Do not look forward in fear to the changes in life;
rather, look to them with full hope that as they arise,
God, whose very own you are,
will lead you safely through all things;
and when you cannot stand it,
God will carry you in his arms.
Do not fear what may happen tomorrow;
the same understanding Father who cares for
you today will take care of you then and every day.
He will either shield you from suffering
or will give you unfailing strength to bear it.
Be at peace,
and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.
It is good to give thanks to the Lord
to make music to your name, O Most High, to proclaim your love in the morning and your truth in the watches of the night. (Ps 94)
“His love is his loyalty to the covenant, and his truth is his absolute faithfulness. Every word he utters is to be trusted.” (John Brook)
Repeat after me: “Every word he utters is to be trusted.” Think about what he has said to you in the past, what word of Scripture has deeply moved your heart as you read it. “Every word he utters is to be trusted.”
“Only when we know that we have nothing of our own to show for our service of God, that we have no offering to make but our failures, sins, helplessness and folly are we made empty enough to be restocked with new graces.”
Chris Picco should have been singing “Happy Birthday,” to his newborn son, Lennon.
But Lennon’s birthday was a somber one. On November 8, 2014, Chris’ wife of seven years, Ashley, passed away suddenly in her sleep. She was 24 weeks pregnant. The doctors who had fought to save her life turned their attention to Lennon, who was born via emergency C-section 16 weeks earlier than planned.
Chris, a worship leader in Loma Linda, California, lost his beloved wife and welcomed his newborn son in the same day. In the face of such an enormous tragedy, Chris did the unthinkable: He sang.
Then, after only four days of life, Lennon joined his mother in Heaven. And Chris used his voice again, only this time, it was at the funeral for his wife and son.
His beautiful rendition of, “My Father’s World” shows the power of God to bring people closer together, even through tragedy.
“It does sometimes seem almost unbelievable that the soul of man can pass through so many devastating experiences and yet not be devastated. The explanation lies in such words as these: ‘He knoweth the way that I take’ (Job 23.10).” (Amy Carmichael)
We’re always questioning the darkness in our lives. What good is it? Why does God allow it? Here are Ann Spangler’s thoughts:
Larry Crabb says that we find God only when we need him. Simple words, but true. It’s like looking for the light switch in a dark room. No one goes searching for it until the sunlight has gone. Similarly, darkness can impel our search for God.
Several years ago I met the last survivor pulled from the wreckage after the destruction of the World Trade Center in 2001. During our time together, Genelle Guzman-McMillan told me a story about flirting with faith but choosing to live without it. Then, on September 11, her world fell apart and she found herself in complete darkness, buried alive under a mountain of rubble
If you feel things are out of control in your life (and even if you don’t), this is for you:
Hanging By A Thread
A week ago, I thought I had things under control. My blog post was up on Monday and I’d jotted down thoughts for another two; my upcoming classes with senior executives were planned; my beard was trimmed.
On Tuesday, I ate lunch with a friend I’ve been out of contact with for a while. He gave me inscribed copies of his two most recent books, which I started reading that day. Then, it all changed.
We brought our eight year old, Jopa, to the MD’s office that afternoon. She’d been showing signs of what we thought was an infection. We were wrong. It was Type I diabetes.
One day her pancreas was producing insulin. The next it was not. Her life, and ours, changed forever with the mysterious shutting down of her relevant cells.
She and my wife went to the hospital, where they remained for three days. And, that was the least of it. She’ll be pinpricking her finger and giving herself shots for as long as she lives.
Something similar happened to a parishioner who was healthy and living a normal life on Friday. Saturday, he slipped on the ubiquitous ice, cracked his skull, and underwent emergency brain surgery. He is in critical condition, fighting for his life.