Philippians 4:13

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. "I can do hard things" is the current cultural parallel to this verse and is the meaning many cultural Christians intend when they call on it as inspiration to achieve something. But Paul was not advocating that believers be like the "Little Train that Could," approaching… Continue reading Philippians 4:13

The Dogwood

There is a legend about the dogwood tree. It’s a lovely little story with absolutely no basis in fact about the role of the dogwood tree in the crucifixion of Jesus. The flowers form a cross, the central portions represent a crown, and each petal is pierced and stained red. The spring blooms come near… Continue reading The Dogwood

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Defaulting to Grace is going to be a book! To celebrate, I've decided to share bonus content to subscribers only. You may already follow me through WordPress, but I invite you to subscribe (free), too. As a subscriber, you'll be first to know about the publication process and timeline along with some sneak peeks at… Continue reading Subscribe for bonus content

The Coming King

Who is the King of Glory? Titus 2:11-14; Mark 13; Psalm 24; Psalm 96 Christmas day Prayer from Anglican Book of Common Prayer (2019) Almighty God, you have given your only-begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and to be born [this day] of a pure virgin: Grant that we, who have been born… Continue reading The Coming King

The Joy of the Beginning

December 13 Matthew 1; Psalm 145; Isaiah 7; Luke 1 Prayer from Anglican Book of Common Prayer (2019) O Lord Jesus Christ, you sent your messengers, the prophets, to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation. Grant that the ministers and stewards of your mysteries may likewise make ready your way by turning… Continue reading The Joy of the Beginning

Looking toward Advent

Isaiah 55:8-9 From a time of thanksgiving to the wonder of the Incarnation, this time of year is set apart from the rest. It is an opportunity for introspection and reflection. What are the most important things? If 2020 hasn't done anything else for our benefit, it has given each of us ample time to… Continue reading Looking toward Advent

No matter what

Psalm 27 I am calling this the Psalm of "no matter what." As I read it this morning, all I could think was that nothing can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:39). In this psalm, David lists all the ways God is with us no matter what. Verses 2-3 No matter what,… Continue reading No matter what

Grounded in love

Romans 5:5 "Hope does not put us to shame." (ESV) What does that mean? Why should hope be shameful? I pondered this notion until I realized that it happens all the time. Social media posts about prayer become targets for ridicule. Hopeful people are sometimes treated like they don't know or don't care about human… Continue reading Grounded in love

Choose joy in suffering

Romans 5:3 Rejoice in suffering. Now that sounds fun. Don't we have enough to deal with right now with pandemic and racism and Zoom fatigue and hurricanes and wildfires? And we have to be joyful about it? In a word, yes. We don't need to be happy about suffering, but we can choose joy over… Continue reading Choose joy in suffering