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we are in this together

new north daily encouragement

unveiling the truth
By Gigi Anthony
August 17, 2020

A few years ago my family went to visit the Blue Mosque in Turkey. All female visitors were asked to cover our head, arms and legs, (they even provided the fabric). In another trip to Micronesia, we saw that the women were required to cover their thighs at all times, even when swimming! Of course, we complied out of honor and respect.

something worth building
By chris oliver
August 13, 2020

Often I dream of building. This mysterious draw to create has always existed, and has only grown with age. It’s hard to identify one specific reason my desire to create is so strong, only that the idea, the process, planning, and execution all point to a particular sense of fulfillment unique to any other.

a new normal
By Kevin Ramos
August 10, 2020

Sheltering in place has forced us to adapt to a new way of life as we walk with the Lord. As Christians, our lives are not only ones of a relationship with God, but also a relationship with our brothers and sisters in Christ. He created us to be in community just as He in His own tribune being is the supreme example of community.

relinquish control
By chelsea oliver
August 6, 2020

Somewhere along the way I became an anxious person. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when it started, but between obsessing over my GPA, uncertainty about my future post-college, the spiritual gloom of the Pacific Northwest, and a season of disordered eating and excessive exercise, it just sort of happened.

lead by faith
By scott dyer
August 1, 2020

I have heard lots of prayers for our leadership over the past four months or so. This year has definitely felt like the perfect storm, for many of us. It seems to me that the expression “when it rains it pours” had been waiting for 2020, to finally provide its true meaning.

behave like a christian
By danielle nason
July 29, 2020

Does anyone else read through Romans and experience tiny mind explosions caused by all the wisdom, or is it just me? (if it’s just me, I’ll schedule a doctor’s appointment stat). How amazing is the Holy, correctly-dividing, sharper-than-any-two-edged-sword Word of God, that it can, and continues to be, so relevant for today’s time and culture?

transformative justice
By guy anthony
July 25, 2020

If Ulysses S. Grant were alive today, I am certain he would be in the forefront of the Black Lives Matter movement. After showing strong and decisive leadership as a Union general in the Civil War, he continued to command Union troops after the war in what was effectively an occupation of the former southern states.

obey in advance
By guy anthony
July 22, 2020

Eric Liddell is the hero in the 1981 film “Chariots of Fire” for refusing to run in the 100 meter event at the 1924 Olympics because the heats fell on a Sunday. Eric was actually favored to win, yet he held firm as a follower of Christ. He did run and win at 400 meters despite his modest record in that event.

peace with god
By mckenna takach
July 18, 2020

During college, I spent a semester studying theater in the UK. It was both a magical and dark time for me as I was confronted with many of my own demons in ways I never had been. I saw fifty theater productions that Fall, and if you know anything about live theater, you know it is much more emotionally draining than film.

shine in the dark
By amber eifler
July 15, 2020

I have found myself struggling with so many thoughts and feelings during the past four months and I’m sure some of you are too. Something that has stuck with me is trying to figure out how to lead with love and kindness even though the world doesn’t feel so loving and kind right now.

shipwrecks & salvation
By susan orloff
July 10, 2020

Christianity is not a religion; nor is it merely a relationship. It is the Story of EverythingIt takes the earliest pagan dreams, the philosophies of countless cultures, and the yearnings of our hearts for ultimate justification and sweeps them ALL into a single breath-taking narrative.

god consoles us
By ariel dyer
July 7, 2020

One of my most terrifying moments as a Young Life leader was in college when I almost witnessed the death of one of my high schoolers. We had a couple of kids from the high school come hang out with us at our college campus and we got bored.

a stupid man & a godly woman
By Will Mitchell
July 3, 2020

Chapter 30 of Proverbs starts and explains exactly how I feel at the present time: weary, lacking understanding and searching for wisdom. I often ask the same questions that come through these versus: Who is it that is in heaven?

take the next step
By McKenna Takach
june 30, 2020

Around Easter this year, a lot of us on staff were tired. I confess, I was exhausted. COVID at that point had felt like we were trying to get through a maze while blindfolded; the direction we wanted to go was often dictated by a wall we had hit. Before our Good Friday service, I prayed with Linda Lee...

