Folllowing Jesus

Come, follow me, “Jesus said. -Mark 1:17 (NIV)

 I stood in church on Palm Sunday watching the children parade through the aisles, waving their palm branches. I loved how the youngest ones held on to a rope tethered to their Sunday school teacher so they could follow her through the crowded sanctuary because they couId hardly see where they were going. It reminded me of the way Leslie so faithfully followed Jesus on her journey.

How could I be that intentional?

Leslie pictured herself following Jesus ever since she gave her life to Him at church camp when she was thirteen. Since then she lived within a word picture where she and Jesus were on a hike up a mountain together, maybe because she loved hiking.

By the time Leslie reached the last weeks of her life, when the climb got harder, her familiar habit of following Jesus comforted and strengthened her. She trusted Jesus to keep showing her the way and to

welcome her with open arms when she reached her destination at the top of the mountain.

The memory of Leslie’s consistent following challenges me. I’ve survived way beyond my two-year life expectancy, and I now see myself on a Divine Detour. I don’t always know my way, but I can trust that Jesus does and He goes before me. Yet sometimes I forget to look for Him.

I want to forget less often. So I’m practicing a new habit. When I dose my eyes to pray, I picture Jesus on the back of my eyelids, which reminds me that He is right there, between me and the circumstances

of my day.

Jesus, whenever I want to see You, I cart close my eyes and there You are, because You promise to always go before me and lead me safely home.

-Carol Kuykendall

DZr;ging Deeper: Matthew 16:24; John 8:12, 10:3-5





Walking on Sacred Ground

He has also set eternity in the human heart. -Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NIV)

I vividly remember the day I went to visit my friend Leslie, shortly after hearing that she’d chosen to stop treatment for her advanced breast cancer.

Leslie’s husband, Alan, welcomed me and led me into the living room where Leslie sat in a comfy chair wearing a soft, pale-blue knitted hat.

“How are you?” I asked, hugging her and realizing how thoughtless that question sounded. But Leslie didn’t miss a beat.

“I’m preparing for the Resurrection,” she said with a smile.

Her blunt honesty both stunned and intrigued me. How does a person prepare for the Resurrection?

Our lives had crisscrossed through the years; I was more than ten years older and I’d gone ahead of her in our shared challenges. I’d survived Stage 4 ovarian cancer and was cancer-free when Leslie was diag- nosed with breast cancer. We spent time together then and again when her cancer returned. I was now a healthy twelve-year survivor and she was in her fifties, planning her funeral.

This time Leslie was going ahead of me. And I wanted to watch. To listen. To walk with her on her journey.

I want to journey intentionally through Holy Week so that I, like Jesus, like Leslie, will reach Easter Sunday with a louder Hallelujah! because of what I discover along the way.

 Lord, I too, am preparing for the Resurrection. Please help me discover Your truths along the way.

-Carol Kuykendall

Digging Deeper: Jeremiah 29:11; John 11:25-26

Daily Guideposts



I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. ” – John 10:10 (NIV)

I joined the staff of, a small school that is committed to serving the poor in our community; Every year we host Run for Hope, a marathon that functions as our largest fund-raiser. This past weekend I

enjoyed my first Run for Hope, which united runners from all over the United States. As I talked with several participants, I discovered each had brought his or her own history of personal losses and triumphs: brain tumors, amputations, cancer. Many had jumped multiple hurdles before they’d stepped up to the starting line.

When the first runners began trickling into our finish-line party, we volunteers applauded. “Great job!” I yelled as the 5K runners entered, panting and wiping their brows. Later, I cheered for the half marathoners, rubbing their shins and soaking their feet in ice, Hours into the race, we were honored to

welcome our full marathoners. I practically screamed my head off for this dedicated crew, many of them limping and hobbling after the long run.

Near the end of the race, my husband and I packed up to go home, assuming that all of the runners had joined the party. Then a volunteer announced, “There’s one more runner on his way. He’ll be our last to

welcome,” Ten minutes later, we cheered for a seventy-year-old man! I thought I’d heard the most amazing stories of triumph, but this was the best of all. He had run a full marathon and even placed first in his age group.

As I belted out my loudest accolades, this man’s perseverance spoke volumes, Each day is a gift to be treasured. Each year is an opportunity to reach new heights. Each decade is a call to share my talents, passions, and heart with others.

