Volume 15.10 | October 2014

  • Light in dark places

    In The Fellowship of the Ring,1 the elven “Lady of Light” Galadriel presents Frodo with a crystal phial containing the light of Eärendil’s star. “It will shine brighter when night is about you,” she promises; and sure enough, over the course of their quest, Frodo and Sam use the light on a number of occasions […]

  • Down In The Salt Mines

    We went down 378 spiraling steps into the Wieliczka Salt Mine in southern Poland, wondering what we would find and thinking about how easy it would be to get lost in the underground maze around us. I marveled at how anyone could spend so much of their life underground and retain their sanity. As we […]

  • Coming Through

    Light is appreciated and valued, because we’ve experienced darkness. Hope is truly valued after we’ve experienced despair. Our blessings bring us the greatest joy, because we’ve experienced life without them. We value health because we’ve experienced sickness, and we understand the value of being loved because we know what it’s like to feel loneliness. I […]

  • Moment By Moment

    When our son Pete was three, he was diagnosed with leukemia, and from one moment to the next, our lives changed drastically. There are no instruction manuals that can prepare you for how to cope when your child is facing a life-threatening disease. Even though we found shelter in the loving arms of Jesus, our […]

  • Face The Storm

    Quite a few years ago, our small family was traveling on a freighter from Europe to our new field of service in South America. Due to long delays in the loading of the ship’s cargo, we found ourselves setting sail in the dead of the Mediterranean winter, the same time of year as the apostle […]

  • Riding The Dragon

    Strapping on my harness and checking my gear to make sure it was secure, I held the reins tightly in my hands. The winged creature lurched, squirmed, wriggled, and writhed to free itself from its restraints and heave me into the abyss. My keepers, one at either side, were able to contain its fury, but […]

  • A Valley Visit

    The Hebrew word bakah means “weeping,” and in Bible times there was a valley in Israel called by that name. Figuratively, the Valley of Baca is a place where all of us have been at some time or other. It’s a place of suffering, sorrow, hardship; a dry, dusty, desert place. Psalm 84 brings out […]

  • The Payoff Of Perseverance

    “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”—Christopher Robin (A. A. Milne) The first time I read this quote, I thought of a story I had just read about a young man with extraordinary athletic skill and ability. At just nineteen years old, Rafael Nadal already knew that […]

  • Dealing With Disappointment

    Who hasn’t experienced disappointment on occasion? Maybe a friend failed you; maybe anticipated recognition at work did not materialize; perhaps what you thought would be a lifetime of love in your marriage ended prematurely in divorce; maybe you had big dreams for your children and they took a different path. The Bible contains a number […]

  • Winter Is Coming

    I dislike cold, icy, snowy winters. That is a big reason I was happy living in Mexico for many years. But now my wife and I are in Canada, and yesterday it snowed. It is early in the year for snow, and they were wispy flakes that didn’t stick, but they were a harbinger of […]

  • Hard Knocks

    Have you ever wondered why it is that from time to time you find yourself going through the school of hard knocks? Just when you’re thriving on some “ups” in your life, something happens that brings you down a few notches on the happiness scale. “Why me?” “Why this?” “Why now?” Instead of helping to […]

  • The mystery of the fig tree

    Figs are fruits mentioned in the Bible that are still familiar today, whether they are soft, juicy, fresh figs or the sweet, chewy, dried variety. Fig trees are a common sight on the biblical landscape and often symbolized safety and prosperity.1 And then there’s the time that Jesus was leaving the small town of Bethany […]