• Faith & Life,  Lent,  unexpected blessings

    An Easter Perspective

    It’s Holy Week. This one is much different than the rest, at least the ones that I have experienced. We are in a time where fears need to be acknowledged and thankfully God’s Word doesn’t make us wait to receive the Gospel. We are all struggling with the idea that we won’t be together on Easter. It’s real grief, but this sentiment reminded me that the first Easter was also observed separately by the followers of Jesus. 19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with…

  • Faith & Life,  Holy Land,  Lent,  One Word,  unexpected blessings

    Savor: A Reflection

    Since this strange season began just a few weeks ago, I have been reflecting on how I have been taking advantage of my 2020 word in these first few, long months. In late December 2019, as I selected the word ‘Savor’ for 2020, I imagined the opportunities that would arise. When I selected the word “Savor” this is the verse that came to mind. On January 1, 2020, I woke up in the middle of the tour of a life time of the Holy Land, savoring every moment of that trip. On January 10, 2020, I woke up in my own bed, ready to enjoy 3 more weeks of rest…

  • Holy Land,  Lent,  unexpected blessings

    The Value of the Desert

    I shared this devotion in worship this weekend and wanted to share it with all of you as well. What is the value in the desert? This question was raised to our group as we toured the Holy Land this past holiday season. Sounds like an odd question to ask, because what could such a barren place possibly offer?  For the Israelites, this was a wilderness full of wandering. For Jesus, he experienced temptation and fasting for 40 days. How could this place have any value? Yet, God taught me about His provision of water in these desert places.  In the Jordan River, Jesus was baptized by John to show us…

  • Holy Land,  Lent,  unexpected blessings

    Passport to Jesus: Temple Mount

    I am leading a Bible study during the season of Lent at my church about Holy Week. I began this weekend and due to the advancement of technology we were able to live stream it! This is one of the ways you can learn more about my experience and connect it to your own faith journey. Blog posts and pictures are still in progress, but hopefully this is a tool that you can use in your own walk through Lent and study of God’s Word! Check out the live stream here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kX9S1k00qDk&feature=youtu.be

  • Lent

    Speaking up in the Messy

    The next post I had planned to write was sharing all the wonderful insights from my experience in NYC at #VoxCon.  There’s so much to process and it takes time. My biggest takeaway from that event was to “Keep writing and speak up…especially in the messy.” Today was already a unique day. This is the first time I can remember that both Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday have fallen on the same day. It’s a powerful expression of love on display. A friend posted a sad status on Facebook and I knew right away that I needed to check the news. Not again. My heart immediately sunk. The live stream…

  • Lent

    Wk 6: Our Transient Neighbors

    We had two neighbors move away this week. One was our next door neighbor who I had just gotten to know but moved away due to life events. Some neighbors on the floor below that I didn’t know apparently left very abruptly. A few neighbors were asking around to see if anyone knew what happened. We don’t know if the Samaritan saw that man again that he helped. It’s unlikely they crossed paths again.  “But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put…

  • Lent

    Wk 5: Our Displaced Neighbors

    The Scriptural basis for this series is the Parable of the Good Samaritan. The story of a man robbed, being displaced and being helped by an unlikely neighbor. This parable plays out in our lives today as we are witness to and have the opportunity to help in plight of refugees. Yesterday, I learned the following: “Today and tomorrow (Tuesday & Wednesday), over 100 Lutheran leaders will meet with congressional offices in Washington, D.C. to urge their members of Congress to protect and welcome vulnerable refugees and migrant children fleeing the endemic violence and persecution in their communities.”  I am glad to hear how our church body is responding to…

  • Lent

    Wk 4: Loving our Neighbor with the Two Greatest Commandments

    Loving our Neighbor with the Two Greatest Commandments Amy Jeffries, MA, PLPC (Intro & Conclusion) and Cody Jeffries, Psy.D., PLP Dr. Jeffries works with all ages and types of clients, but many of his clients are part of a drug and alcohol recovery program that offers a chance for people to turn their lives around. When his clients in this program have a Christian faith, he works with them to adjust their style of relating to God in order to help them better relate to themselves and others, often resulting in a more successful recovery. He typically walks a client through this by asking a series of questions, but he…

  • Lent

    Wk 3: God’s Under-Rower

    God’s Under-Rower by Greg Arnett In July 1999 I went on a medical missionary trip to Haiti where I literally pulled teeth for a week. I had always wanted to be a dentist, and God fulfilled that dream on this trip (although that’s another story). However, it didn’t all end so well. Below is an excerpt from my journal after I returned… Yes, it has been almost two months since I’ve written. Mainly because I couldn’t write because there was too much unknown. I probably should have written and not just waited till I knew… On our last day of clinic I stuck my finger with a needle on my…