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We are in this together

New North Daily Encouragement

For Daily Encouragements from August 17 or older, click here

taste of humble pie
By Heather Wong
november 20, 2020

Humility doesn’t come easy for most people, especially in this day and age where we are told to speak up for what you believe in and not let people tell you otherwise. Social media doesn’t help either as it will fuel one way of thinking and oppose the other.

our sovereign Lord
By Stephanie Wong
november 17, 2020

It has always been difficult for me to read through the Old Testament because of the blatant sin we see from God’s people as well as the wrath of God. God’s anger was destructive and violent, righteously so. However, as I have been studying the Old Testament more...

driven to love
By Joelle Brinkley
november 11, 2020

I have been ruminating for the last few days on something I heard on a television program I was recently watching. The story, in brief, was talking about how a woman loved other people.

idolatry & redemption
By Daniel Kennedy
november 5, 2020

I have a confession to make: I am an idolater. Over the years, I have idolized many things, setting them as objects of my worship over and above God. They include, among many others, prestige, wealth, success, and even my outward appearance.

a good gift
By joelle brinkley
october 31, 2020

I remember reading a business article recently that said that we all need to stop saying “we’re busy” as our automated response when people ask how we are doing. Has that always been our deflective response?

joyful noise: the origin story
By susan orloff
october 28, 2020

One of the last things my Mom and I did together during the final year of her life was to memorize Psalm 100. (She was 100 years old. It was the obvious choice!)  So I’d like to dedicate today’s devotional to her, particularly...

when god speaks, are we listening?
By Tiffany Kennedy
october 23, 2020

In Jeremiah 42-44, we see a scenario play out that many of us can relate to or have experienced personally in some capacity. I know for myself, there have been many times when I truly want to pray for God's will to be done...

mark my word
By susan solomon yem
october 20, 2020

As a professional writer I spend my days – and plenty of nights – playing with words. Although if truth be told, I’m a terrible Scrabble player! Crafting that perfect sentence is a rare occurrence for me. More often it’s write – delete – write – delete - write – delete – write.

family counseling
By Amanda Farbstein
october 15, 2020

The tone of 2 Thessalonians shifts abruptly in chapter 3 when Paul warns against idleness and disorderliness. New Testament scholars Tom Wright and Michael Bird teach in The New Testament in Its World that this problem of idleness arose because of a mistaken expectation that Jesus’ return was imminent...

divine discipline
By Susan Solomon Yem
october 10, 2020

I have always had two prayers for my children: meet God at every turn and get caught. I ‘ve never wanted them to get away with anything. They probably have, but it is those times when they’ve been caught in the act that they’ve learned the greatest lessons.

By Chester Quan
october 7, 2020

Every day we are confronted with choices we have to make. It could be deciding what to eat for breakfast, what clothes to wear or even which car to drive. Some decisions are no brainers but others take more thought.

By Kinney Fong
october 3, 2020

Where is my life going? Am I making a difference? What’s going on in this world? How can I help? Who should I vote for? I need answers and I need them now! Hard to believe that these same questions first came up when I was in high school as a new Christian, but somehow these feelings have come around again recently.

seeing beyond
By Grace Leung
September 28, 2020

His face was scowling, filthy hair unkempt, eyes defiant. I stared at the mug shot as I read the Comments posted below the news article. Police had just arrested a man who’d committed a horrible crime in our sleepy neighborhood, and triumphant commenters cried for the lowlife to get locked away forever.

i've never felt so small
By Irina Coombes
September 22, 2020

My family and I have been traveling in an RV around the country this past year. We have visited most of the Western hemisphere since we left Missouri in early February. I have not traveled much prior to this...

a few reminders
By Frank Cutter
September 16, 2020

As I looked at all four of these passages and wondered what to write today, I realized that each passage reminded me of a truth I need to remember each day, so here they are.

are you listening?
By Paul Tang
September 12, 2020

There's no question that Isaiah speaks to us today as much as he speaks to the nations of his day (1 Cor. 10:6). The question is, will we listen. In truth, we can identify with every human role Isaiah speaks of in today's passage (Is. 10,11);

fear of god - but why if he's all loving?
By Tiffany Kennedy
September 9, 2020

Having grown up in a Christian home, I have always appreciated God’s loving characteristics, but something that is more uncomfortable for me to accept and think about in my daily life is that God is also just and we will all stand before Him one day...

striving & being
By daniel kennedy
September 5, 2020

“The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” Ecclesiastes 12:13 A big challenge I’ve been wrestling with lately is the tension between “striving” and “being” - or what I define as: 1) the persistent desire to achieve or accumulate more; vs...

in his time
By joelle brinkley
September 2, 2020

If we all had a dollar for every time that we heard someone say the phrase everything in its time, we would all be millionaires by now. It seems that what we tend to struggle with most is what to do with our time. More importantly, who or what determines what we do with our time?

