Contrasts

This week I had the opportunity to travel to the United States for the first time in 1.5 years. It is hard to believe it has been so long since being in my home country, the land that I love.

The trip has been marked by several contrasts:

  • Truly enjoying the wide American roads that could fit two of my tiny Italian cars side by side in a single lane.
  • The USA is not at all like what the media makes it appear to be.
  • In Italy everyone is wearing masks outside the home, in the USA, different.
  • I’m reminded of the USA “down home” culture where people strike up conversations in an elevator, extremely friendly convenience store clerks call me “sugar” and genuinely ask “how’s your day going so far?”.
  • Dining in restaurants open for breakfast, lunch and dinner (until late) in the US; something we’ve not experienced in Italy for I can’t remember how long.
  • People share and talk about their faith in the US. In Italy they view this as very private, even the believers we’ve met struggle.

From a Christian faith perspective we face the contrasts when we wrestle with inner desires and the things that are acceptable in today’s culture vs. how Jesus tells us how to live. The culture promotes hating our enemies and getting revenge. As Christ followers, we are called to live according to God’s will, no matter what the culture says or does.

In Psalm 109 (specifically verses 6-15) David asks God for some serious smack-down on his enemies with great specifics! Such as for someone evil to oppose his enemy, for the enemy to be found guilty and die, for the enemy’s children to be homeless beggars and adverse impacts to happen upon generations. Check it out, David is not messing around!

Keep in mind that David leaves it to God to take action. David was a mighty warrior and King, but he sought to follow God and submit to His will. David certainly could have crushed his enemies and may even have been justified to do so (just like us). In the end, David asks these things for God’s glory. It is like the submission and right living when we abide by the words of Jesus:

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,  (Matthew 5:43-44)

Jesus tells us to love our enemies and pray for them so that we may become the people God made us to be. As we love our enemies we point to a loving God who first loved us even though we as sinners were enemies to God, yet saved through the mercy and grace of Jesus Christ.

If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that.  (Matthew 5:47)

Who are your enemies (people who have wronged you) and are you showing them the mercy and love God shows you time and time again? I repent as I’m guilty, yet thankful for a God of second chances and a new day to forgive and be forgiven.

Eternity in our hearts

What are the life experiences that you just can’t seem to get enough of? One of mine is making lists about experiences I can’t get enough of!

  • The symphony of birds singing as a new day dawns.
  • The birth of spring as flowers we’ve seen hundreds of times seem to become new again.
  • Laughing so hard that it hurts.
  • Observing people showing kindness to others who need it, didn’t earn nor even deserve it.
  • That “first smell” when walking into a home where there is something amazing being cooked…. lasagna, cookies, roast beef, French toast or anything with cinnamon and/or butter, and on and on…
  • The joy that comes from giving. While giving involves sacrifice, there’s something inside the soul that sparks; remarkable and indescribable. We just know it is good.
  • Being warmly welcomed whether by known friends/family and even more so in situations where we enter with some hesitation or fear. We want to be accepted and loved.
  • Engaging in a live worship service, deeply sensing the presence of the Holy Spirit. Singing and hearing praises with the reminder that this is a glimpse of eternity.

The reason the aforementioned subject of “experiences” came to mind is related to today’s reading (Psalm 97). One of my initial thoughts on the psalm is that it seemed like a lot of other psalms so what’s new to write about? While the chapter may be original, the theme is not. Then it hit me that God put eternity into our hearts and the psalms of praise give us a glimpse into our future with Him, praising Him! We will praise him for eternity and that will never get old!

He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

Whether the psalm is new to us or we’ve read it a hundred times, it isn’t about the song, it is about the object of the song and our relationship with our creator. Verse one starts out saying that the Lord reigns… NOTHING else reigns above him, he is above all things! And he is the giver who allows us to experience the joy of spring, laughter, a new day, love, filling our senses with goodness, all for HIS glory.

Where’s Jesus?

Light shines on the godly,
    and joy on those whose hearts are right. (Psalm 97:11)

As we go about our day today let us look differently at what might seem mundane. God is in it all. All good things point to Him. This day has been given to us as a gift. May others see today the “light of the world” (Jesus) in us; through our love, generosity, gratitude, forgiveness, sacrifices, words, and our self control.

