Helping refugees takes finesse, proper training, and certainly prayer. Above all, it comes with great blessing, for in this partnership we are finding friendship, kinship, and the body of Christ.
This devotional column offers food for reflection and contemplation, often including a personal experience of God’s grace in unexpected corners.
Eating that soup—it was as if God was inviting me to be part of the family.
Our house isn’t really “ours.” We’re temporary caretakers of a home that will stand, Lord willing, long after we’re gone.
In prison he’d been tossed around like a rag doll, mistreated, abused. There’s no mercy for sex offenders in prison. He was terrified to return.
There’s nothing very remarkable about Sigsbee Street. It runs for just seven blocks through the near southeast side of Grand Rapids, Mich. Sigsbee School, an elementary school in the Grand Rapids Public School system, is its most notable feature.
I do my best to breathe slowly in the midst of his onslaught. But more importantly, I reach within myself to source that helpful Spirit who empowers and guides.
As I walked into church that morning, George, our resident artist, was busy painting a scene of children at play on one of the doors in our Kid Zone. He had a whole tray full of small bottles, each with a different color of paint. Each shape, each area, each color he applied was different.
What if we were able to find that delight in life again? How could we return to finding joy in the simple things that astonish little children?
It is dawn. A lone figure is bending over a charcoal fire on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. He looks up, scanning the horizon. When he catches sight of a boat heading for shore, he recognizes it as his disciples’ boat.
My Spotify playlists are organized by the seasons of the church calendar. There’s Lent, Advent, Epiphany, and Pentecost. My playlist “Common Time” happens to be almost exclusively made up of female artists.
Jolie was born missing part of her brain and is unable to walk or feed herself or do many things most of us take for granted. My son, Justin, is her godparent and care provider.
It sits prominently way up on the third shelf to the left of our fireplace. It’s a robin’s-egg-blue 1961 Chevy pickup truck and trailer with white trim made by Tonka at 1/18th scale. In the trailer is a plastic Black Angus steer with one horn slightly chipped.
These days, for example, many of us use social media to rush curated expressions of our life into public space. We can equate visibility with significance.
It’s as if my whole life I’ve been trying to learn a language, and it wasn’t until I started to write that I could finally speak it.
After I’ve set up each room, made sure the stories are complete, and accounted for the snacks and cups, then I get to pray.
The room was quiet as the two men shared their stories. Both told of heartbreak and loss.
Uncombed gray hair falling down over wild eyes. The stench of the streets on unkempt clothes. He ordered coffee and sat in the booth next to me.
It was one of those oppressively gloomy mornings—the kind where it’s difficult to rouse yourself from sleep,
One word and she knew him.
Each Sunday at the Village Church we ask people who are celebrating birthdays to come forward and let us help them celebrate.
- Expectations are the enemy of contentment. On face value, this seems like a harmless platitude: Manage your expectations, and you’ll more readily avoid being disappointed.
- Night after night, I listened to my father's voice as it crept up the stairs to my cold bedroom...
I’ve always known that you can’t get cleaned up for church, so to speak;
Lord, are you the one? Who summons a friend when darkness descends and hope is lost, and we need someone to talk to?