speak your truth
By scott dyer
june 26, 2020

I am the youngest in my family. My brother is three years older than I, and I followed him around every moment of everyday when I was a boy. Everything was a competition to me, because I wanted to prove myself at all costs – whatever sport he played I played, whatever he learned I learned, whatever he believed I believed.

prove it!
By alice wong
june 23, 2020

“A hole-in-one! I got a hole-in-one!” The likely reaction to this? “Prove it!” Today’s passages depict people who proved it, the “it” being their faith in God. When confronted with challenges, they did not merely offer lip service, they proved their faith by their actions.

fight against evil
By michael miller
june 19, 2020

Evil is all around us. There are too many examples of how evil is trying to destroy us, prevent the sharing of God’s word or tricking us by perverting His law. In Acts 13:4-13 we see an example of how evil tried to stop the good news of the Lord.

give me jesus
By annette chau
june 16, 2020

As a kid, I remember looking forward to youth camp every summer. The excitement would build the closer we got - the winding roads, tall Redwoods and the smell of fresh, crisp air away from the bustling City. Not only did I love escaping to the breathtaking oasis where camp was located, I loved coming together with dozens of middle and high schoolers throughout the Bay Area to worship.

the lord tests the heart
By michael farbstein
june 12, 2020

In today’s passages, we see a stark contrast between the great King Solomon of 1 Kings 9-10 and the Ethiopian eunuch of Acts Chapter 8. Solomon is the builder of the God’s temple, and the richest man of all time. He is much like Adam in the Garden of Eden.

recreation through restoration
By jessica jimenez
june 9, 2020

What's your vision? As graduates are transitioning into a new stage of life...we often come to this time of the year with thoughts of the future. What will it look like? What do I want to do? What do I want to be known for? What's my purpose?

power of the tongue
By ida skinner
june 5, 2020

“Mama Mama” are the words I hear what feels like all day, every day. Having a 2-year-old, I notice that my daughter is learning rapidly. Everything I do and say, she is observing even if she doesn’t fully understand it. It has made me even more conscious about the things I say and teach her.

talk to him
By Dionicio Cabitac
june 2, 2020

The passage I have chosen to read out of today is Psalms 120:1-2. I love this small passage. I think it’s very important to remember it. Especially now in these times of crisis. During the Covid- 19 Pandemic. It says in verse 1, “In my distress I cried unto the Lord, and he heard me.”

reconciliation
By michelle darbonne
May 29, 2020

In 2 Samuel 14, in the midst of a strange series of events and through the words of a woman who’s indirectly trying to get King David to reconcile with his son Absalom, I find an unexpected yet beautiful allusion to the gospel:

spark joy
By jon mar
May 26, 2020

"Does this spark joy?" is the famous question Marie Kondo has inspired millions of people to ask while tidying up their houses. She encourages people to discard items that do not spark joy and have a designated place for each item they keep.

what is good?
By nicole flowers
May 22, 2020

When you think of “good”, what do you think of? Like, what, to you, in this present moment, is GOOD? For me, I’d say it’s waking with the sun (I know, crazy!), walking in the sunshine along the Marina Green, kicking off my day with sincere and focused quiet time.

a little heaven on earth
By susan orloff
May 19, 2020

Last month in Michigan, a Dollar Store customer shot a security guard to death when the guard tried to encroach on his freedom to shop without a mask. Across the ages, this dark and inescapable urge to assert our freedom over the will of another has been at the very heart of every shattered relationship...

who are you?
By adam darbonne
May 15, 2020

“‘Who are you?’ they asked.” (John 8:25) It is the question that every generation for 20 centuries has asked Jesus. Jesus gives us an answer in this passage and it says, “even as he spoke, many believed.”

#friendrequest
By danielle nason
May 12, 2020

The reading today calls me to consider how well I am being God’s friend. Not just an acquaintance or spectating party, but an intimate soulmate-type friend; one that sticks.

remember the miracles
By Janice Lewis
May 8, 2020

Eli was a respected man of God, from the tribe of Levi; a tribe set aside for high priestly duties. He knew of God’s greatest miracles: the parting of the Red Sea, manna and water provided in the desert, freedom from slavery and many more.

unexpected
By guy anthony
May 5, 2020

Harvard Business School is an unexpected place for someone to surrender their life to Christ. Yet that is what I did in the winter of 1979. Intimidated and sure that I did not belong there,

instructions included
By Susan Solomon Yem
May 1, 2020

Imagine being visited by an angel of God and informed that you will have a son. We are aware of this happening a few times in Scripture (and forgive me, if I’ve left any out)...