thank you for seeing me
By amanda farbstein
August 29, 2020

A common refrain heard within particularly American Evangelical circles is that “it’s not about happiness. It’s about joy.” And joy is not contingent upon circumstances whereas happiness is. Happiness became such a bad word that years ago...

someone to believe in
By nicole flowers
August 26, 2020

2 Corinthians 1:3-6 are some of my favorite verses of the Bible. I’ve had them underlined, page marked, for years on years. I’ve found them to be such a welcome refreshment in times of distress and times of rejoicing to know there is a reason for my suffering!

staying faithful through the unknowns
By Ida Skinner
August 22, 2020

I can say 2020 started amazingly! I had high hopes for this year (and I like to think I still do). We moved to the Bay area at the end of January and officially joined this incredible church body here at New North Church.

don't miss out
By Scott Dyer
August 19, 2020

One reason I love the story of Esther is because she, like me, tried to fly under the radar for most of her life. Esther didn’t want anyone to know that she was a Jew - she didn’t want to ruffle any feathers, and then all of sudden she was in a unique position where God could use her.

By Guy Anthony
november 19, 2020

Wow, how relevant is today’s Proverbs passage? “When there is moral rot within a nation its government topples easily. But wise and knowledgeable leaders bring stability.” My question is: can the predicted toppling actually be avoided if good leaders emerge in the nick of time?

what are you looking at?
By Katie Tang
november 13, 2020

A city on a Mediterranean island, both beautiful and wealthy. A center of international trade, attracting top talent from surrounding countries. All the finest things of the ancient world are available—the best food and wine, the latest fashions, expensive jewelry and home goods.

you're not enough
By Irina Coombes
november 10, 2020

Have you ever been told you're not enough? Have you ever poured so much into your job only to receive constant criticism from your boss? Or maybe a loved one constantly pointed out how you could have done something better?

an anchor for the soul
By Nicole Flowers
november 4, 2020

It may be a bit of an understatement to say but I have to: the last seven (going on eight!) months have been really tough. As I talk with friends from here and across the country...

context is key
By amanda farbstein
october 30, 2020

The Psalmist in Psalm 102 is praying in the exile brought about by Israel’s repeated idolatry and disobedience to God. The suffering of this individual and the nation are “because of [God’s] indignation and anger”.

the lord reigns
By michelle darbonne
october 27, 2020

Last summer my husband and I got a dog, which was something I had been wanting for many many (many!) years. Raising our now 1.5 year old golden retriever has definitely given us a run for our money, but she’s becoming a really sweet and wonderful dog, and we’ve grown to trust her.

first impressions
By Gigi Anthony
october 22, 2020

When I was a new believer I wasn’t a big fan of the apostle Paul. Perhaps you had the same impression? He seemed so serious and dogmatic. Well, thank goodness my impression of Paul has changed through the years.

your calling
By daniel kennedy
october 17, 2020

I’ve been thinking about the word “Calling” a lot recently. And what it means in my own life. The interesting thing about the authors / characters in these passages (e.g. Jeremiah, Timothy) is that they were all “called”...

heart cries
By joelle brinkley
october 14, 2020

Our family returned to the San Francisco Bay Area this summer and before the pandemic hit, I was looking forward to returning to church with our New North Family. I remember the Sundays where the Spirit moved through the sanctuary...

feel hope
By Helen Chan
october 9, 2020

As we are seven months into the pandemic, the world sees one disaster after another. Starting with the coronavirus, infecting and killing millions and causing us to drastically change our lives; the social injustice we witnessed as well as the outrage that followed causing division among the people...

are they even listening?
By Irina Coombes
october 6, 2020

When I was younger, I did not really understand parables and when the Bible spoke in "code". To tell you the truth, I didn't like to think more than I needed to and solving a problem was not high on my priority list.

i want to know christ
By lynette caplice
october 2, 2020

"I want to know Christ". This is Paul's heart's desire in Philippians 3:10a. Everything else in his life he considers garbage -- what he strives for is simply to know Christ and become more like him. Don't we all want this? To know our Creator God -- how infinite he is, and yet so intimate.

By tracey syme
September 30, 2020

In this season, something that I believe the Lord has been leaving an impression on my heart, is the proclamation of “let’s go!” Simple instructions from the sound of it. Many times when my family and I are going to do an activity...

my struggle with love
By Freddy King
September 26, 2020

Since I was a kid, I can remember my desire to find love. I lost both of my parents at a young age and at home, I did not find the love and affection a child needs. I was abandoned by those who said they loved me. Hate and depression started to overwhelm me.

