In Mark 6:36-52, we find a passage that tells two stories—the first is the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000. The disciples bring the issue of the hungry people to Jesus, suggesting Jesus send them away for food to the surrounding towns. But instead of responding in agreement as the disciples expected, Jesus instructed the disciples to “give them something to eat” (Mark 6:37, NIV). The disciples were obviously shocked at this statement and responded accordingly, asking Jesus if they were expected to go and purchase food for all the people there.
Jesus never expected them to go purchase food for all the people. Rather He was testing their faith and their response to the question. This revealed their lack of sensitivity to the Spirit of the One they were following. Jesus put the disciples to work. He said to … Read More »
Summer has arrived and is in full swing. The beaches are crowded, the malls are jam-packed, and every night is like a sleepover. I remember those months as a school-aged girl well. You count down those minutes as the time drags by slower than water boils. Finally the clock signals the school bell and you run out of the double doors rejoicing and searching for the nearest ice cream store.
I am far removed from high school, but working in a school for a period of time had me reliving all those memories. This year has been especially hard for high schoolers. Perhaps you have been part of a terrifying lockdown that was only a drill, but in the moment you had no idea what was going on. Maybe, even worse, your situation was not a drill and you are … Read More »
As I stood in the hospital room, looking down at my eleven-year-old sister taking her last few breaths, I asked a question we all ask God in a trial: “Why?” My mind was making no sense as to what was happening and why it was so sudden. I have been reminded over the years not to question God but to trust His ways are higher than our own. In this moment, I thought I could be excused from that advice. Little did I know those were and still are words that sustain my peace and strength. I silently prayed, “I can’t do this without You, God.” I continued to pray for His will to happen even when I had no clue what that really meant for my sister or me.
In these moments we learn to get real with God—when … Read More »
Self-harm, also known as self-injury, is something one in five young ladies and one in seven young men will engage in during their teenage and early adult years. Most of us have heard of the common self-harm practice of cutting yourself, but here are other ways people, especially young people, also inflict harm upon themselves:
Interfering with wound healing (picking or reopening wounds)
Punching or hitting oneself or other objects
Inserting objects into the skin
Purposely bruising or breaking one’s bones
Certain forms of hair pulling
To many, self-harm could be hard to understand or grasp. Why would someone inflict bodily harm on themselves? Why would someone purposely hurt themselves? I’ve asked these questions as a former youth pastor when I heard some youth were doing this in our youth group. It’s easy to be judgmental and think someone must be crazy to do such a … Read More »
It was a rainy evening in late September when we first laid eyes on each other. We were both in St. Louis, Missouri attending the 2014 UPCI General Conference. After a powerful service one evening, we began to walk aimlessly with a group of mutual friends to a restaurant that was—to our dismay—already closed. As we all stood out on the street corner, staring at the darkened windows in disbelief, suddenly a torrential downpour came out of nowhere! We were finally able to find shelter inside a random Sushi place, but by that time we were all completely soaked.
The night was unforgettable to say the least. As we sat there shivering, happy as could be, eating our sushi, we could have never imagined that just three years later we would stand together at an altar and say, “I do.” … Read More »