Reflections on 2023

Personal journal entry, January 3rd, 2023: “Solivitur Ambulando — A Latin phrase often attributed to Saint Augustine meaning, ‘It is solved by walking.’” I had forgotten about my first scribbled words at the beginning of the year, but as I reread them, I realized their significance. My recent journey around the sun was all about “walking out” truth and laying …

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 …

The Value of Tears

“Pain became the pathway by which He drew near. And as I saw Him, my faith enlarged, knowing that this same Presence and Comfort would be available each day anew. The power of His personal appearance transforms us from within, resulting in a greater change than merely removing unpleasant circumstances. Faith grows as I see Him. Sometimes only tears can wash my eyes …

What Do We do With Unforgiveness?

By: Linda Merriott Recently, I was extremely hurt by several people I consider dear. I have always been able to forgive fairly easily, but this time I did not seem able to forgive truly. This went on for several weeks. I would pray and ask God to help me, getting up every morning to speak my forgiveness aloud. I would …

A Journey in Suffering

“No words can aptly describe your heart being torn apart. The pain, the sobbing, the gasping for air. Grieving the loss of something never to be regained. Lost dreams. Lost confidence. And a lost me —drowning in the deluge of betrayal, anguish, and woundedness without a seeming breath of hope.” (personal journal entry 2021) Perpetual sadness and the lure of bitterness hold their …

The Easter Eclipse

The Apostle who walked on water, testified to Jesus’ deity, and saw the Son of God transfigured was also the very one targeted for turmoil (Matthew 14:29; 16:16;17:1-4). With a violent upheaval, Satan demanded to overthrow Peter’s faith (Luke 22:31).  Of course, Peter resolutely rejected this idea. His experiences with Jesus were too many. His love for Him was too …

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 Preparation of Pain

By: Laura McGrew “I never saw that coming.” Does that statement sound familiar to you? Have you had experiences you never expected – much less wanted or enjoyed? By the time we are adults, most of us have experienced enough heartaches or hair-raising moments to fill a book. The question is: do we recognize the immense value in those rich, …