When I was growing up, summertime promised a break from school and homework, but it also meant separation from most of my school friends who I didn’t see otherwise. I could be excited about the summer break, or find reasons to be sad. It’s all about perspective: Would I view it as an adventure to enjoy or as a desolate wilderness to muddle through?
As Christians, we have very great and precious promises available to us (2 Peter 1:3). Jesus offers forgiveness, everlasting love, reconciliation to God, a coming restoration of all things. But He also promised we will have troubles (John 16:33), seasons in the “wilderness,” so to speak. Like my attitude toward childhood summers, we must choose whether we will view these challenging times as an adventure to enjoy or as a desolate wilderness to muddle through. Jesus came to give us abundant life (John 10:10) and full joy (John 15:11), so we don’t need to settle for “muddling through” anything. Continue reading “Rejoicing in the “Wilderness””
Traveling to Israel, “the Holy Land,” was life-changing in ways I had never imagined. In the middle of our 10-day journey, we found ourselves at a lovely hotel at the Dead Sea. This was a much-needed respite from all the walking we had done and still had ahead of us later in the week. I thought it would be like any other day at the beach, but I was wrong. Continue reading “Dead Sea, Living Water”
The Olympics: The torch, the ceremonies, the medals, and the athletes. Night after night, we are engaged by the competition and by the inspiring background stories of the competitors. They have trained for years, investing endless hours in the gym, on the slopes or on the ice, just to compete here. Each one has a unique story, some of which are full of adversity along their paths to the Olympics – injuries, the deaths of family members, financial distress, etc. We are inspired by their ability to overcome their circumstances and to focus on the end goal: a medal.
Every person faces adversity at some point, and like these athletes, we must focus on the end goal.
One of my own challenges came in the form of my cancer diagnosis a few years ago. Continue reading “Eyes on the Prize”
It was about a year ago that we had our last “normal” family meal to celebrate a family birthday. On January 21, 2017, our extended family came together to watch a church basketball game coached by my two college-aged sons, and then we went out for lunch to celebrate one of their birthdays. Birthdays were never missed in our family. My parents would call, usually early in the morning, to sing “Happy Birthday” to the one celebrating, and we always tried to have a family meal sometime around the birthday. Family time is important to us, and we have been incredibly blessed to live close to our extended family so that we could be together for these fun occasions.
Within four weeks, we celebrate three birthdays each year in January and February. So, when the next birthday came on February 16, 2017, we had planned a family dinner on Friday the 17th. But everything changed on February 16th. Continue reading “New morning, new mercies!”
By Sheri Ellington
Ever been in a dry place? A scorched place? A desert? Where things just seem to keep going wrong and no matter how much you pray, it feels like your prayers are going no further than your ceiling?
Continue reading “A New Thing…from a Scorched Place”
By Sheri Ellington
Have you ever struggled to keep worrisome thoughts from penetrating and monopolizing your mind? This is a battle I lost for years. But no more! Now I know how to fight and win this battle, even though I don’t do it exactly right every time.
Continue reading “The War with Worry”
By Patricia Ellington
I am Patricia Ellington, Tommy’s mother.
First of all, I have good news for you: God loves you!
Next, I want you to know that I have forgiven whoever shot and killed my son, Tommy Ellington, because I know who we are dealing with, but I do expect justice.
That was the easy part. Now for the hard part:
Continue reading ““Do Something!” A Son’s Blood Calls Out to His Mother”