Trust

Spiritual Weightlifting

July 2019 | Published in Personal Experiences

One of my favorite forms of exercise is weightlifting. I’m no bodybuilder; I just do it to stay toned and keep in shape. I also find it interesting how akin weightlifting can be to our spiritual growth.

In our “spiritual weightlifting,” we have a truly awesome trainer. In Matthew 11:29, Jesus tells us, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me.” To me, the “yoke” is symbolic of anything that strengthens and exercises our faith and Christian walk. Jesus goes on to promise right after that, “My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”1

Anxiety and the Deep Blue Sea

June 2019 | Published in Teenagers

I grew up around creeks, lakes, and rivers, but when I was sixteen I went to Atlantic City, New Jersey, and saw the ocean for the first time. At the boardwalk the night we arrived, I walked out on a wooden pier. As the first thunderous waves crashed beneath my feet, I grabbed the railing, terrified. Since then I have had a cautious fondness for the ocean. I’ve never been a strong swimmer, but I love the look of the ocean, the feel of sand between my toes, and even the weightless feeling of being lifted from my feet and carried about by gentle waves—as long as I have something buoyant to hang onto.

The Giovanna Solution

June 2019 | Published in Prayer

After four years and a 44-hour bus ride, I was finally visiting my daughter and son-in-law and seeing my young granddaughter, Giovanna, for the first time. She had my heart instantly—so cute, so smart, so active. Other grandparents will understand if I say that my granddaughter is the most adorable, wonderful girl in the world!

When Do You Stop Trusting God?

May 2019 | Published in Bible Stories

Once upon a time, in a faraway land called Uz, there was a guy named Job. He was definitely one of the best guys around. He feared God and avoided evil. He was generous, kind, hardworking—overall, a good, godly man.1

Not only was Job a good guy, he also had a pretty great life. He had money, land, livestock, and servants. He had a wife and ten children.2 He was healthy. He was a respected figure in the community and had friends everywhere. Everyone knew who Job was.3

God’s Dominoes

May 2019 | Published in Perspective

A few years ago my life changed, and not in a small way. There were so many changes at once. It was quite overwhelming and rather discouraging at times.

First, I had to move back to my home country, Ukraine, after having lived in Bosnia and Herzegovina for six years doing missionary and volunteer work. My two sons, who had always been with me, had grown into wonderful young men and moved on to pursue their goals. I needed to find a place to stay, a job, things to do, and motivation to go on.

Keep Calm and Carry On

May 2019 | Published in Faith

I was on my way to visit a friend. As the bus approached the hospital where she was staying, a nervous shudder went through me, and I fumbled for a fitting greeting. My friend had always been sickly, and within the past year, she’d struggled to fight off several aggressive infections. Now, a major surgery had resulted in complications.

Embracing Change

January 2019 | Published in Personal Growth

I’ve always been fascinated by the stories of people who just up and change their lives. The successful surgeon who becomes a baker, the beggar who becomes a Wall Street tycoon, the soccer mom who becomes a backpacking mountaineer, the high-powered corporate couple who embrace minimalism and travel the world living out of a suitcase. I must like the comfort of believing that if it’s ever necessary, I too can change when I need to.

Candles and Prayers

August 2018 | Published in Prayer

There are some verses I’ve had a very difficult time with. One of them is “Pray continually.”That verse is often on my mind, and I’ve learned how important it is to pray. I pray a lot, but I don’t pray continually, so I’ve often felt guilty about not praying enough.

Baking Prayers

August 2018 | Published in Prayer

Prayer often works like baking a loaf of bread: You’ve got to mix the ingredients, knead the dough, proof the dough, then bake the finished loaf.

Step one: mix the ingredients. When baking bread, you can’t just throw a bunch of random stuff in a bowl and expect to get a loaf of bread. If you expect to get something edible, you have to use specific ingredients.

The Calendar of Your Life

May 2018 | Published in Guidance

A calendar is often used to help remind you of special events or important appointments, and can even be used as a basic master plan of happenings in your life. There exists a special calendar for you alone, and I’m helping you to fill in the days with plans that are pleasing to Me. As you trust and follow Me, you will see the manifestation of the secret desires of your heart. The calendar of your life is full of unique, memorable, and life-changing events.

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