God's In Control
By Willie Skinner
April 28, 2020

I like to control things or, at the very least, try to control the outcome of situations. This season has been difficult for me because of the constant state of uncertainty.

sing for joy
By rudy & jane sastra
April 24, 2020

It’s easy to compare ourselves with the Israelites of old. After all, we’re not doing so bad, right? How can the Israelites so easily forget what God has done for them?

god's word never changes
By Issa & Sam Cerdena
April 21, 2020

Today’s passage in Luke is one that makes us think about how we need to protect ourselves in a very vulnerable time.

get vocal
By Nicole Flowers
April 17, 2020

If you know me, you know I’m loud. I laugh loudly, I talk loudly, I opine loudly… I’m a loud gal. 

This, as you can imagine, isn’t always one of my most attractive qualities but as I read through today’s passages, I was encouraged by our blind beggar in Luke.

BE STRONG & COURAGEOUS
By Jon Mar
April 14, 2020

Imagine starting a chapter of your life with God saying to you, “be strong and courageous”.  What thoughts or feelings would you have? At first, I would feel pretty happy that God is encouraging me, but then think about what I needed to be strong and courageous about. 

provision
By McKenna Takach
April 10, 2020

On this Good Friday, thoughts of the cross feel different. Rather than barreling through it in anticipation of the good news of Easter, perhaps we need to regain our ability to lament. Afterall, the good news is so very good only because the bad news was so very bad.

royal order
By Danielle Nason
April 7, 2020

Over the last week, as I come to God, He reminds me that He has established a Royal Order of things for me to follow. As I pray, God’s Spirit has prompted me to say out loud that He is to be exalted, made worthy, and put above everything (every thing). 

Love Your Neighbor
By Michelle Darbonne
April 3, 2020

If you’re anything like me, it’s been a struggle adjusting to working online 24/7, canceling highly anticipated trips, not being with friends and family, and especially not knowing how long this is all going to last.

Celebration in Every Season
By McKenna Takach
march 31, 2020

This past weekend was my six-month-iversary to my husband. Most of you probably think that is a silly thing to acknowledge. Up until last week, I would have heartily agreed with you.

CHOSEN
By Michelle Darbonne
march 27, 2020

We live in a world that tells us that productivity and accomplishing things are the keys to success. If we can just work hard enough, we’ll be rewarded and get what we want.

Rejoice
By Rob Hall
march 24, 2020

We call fear by many names. We call it worry, tension, anxiety, and stress. One study looked at 500 different people and discovered 7,000 unique fears.

GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY
By Irina Coombes
march 20, 2020

I have several times sent my daughter to the next aisle to grab an item off the shelf while I looked through my grocery list and forgot to grab something. She goes nervously and always yells, “Mom, are you there?” to make sure I’m still waiting on her.

God of compassion
By Corinne O'Brien
August 15, 2020

When I got ready to share about this piece of Scripture, I was actually learning about compassion at work (I call that a “God-shot”). The curriculum I was reading distinguished between being self-critical to self-compassionate, and how those two opposing ways of thinking are a process to shift from.

lay your burdens down
By irina coombes
August 12, 2020

When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long. Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt.

searching the heart
By lily jow
August 8, 2020

I am sitting here at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital and it is the day where my daughter is going in for a procedure on her heart. She has something called, Supra Ventricular Tachycardia (SVT) and this condition causes her to heart to beat at a rapid pace without warning or prompting for extended periods of time.

get smart
By sam cerdena
August 5, 2020

Believe it or not, but I’m not actually the smartest person you’ve ever met. Sure, I was the Salutatorian in my 8th Grade class.. but the Valedictorian topped that (obviously). I’m also not the most wise or influential… It’s shocking, I know. But I also know I wouldn’t have it any other way.

it's ok to be you
By irina coombes
July 31, 2020

Aaaaa! I love Romans 14. So much so, I kind of want to put it on a t-shirt. I also secretly want to show it to certain extended family members who I think need to hear its message for getting on my case for not eating meat. But that would not be very Christian, would it? You see, I haven't touched meat in 4 years and I do my best to limit dairy (I love pizza, ok!?!).

