Crossroads: We Are Free

When I think of Jesus, I think of freedom. I think of the freedom grace gives us, the freedom to be ourselves, the freedom to be human, the freedom to mess up sometimes (because we are human).

Crossroads: Don’t Give Up!

When we were kids, my sister hated school. She didn’t want to do her homework or study, so there were many times when she didn’t understand the material. When she was in middle school, though, she had an especially hard time with math.

With All Your Heart

Good counselors ask good questions. The counselor who helped me work through my season of depression once asked me a question that revealed a source of my pain and a path I needed to take toward healing. She asked, “Who knows your whole story?”

Crossroads: Understanding Each Other

I’ve always loved the French language, and when I got into French classes in high school, I had the opportunity to travel to Paris. I was so excited!

Crossroads: Jesus Is in Charge

As a teenager, I loved volunteering for Vacation Bible School. It felt like a promotion to be able to help. Suddenly, I was in charge (sort of). Instead of listening to what I was supposed to do, I was the one giving direction.

Crossroads: God’s Sheep

Last week I got to see some sheep up close and personal, and I learned a few things. Sheep will “baa” at you when they think you’ve got something to eat. It doesn’t matter if they have just eaten; they will still complain.

Bittersweet: A Meditation for Teachers

There are weeks, even months, when we look forward to arriving at school each morning. We open our doors and relish the start of a new day of learning and laughter with our students.

Crossroads: Recognizing Jesus

Talk about a time when you were surprised by a friend/relative who you didn’t recognize initially, but who recognized you. Was it a time when you got lost and that person found you?

Crossroads: Seeing Is Believing

Has something ever seemed too good to be true? Was it? Talk about a time when you didn’t believe something someone said until they showed you proof. Why didn’t you believe? Did the proof change your thinking?

A Holy Threshold

Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place? The only human with clean hands and a pure heart will, and he will never lift up his soul to what is false.

Crossroads: The Empty Tomb

I’ve believed in Jesus for as long as I can remember. I was in church almost from the moment I was born, and I don’t remember believing anything different.

Crossroads: The Lord Has Done Great Things

“The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.” There are many times I can name when God has done great things for me. When I was in the sixth grade and I didn’t have any friends, God sent me a friend named Jessica.

Crossroads: Guilt and Forgiveness

When you do something wrong, the first thing you do is to try to cover it up. Maybe it’s breaking something you weren’t supposed to play with. You hide it under a sofa cushion and try to act like nothing ever happened.

The Great

Great. That’s a word we’ve heard again and again in recent years. Conquerors and strongmen throughout time fancied themselves as great.

Crossroads: Thirst

We went to camp one summer in the middle of July in the middle of Alabama. And man was it hot! The heat index was about 100 degrees every day.

Crossroads: Waiting on the Lord

I find myself anxious a good bit of the time. I worry about what will happen, whether or not something will actually occur, and if things will turn out okay. It seems like Psalm 27 was written for worriers.

“Come and See”

After witnessing the weeping of Mary and her surrounding community, Jesus is greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved (v. 33). But he does not weep himself until the people entreat him to “come and see” where Lazarus’s body has been laid (v. 34).

Crossroads: Everyone

My granddad loved to fish. And I wasn’t a fan of fishing. In fact, I thought fishing was pretty boring. But one day he talked me into going fishing with him for a tournament. We have pictures to prove that I caught a fish that day (that I wouldn’t touch).

Persecuted

There are people all over the world who are being persecuted—truly persecuted—for righteousness’ sake, for the sake of their faithful witness to their relationship with God and to the ways of God’s kingdom.

Crossroads: Jesus Is Transformed

I became a Christian when I was seven years old. For as long as I can remember, church has been an important part of my life. I loved going to church as a kid and I loved Jesus (and I still do!).

Crossroads: God Can Use Anything

My parents got a divorce when I was really young. And it was tough growing up without my dad close by. I was jealous of other kids who lived with both parents.

Hunger Pains

After five days of camping, hiking, and high ropes courses in the scenic foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains, the first thing I wanted to do was take a long, steamy shower. The second thing I wanted to do was eat.

Crossroads: Blessed Are You

We all have times in our lives in things are just tough. Your parents seem to fight a lot. You’re having a hard time in school. There’s a bully who keeps picking on you.

Crossroads: When God Asks

During my freshman year of college, my campus minister told me about a summer job he thought I was perfect for. It was being the children’s intern at a church in Macon. I laughed and told him I didn’t really work with children.

Opened Heavens

Jesus’ baptism somehow prompted an amazing representation of the thing that Jesus’ life in its entirety was about: the barrier between heaven and earth was penetrated and the way from heaven to earth and from earth to heaven was opened.

