• September 2020

    Ancient Words

    I went for my two-week check-up with the audiologist to assess how I’m handling my new hearing aids. Possibly, if you’ve never had experience with hearing devices or know someone who has, you may find it strange that getting hearing aids for the first time requires such a follow-up visit. Apparently learning to hear again is not as simple as flipping a switch. I learned yesterday that my prescription is not for 100% restored hearing….yet. My brain has to “work up to it,” as it were. Isn’t that fascinating?! My hearing loss was gradual over the course of a couple of decades, and my brain has forgotten how to filter…

  • September 2020

    Faith Comes from Hearing

    I got hearing aids last week. My family says that I’ve needed them for a long time, but I kept putting it off. The persistent wearing of masks in these recent months was ultimately what drove me to finally make an appointment. I had not realized that I had become a lip reader until I couldn’t see people’s lips any more. So, now I have these remarkable tiny devices that sit behind my ears with even tinier amplifiers that fit inside the ear canals. And, the wonders of technology never ceasing, there’s now an app on my phone that controls the volume, the background noise and even the equalized balance…

  • September 2020

    Friends

    There is no thing quite so wonderful as an evening of shared food and rich fellowship among friends. It is sustenance for body and soul. The presence of God is often experienced in such simple gatherings, as He bestows His blessing on the expression of love freely given in friendship. Here at the Williams’ establishment, we make it a priority to host friends regularly because we believe in the value of shared life. In these days of social distancing and mask-wearing, it seems the value of shared space together has risen. We’ve learned not to take any small gathering for granted, and we’re more keenly aware of the profound beauty…

  • August 2020

    Extravagant

    The love of God is extravagant and relentless. From the very beginning of of His story in the earth, He has been pursuing the heart of man. When Adam disobeyed, still He came. “Adam, where are you?” He sought out Abram to make a covenant with him and make a people for His own good pleasure. He cut the covenant of blessing designed to pave the way for His own character of grace, blessing and hospitality to be forged within them. He choose and appointed judges and prophets to make sure His people could hear His voice and learn His ways. When His wrath for sin was full, He sent…

  • August 2020

    Here I Raise My Ebenezer

    Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.” (1 Samuel 7:12 NKJV) In this historical account in 1 Samuel, Israel had, for years, been terrorized by the Philistines, who had taken some of their cities. When Samuel exhorted Israel to repent, turn to the Lord, and get rid of their idols, they obeyed. Then Samuel gathered them all together and prayed for them. The Philistines, taking the opportunity, came to do battle against them, but God, having heard their prayers, confused the Philistines, and Israel was able to drive them back. So…

  • August 2020

    Nectar

    We have Humming birds in our yard. They are fascinating and beautiful, and we’ve spent long breathless moments waiting for them to appear and then watching their energetic dances of flight and graceful hovering. But, they didn’t come to us until we drew them with the nectar they need to survive. Recently, on a whim, we decided to buy a Humming bird feeder. Within a few days, we were delightfully surprised to see actually see one. Not knowing much at all about them, we started watching documentaries and doing a bit of research, the gist of which revealed two interesting facts. These birds live on the very edge of existence…

  • August 2020

    It Is Well

    Remember. Rehearse. Revisit. Many times it is written in the Old Testament that the Lord exhorted the children of Israel to remember what He had done for them, to remember how He had revealed Himself to them. And the result of their remembering grew into a rich annual rhythm of fasting and feasting, lamenting and celebrating. In the midst of chaos and struggle, we are called to pour out our hearts to Him in lamentation and to remember His faithfulness with hope and joy. He came to be with us so that we’d know the way home. He gave us His Word to renew our minds and to keep us…

  • August 2020

    Kept

    “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” (Jude 20-21) In his brief but compelling letter, Jude exhorts us as the children of God to do four things: (1) build ourselves up on holy faith, (2) pray in the Holy Spirit, (3) keep ourselves in the love of God, and (4) look for the mercy of Christ. In times of chaos and uncertainty (which is pretty much what it has been for the whole of human history, when you stop and think about…

  • July 2020

    Deeper Still

    Is God calling you deeper? Deeper into His presence? Deeper into His Word? Deeper into His heart? I know He is calling me. This past week, while on vacation with my family, I was surprised by an enveloping Presence as I was standing on the deck looking out toward the ocean’s horizon. He was so tender and the moment was so holy, I knew not what to say. I was totally silent within, while the wind and waves were shouting without. I felt that time and tide had converged to bring me into a place I didn’t know I was seeking. After a little while, the voice of my heart…

  • July 2020

    Then Sings My Soul

    As the Sun sets over the Gulf, I am sitting up in bed in the house on the beach we’ve rented this year for our family vacation. There are 29 of us this year, and so there are two houses. We have multiplied, of course, in the 30 plus years that my sister and I have been coming here, initially with our parents and then with our growing families. It’s something we look forward to and plan for months in advance, and by the time we leave at the end of the week, we will have scheduled the houses and the dates for next year. To say that it’s a…