While the beautiful front side of a tapestry reveals the hard work and clarity of a design that would not exist without the diverse and colorful difference of the contrasting threads, the backside of a tapestry reveals to us that God’s people are always a work in progress.

Do you have an area of sin in your life where you cannot seem to find freedom? Many of us desperately want to know where to find freedom from the influence of sin. We do have power over sin and it is not by focusing more on the rules or working harder. 

Do you ever have weeks where things get so heavy, painful, or discouraging that you find yourself saying, “If I can just make it till ———— everything will be alright”? It may be a stretch of serious work travel, or an upcoming meeting that I am dreading. I may think, “I’ll be able to thrive, have joy, or enjoy life more after . . . .”

It’s not often we would ever consider putting the word “vulnerable” as an adjective to describe the God who made the heavens and the earth, and holds it all together! But the Christmas story displays just that conundrum and teaches us so much about vulnerability and faith.

Have you noticed that most of the time in life, we find that we have just enough resources to make it through the next season? Whether it’s trusting God with a quarter tank of gas left, just enough in the checkbook to make the next payment, or trying to figure out how to fit all our responsibilities into the limited hours and energy we have in a day ... Life can be stretching! Consider the situation Mary and Jospeh found themselves in:

Is there something going on in your life, or the life of a friend or family member, that just does not make sense? For me, when overwhelmed by the unexpected, I can try to fix things or figure them out. Check out three things we learn from Joseph in the Christmas story.

Good news! You don’t have to be a preacher or evangelist to share the Gospel. The same God who brought physical light to our world at the beginning, has now put a new light in the hearts of every believer. It is Jesus-light, embodied in weak, normal, everyday, broken human beings, which Paul refers to as “jars of clay.”

I’ve been praying for friends across the country who are experiencing deep hardships. I’m often caught up with emotion for the burdens they bear. Jesus’ disciples must have felt similar emotions. When Jesus was about to depart this earth, He directed the eyes and expectations of His disciples to another Counselorthe Holy Spirit.

Much of our existence is spent in the in-between time, between our current reality and anticipated better future. In Haggai 2:4-9, the prophet gave three sustaining truths for living between the now and the not yet.

Over a period of a couple years, we got to know Chris, a server and bartender at our favorite Mexican food restaurant. Our friendship grew, and we began to have open and vulnerable conversations with him while he served us. One time when we visited the restaurant, Chris sat down, obviously quite disturbed. He went into detail about how he had gotten sloppily drunk the week before, and while at the restaurant had ended up arguing with a coworker. During the argument, he got so upset that he threw plates and glasses, breaking them around the kitchen. He was embarrassed, in trouble, and very vulnerable.