Psalm 85: Celebrate! He will restore us again.

After a brief dance with freedom, the region where we live in Italy went back to stricter measures from “yellow zone to orange zone” mid-February 2021. This resulted in closing restaurants for dining-in at any time, imposing curfews, and restricting movement.

Then mid-March like a change in the wind, the entire country suddenly changed to a “red zone” (and as of the publishing of this post it has changed to red and orange). Most of our readers are Americans so you might have a hard time believing this, but the following restrictions are true, without embellishment. I’m not creative enough to make this up. There’s no “got ya!” at the end of this list.

For now, a red zone in Italy means:

  1. You are not allowed to visit or meet relatives or friends.
  2. You may only leave your home for proven work, education or health reasons, or for matters of necessity. If you leave your home and are stopped by the police for a check, you must be able to justify your reasons using the self-declaration form and show a form of ID. Breaking these rules can result in being fined between $475 – $3,500 (€400 – €3,000), criminal charges, and even imprisonment.
  3. You may take a walk close to your home, but must keep a physical distance of at least one meter and you must wear a face mask.
  4. Shops are closed (apart from those deemed essential such as grocery stores, newspapers and pharmacies). Gyms and beauty parlors are closed.
  5. Restaurants may only sell takeout until 10:00 PM. No dining inside whatsoever.
  6. Secondary schools/universities are closed for in-person learning.

And that’s just a summary… It feels oppressive, a loss of freedom. People are lonely and frustrated. Rules changed quickly. Everyone knows there is a pandemic and the reasons being given for the measures, however it is still painful, confusing and oftentimes mysterious.

Full disclosure: We recently left Italy legally for a temporary taste of freedom in a different country and it is a night and day comparison. Leaving the restrictions has brought a new and refreshing perspective, even for just a short time.

Today’s reading is Psalm 85 and reminds me of our journey and the other stories going on in most of our lives:

  1. Verses 1-3 talk about what God did in the past: Blessings and forgiveness. Most of us long for the “old days” when life seemed much easier.
  2. Verses 4-7 acknowledge God’s anger as a result of our sin. We ask God to do again what he did in the past so that we can rejoice: Restoration, revival, salvation. Don’t stop praying and don’t stop asking.
  3. Verses 8-9 reflect repentance; hearts that do not want to return to sin. These verses also reflect anticipation; waiting patiently and trusting faithfully he will respond.
  4. Verses 10-13 are a celebration of God and his response, putting God in his rightful place, giving him all the glory.

10 Unfailing love and truth have met together.
    Righteousness and peace have kissed!
11 Truth springs up from the earth,
    and righteousness smiles down from heaven.
12 Yes, the Lord pours down his blessings.
    Our land will yield its bountiful harvest. (Psalm 85:10-12)

What’s the point? What’s the answer to our problems in a world that seems unfair? Jesus. While we didn’t create this pandemic nor have most of us committed horrific crimes against humanity, we’re all guilty of sin that separates us from God. Jesus is the restorer. He’s the truth. His love is unfailing. God’s anger is no more upon us if we choose repentance and faith in Christ Jesus. We celebrate today his victory over death. We celebrate that no matter what happens here on this broken planet, He will restore us again, and we will be with him for eternity.

Psalm 73 & a great interview.

Have you ever been in one of those job interviews where the tone is dull, energy is low, mood is somber, stress is in the air, and it seems like the interviewer’s main goal is to find out how horrible you are? Or worse, have you been this type of interviewer? If your answer is “no” to both, then good for you.

My perception is that type of interview was a technique from the pre-2000s and Hopefully most organizations do not interview like this anymore. Unfortunately that was that type of environment I’ve experienced as a candidate in the 1990s and thought that was how it was supposed to be.

Excuses are lies. – Jocko Willink

I’m surely guilty of perpetuating the tradition. It would be easy to blame the environment I learned from, but “excuses are lies”. I’m to blame. I’m a selfish human and no matter how hard I try, if I’m at the center, everything is off.

Then something changed.

