The Locks

Peggy Byland

Read: Psalm 23 He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. (vv. 2-3) The St. Marys River, flowing southeast for 75 miles along the United States and Canadian border, connects Lake Superior in the north and Lake Huron in the south. At the northern end of the St. Marys River, ships must navigate past the 24-foot drop of fast-flowing, cascading rapids through the Soo Locks. The locks allow freighters and water traffic to make their way north to …

Boasting of the Best

Peggy Byland

Read: Jeremiah 9:23-24 Let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me . . . (v. 24) “Traveling east on scenic highway M-134, you’ll arrive at DeTour Village, Michigan, located at the most eastern tip of the Upper Peninsula. You’ll pass gorgeous stretches of beach and forest within sight of the nearby Les Cheneaux Islands. Launch your kayaks or canoes and return to have lunch in the beautiful picnic areas. Hike the trails, visit the shops, …

Seasons and Cycles

Peggy Byland

Read: Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven . . . (v. 1) In September 2018, I lived for three weeks in DeTour Village in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. There are some unique things about DeTour in the fall: a restaurant that closes for the winter when the food runs out, a gift shop that opens Friday through Sunday only until Christmas, a hardware store with rooftop delivery, and a water passage …

Let Children Come

Ericka Loynes

Read: Mark 10:13-16 Do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. (v. 14) When I was growing up, if a child tried to engage in adult conversations, one of the adults would usually say, “Stay out of grown folks’ business.” That statement meant children had their place, adults had theirs, and the two groups rarely mixed. These unwritten rules were just part of the culture and we kids were used to them. I think if Jesus …

The Young Ruler

Ericka Loynes

Read: 2 Kings 22:1-13 Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign . . . (v. 1) I love the movie Black Panther. It is the story of a prince who must rise to become the leader of his country after the tragic death of his father. Soon the son discovers a terrible secret from his father’s past. The son must decide whether he will follow his father’s pattern of secrecy and seclusion, or embrace a new way …

A Young Servant

Ericka Loynes

Read: 2 Kings 5:1-14 “Would that my lord were with the prophet . . . ” (v. 3) In 2003, my dad was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. His doctor recommended aggressive treatment. I was hoping God would instantly remove the cancer. I knew he could. Growing up in church, I heard numerous members testify about God’s miraculous healing power. Though a supernatural healing was not part of my dad’s story, God used the treatments to destroy the cancer. My …