It’s Okay

Jill English

Read: 2 Corinthians 5:16–6:2 In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. (v. 19) The car in front of me grabbed the last spot in the parking garage while a steady rain pelted and wind swirled outside. Parking in the outdoor lot meant struggling against the elements with a toddler in my arms. Grumbling at the driver who “stole my spot,” wisdom and peace came …

Unrestricted

Jill English

Read: Revelation 21:22–22:5 I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. (21:22) The unseasonably warm winter day was remarkable. Enjoying a sunny walk through the dunes along the Lake Michigan shoreline, I stuffed my hands deep into my coat pockets and looked up to the sky. There, above the gray, barren tree branches, a bald eagle soared with unmistakable elegance, his white feathered head brilliant against the deep blue …

A Fresh Start

Jill English

Read: Luke 22:31-38 Simon, stay on your toes. Satan has tried his best to separate all of you from me, like chaff from wheat. Simon, I’ve prayed for you in particular that you not give in or give out. When you have come through the time of testing, turn to your companions and give them a fresh start. (vv. 31-32 MSG) Most translations render this passage with language about Satan “sifting Peter like wheat.” What does this mean? Typically, I …

Faithful God, Fearful Followers

Jill English

Read: 1 Thessalonians 3:1-13 When I could bear it no longer, I sent to learn about your faith, for fear that somehow the tempter had tempted you and our labor would be in vain. (v. 5) As parents, we love, teach, guide, and mentor our children and, when it is time, release them into the world—only to circle back in a panic to check on them again and again, afraid, like Paul, that our good work was in vain and …