Praise God for His mercy and wisdom (and perhaps His sense of humor) because today a major part of my job is assessing potential employees, consultants, vendor partners, etc. In the past two years I’ve interviewed approximately 200 candidates and this process has become one of the greatest joys in my career.

The difference: From an inward “me first” focus to outward, “Jesus and others” focus. Setting an environment where people feel relaxed, valued, respected and dare I say, loved. Ultimately, the leadership model in the organization where I work is that of a servant: Leaders do not exist to be served, they exist to serve.

even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28)

In a recent interview, a candidate said “I am thankful to God” and from this moment I felt the joy of the presence of God’s Holy Spirit. As the gentleman spoke, I prayed silently and briefly for the right words; for God’s will to be done. We both shared some faith statements and I explained our servant leadership model, paraphrasing Matthew 20:28. Jesus was in the conversation and what a difference it made.

Today’s chapter is Psalm 73 and throughout most of the chapter the Psalmist talks about how the wicked prosper; even appearing jealous of the wicked. Then in the end the author acknowledges his own sin and turns bitterness into joy and praise. That’s the pattern in nearly every story of my life and probably yours as well.

Whatever your current challenge, illness, battle, argument, jealousy, take a step back and consider the pattern. We sin. We are guilty. If we choose to repent, we draw nearer to God and the joy is indescribable.

It is good to be near God.

Psalm 61: Lead Me to the Rock

Two weeks ago I posted about a tumultuous situation. Since then the clouds have parted and the sun is shining. And such is life. We’re generally in the storm or in a time of peace. Two days ago Shelly wrote about being on a lovely morning walk and said, “While my walk was silent, I wasn’t walking alone.” This thought brought the reminder that whether in the storm or in the sunshine, our God is always with us, and we need to acknowledge his presence and seek him in both the good times and the bad.

King David takes us on a similar journey in Psalm 61. He’s in the storm, finds refuge, and then praises God.

David starts out with a cry, a prayer, calling out as his “heart grows faint”. We can feel his sorrow and the weight that must be upon him. I think about Jesus in the garden praying “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death” (Matthew 26:38a).

Hear my cry, O God;
    listen to my prayer.

From the ends of the earth I call to you,
    I call as my heart grows faint;
    lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

Then David states that God has been his refuge; a strong tower. That’s what we seek in the storm and show our faith, you did it before God and I know you will do it again. Reminiscent of the song “Do it Again” where it says “I’ve seen You move, You move the mountains And I believe I’ll see You do it again” (Elevation Worship).

3 For you have been my refuge,
    a strong tower against the foe.

Then we see the comfort and peace of the shelter. Have you felt the safety of God’s wings? He is so good to us. Stop trying so hard on your own. Seek his shelter now.

I long to dwell in your tent forever
    and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.[b]

David acknowledges that God hears him. Do you sense the gratitude? God you heard me! Thank you!

For you, God, have heard my vows;
    you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.

Supplication comes next, like Jesus taught us to pray; just ask.

Increase the days of the king’s life,
    his years for many generations.
May he be enthroned in God’s presence forever;
    appoint your love and faithfulness to protect him.

David finishes with a praise, anticipating deliverance. The sun is shining once again, may He shine in your life today.

Then I will ever sing in praise of your name
    and fulfill my vows day after day.

The meditation of my heart shall be understanding.

I don’t know how people live without a close relationship with our creator.

Have you ever had someone you looked up to and respected, do something completely the opposite of what you would have ever dreamed of and opposite of what they were an expert in? For example, two fire fighters. They both fight fires and teach fire safety and prevention. Then one of them out of anger intentionally starts a fire that causes pain and destruction.

As you might imagine, I’m reflecting on a time where I was wronged by someone, metaphorically as the two firefighters. Don’t worry, I’m not talking about anyone in my family or a close friend, yet I pray that this person might read these words and come to understand true freedom.

The Journey

First, astonishment. It was surreal as my mind was saying “this is not actually happening”. As the thoughts processed, the physical reaction came in. My heart was pounding, hands shaking, and adrenaline flowing.

At the same time I observed another witness to this event with his nostrils flaring almost like a wild horse (I envisioned fire coming from his nose and thought that would be pretty cool), eyes wide open gazing straight at the offender.

