Devotionals

Creation Care

The highest heavens belong to the LORD, but the earth he has given to mankind.—Psalm 115:16   The “big browns” are spawning in the Owyhee River—brown trout beginning their fall nesting ritual. You can see them excavating their nests in the gravelly shallows. Wise fishermen know that fish are spawning and try not to disturb…

Held by God

I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content.—Psalm 131:2   As I was nearing the end of lunch with my sister and her children one afternoon, my sister told my three-year-old niece, Annica, it was time to get ready for her…

A New Name

Jesus looked at him, and said, . . . “You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter).—John 1:42   In the article “Leading by Naming,” Mark Labberton wrote about the power of a name. He said: “I can still feel the impact of a musical friend who one day called me ‘musical.’ No…

The Good Shepherd

He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart.—Isaiah 40:11   I sat in the hospital room with my husband, waiting anxiously. Our young son was having corrective eye surgery and I felt the butterflies jostle in my stomach as I fretted and worried. I tried to pray, asking God…

Two-Winged Sun

[The LORD says:] I have heard your prayer and seen your tears.—Isaiah 38:5   For five years, an ancient clay seal remained in a closet in Jerusalem’s Institute of Archaeology. After the seal was dug up at the foot of the southern part of Jerusalem’s old city wall, initial examination failed to establish the significance…

Remind God of His Promises

I remember sitting in High School Algebra class, staring at my textbook as if it were written in Mandarin Chinese. Fortunately, I had a patient teacher. He issued the invitation and stuck to it: “If you cannot solve a problem, come to me and I will help you.” I wore a trail between his desk…

A Reason Not to Fear

People are born for trouble as readily as sparks fly up from a fire. —Job 5:7   In the months following September 11, 2001, as many as 400,000 New Yorkers suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder or depression. Drug use, both legal and illegal, and alcohol use went up dramatically after that horrific day. It’s because…

A Prayer-Sized Challenge

Praying specifically about a problem creates a lighter load. Many of our anxieties are threatening because they are ill defined and vague. If we can distill the challenge into a phrase, we bring it down to size. It’s one thing to pray, “Lord, please bless my meeting tomorrow.”  It’s another thing to pray, “I have…

Enough

They ate and had some left over, according to the word of the LORD.—2 Kings 4:44   When my husband and I were first asked to host a small group in our home, my immediate reaction was to decline. I felt inadequate. We didn’t have seats for everyone; our home was small and couldn’t hold…

Listening to God

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. — Proverbs 3:5-6   (NIV) One Sunday as I walked to my car after worship, I heard the chimes of the church ringing out a beautiful…