Monthly Archives: September 2022

Search and Find


Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, “Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.” Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents. Luke 15:8-10

This story of the lost coin came to my mind recently when I had lost my smartphone and could not find it in any of the usual places. Not on the dresser. Not on the nightstand. Not plugged into the charger. Where was it? It had to be in the house somewhere. I got to the point where I was moving furniture and looking underneath every pillow and blanket and stack of papers. I think this is what the Bible meant by “seek diligently” in this story. I was becoming a little frantic. What would I do without my phone?

Then I had the thought of calling my smartphone, which I did. At first I could hear nothing. Then faint ringing from a random corner of my bedroom. It still took a couple calls to listen closely, but I did eventually find the phone under papers in my trash can by my bed. Apparently I had fallen asleep with the phone in my hand and it dropped to the bottom of the trash when I nodded off. I let out a shout! Ah-ha!

Immediately, “Thank you, God” tumbled out of my mouth and then a feeling of relief and excitement. The lost was found.

I felt that woman’s joy of finding what was lost and by extension, God’s joy at finding me when I am lost in sin, buried in the “trash” of wrongdoing. He desperately wants me with him and will do anything to hold me close to him, even sending his Son to die on a cross to reclaim me and work with me for the expansion of his kingdom. Thank God today for finding you!

Manhattanhenge Effect


Have you heard of the Manhattanhenge Effect? It is a phenomenon that happens twice a year in late May and mid-July. It is the time when the sunset aligns exactly with the street grid of the avenues of the borough of Manhattan in New York City in such a way that light streams down the canyons of buildings along every cross street. It is a stunning sight that reminds viewers of ancient monuments like Stonehenge that funnel sunlight in particular ways on certain days that continue to baffle historians.

The juxtaposition of the light of the sun against the shine of modern structures seems to jar our senses in a way that makes us ask, “What is our place here?” We can build all these magnificent buildings, yet God has created the sun that literally illuminates our man-made wonders.

What part of your daily life has God illuminated for you recently that left you speechless? Maybe it is a person or a place you never noticed before. Maybe it is part of nature that you just now have come to see from a new perspective. Maybe it is you yourself that God is shining down upon and shining through that his glory may be seen in a whole new light through your words and actions inspired by him.

Have an enlightening effect on someone today. That is why we are here.

Northern Lights

colorful northern lights

My cousin who lives in Duluth, Minnesota, recently told me about a nighttime experience she had when neighbors told her to take a walk with them a few blocks up the hill from her house to see “something.” Turns out it was the aurora borealis (or Northern Lights) in full display on this particular night. She showed me images from her phone of the beautiful and haunting dancing waves of light shooting and floating up from the horizon in a greenish glow.

The Northern Lights are energized particles from the sun that slam into Earth’s upper atmosphere at speeds of up to 45 million mph, but our planet’s magnetic field protects us from the onslaught. Who knew that something that sounds so violent could be so visually stimulating?

I find it interesting that my cousin would not even know this phenomenon could be seen only blocks from her home if her neighbors had not told her.

How often do we miss seeing something spectacular in our lives when we are busy doing other things? God is always doing wondrous things all around us. We just need to be open to finding them and willing to listen when others tell us about them.

When Nathanael was unsure about Jesus, Philip told him, “Come and see” and Nathanael was not disappointed when he met his Lord and Savior and began to follow him (John 1:46). Tell others today to “Come and see” what God has brought to light in Jesus.

Washed Clean


I recently moved this church pew in the picture above to the room where I fold my clothes. So a laundry basket has become an almost permanent fixture on the pew. I first thought this was maybe being disrespectful to this pew. My grandpa had refinished it after receiving it from an old church that was getting rid of their furniture, and it was eventually passed down to me. But now I see the basket on the pew as quite appropriate. Let me explain.

The laundry basket is a receptacle for dirty clothes, and then a place for clean and dry clothes once they have been through the washer and dryer. In a similar way, a church pew is symbolic of a place where we can unload our dirty laundry of sin to God in our confession, and it is a place where we are washed clean of sin through his forgiveness and then are given a new robe of righteousness.

Isaiah made a connection to this. He said: “We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.” (Isaiah 64:6). Sin has stained the fiber of our very being and we cannot get the stain of sin out without the forgiveness found in Jesus, who died and was raised to purify us for heaven.

That’s the reason we go to church and sit in the pew: to be reminded that we are clothed again with his holiness each and every day, that we might dwell in his presence and one day praise him with all the saints dressed in white at the foot of Christ’s throne above forevermore. “They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.,” it says in Revelation 7:14. You may never look at laundry (or church pews, for that matter) the same way again.

Tech Avail

tech avail

The term tech avail sounds like a computer issue, but it is actually a newly used abbreviation for “technically available.” It means that you are open “in theory” during a certain time to work on a project or attend an events unless something better comes along. It is the new way of saying “maybe” or “we’ll see.” Our culture currently likes to be be only tech avail for most things. Don’t ask us to commit to something for sure. We like to leave room for other options.

This is why it is so difficult sometimes to nail down our schedules. It is all up in the air and fluid more often than not. Unfortunately what usually gets the boot most often when scheduling conflicts arise are church activities and events. We can miss in-person worship on Sunday morning and watch it later online. We can opt out of Bible study when our work hours run long. We can skip out on a servant event to go to a concert instead.

As Christians, we should make all matters related to our faith firm in our weekly calendars. If it has church, faith, Bible, worship or service in the name of the activity or event, it should not be moved around or deleted from our Outlook or Google computer calendar. We should mark ourselves not avail for anything else during those times. Our time with our God is precious and takes precedence over all else. Be always available for God. He is always available for you.



The trend in fashion these days is something called athleisure. The term means a type of clothing that is normally worn for athletic activities but is now more commonly worn in other settings like school, the workplace or social occasions. It has become more acceptable to wear such clothing anywhere and in places where more formal attire once was standard.

I am a big fan of athleisure and of more casual dress in general, but there is still a part of me that wants to dress up a least a little more formally in church. But as is clearly being seen, athleisure is perfectly at home in church as well these days.

Dressing up for church used to be something that was a given to show respect for God, but now it is simply an option, and if athleisure helps people to feel more comfortable and “at home” in church, then I am all for it. It could be said that athleisure is a way of showing how at ease you are in the house of God.

To play devil’s advocate, though, I think about the message that athleisure could be sending. It could be declaring that you could exercise at any time, if you only wanted to. It could that you are ready for action, but do not necessarily have to be. In this light, our Christian life can sometimes become this more lazy version of athleisure, if you will. We may look like we are active in our faith, but then not really practice it. We can say we are ready for action in service to the Lord, but then lounge around instead.

Be ready and willing to act and to serve to the glory of God, no matter what you are wearing, even if it is athleisure.