New Wine

“In the crushing, In the pressing, You are making new wine.”  (Lyrics to Brooke Ligertwood’s “New Wine”) Personally, I cringe at the thought of the crushing. Pressing hurts the fruit. So, given the choice, I prefer to avoid the process. Yet, as I ponder the operation of wine production, there is no product without a winepress. As I researched, I found …

Broken and Shattered

It was a day of bees in the clover and bolls on the cotton. While heat radiated from the asphalt, the constant drip of the outdoor facet kept the fresh mint alive into the autumn. Windmill blades creaked overhead, and two orphaned goats kicked in the stall. It was an Indian summer in West Texas, and I was determined to delight …

Prayer of Desperation

Holy Father,  Desperation is often the best incentive to get me into Your Presence. Some of our best times together are when I’ve come to You in a dire circumstance. C.S.Lewis was right when he said, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains.” I hear You best when I am desperate to …

The Shaking

As the 7.6 earthquake vibrated through the core of our high-rise apartment, darkness prevented us from knowing the damage. We could feel the ground below rising and falling, and with every jolt, we assumed the upper floors’ weight was crushing those beneath. Fearful for our lives, we escaped down the stairwell and sleeplessly spent the rest of the night away …

Hope when it’s Hard

Every family is currently dealing with grave hardships. Some are easily spotted in loss of finances or health. Others reach deeper because of trauma and grief, but the evil one is certainly on the move among God’s people. As we war against the enemy, how can we be encouraged to see these difficulties as the Father does? It’s all a …

Seeing in the Dark

“MARK! WATCH OUT!” My husband jerked the steering wheel, but our car still grazed the parked motorcycle. It was the second minor driving accident in two days.  Being the calm, soothing wife that I am, I asked, “What is WRONG with you? Just because everyone else here in Asia seems to drive crazy doesn’t mean that you can. Can’t you …

The Impassible Ravine

Sometimes, a path of righteousness leads directly into the shadow of death. This is a shock to most of us, but our childhood Psalm outlines this very outcome clearly. “He guides me in the paths of righteousness…I walk through the valley of the shadow of death” (Psalm 23:3-4).  Without any blatant “wrong-doing” on our part, without a misstep, we will …