Deep cleansing breaths.

Why should I fear in times of trouble,
   when the iniquity of those who cheat me surrounds me, (Psalm 49:5)

After the situation diffused there was pain and anger and a sleepless night. I confess to some very dark prayers as to what I thought God should do to this offender. Some of my anger manifested into feelings of hate. Yes I’m human, a sinner.

And this is why I opened with: “I don’t know how people live without a close relationship with our creator.” Without God’s wisdom, I would surely have let the hatred go further, resulting in more damage to myself and others such as my friends and family who are completely innocent in this.

Through prayer, meditation, and conversation with loved ones the healing process started. Multiple interactions with a friend brought so much laughter I had tears in my eyes and my abdominals hurt as we made fun of the preposterous situation. Sometimes if we don’t laugh, we cry! Thank you Jesus for putting friends in my life who know and love me, who help bring joy, peace, and my favorite medicine, laughter.

It was a struggle but I started to realize “the offender” (a human) was not the enemy. As my heart softened I wrote to another friend, “He is not the enemy. Fear, confusion, disorganization, miscommunication and deception are the enemies.” Thank you God for helping me understand.

My mouth shall speak wisdom;
    the meditation of my heart shall be understanding. (Psalm 49:3)

The painful event and the healing occurred this week, in parallel with my assigned reading and sharing on Psalm 49 which specifically describes such times of trouble and how God is with us, how he loves us and frees those of us who follow him.

But as for me, God will redeem my life.
    He will snatch me from the power of the grave. (Psalm 49:15)

This was another divine intervention, one more reason to believe. God is always on time, his word is always true.

Why I believe: Rick Jebb

Today’s scripture is Psalm 37 and the journal thoughts come from Rick Jebb when asked “Why do you believe?”. Our long time readers know Rick’s beautiful, thoughtful heart-felt writing and his heart for God. Also among these, I know him as a great friend, mentor, fellow traveler and dreamer.

Rick, why do you believe in God as Creator, Christ the Resurrected Son, and the Holy Spirit of truth?

  • A simple and complex concept.
  • A faith journey believing in something essentially that exists outside of space and time: Eternity.
  • The idea that a subatomic object containing all the potential energy and matter for the universe one day exploded bringing the universe into existence. This is the theory of the Big Bang; sciences’ current explanation for all that exists inside space and time. Who planted this seed ostensibly from outside of space and time? Why?
  • The convergence of all the best thinking throughout human civilization that embraces similar ideas of love, kindness; sacrifice; humility; the sources of human suffering; finding peace in transcendence and yielding to something than us. Essentially Jesus’s Sermon On The Mount.
  • The Bible—revelation from scripture that prophesied the coming of the Messiah whom would take away the sins of the world. The fulfillment of this in the historical person of Jesus – an innocent man who was above all falsely accused, beaten, crucified and rose from the dead. Appearing to 500, and changing the lives of disciples who witness and believed these things so much so they died martyrs death, unwilling to renounce their faith.  This along with several other historical sources that spoke to the Christ’s existence and these events.
  • Jesus’ proclamations that he was God in the flesh, the way the truth and the life. The bread of life. One with the Father and the Spirit—the Holy Ghost, the Comforter who seeks to dwell within us. The proclamation that He is the Vine and that if we abide in him, he will abide in us. That is how we can live the life we were meant to live.
  • That God’s Holy Spirit is also described as living water. The only thing that can truly quench our thirst, fulfill us.
  • The innocence of childhood when I just believed in God’s power and love. A time I was filled with hope and wonder.
  • The quest to return to this state of grace that seems to weave through the story of my life. God’s faithfulness and mysterious presence leading me by His Spirit to situations where I have been able to help people in unimaginable ways amidst circumstances I never would have imagined.
  • Times where the powerful and overwhelming sense of God’s presence has brought me peace that transcends all understanding many times often amidst great adversity and danger.
  • The concept of the ARC of a human life: from the tomb of the womb to the womb of the tomb. From whence we came we shall go. The anticipation of the next great adventure, filled with mystery and hope sustained by my faith.
  • The life of my earthly father who was certifiably insane, and yet, in the periods of his life when the mental illness was held at bay, and despite his afflictions, spoke love into the lives of seven children who all considered him a good father and all have reasonable well adjusted lives of faith.
  • The grandeur and majesty of nature where chaos and order coexist with danger and grace. Those places of remarkable beauty where it seems we are able to glimpse the eternal power of an almighty, and personal creator who is able to live within space and time, within us, His creation, and at the same time exist independent of space and time. That sometimes hard to describe feeling that God is speaking to us through the magnificence of this creation and all its wonders.