united through hope
By rob eifler
July 28, 2020

I spent my time in college studying american history and learned in that time that history often repeats itself. I can’t recall in my time studying the United States an era that was more divisive and less united than it is now. I remember growing up people could engage in political discourse, discuss their religious beliefs and be different while still being united.

worst case scenarios
By joan barisone
July 24, 2020

When I was very young, I learned the phrase, “worst case scenario”. I would build a defense for myself using that phrase from a worry or fear that I had. I could very effectively talk myself down by going through this exercise. For instance, “Worst case scenario”: my house is destroyed in an earthquake.

laws, lies & liberty
By susan solomon yem
July 21, 2020

Today two of my sons – my oldest and my youngest – are celebrating their birthdays. I often say God completed our family circle when He picked July 21st as the date for their births. July 21st is an important date for me for another reason – my father died July 19th, 1972.

life & consequences
By irina coombes
July 17, 2020

Have you ever had something happen in your life and you blamed God for it...or you blamed someone else? Be truthful. I can be pretty good at the blame game, although it's not something to brag about. It's human nature to find fault in our spouses, kids, parents, inanimate objects, and even God.

when god says "no"
By corinne o'brien
July 14, 2020

Okay…please don’t judge me, my senior quote for high school was, “Wherever you go, there you are.”-Confusious. This had little to do about God and more to do about my anxiety. However, even more little did I know, that this would be fitting for God’s covenant with King David.

oh my! that's a long list of names...
By nicole flowers
July 9, 2020

How many of us angle to skip our way riiiiight through the books of Leviticus, Numbers, Chronicles? Go ahead and admit it, there’s no one else there besides you and God and He already knows anyway.

dwelling in safety
By chris oliver
July 6, 2020

Falling asleep has always been one of my enduring abilities. As a child, I usually forfeited and retired halfway up the stairs until my father picked me up and brought my to my bedroom later that evening.

reflections of the heart
By Geralyn O’Brien
July 2, 2020

My favorite cartoon characters are Snoopy and his sidekick Woodstock. However, Linus ranks pretty high on my list as well. Linus is almost always seen holding his blanket. His blanket symbolizes the need for security and reassurance and represents the cartoonist’s, Schultz, anxious and serious side.

decisions
By craig gaffney
june 29, 2020

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the future lately because I’m about to finish school. Over and over I get asked the same question: “What are you going to do after this?” In order to answer that question, I’ve been talking a lot to those that I trust and love like my dad, girlfriend, best friends and of course God.

eye on the prize
By danielle nason
june 25, 2020

If you’re any good at poker, you know that the key to winning the game is really by playing the people, not the cards. Confession: I’m no good at poker, BUT, one of my most favorite things to watch….is late night poker. #guilty. It’s just so juicy!

suffering
By amanda farbstein
june 22, 2020

Today’s passages share a common theme: suffering. And yet the nature of suffering differs in each of the stories: a man born lame, Paul being stoned, David bemoaning the unjust, murderous pursuit by Saul, and the Shunammite woman painfully longing for a child.

god is in control
By Claudia Baltodano
june 18, 2020

As I reflect on today’s readings, I’m reminded of life’s journey - filled with challenges - and the importance of relying on God at all times. My earliest challenge took place at the age of seven when my parents decided our family would flee our native country of Nicaragua during political unrest.

contrasts & consequences
By frank cutter
june 15, 2020

I love the Bible because it is so practical and real! In the passages for today I find contrasts of people’s choices and the consequences for them and others. Let’s take a look at some bad examples of those who did what they thought was right. Jeroboam was deceptive, did not follow God or listen to him and he turned his back on God.

eyes to see
By serena jang
june 11, 2020

One of my fondest memories from high school was being part of my church’s youth group, spending time together in Sunday School and at summer camps. One of the things we did that had a profound impact in my spiritual life was our weekly Gatherings.

servants for glory
By scott syme jr
june 8, 2020

One of my favorite podcasts is NPR’s “How I built this, with Guy Raz” This show revolves around Guy interviewing some of the most successful business owners in America. Most of these company creators have businesses that I am sure you are familiar with from Southwest Airlines to the Peloton Bike.

