Image from iStock

“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint” (Isa. 40:28–31, NKJV).

In my 35 years of ministry, these verses have carried me through many storms and blessings. This passage became even more relevant when I got into a terrible car accident.

Image from iStock

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Gal. 5:22–23, NIV).

When I think about the fruit of the Spirit, I think about our pastor’s Week of Prayer. Each day he focused on one “Fruit of the Spirit” and brought a different fruit to represent that particular “fruit.” He told us how the fruit was good for our bodies, and then related it to our spiritual lives. At the end of each talk, we got to taste the yummy fruit.

When I think about the fruit of the Spirit, some fruits stick out more than others. They are all important, but love, patience, faithfulness and self-control are the ones that mean the most to me.

Image from iStock

“Then a voice came from heaven, ‘You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’” (Mark 1:11, NKJV).

When I was a child, praise had to be earned, and success seemed just out of reach. I was born with misshaped hips and legs, resulting in my needing to wear braces on my legs. This delayed my ability to walk, and completely canceled any ability to run or ride tricycles until the braces could be removed.

Image from iStock

“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Rev. 21:4, NKJV).

You never expect it will happen to you. On May 23, 2016, at around 11 a.m., my (seemingly) perfectly healthy 13-year-old son collapsed at school from a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). Providentially, my husband and I, teachers at the small Adventist school, had recently been trained in CPR. But we never expected to use it beyond CPR class, let alone on our own son.

Image from iStock

“And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow Him. Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness” (Col. 2:6–7, NLT).

I find that my favorite text can shift depending on where I am in my spiritual journey. At times, I have found over the years that it seems easier to whine about issues than change my attitude to “overflow with thankfulness.” The text states that as I grow in Christ and my life is built on Him, then the natural overflow will be thankfulness, for the fruit of a mature Christian is thankfulness.

Image from iStock

“I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears” (Ps. 34:4, KJV).

On Sunday, March 29, 2020, I received a call from my daughter Andrea, a nurse, telling me that she had a temperature of over 101 degrees, was being sent home from work and was going to be tested for COVID-19. I prayed with my daughter and claimed God’s promises over her.

Image from iStock

“This I call to mind and therefore I have hope. The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness. The Lord is my portion ... therefore I have hope in Him” (Lam. 3:22–24, RSV, adapted).

My first recollection of Jeremiah’s words came as a 19-year-old. It opened my eyes to the many mercies God brings into my life on a daily basis. That was true when I studied abroad as a college sophomore, and true four years later when my father died at 59. It’s been true throughout my life.

Image from iStock

“The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in His love He will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing” (Zeph. 3:17, NIV).

During the quarantine, God is with us and He is mighty to save us from COVID-19 by protecting us from evil. We can take great delight in God by reading His Word and by praying every night. We have to pray from our hearts, and we have to pray for everyone not to get COVID-19 and for the sick ones to get better from it.

Image from iStock

“But His hand is stretched out still” (Isa. 9:12, NKJV).

This verse in the Bible caught my attention. I wondered if I was reading it correctly. I looked at it in several versions, each showing a different picture than the New King James Version. I decided to see what Ellen White wrote about it:

2021 Columbia Union Conference Year of the Bible

Welcome to the Columbia Union Conference Year of the Bible. Throughout 2021, we will place special emphasis on the primacy of the Word of God and how it informs and impacts our mission, ministries and lives. During this special year, we invite you to join us in spending more time reading the Bible, digging deeper for knowledge and understanding, and meditating on its precepts, promises and prophecies.   

At a time when many of Christ’s followers turned away, Jesus asked His disciples, “'Do you also want to go away?' But Simon Peter answered Him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life’” (John 6:67–68, NKJV).