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we are in this together

new north daily encouragement

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).

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.

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..

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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).

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.

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.