Lord, help me live each day with joy and service, until the very moment You call me home.

—Carla Hendricks

Digging Deeper: Psalms 16:11, 90:12



There’s no such thing as too much candy.

All work and no play can make you a basket case.

To show your true colors you have to come out of your shell.

The best things in life are still sweet and gooey.


THE BEAUTY OF SIMPLICITY: Everyday Hospitality

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. -Philippians 3:12 (RSV)

My husband, Rick, thought it would be a great idea to sign us up to be church group leaders, and I explained why his idea wouldn’t work. “What about our driveway? Whenever we get heavy rain, it turns into a mudslide, Your roosters go nuts when people come over. Who wants to be licked to death by an overfriendly Lab?”

“You’re worrying for nothing.”

“We live way back in the woods. What if our home isn’t what they’re looking for?”

“What do you think they’re looking for?”

One word came to me, too ugly to share: perfection.

Rick studied me, his brown eyes full of sincerity. “Julie, I’ve prayed about this.”

I groaned. Maybe he’s right. We had to try, but would it work?

The night of our first meeting, I lit candles and set the table. The roosters were behaving. No sign of rain. So far, so good. I put the dog upstairs, made a pot of coffee, and surveyed the kitchen. I didn’t have

enough matching china. Paper plates and cups lined the counter, and an antique pitcher holding silverware was tied with a red bow.

At 7:15 p.m., fourteen men and women held hands and Rick said the blessing. While we ate tacos, beans, and rice, I sensed sweet warmth moving among us – laughter, honesty, the beginning of friendships.

The remedy for my fear and doubt was Simple. When I focused on God and others, our home became a place of peace and healing.

Father; I know I’m not perfect, but I’m yours.

-Julie Garmon

Digging Deeper: Job 31:32; Acts 16:34; 1 Peter 4:9-10



Knock, knock! Who’s there?

Harvey. Harvey who?

Harvey good Easter everyone.

Knock, knock! Who’s there?

Heidi. Heidi who?

Heidi the eggs around the house.

Knock, knock! Who’s there?

Howard. Howard who?

Howard you like a chocolate bunny?


God.. giveth grace unto the humble. -James 4:6 (KJV)

The streets of Colombo, Sri Lanka, where my husband and I were visiting, were dirty. Here and there, sewer smells permeated the Yet, as we walked along, the faces of the people were open and friendly, Haunting music could be heard somewhere in the distance and the sounds of prayer drifted out from a nearby mosque.

The outdoor market offered bins of bright spices and mysterious vegetables, while children laughed and played between the stalls.

I was feeling proud of my adventurous spirit and openness to exotic cultures as we made a turn down an alley and found ourselves standing  in from of a beautiful, colorful Hindu temple. The huge blue door was swung open in welcome, and a series of bells invited all inside.

Shoes lined the entrance. David stooped to remove his.

“I’m not going barefoot in there,” I announced in my best neurotic voice. “The streets are filthy and most of these people walk around without shoes. I can’t even imagine the germs.”

We agreed that I would wait, as David disappeared through the entryway; I stood outside the door and peered in. A shaft of sunlight from a high window created a path, urging me inside.

I didn’t go; my fear won.

Over and over, I asked David what it was like. “Well … you really had to be there,” he would answer. David came home completely free of foot fungus … and I with a heart heavy for what I had missed.

Father; when my haughty spirit holds me back, push me forward toward the wonders You spread out before me.

-Pam Kidd

Digging Deeper: Proverbs 11:2, 16:18



What kind of bunny can’t hop?

A chocolate one!

Why did the Easter egg hide?

He was a little chicken!

What do you call a rabbit with fleas?

Bugs Bunny!

Why was the little girl sad after the race?

Because an egg beater!



It happened in the spring of the year …. -2 Samuel 11:1 (NKJV)

I stood over the remains of what would have been tulips. They’d been nearly ready to bloom, but a hard freeze following the snowstorm was too much for them.

Most people hear “Oregon” and think “rain.” While that’s often true along the coast, it doesn’t apply to the east side of the Cascade Range. Where I live, there are more sunny days than not, but our weather is

more wild than mild. We have a limited growing season because of late frosts. Snow is common in June. Temperature swings are more like roller-coaster rides.