Crossroads: God’s Great Plan for You

As a child, I never liked to see people unhappy. I always wanted to do what I could to help. When I was about five, we went to a local nursing home to sing for the residents. While we were there, we met a lady in a wheelchair who really wanted to go home.

Crossroads: The Body of Christ

Talk about a time in your life when you had to work as a team with others. Talk about what your role was and how each person had a different role. What were you trying to accomplish?

Crossroads: How Big Is God’s Love?

I can remember saying “I love you this much!” as a child, with my arms open wide. I’m sure you’ve seen children do this before: they open their arms as wide as they can and say “I love you this much!” Or they give you a bear hug and squeeze and say the same thing.

Quiet Miracles

You haven’t truly seen the night sky until you see it from the middle of Peru’s remote jungles, hundreds of miles away from any electricity and several days’ drive from the nearest city. Imagine a sky of black felt, covered in the glitter blown from a child’s hands.

Crossroads: Why We Baptize

I have loved Jesus for practically my whole life. I grew up in church, and we were there pretty much every time the church was open. At seven years old, I told Jesus that I wanted him to be my Savior and I was baptized.

Crossroads: Mary’s Song

I loved talking about Jesus as a child and teenager. I tried to share Jesus with my friends. There was a time when a good friend of mine was having a hard time. Her parents were fighting a lot, and their family was struggling. So I shared God’s peace with her. I told her about difficult times that I had been through.

Crossroads: Rejoice!

I love singing praises to God. And when I was a kid, I used to make up songs to sing in praise. And wherever I went, I was singing to God. God’s joy was in my heart and it overflowed into singing.

“Trust Me”

I lay on a gurney in a hospital emergency room. Two fire ant bites had caused me to break out in welts, with my ears ringing loudly and my airway getting tighter by the minute.

Crossroads: Peace

Peace is a funny thing. We pray for peace in a world full of violence. We pray for peace in times of trouble. We pray for peace in times of stress. We pray for peace in times of worry. And at first glance, we think that peace means that our situation changes. The world puts down its weapons. Trouble ceases. Stress disappears.

Crossroads: My Hope is in the Lord

I am a worrier by nature. When things go wrong, I get anxious. When things have the possibility of going wrong, I get anxious then too. So it is comforting to know that the Lord who watches over us doesn’t sleep. God doesn’t get tired. God doesn’t get anxious.

Crossroads: Who Is the Lord?

I tend to feel God’s majesty most when I am in the midst of His creation. I feel awestruck when I stand next to the crashing waves of the ocean. When I look out at those waters, I am amazed at the beauty that God has created.

Favored One

There she sits on the dusty ground, more child than woman, wearing much-mended hand-me-downs. Calloused hands are cooking bread on heated stones.

Crossroads: Thanksgiving

This is a time when families gather together around a table filled with food, and remember all of the things for which they are thankful. Some years it’s easy to remember the blessings you’ve been given. But other years, it seems as if nothing has gone right.

“I Hate Your Festivals”

Take a moment to think of your favorite hymn or worship song. Now take another moment to think about your favorite annual worship service.

Crossroads: Giving Generously

Has there been a time when you didn’t have much, but you still gave to the church or to someone else? Talk about that sacrifice: how it felt, how you had to step out on faith, etc.

Crossroads: When We All Get to Heaven, All Saint’s Day

Isaiah reminds us that the Lord will prepare a feast for us, that God will swallow up death forever and wipe away our tears. And we will be able to say that we trusted in God and he saved us.

Crossroads: Don’t Stop Believing

When my mom was a teenager, she really wanted to be a youth minister. She felt God’s call and she knew that she should be a youth minister. But in that time, women weren’t really ministers. And people discouraged her, saying that surely God wasn’t calling her to ministry.

Crossroads: God Is Our Refuge

Last week our devotion was on times when it seems like God isn’t there. This week’s psalm is a reminder to us that God is always there and that God is our refuge.

Time and Patience

In my work with mediation and conflict resolution, there are two major tools: time and patience.

“What Is It?”

When evening comes, and quails fly into the hunger-stricken Israelite camp, it must have been something like Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds”.

Crossroads: Small

Has nature ever just wowed you? Have you ever felt small when looking at the ocean or the stars? Talk about a time when you felt awed by something in nature.

Crossroads: The Answer Is Prayer

I’m a worrier. It’s who I am. I worry about test results, about family members and close friends, about the future, etc. Sometimes my worry feels overwhelming. And so I pray.

Crossroads: Children

“Children should be seen and not heard.” “Go sit at the kid’s table.” Did you hear things like this when you were a child? Maybe you were taught that you should sit quietly and not interrupt the grownups who were talking.