By Joelle Brinkley
September 24, 2020

There is a faulty mentality that has been pervasive in our society especially as of late. It is the idea that we can live our best lives here on Earth. We see it in magazines, hear it on the television, see it plastered on social media, and witness others trying to live out what they think is best for themselves.

hope of the farthest seas
By helen park
September 21, 2020

My parents went to see the 1975 summer blockbuster Jaws when it was released. As they never used babysitters, my three year-old self tagged along with them.

finding rest
By hannah gallagher
September 18, 2020

“I’m just so tired all the time.” I have heard this from so many people in our current season of life. And I feel it too. Unfortunately, we are in the midst of global trauma where everyone has been affected in some way.

what's wrong with bbq pork?
By Hubert Pun
September 15, 2020

From Galatians 2:16, we understand as followers of Christ, we are justified before God simply through our faith in Christ. No more and no less. Nothing we add through our works or amazing efforts to prove ourselves to God can ever be sufficient to replace the sacrifice Christ paid on the cross for me and you!

boast in your weakness
By Irina Coombes
September 11, 2020

In today's reading, Paul talks about a thorn in his side. He has asked God repeatedly to take it away but simply put, God said no. So then Paul says, "That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ.

ah, sinful nation!
By Chris Oliver
September 8, 2020

“Repent, sinner!” This was the message that confronted me at the entrance of every baseball game I frequented during the San Francisco Giants dynasty. I was young, energetic, and full of devotion to God and to my baseball team. Dozens of times a year I passed one of my local prophets and internalized a strange discord of hope and scorn:

By amber eifler
September 4, 2020

I grew up going to a Catholic school until my freshman year. For as long as I can remember we studied the word of God by reading the Bible and diving deeper into the sermons we heard every Sunday morning. As a young believer, I felt so knowledgeable.

friends who console
By Irina Coombes
September 1, 2020

Please tell me I'm not the only one who has "argued" with God! I mean, Job did too, but anyone else?! Then the Lord said to Job, “Do you still want to argue with the Almighty? You are God’s critic, but do you have the answers?” Job 40:2

be wise
By andy tan
August 28, 2020

I usually skip the book of Job when I am reading the bible as I find it very depressing, but this chapter of Job about a poem of wisdom is very interesting. If God can grant you one gift of: power, wealth, skill, or wisdom, what would you ask for?

sometimes the good suffer
By Freddy King
August 25, 2020

I grew up with the same folk wisdom that Job and the Counselors had. That good behavior is always rewarded, and bad or immoral behavior is always punished, that the good succeed and the evil do not. Through the book of Job, we see the biblical authors...

words to live by
By Michael Farbstein
August 21, 2020

We love stories of overcoming adversity. In sports. In movies. In history. I think we enjoy them because the adversity is usually for a noble cause, and because, in the midst of it all, we have an abiding sense that all will turn out well in the end.  We yearn for that ending, and no story seems complete without a resolution that confirms our hope.

all in perspective
By Irina Coombes
August 18, 2020

Have you ever watched One Night With the King? It's a movie about the story of Esther. A woman of faith, boldness, and bravery. I watched the movie while I was pregnant with our first child and had recently found out the baby was a girl. I was drawn to the name "Hadassah" (Esther's real name) and wanted...

By Annette Chau
november 18, 2020

My dog has instincts. Around the same time every day, he will get up off his bed, walk over to me and stare, signaling it is time for his walk. With my mask and a bag full of sharp cheddar cheese in hand, we head out towards the park. We've had Milo since he was a puppy.

got faith?
By Gigi Anthony
november 12, 2020

“Faith is the confidence that we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” Hebrews 11:1 I must confess that my faith is often weak. Because I worked in the health and fitness industry, faith reminds me of exercising.

a leader with no limits
By Susan Orloff
november 6, 2020

As we’ve looked out over the landscape of this year, it’s sometimes felt as if the world might end. Martin Luther was attributed with saying: “If I knew that the world would end tomorrow – I would plant a tree!”

our sovereign God
By Michelle Darbonne
november 3, 2020

The word “sovereign” is defined several ways in the English language. Merriam Webster dictionary cites the following definitions: “One possessing or held to possess supreme political power”, “Of the most exalted kind: supreme”

a bondservant of jesus
By Chris Oliver
october 29, 2020

On one of my many flights to the Hawaiian islands, I couldn’t help but notice that my anxious fellow passenger wrote “The Beach” as her intended lodging on her travel form. It was not the first time I had met a runaway.

new millenia, same story
By jonah gallagher
october 24, 2020

Reading Psalm 94 reminds me that, while technology and medicine have greatly changed throughout history, human nature has not. We are just as broken and in need of a Savior as humanity has ever been.

while we lament, he is still faithful
By Hannah Gallagher
october 21, 2020

I often turn to the Psalms when I’m experiencing seasons of extremes, whether it be times of great joy or times of hardship. I find that the book of Psalms is able to capture, quite eloquently...

