The Battle in the Boat

“He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm.” – Luke 8:24 Most of you are familiar with the account of Jesus boarding a boat with His disciples, only to go to the back of the ship and take a nap. After He fell asleep, a storm suddenly arose and His friends woke Him up in a panic, certain they were going to die. Rather than getting hysterical, the Lord calmed the storm and rebuked His disciples for their lack of faith. While there are many lessons to be learned from this story, one of the most poignant was depicted by the dutch artist Rembrandt in his work, “The Storm on the Sea of Galilee” in 1633. Hannah and I have a print of it hanging on our kitchen wall and every morning as I sip my coffee, I stare at

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Stronger than the Storm

“Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your right hand upholds me.” – Psalm 63:7,8 I told you yesterday about how my father helped me conquer my fear of the water when I was a kid, and I compared it to how God sometimes takes us into the storm to help us overcome our worries. I’d want to encourage you with another message today: you’re stronger than the storm! I remember this time a couple of years ago when I took my daughter Haven to the beach. She was eight years old at the time and she wanted to go into the water but needed help. I joyfully carried her in, and when I noticed how small she was and how small the waves were in comparison, it reminded me of that day with my father. When I was small

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Sent Into the Storm

“Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind.” – Psalm 107:28-31 Did you know that sometimes God intentionally sends us into a storm? He is our Heavenly Father, and now and then, He will do what any good father would do and lead us through a difficult situation to teach us how to face our fears. I remember having a fear of water as a child that lasted for many years. This is not ideal for a toddler living in Southern California, as we are close to the ocean and my family would frequently visit.

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Storms Lead to Reason to Rest

“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 I want to inform you that you can be a peaceful person right now! Even if you’re busy preparing the Thanksgiving turkey or getting your home ready for guests, your soul needs to relax. Amid a storm, you may have peace of mind while still growing smarter, sharper, and closer to your friends and family — the key is knowing that you will get through! Today, I want to argue that it’s the storms of life that will lead you to serenity. The more time you spend with God, the more faith and confidence you gain in

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Reside in His Rest

“Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.” – Hebrews 4:1 When you’re caught in the middle of a storm, what do you do? Life’s storms are unavoidable, and they come in different forms — some are as light as a sprinkle, while others are as powerful as a hurricane — but no matter how powerful they are, they always take us by surprise when they arrive. Storms might manifest as health troubles, financial difficulties, or challenges in your family or marriage. Whatever they are, we want to know how to deal with them as Christians; how are we expected to feel, think, and respond in their presence? I believe the dream is to be relaxed as we navigate stormy waters. When we are being thrown around by life’s waves, our wish

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Planning for the Storm

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” – Matthew 7:24-27 We discussed yesterday how the ability to thrive in turmoil is an indication that we are living in the fullness of God’s Kingdom. Today, we’ll look at how Jesus teaches us a similar lesson in the parable of the wise man who built his

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Quiet Waters

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.” – Psalm 23:1-2 To those who feel alone, abandoned, or unseen, I want to remind you that God is with you. Even in stormy seas, when the waves of change and currents of difficulty make it hard to navigate, Jesus is in the boat. No mountain is too high, no valley is too deep, and no pit is too dark for His loving presence to reach. You see, as His children, regardless of where we find ourselves, our Savior promises to lead us beside quiet waters. In the middle of a mess, He lovingly shepherds us to a place of safe pasture, even if our circumstances remain unsettled. Psalm 23 reminds us that

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The Power of Peace

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” – John 14:27 It’s interesting that the dictionary defines peace as “freedom from disturbance.” And while I love to imagine life without all forms of distraction, noise, and chaos, I realize that such a state of existence isn’t possible on a planet that’s marred by the effects of sin and brokenness. The reality is that the weight of the world is heavy, and it’s easy to become bogged down by the pain and trouble that surround us. Each of us has gone through a lot in the past twelve months, and we’ve seen things unfold that we never imagined we would. The global pandemic, loss of life and income, civil unrest, and a prolonged change to our daily

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