-Rick Jebb

Why I believe: Psalm 25

One of the reasons I believe is because of the people who have been put in my life pointing me to a faith in Jesus. My mom prayed for years that I would have Christian friends and influencers in my life. Those prayers have been gloriously answered over and over.

Today I’m excited to share a narrative from an influencer and friend. His name is Jason Lippert and he is the third-generation CEO at Lippert. Lippert employs 9,000+ team members worldwide and generates over $2.5 billion in annual revenue.

While those numbers might be interesting to some, the best part is the company executing on the vision that business can be a “Force for Good”. Lippert employees come together to volunteer over 100,000 hours of community service each year and the organization influences other organizations to take a similar approach. There’s a “love God, love people” theme in all of this and in the company’s “everyone matters” mindset; leading by example, transforming lives while offering meaningful employment.

Here are some verses from Psalm 25 and what Jason shared when asked the question: Why do you believe?

At some point, I believe everyone hears God’s call to His purpose and the purpose he has for our lives. Unfortunately, until we create a space to hear Him and ask for Him, most people don’t ever hear the call over the noise in their lives.

There is so much noise these days.

For me, I knew God, trusted that he was the creator, but I put him on the shelf and never knew how, or maybe just didn’t work intently enough to develop a meaningful relationship. I know now that until you build the relationship with him, you will never take steps toward the greatness he has in store for us.

Lead me by your truth and teach me,
    for you are the God who saves me.
    All day long I put my hope in you.

I believe because at my worst, when all the personal things in my life were a disaster, I cried out for him regularly. I promised that if he’d carry me through the devastation and issues I had created myself that I would lean into whatever it was he wanted me to do.

Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth.
    Remember me in the light of your unfailing love,
    for you are merciful, O Lord.

Well he carried me through and then some, all because I’m leaning in to Christ on a daily basis. He’s blessed so many others through me and all I ask is to place people in front of me at his will and I will help and serve.

10 The Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness
    all who keep his covenant and obey his demands.

I believe because I cannot deny that I feel and see God fulfilling his propose in my life because I am spending time in prayer and time diving into the word and his truth daily.

12 Who are those who fear the Lord?
    He will show them the path they should choose.

I feel his nudging regularly but only when I’m in the word or worship. I’ve seen the miracles he’s worked in others lives and the transformation of people that come to know him and those who spend intentional time with him.

14 The Lord is a friend to those who fear him.
    He teaches them his covenant.

When there is true intention to be with him and grow, he will always respond!!!

21 May integrity and honesty protect me,
    for I put my hope in you.

Today’s reading: Psalm 25

Why I Believe: Marne Benjamin

Dear Reader,

I’m super excited to share today’s post as written by my sister Marne after being asked why she believes. You’ll see her love for Jesus and her tender heart on her sleeve with grace and beauty as perfectly described in Proverbs 31:25-26:

Strength and dignity are her clothing,
    and she laughs at the time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
    and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

I believe because 

There is evil, trauma, innocence terrorized and brokenness in relationships. There are unanswered questions and paths unseen, outcomes unimagined and decisions that I have asked myself why for years.

How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?

There’s a longing in my heart that we were meant for something more.

Look on me and answer, Lord my God.
    Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
    and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

And then comes a steady voice saying there is something much greater for me than what I have seen, heard and observed. There’s Grace. A love that I’ve personally inhaled and have been given by no efforts of my own. There’s been Healing. Hope. Redemption. Reconciliation. Love remains a steady current, humbling and satisfying me often in small doses, like liquid gold throughout my veins.

But I trust in your unfailing love;
    my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the Lord’s praise,
    for he has been good to me.

