Flowers from Trash

Tammy De Ruyter

Read: Romans 3:10-18; 8:1-4 By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. (8:3-4) She didn’t talk very often. Some questioned her mental capacity and her hearing, but both were fine. On this particular day, she was being moved to another room and …

Undying Faithfulness

Tammy De Ruyter

Read: Romans 5:1-11 . . . but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (v. 8) “Nuthin.” He spoke gruffly, his heavy Dutch accent betraying his resignation. “She don’t say nuthin.” For eleven years, Johanna has been in a trance-like sleep. For eleven years, Sam has sat by her bedside, taken her hand, and stroked her silver-streaked hair. Repeatedly he speaks softly to “Mama” about the love they once shared, …

The Gift

Tammy De Ruyter

Read: Luke 21:1-4   And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them.” (v. 3) She wheeled into my office grinning from ear to ear. She and “the kids” had just returned from a luncheon excursion outside of the nursing facility. Unhitching the clasp of her purse, her shaky hands reached in and pulled out the gift: two Knott’s Berry Farm jelly packets. “Here ya go!” she proudly proclaimed in a …

Who Do You Say That I Am?

Duane Loynes

Read: Mark 8:27-30 And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” (v. 29) When it came time to propose to the woman who would become my wife, I spent significant time reflecting upon my past. I wondered about my reputation. Who was this person she was going to marry? If she had contacted former acquaintances, some may have told her to run! However, when I proposed, none of that mattered. All that mattered was what she …

What Will It Profit You?

Duane Loynes

Read: Matthew 16:24-28 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? (v. 26) Recently, I had to confront a student over an issue of academic misconduct. The individual was an excellent student, a record-breaking athlete, and an engaging person. And yet, during a time when she felt pulled in several directions, she made a bad decision. As we sat and had a difficult conversation, I reminded her of all of her …