sacrificial love
By kevin ramos
june 4, 2020

You, like me, may be feeling perplexed, or overwhelmed with emotions difficult to describe due to the recent events in our country. We as followers of Jesus are grieved because we know that all human beings are made in God's image, and every human life is one of dignity, value, worth, and purpose.

are you listening?
By colette parsons
june 1, 2020

Of today’s passages, I was struck by John 20. In the chapter, Mary Magdalene weeps outside Jesus’ tomb, believing his body to be stolen. When a man asks her why she is crying, Mary begs him to show her where her Rabbi is. The man calls her name, “Mary.”

united in harmony
By susan solomon yem
May 28, 2020

I love watching the videos of virtual choirs that are popping up on social media right now. Churches around the world are performing the song, The Blessing, and it’s been amazing to watch the diversity – British, Hawaiian, African, symphonic, country, urban.

god of the promise
By rob hall
May 25, 2020

As I read these passages the theme is clear, promise. I’m really good at making promises but not so good at keeping them. I’d like to think I am a person who keeps ALL of his promises but sadly I don’t (my kids will vouch for that).

perspective
By willie skinner
May 21, 2020

My Grandma would always give me the best gifts for my birthday. As a kid every year, I looked forward to her package in the mail. This particular year I was ten years old and wanted a new game for my Nintendo 64.

relationships
By amanda farbstein
May 18, 2020

I’m not sure who originated the pseudo-biblical quote, “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.” But he’s wrong. Firstly, the quote assumes God is the one who has sent the hardship. A sentiment standing on shaky biblical ground.

who's driving?
By linda lee
May 14, 2020

These past many weeks I’ve been sitting with the image of riding in a car with God. He is in the driver seat, and I am sitting next to him. While I’d like to say I’m comfortably in the passenger seat looking out the window, I’m often trying to take the wheel and steer.

does god actually change people?
By mckenna takach
May 11, 2020

My deepest spiritual question, the one that has kept me up at night countless times and has both challenged and spooked my faith, is does God actually change people?

letting go for more
By Jon Mar
May 7, 2020

There’s a popular method of how to catch a monkey with a coconut. If you make a small hole in a coconut chained to a tree and put food in there, a monkey will try to reach in to grab the food. Unfortunately,

he is greater
By michelle darbonne
May 4, 2020

I find the story about John the Baptist in our John passage for today to be really inspiring. John’s job was to prepare the way for Jesus, and the Bible tells us that he was really quite successful in that endeavor.

in the beginning, god
By Susan Orloff
April 30, 2020

A few weeks ago I got a text from my wonderful daughter-in-law, Ashley, that was initially mystifying. It simply said: Jesus is God. But before I could type back the obvious response..

Leadership
By Chelsea Oliver
April 27, 2020

I think we can all agree that we want our leaders to be successful, possessing wisdom and integrity. The leaders in our passages today didn’t always embody this very well.

nom nom nom
By Manus Chau
April 23, 2020

Food is at the heart of all that is good in the world.  Who doesn’t like going to a nice restaurant, having a delicious meal with friends or family, and ending it with a super sweet, warm, gooey dessert?  Oh, how I wish I could be doing that right now. 

ask questions
By Amanda Farbstein
April 20, 2020

One thing I love about Jesus is that instead of proving His divinity or goodness by passing the test of those questioning him, He spins the question around, tells a parable, or thwarts expectation in a stunning way, putting the asker in the hot seat.

persistence
By guy anthony
April 16, 2020

Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years, and he says he learned humility, patience and tolerance there. In addition to forced labor he also maintained a strict workout regimen of stationary running (45 minutes), fingertip push-ups (100), sit-ups (200), deep knee-bends (50) and various other calisthenics.

VICTORY IN CHALLENGES
By Janice Lewis
April 13, 2020

After initially reading the above passages;  I have to admit, they were real head-scratchers for me. Joshua 7 & 8 outlined detailed battles, Luke 16: 1-18 is the parable of The Shrewd Manager, Psalm 82:1-8 is the strong rebuke to those in worldly authority over us, and Proverbs 13: 2-3 is a correction regarding the words of our mouths.

kindness
By Susan Solomon Yem
April 9, 2020

I take the dog for a walk every afternoon. I see a handful of people. We nod and smile as we pass each other – at a distance of six feet. The other day a woman stopped to pet my dog. She said, “I see you walking him every day and he’s so cute.”  Well, yes, he’s an adorable 9 ½ pounds of doggie delight, but I was hesitant to stand and chat with her.