While half of the state celebrates the gentle coming of spring with a glorious array of daffodils, rhododendrons, and cherry blossoms, I’ve learned to see past the lingering snowdrifts for more subtle signs of winter’s retreat. Here, spring is marked with birds, not flowers.

Mid-February I begin searching for the greater sandhill cranes. Looking like a pterodactyl with feathers, these giant birds typically arrive ahead of the worst blizzard of the year. Robins appear soon after the first thaw, no matter how briefly it lasts. Red-winged blackbirds, nuthatches, Stellar’s jays, killdeer, and swallows materialize without fanfare. More vocally, Canadian geese begin pairing up and bickering

with their neighbors. Often they are fighting to claim trophy nesting sites, which look more like ice sculptures.

God has made each place beautiful and each climate unique. How wondrous!

Light of this life, thank You for spring!

-Erika Bentsen

Digging Deeper: Isaiah 52:7; Matthew 5:14-16; Mark 4:21-22;

Luke 11:33-36; Acts 13:47



Easter Eggs?

  1. Why couldn’t the eggs go out on a hot summer day?
  2. They were afraid they would fry!
  3. What did the egg say to the clown?
  4. You crack me up!
  5. What part did the egg play in the movies?
  6. He was an “Egg-stra”.


These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when

you get up. -Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (NIV)

I grabbed my wallet off the counter, pulled on. my coat, and headed, toward the sunporch, where my mom was waiting to go shopping.

“Sorry,” I said as I plunked myself into a wicker chair. I fished underneath for my shoes. “I hate making you wait for me.”

“Don’t worry about it,” she said. “Ready to go?”

She sat across from me, her hands wrapped around a Bible. She had propped it open on her lap. It was the same one that she had used since I was a baby. She was taking this brief moment to read a few verses.

I knew that her Bible was well loved. It had only half a cover. The margins overflowed with her looping handwriting. The text was highlighted and underlined and highlighted again. She took it almost

everywhere with her-to the doctor’s office, to my brothers’ soccer practices, to the swimming pool. She didn’t want to waste a second.

I wanted that drive. To read a Psalm between classes instead of checking Facebook. To carry God’s Word with me until the pages were all dog-eared and the binding was held together by tape. To seek out my

heavenly Father every moment I could. Just like this wise woman who I tucked her Bible under her arm.

Lord, help me to seek You diligently.

-Logan Eliasen

Digging Deeper: Deuteronomy 11:18; Joshua 1:8



Easter Eggs?

  1. What do you get if you cross an egg with a vacuum cleaner?
  2. I have no idea, but I bet it’s messy!
  3. Why did the egg cross the road?
  4. Because he wasn’t a chicken yet!
  5. What day does an egg hate the most?
  6. Fry-days.
  7. What came first, the chicken or the egg?
  8. Neither–the Easter Bunny!


“Everything is possible for one who believes.”-Mark 9:23 (NIV)

When I moved to Massachusetts, I discovered that in Boston, March 17 is not only Saint Patrick’s Day but also Evacuation Day, with military drills by Revolutionary War enactors. It’s all to honor a young Boston bookseller who took on an “impossible” task.

British troops had occupied Boston. Thousands of redcoats were billeted in the city; a fleet of warships blockaded the harbor. In July 1775, George Washington arrived to take charge of the ragtag Continental army. If only he could place cannons on Dorchester Heights overlooking the harbor, he saw at once that he could force the British to withdraw. But, as everyone knew, the Americans had no cannons.

True, word had traveled east that the Green Mountain Boys had captured Fort Ticonderoga with its plentiful artillery, But that was three hundred miles and a mountain range away, in upstate New York. This is when twenty-six-year-old Henry Knox appeared at Washington’s headquarters: “I can bring you those cannons.” So began the most astonishing logistics feat of the Revolutionary War.

Commandeering oxen from farms along his route, Knox’s expedition arrived at Ticonderoga in December. There they constructed huge reinforced sleds, loaded them with sixty tons of cannons and equipment, hitched them to teams of oxen, and began the laborious trek across the frozen Hudson River and the snow-covered Berkshire Mountains.

One spring morning the British looked up to see what could not possibly be: a ring of cannons lining the hill above them. There was a hasty assembling of redcoat ranks, a swift raising of a thousand sails, and on March 17, 1776, the British evacuated Boston, never to return. It was the Continental army’s first victory, an all-important morale booster for the difficult years ahead.

