Walking with God in the Valley of Shadows

While navigating the winding Irish countryside, I marveled at the view. Countless sheep roamed freely as they grazed in pastures near the road. Every few miles, my husband and I would pull over to photograph the scene.

 

As I watched the wooly bunch meander over mountainous terrain, I knew their shepherd was nearby. There was no doubt in my mind that he was keeping a watchful eye lest one of them wander astray. 

 

In both the Old and New Testament, God is characterized as a good shepherd (John 10:11-18). The Bible often describes God in word-pictures so that we can understand Him and how He relates to us in a tangible way. 

 

King David understood this imagery well when he penned these famous words: Continue reading

Trusting God Through Life’s Detours

small village on a lake in Scotland

As I wrapped my fingers around the warm morning mug, the wind froze my face, but I didn’t even care. It was the most breathtaking view I had ever seen.

Our balcony sported 180 degrees of majestic mountains and deeply trenched lochs. Dark indigos and violets cascaded across the sky, casting a display of shadows and lights on the little white village nearby. Wild and rugged, the Scottish Highlands literally took my breath away.

And we were never even supposed to have been there. Continue reading

Trusting Jesus in the Storm: Part 2

He peered over the rim at the churning waves below. Gripping the side of the boat, Peter steadied himself as it fiercely rocked to and fro.

Violent winds had stirred the waters into a foaming frenzy. Despite their rowing efforts, the disciples had made little headway. Six hours of unrelenting stress, exhaustion and willpower had produced only a few miles at best. Their finite strength had paled in comparison to the unpredictable power of nature.

Thunder rippled across the sea and echoed off the mountains in the distance. Peter wiped the salty water from his eyes as he squinted to see the man on the waves. Exhaustion and excitement quickened his heart as he mulled over what he had just heard above the raging wind.

“Come.” Continue reading

Seeing Jesus in the Storm: Part 1

From the very beginning, things did not go as planned. What had started out as a normal day quickly spiraled into a nightmare. Cloaked in darkness and gripped by fear, the promise of death seemed imminent.

The disciples were seamen. This was their lake. As professionals, they were used to navigating the changing waters and unforeseen circumstances.

But this storm was different. 

Violent winds had stirred the waves into a foaming frenzy. Despite their best rowing efforts, they had made little headway. Six hours of unrelenting stress, exhaustion and willpower had produced only a few miles at best. Continue reading

Do you worry about your future?

When you think about the future, what emotions bubble to the surface?

I’m pretty sure all my thoughts about the future have resulted in permanent worry lines etched across my forehead. On most occasions the unknown creates anxiety, concern, stress and a host of pleading prayers. Flashes of what could happen combined with a gazillion what if questions flood my mind and threaten to sweep my emotions away with them.

Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future…Proverbs 31:25

Enter, Proverbs 31 woman. She fascinates me, mostly because of this verse. You can bet this woman has seen her fair share of hardship, disease, war and death. But when it comes to the future and her unknowns, she smiles. She can laugh, untroubled. Her brow does not stay furrowed over what may or may not come.

How is she able to do this? We get a sneak peek at the answer only a few verses later: Continue reading

Christmas: a story of promise

christmas of promiseWith all the holiday jingle and jangle, it’s easy to get distracted by all the trimmings. But I don’t want to miss Christmas this year. I want to focus on what matters.

I want to read the Christmas story with fresh eyes and renewed perspective.

Will you join me?

Because right now, this is a hard season. I feel overwhelmed. My personal life feels out of control. A reminder of loss, of dreams unfulfilled. Continue reading

Because Freedom Isn’t Free

The first summer my husband and I were married we decided to road trip-it for a two week tour of the East Coast. So naturally, we bought our first car and racked up 3,000 miles within the first month.

Our trip was a conglomerate of sightseeing, trail-hiking, food-consuming, memory-making moments.Freedom Isn't Free

But there is one moment, one day in particular, I will never forget.

One moment in time that has been forever etched in my mind.

We celebrated the 4th of July with millions of other people. In Boston. Where the story of America began. Continue reading