentioned this practice of preparing for Easter by fasting and praying. In my early twenties, I told a Catholic co-worker she had a little something on her forehead. I wondered how she could miss that big black smudge across the top of her head. It was Ash Wednesday. Cue [Read more...]

Today Is the Day to Believe What I Don’t Believe

“Mama, how many years will it be until 3000?” My middle child was apparently deep in thought in the back seat. I replied, “Nine hundred eighty-four.” Very matter-of-factly she said, “I don’t believe it.” We spent the rest of the car ride doing math in our head and debating the fact that 3,000 minus 2,016 does, in fact, equal 984 years. I was unable to [Read more...]

Treasure Your Redemption by Savoring the Senses

We all experience times when the five senses are sharp. In the fall, the smells of pumpkin pie spice and sage remind us of gratitude. The sting of the summer sun on our skin can take us back to a carefree childhood memory. Other times, the senses are dull. The rush of life can distract us from savoring the five senses God gave us to enjoy. Tragedy can rob food of its taste and erase the beauty of [Read more...]