Recently, we learned of yet another mass shooting, the likes of which have increased considerably. We certainly don’t understand the full scope of why people resort to such horrendous measures of cruelty and hatred. At present, the family members of the most recent victims of a mass shooting, in Oregon, likely feel that their grief is insurmountable. But we know that God heals sorrow. I can’t wholly imagine the heart pain that loved ones experience when their family members and friends are no longer present here for them to enjoy. And the pain is particularly enhanced when acts of violence remove those whom they love. Healing is a process and it often happens in stages. No two people grieve alike. My heart goes out to people who have losses to the family dynamic and the interruption of valued friendships. My thoughts extend to the children who will grow up without their parents. Their realities are significantly altered. Their fragile beings are shaken to the core. What a treasured relief thatContinue reading »

Bespectacled Calvert, a fervent lover of the Lord, does janitorial work at a posh office building in Bethesda, Maryland. He loves his job but lately he’s questioning his usefulness to the Lord. Today is Calvert’s weekly fellowship with his friends and fellow laborers in the Lord, Josh and Peter. The trio meets at the Harmony Café in Suitland, Maryland. Calvert slides his wiry frame into the booth beside portly Peter, the eldest of the chums. “Guys, I’m having doubts about my usefulness to the cause of the gospel. I wonder sometimes if I’m doing effective service for the Lord.” Peter reassuringly places his hand on his friend’s shoulder. “You sure are, Calvert. Consistently, your light shines for the glory of God.” Calvert shrugs. “My confidence has taken a hit. I yearn for it to be restored.” Josh adds, “We’re around you often, Calvert, and witness your steady walk with the Lord. Your doubts are unfounded, man.” “Thanks, guys,” Calvert murmurs. Peter slaps the table. “Let’s pray,” he offers. The friendsContinue reading »

Amber and her family have moved to Evergreen Lane in Tampa, Florida. Geographically, they love it but emotionally their hearts are deeply attached to the east coast where extended family remains. Job duties called Trent, Amber’s father, to Tampa; responsibly, he answered the workplace need. In the laundry room, pony-tailed Monica, clothed in a red and white polka dot sundress, hums along with the low playing classical music on the radio. She taps her flip flop clad narrow foot to the tune of the soothing music. Smiling as she folds Trent’s assorted basketball uniform shorts, Monica thinks of his passion for the game. “That husband of mine loves his basketball nights.” Dressed snappily in her blue denim capris and tie-died tee shirt, lithe Amber enters the laundry room. “What’d you say, Mom?” She rests her three-fingered hand on the warm dryer. How’d that hand matter come to be? Amber was born minus her pinky and index fingers. Monica cheerfully answers, “Oh, I was absorbed about your dad and his basketballContinue reading »

Hearts are emboldened with the knowledge that God is ever present and help in times of peace and war. Every season is the season for the presence of the Lord. History is replete with accounts of laudable and heroic actions by brave soldiers at all levels of military service. Their numerous sacrifices shouldn’t ever be lightly esteemed for they give for the good of nations. Countless lives were lost in war; scores of men and women returned without limbs; with little hope, mental instabilities and major uncertainties. Our love swells for what the soldiers gave and for what military personnel continue to give of themselves for common and beneficial causes. I remember, with deep admiration, former NFL player Pat Tillman. In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack on America, he forsook a $3.6 million contract to become an Army Ranger. Do we not marvel at Tillman’s patriotism and dedication to a worthier pursuit than money?! Resources inform us of the various soldiers who greatly contributed to warContinue reading »