lit red candles on a christmas wreath in the dark
Faith, Reflections

Contemplation – the Hidden Gift of Christmas

The common thread, the story that’s hidden in Mary and Joseph’s lives is the gift of solitude, contemplation. We don’t see it emphasized in scripture, but I have to believe both Mary and Joseph took time each day to remove themselves from the noise of the secular world to ponder and ask God in the silence of their hearts for wisdom to know—and then the courage to do—what God asked of them.

log cabin in the woods, people gathered around a fire
Faith, Reflections, Worship

How Worship Healed My Experience of Church

Two years ago, l became disillusioned with the church community. In my old church l had felt judged and ignored. Health issues had prevented me from attending church regularly here in Bochum and my few attempts to connect with people had been met with little response. I became disappointed and retreated from the community.

However, that evening l felt like l was a part of something. The same Christ that was in me, was in everyone here in this room. Tonight, we were all connected: l did not feel any rejection.

a lighthouse by the ocean, on grey, bleak day
Faith, Reflections, Theology

Why Conviction is an Undeserved Gift

I tried to avoid conviction for a long time. But no matter how many excuses I could conjure up, I’d always end up facing the reality that I still fell short, that I was still a sinner. Conviction was just a harsh reminder of my failure to get better. What good could come from that? But as I studied the Scriptures, I began to see that they do not treat conviction as something to be avoided, but rather as a gift from God that draws us closer to Him.