on patience & endurance
By Nicole Flowers
october 16, 2020

One of the things I can honestly say I appreciate most about my family is the patience they have with me. I can admit it: sometimes (ok, a lot of the time), I can be very particular (if not just plain and simple difficult!).

counted worthy
By Michelle Darbonne
october 13, 2020

Last year when we went through our series on the 7 letters in Revelation, I remember our pastors encouraging us to consider, if God was writing a letter to you, what would He say? Reading through 2 Thessalonians...

stronger together
By Ida Skinner
october 8, 2020

I genuinely love the Bay Area because it is a diverse metropolitan that encompasses so many people from different walks of life. People come from all walks of life and bring their experiences with them that have shaped them into the person they are.

what does it mean to love God?
By Sun Tavares
october 5, 2020

God is Love. He loved me first and cared for me so deeply that he sacrificed His son to atone for my sins. He is gracious, welcoming and forgiving. What does it mean for us to love Him? When we know the true character of God, can we choose to behave however we want?

being in the moment
By annette chau
october 1, 2020

A few weeks ago I took the kids to their annual physical. So excited to check a box off my list, I didn't even bother to notice how worried they were to be getting their vaccines. I knew it was a good day when I saw the sign posted on the door that flu shots were also available and being offered early this year!

forsake me not
By Jade martin
September 29, 2020

The heading for Psalm 71 reads, “Forsake Me Not When My Strength is Spent.” Anybody else feel like these words are timely? I know I do. It feels like emotional and spiritual enemies are attacking me from every side. And my strength, most definitely, is spent.

the power of wonder
By Susan Orloff
September 25, 2020

As we reflect on our journey through Isaiah, the sweeping narratives and ancient prophecies may seem of little value to our ultra-modern world. But percolating beneath the surface is a powerful hidden message; and it’s a message that targets our 21st century with the force of a heat-seeking missile.

the hand of god did this
By susan solomon yem
September 23, 2020

I love the ocean. Not as fond of the beach, though. That sand gets into everything! I have had the privilege of living within walking distance of both the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans. 

to eagerly hope
By jonah gallagher
September 19, 2020

Most days, outside our window in Daly City, there is a blanket of fog that descends at some point during the day. More often than not it feels like a foggy weight lies on our daily lives.

too much confidence
By Scott Dyer
September 17, 2020

Two and half years ago I experienced what was possibly the scariest and most embarrassing moment of my life. My wife and I were living in Asia at the time and we had taken a winter holiday to an island off the coast of Thailand.

responding well
By Lily Jow
September 14, 2020

We have all heard that we are in unprecedented times! This entire year has been filled with unprecedented events. I keep saying to my kids, “I have never in my life seen…” whether it is the concerns over COVID, the massive lighting storms, the raging fires, the orange sky and now the ash...

holy, holy, holy
By Janice Lewis
September 10, 2020

At the beginning of this summer, a friend and I embarked on a study of the book of Revelation. (Revelation: G.K. Beale said the book of Revelation is, “The Bible’s battle cry of victory, for in it, more than anywhere else in the NT, is revealed the final victory of God over all the forces of evil.”)

psalm 51:10 (again)
By Sam Cerdena
September 7, 2020

Psalm 51:10 is a verse that many of us might know. I’m generalizing a little bit, but I feel this way because I’ve seen it in places like social media profiles  and even on posts with this text superimposed on breathtaking landscape photography. Either way, David asked God for a pure heart and a steadfast spirit.

hero worship
By guy anthony
September 3, 2020

Mark David Chapman was just a regular Beatles fan whose hero worship morphed into madness and led to the murder of John Lennon in 1980. Who do you put on a pedestal – a current Tiktok star, Stephen Curry, Taylor Swift or Tim Cook?

get it done
By michael miller
August 31, 2020

As I read all the verses for today, Proverbs 22:13 kept on sticking in my head and I think it is revealing for us today. Clearly God was speaking to me. The verse mentions a sluggard and a lion waiting to devour him. What is a sluggard?

stand on this truth
By ariel dyer
August 27, 2020

When I was in college, I was in the University Choir and Orchestra. One year we sang a rendition of the hymn How Firm a Foundation. With rehearsal and concerts, we probably sang it at least a hundred times. That particular semester, I felt like God had forsaken me and didn’t hear me, I felt abandoned.

it is what it is
By Susan Solomon Yem
August 24, 2020

It is what it is is my least favorite expression because I always want to say, but it doesn’t have to be! I’m starting to think the better response might be, why is it what it is? Or what is the Lord trying to show me? Years ago I read a book called Dark Threads the Weaver Needs by Herbert Lockyer.

words. words. words.
By jessica jimenez
August 20, 2020

Biden is a fascist. Abortion is a woman's right. Abortion is the murdering of innocent human lives. Black lives matter. All lives matter. Love is Love. Marriage is the union between one man and one woman. Kids deserve a mother and a father who are married to each other. Love makes a family.