Truth
By Joan Barisone
April 6, 2020

Things Revealed: Listen and Be Transformed

I was asked if I’d like to write a devotion for New North during this time of the CoronaVirus. I was fearful and hesitant but stepped out in faith Knowing, MY God would come through for me--He is faithful!

god's perfect law
By Chris Oliver
April 2, 2020

Yesterday I received a $333 parking ticket.  Your first reaction may be similar to mine - why is this so expensive? The violation was parking in a handicap spot.  I quickly learned this is the most expensive parking violation in the state.

Wisdom
By Susan Orloff
march 30, 2020

For all us seniors, Psalm 71 is a hallmark scripture. The Psalmist, old and gray, asks God to bless him so that he might “declare His power to the next generation” (Ps. 71:18).

GIVE YOUR WHOLE LIFE TO GOD
by mckenna takach
march 26, 2020

“Are you the one who is to come or should we expect someone else?”

I wonder if John hesitated before sending his followers with that question to Jesus.

GOD’S CARE FOR YOU
by mckenna takach
march 23, 2020

Grumbling has been tremendously easy for me this past week. With my rhythms thrown off, my coping mechanisms taken away, and my people put outside of my proximity, there have been more moments than I care to admit when I have slipped through the door into my own pity party.

God's mercy
by mckenna takach
march 19, 2020

My head has been spinning non-stop for what feels like weeks. I know I am not alone when I say I am wound up.

Thank the Lord
By Craig Gaffney
August 14, 2020

I really enjoyed reading Nehemiah 9, they declared God’s majesty, compassion, faithfulness, and forgiveness. As they worshipped, I’m sure their hearts were overflowing with affection/faith. How can you not when you read through that history!

truth instead of worry
By michelle darbonne
August 11, 2020

I’m a worrier (anyone else??), and if I’m not careful, my mind quickly spirals into the depths of worst-case-scenarios and pessimism. Over the past few weeks I’ve been reminded again and again how crucial it is to counteract my worry with truth. I love how chalk-full of good truth Psalm 31 is from today’s reading.

as near as your very next breath
By susan orloff
August 7, 2020

In September, my son and his wife will have been married for 3 years. But in this short time, they have already suffered two crushing losses; and in early July, yet another season of uncertainty was set in motion.

restoration
By olivia martin
August 3, 2020

Close your eyes and take one minute to center yourself to be ready to receive whatever God wants to give you through this devotion. Breathe deeply. Invite God in and imagine letting your thoughts go as if on a river passing through.

me or a sheep?
By frank cutter
July 30, 2020

So here is my answer to the Proverbs 20:11 question: NO, small children’s conduct is not pure and upright. I have four of the cutest, smartest and most lovely grandchildren (sorry other grandparents) but they are definitely little sinners. It’s nobody’s fault – they have been like that since the day they were born, just like you and me and King Uzziah in 2 Chronicles 26.

the lord will fight for you
By jade martin
July 27, 2020

This past week, I was facing a battle I did not think I would be able to overcome. Instead of reaching out to God, I turned around and ran as fast as I possibly could. I blamed Him for what was happening. All my prayers consisted of me basically yelling at God, telling Him how unfair He was being. It was all too much.

reflections of the bible
By ida skinner
July 23, 2020

I remember growing up; I would often hear the saying, "your life may be the only bible someone would ever know." I would always laugh it off and think to myself, "Okay, no pressure." Reading this verse reminded me of that saying.

good intentions
By alice wong
July 20, 2020

When sheltering in place began, many of us vowed to use the time wisely. We were going to learn how to play a musical instrument, exercise more, homeschool kids, bake bread, organize closets, write a novel, [insert what you intended].

disappointment & devotion
By michelle darbonne
July 16, 2020

Recently I experienced a really crushing disappointment. Something I had been hoping for and praying for for months (years actually) almost came to be, and then it didn’t. I’ve struggled to deal with that loss, and it has caused me to question a lot of things I thought I knew and believed.

dear diary
By janice lewis
July 13, 2020

Why do You stand afar off, O Lord? Why do You hide Yourself in times of trouble?’ (Psalm 10: 1) Psalm 10 is a psalm of lament- as a noun: a song expressing a passionate expression of grief or sorrow, mourning.

share christ
By freddy king
July 8, 2020

The thing that I’ve learned since the lock down is that I have taken for granted random conversations with strangers. There have been so many times in my life where I just don’t feel like talking, or I’m too rushed to listen.