Teach me, Father, that the word impossible has no place in the life of faith.

-Elizabeth Sherrill

Digging Deeper: 2 Kings 6:15-17




A customer in a bakery was observed carefully examining all the rich-looking pastries displayed on trays in the glass cases.

When a clerk approached him and asked, “What would you like?” he answered, “I’d like that chocolate-covered, cream-filled doughnut, that jelly-filled doughnut and that cheese Danish.”

Then with a sigh he added, “But I’ll take an oat-bran muffin.”


Then he began to wash the disciples’feet, drying them with the towel He had around him. -John 13:5 (NLT)

I’ll admit, I don’t. keep the neatest office. My bookshelves sag under the burden of more volumes than they were intended to hold. My desk is piled with the detritus of a harried editor-manuscripts, books,

letters, magazines, an accordion of sticky notes. It is the area underneath my desk, however, that is the most unsightly.

Not to point fingers but my wife monopolizes most of the closet space where a man would store his modest shoe collection. So I keep my workplace shoes in my office and wear something comfortable to

commute. The shoes under my desk are in complete disarray.

One morning recently I ducked under my desk to locate the shoes I wanted to wear only to find everything was mysteriously matched up, the shoes neatly lined up in pairs. I knew I hadn’t done it. But who?

Who would have known about this hidden mess? It was my dirty little secret.

Jose, who comes evenings to clean our offices, was the culprit. Or Angel. He empties the trash can under my desk, which made him privy to my shoe situation. Usually I’m still working when Jose appears so I

just hand him my trash can. But I’d been out for a few days and Jose had seen the state of affairs.

“Jose,” I said, “you really don’t have to do that.”

“It’s a little thing. Don’t worry.”

Since then, I try to keep my shoes neat … with improving results. Still, whenever things get out of control under my desk, Jose steps in. Maybe it is a little thing, but it’s made a big impression on me.


Father, help me to see all the little opportunities You give me to help others.

=-Edward Grinnan

Digging Deeper: Proverbs 11:25; Galatians 5:13-14; 1 Peter 4:10



Needing to shed a few pounds, my wife and I went on a diet that had specific recipes for each meal of the day. We followed the instructions closely, dividing the finished recipe in half for our individual plates. We felt terrific and thought the diet was wonderful — we never even felt hungry!

But soon we realized we were gaining weight, not losing it. Checking the recipes again, we found it. There, in fine print, was: “Serves 6.”


He entrusted himself to him who judges justly. -1 Peter 2:23 (NIV)

 I am hopping mad.

I wish I were angry with someone who’s treated me badly, but it’s worse than that. Someone has humiliated one of my children. It’s not another kid; it’s an adult, a Christian. That makes it so much harder to take. The callousness, the downright meanness … I can hardly stand to think about it! The mama bear inside me wants to attack.

I’ve already tried talking things over with him, but he refused to consider the possibility that he was in the wrong, so now all I can do is to remove my child from his influence and walk away. I can’t fix him.

Only God can do that.

As I decide to pray for my child and leave the rest to God, I think of Jesus’s warning against causing a little one to stumble. I imagine this man giving a reckoning before the Lord, answering for this offense. I

think of the wrath he will face. Then I realize I’m kind of excited about it. Vindication! Justice! Let him have it, Lord!

And then I remember the gift of forgiveness that God has given me, and I’m filled with shame. Maybe while I’m praying for my child, I should also pray for the wrongdoer. Oh, Lord, that’s too hard’ How can

You expect that of me? How can I possibly do it?

I can’t. Not on my own. But God promised me that I can do all things through Him Who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).

Lord, help me share the gift of forgiveness. I know You can do anything … even tame a wild mama bear.

-Ginger Rue

Digging Deeper: Matthew 25:40; Luke 17:2




A man and his ten-year-old son were on a fishing trip miles from home. At the boy’s insistence, they decided to attend the Sunday worship service at a small rural church. The father forgot to bring any cash, so he reached in his pocket and gave his son a dime to drop in the offering plate as it was passed.

As they walked back to their car after the service, the father complained. “The service was too long,” he lamented. “The sermon was boring, and the singing was off key.”

Finally the boy said, “Daddy, I thought it was pretty good for a dime.”


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