covid

The God of Seasons

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot.” – Ecclesiastes 3:1,2 Today is the first day of spring, and if you’re like me, you’re joyfully anticipating the new life that it brings. Especially after the extended impact of COVID-19 and the unprecedented challenges we’ve faced over the past year, we’re ready for a page to turn. However, to put things into perspective, it’s important to remember that springtime is only possible because of the falling leaves of autumn and the barren cold of winter. We serve a God of seasons, and no matter how difficult each one is, they all have distinct beauty and a divinely-appointed purpose. Today, we see evidence of vibrancy and hope, but the fruits of this time have only come

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Rest For Your Soul

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30 Today, I want to assure you that there is rest for your soul, especially since you may be feeling pressed down by the weight of this time. Before COVID-19 hit, most of us were already leading busy lives and finding it challenging to maintain our emotional and spiritual balance. However, now — with all the crazy news cycles, the intense fear that’s fighting for our minds, the constant barrage of new and conflicting information, and the routines that have been thrown off — we’ve assumed a mental load the likes of which we’ve never known. That

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It Matters to God

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.” – Matthew 5:38-40 I don’t know about you, but I’ve noticed that the world seems to be getting harsher all the time. I think a lot of it is because of the COVID situation, but people in general are stressed, impatient, and many are acting out on their impulses (I’ve especially witnessed it on our Southern California freeways). Unfortunately, this can be really wearing for those of us who are trying to do the right thing. Just for “staying in our lane,” both literally and figuratively, we are often the target of the slander,

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Trust in the Lord

“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 Today, I have a word for those of you who feel trapped, stuck or frozen. It’s not a particularly profound or deep thought, but it’s worth repeating again and again — trust the Lord. I know the ongoing nature of the COVID situation has many feeling discouraged and wondering if there will ever be an end. Like everyone, I struggle with the mixed emotions of the whole thing, and as I pray, God keeps bringing me back to the truth that He is trustworthy because He is good. Even as we drill through, trying to do the right thing day after day, His Kingdom remains unshaken. His plan is not affected by earthly circumstances, and He is not

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Healed Hearts Change the World

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” – Psalm 147:3 Today, we officially begin the countdown to a new year, and if you’re anything like me, I’m really looking forward to a fresh start. There’s something about the promise and possibility of the next season that fills my heart with hope, and I pray that it does for you, too. That said, as we look at the state of our world in these times, what we see can be disheartening. In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, social and political wounds run deep in our culture. Knowing this, I believe now is a better time than ever to embrace the truth that every positive change begins with Jesus in us. There’s an old song that says “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.” While I used to think it was really cheesy, I’ve come

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God Will Get You There

“Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene.” – Matthew 2:22,23 When we read the story of Jesus’ birth, there’s a part we sometimes overlook because we fail to see its significance. However, in this crazy season, when many of us seem to be facing detour after detour, it’s an encouraging thing to understand. Though our Lord was born in Bethlehem so that prophecy would be fulfilled, his parents took Him and fled to Egypt because they feared evil King Herod, who was trying to kill Him. It was years before He returned to Israel, and when He did, He didn’t go back to the area in which He was born, because there was another wicked king reigning there

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The Struggle is Real

“He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” – Psalm 40:2 How are you doing? When’s the last time someone asked you that question? If it wasn’t too long ago, how did you respond? I think many of us, when queried on our condition or status, give a canned or rote response rather than answering in a way that reflects the true state of our being. While this is fine in casual encounters, it’s beneficial for each of us to pause occasionally and take an account of the state of our hearts and souls. Here in Southern California, COVID-19 remains at the forefront of our lives, and we were recently faced with another shutdown. For many, the feeling of going backwards is especially difficult, and while I realize that

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