HAPPY FOURTH
By mckenna takach
July 4, 2020

Fourth of July has always been my favorite holiday. For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved being an American. When I was in 5th grade, I boldly told my parents I would be the first female president of the United States.

reconcile with god
By Andy Tan
July 1, 2020

What do you do when faced with a challenging or difficult situation? It could be a pandemic like COVID 19, Racial Injustice, Unemployment, Idolatry, Loneliness, or whatever situation you are dealing with. How do you handle it?

the 360 degree performance review
By susan solomon yem
june 27, 2020

I am easily intimidated, so showing up for an annual performance review is never something I enjoy. I always anticipate being told where I’m failing, but the reality is that most performance reviews are designed to encourage.

obey in advance
By guy anthony
june 24, 2020

Eric Liddell is the hero in the 1981 film “Chariots of Fire” for refusing to run in the 100 meter event at the 1924 Olympics because the heats fell on a Sunday. Eric was actually favored to win, yet he held firm as a follower of Christ.

can you handle the truth?
By gigi anthony
june 20, 2020

I’m going to date myself, but does anyone remember the classic 1992 film A Few Good Men? Our reading today brought this movie to my mind. Jack Nicholson’s character, Colonel Nathan R. Jessup is on the witness stand during a military courtroom scene. Lt. Daniel Kaffe (played by Tom Cruise)...

make me uncomfortable
By irina coombes
june 17, 2020

One man against 450 – talk about social pressure! Elijah the prophet was a man of truth in a time where king Ahab introduced the false god, Baal, to Israel. But Elijah knew what God was capable of and was not going to go down easy when Ahab assembled 450 of his false prophets.

god speaks
By rebecca miller
june 13, 2020

People long to hear from God for their own benefit but have you ever listened to the Lord in order to just learn more about Him? Or listened to respond as the Holy Spirit partners with you to expand His Church and Kingdom?

walk with jesus
By rudy sastra
june 10, 2020

The passage of the day begins in 1 Kings and describes the magnificent and beauty of King Solomon’s palace and the Lord’s temple. I would find this quite serendipitous if not for my believe that there is no such thing as coincidence. God always has the best plan for us.

keep calm - god has a plan
By carolina yuen
june 6, 2020

Being the youngest of six children has its benefits, but the most important for me has been to see life sometimes before I lived it.  I’ve seen my brothers and sisters experience success as well as trip themselves up with a bad decision here and there.  

god is great
By levi hall
june 3, 2020

“I lift up my eyes to the mountains, where does my help come from?” (Psalms 121:1) These past couple of months have been extremely hard for me. Recently, my grandfather passed away at the age of seventy five and everything in my life came to an abrupt stop due to the coronavirus.

god's gift of time
By isabel yang
May 30, 2020

As a fifteen year old student, with school and AP tests coming to an end, I find myself with a lot of time on my hands. Normally during this time, I’d be celebrating the approach of summer break with my friends. Obviously, I can’t do that during this period of isolation, so I often find myself thinking about how to fill my daily schedule.

winning, when you strike out!
By scott dyer
May 27, 2020

“Scott! Show some humility! Show some sportsmanship!” My Dad reprimanded me for starting the “We want a pitcher, not a belly itcher!” chant upon returning to the bench after being the eighth batter of the inning to cross home plate.

theory and practice
By sam cerdena
May 23, 2020

As an educator, it is always important for me to make sure my foundational beliefs and theories on learning are so well defined that they inform my practices. The same could and should absolutely be said for me as a parent.

jesus wept
By chelsea oliver
May 20, 2020

The story of Lazarus is one I’ve known since my Sunday school felt board days. I hoped something new would stand out to me as I read John 11, and instead I found myself fixated on a verse I’d heard mentioned many times before, “Jesus wept.”