Despite the brokenness in this world, it is the power of ancient scriptures that offers me hope and keeps me looking, seeking, engaging in relationships to experience and share this power of grace and love that has been given freely to me.  – Marne

Why I Believe: Jon Harris, Part 1

People keep talking about how bad 2020 was, but what does God say about that? Maybe he said something like: I WAS THERE WITH YOU ALL ALONG, YOU JUST HAD TO OPEN YOUR EYES!!! I USED THIS AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO DRAW NEARER TO YOU AND CHANGE YOUR LIFE!!!

Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. (James 4:8 NLT)

As a start to the new year, the Bible Journal team will be sharing thoughts as to why we believe what we believe. I am praying in this very moment that what is shared here reaches the hearts, minds and souls of our readers for the sake of eternity.

Background

There was always the fear of death; not necessarily the act of dying but the question: What will happen to me when I die?

I grew up attending church and Sunday school regularly and had even made confessions of faith verbally and was voluntarily baptized. Those were outward actions but the life I was living made me look more like a fan of Jesus (at best) than a follower.

Tired of living on the fence, I decided it was time to truly challenge the topic once and for all. Is there a God? Was Jesus who he said he was? Why should I care about any of this? Is there such thing as eternity?

Who was Jesus: God, madman, or liar? We must all choose.

These words captivated me many years ago and still do to this day. Only one of these three things can be true.

Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. (CS Lewis, Mere Christianity)

Foundation

The biography of Jesus found in The Gospels provides evidence of eye witness accounts of the life, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. From a firm research perspective (significantly based on reading “The Case for Christ” by Lee Strobel) I believe that the New Testament is an authentic document. There is legitimate evidence of the man Jesus of Nazareth and in his life he made claims as to who he was. He was a real person.

I also believe that there is no other book in the world where more people try to dispute what it says. I believe we (yes we) want to dispute it mainly because of our selfish nature. We don’t want to be told that sin is wrong or even that there is such a thing as sin.

Something happened.

There is significant evidence of early martyrdom and it continues still today around the world.

“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. (John 15:18)

All but one of the twelve disciples are believed to have died as a martyr for Christ. After 50 AD, Christianity actually became illegal, punishable by death.

What did the early believers and proclaimers of the resurrection know and believe that they would never deny, even to the point of being burned alive, crucified, or sawed in half? There are a multitude of things I’d renounce (even great things) if I were threatened to be sawed in half. Why didn’t they renounce their religion? What would be in it for them to keep propagating something they believed was a lie?

Prophecy, an innocent man.

Isaiah 53 is a beacon, a summary of Christianity written ~700 years before Jesus. The more I read this chapter the more I see Jesus (as Isaiah talks about an innocent man being put to death). In the trial of Jesus, he was found innocent (Luke 23:13-16) yet put to death. This man who had served and healed many became the object of hate.

He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
    and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
    nor was any deceit in his mouth. (Isaiah 53:9)

Seeking

Seeking the real, authentic Jesus translates into a growth in faith. God promises it.

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)

This verse is something that brings me to faith because the more I seek Him, the more I find Him in all things. Whether in relationships, nature, work, prayer, hearing songs of praise, reading scripture, or sensing him walking alongside me especially when I am at my worst.

Peace in a storm

Fifteen years ago on this very day (1/1/2006), my wife Amy and I found out she was pregnant. We began telling people the great news three months later when suddenly we thought she had a miscarriage. May I never hear her scream for help like that again. Blood everywhere, and other facts too gory to share in this moment. To our astonishment at the hospital we heard a heartbeat, but our worries were nowhere near over. That night we arrived home late, and with the little faith I had, I prayed. The moments before going to sleep that night were the most surreal in my entire life, even to this day: Never before had I gone so quickly from such deep sorrow and fear to such great peace which is difficult to explain.

There was almost the sound of a whisper, “Things are going to be ok“. It hit me like a wave, like being under water for too long then taking that first deep breath. While the medical condition remained, anxiety and fear had been replaced with peace, and I have no other explanation apart from this being a true miracle.

Those are just a few of the reasons I believe. How about you?

Today’s chapter is Psalm 1 which can be a great beginning to 2021 and great hope if we choose to turn from sin and meditate on the Lord.