source of truth
By chris oliver
May 16, 2020

“This document will be used as the source of truth,” Jean, my manager reminded me over a work call. With different information, preference and bias floating through various formats on dozens of individual computers owned by my coworkers...

food for thought
By joan barisone
May 13, 2020

I have been following a food plan for freeing myself from food addiction for 108 days. Yea me!!! But oh, not “me” alone at all! God led me to this program! He’s known this desire of my heart longer than I have.

greatness of god
By daniel lee
May 9, 2020

I still remember that moment more than 15 years ago, midway through a 4-hour trip from home to San Luis Obispo on my drive alone back to college, when my tears began to flow uncontrollably.

going deeper
By Tracey Syme
May 6, 2020

Years ago, my husband and my two older sons got the chance to go on a scuba diving adventure in Hawaii. The hotel we were staying at advertised that they did scuba diving from their beach and you didn’t need to be certified to go.

jesus clear the way!
By Lily Jow
May 2, 2020

It is the 7th week of our shelter in place. I imagine that similar to my household, you find yourself eating, clearing out the cupboards and refrigerators! I also imagine that some of you are “Marie Kondo-ing your closets and drawers.

discussions
By Nicole Flowers
April 29, 2020

Historically, it’s my mom. When something audacious happens, I call my mom. When something mundane happens, I call my mom. When the worst happens? I call my mom.

Worship
By Michelle Darbonne
April 25, 2020

Our Psalms today are full of commands to sing, shout, praise, proclaim, declare, and rejoice in the Lord because of who He is and what He has done.

Is this the end?
By Rob Hall
April 22, 2020

For the past two Sundays, we’ve hosted a question and answer session after the live stream service. They’ve been really fun albeit a bit stressful for me! There was one question I knew would be coming, “Do you think this is a sign of end times? If so, how can we prepare?”

climb the tree
By Irina Coombes
April 18, 2020

Zacchaeus was a wee little man. He saw Jesus coming into town but his small stature was an obstacle for him. So what did he do? He climbed a tree and watched Jesus come through town.This was not the only problem he had. Zacchaeus was a sinful man (according to Luke 19:7).

perfect love
By Tracey Syme
April 15, 2020

As I reflect on the selected passages, I feel an overwhelming sense of God’s goodness and joy. Although we are in these difficult times, God is not surprised by our current events. God never changes, he is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Resurrection
By Michelle Darbonne
April 11, 2020

Sometimes I try to imagine what it would have been like for the disciples on this bleak Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Although Jesus had alluded many times to the fact that His death wouldn’t be final, I’m not sure I would have remembered those words after the horrific events of the day before.

fight the good fight
By Craig Gaffney
April 8, 2020

I am sure many of you, like me, have been spending time the past few weeks attempting to reflect or refocus your life. For me, I thought this time would allow me to pursue more of my personal music goals, better relationships with friends and family, and give me a chance to workout more.

humility
By Adam Darbonne
April 4, 2020

The way of the fool seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.”

I don’t know about you, but I almost always think I am right. I’d like to think that I listen to advice, and sometimes I do- if it comes from the right person, at the right time, in the right way.

Victory
By Amanda Farbstein
April 1, 2020

God cares about us trusting Him for victory because when we obey, especially against the odds, He delivers.  Trust leads to wonder: “Did you just see what He did?!” (my translation of Psalm 73:28b).

HOPE FOR THE WORLD
By Scott Dyer
march 28, 2020

In this season of Coronavirus, I can feel fear pushing me to hide in my apartment with my wife, watch an unhealthy amount of television, and save every last penny (and roll of toilet paper) until it is finally safe to go outside again.

Forgiveness
By Susan Solomon Yem
march 25, 2020

Life would be so easy if God would just write the answers to our prayers on the clouds in the sky. All we’d have to do is look up to see a yes, a no, a maybe, or a here’s how this is going to happen in your life!

FOLLOWING CHRIST
By Adam Darbonne
march 21, 2020

Fear is a powerful motivator, and people are afraid right now. If you don’t believe me, take a walk down the aisles of your local grocery store. The bare shelves testify to one reality: a lot of people are very afraid.

whom shall i fear?
By tracey syme
August 4, 2020

Psalm 27 has come to my mind many times when I have felt scared and in despair. ”The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life: of who shall I be afraid.