candles in Jerusalem-final

Shining a Light

(This is part two of a series.) In my last post, I described an experience I had while standing in the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem – just outside the Old City. These reflections were initially all in one post, but the human attention span seems to be shrinking daily, so I decided to break that post into two. If you haven’t read part one (“A Holy Disturbance”), I’d recommend doing that before continuing with this post. Though it was 2015, the current situation in the Holy Land was pretty much the same situation into which Jesus had been born. That Read More

Christ wept over Jerusalem3

A Holy Disturbance

(This is part one of a short series.) It’s a Friday afternoon in October 2015, and I’m standing in the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem, a site believed by many to be the place where Jesus was buried and resurrected. Upon entering the garden, our group walked by many armed soldiers. This was partly because it was the norm but also because there had been increased violence between Israelis and Palestinians in recent days. In fact, just a few hours earlier, someone had been stabbed nearby. Inside this holy place, several yards in front of me, is a tourist group in Read More

Sanctuary Outside Fall 2016

Searching for Rest for Your Weary Soul? Search No More!

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (NIV) We have all had seasons in life where it feels like the chaos just. won’t. end. Sometimes, the chaos is the result of our own doing. Yet, sometimes, it’s the result of being obedient to God and pursuing God’s call. For me, my chaos is most often the result of pursuing God because . . . well, that’s just kinda how the Christian walk goes. Jesus knew that we would have weary days/weeks/months/years. So, in the verse above, he calls us Read More

Nowlin artwork photos

Through the Storm

“I paid half my rent this month.” I uttered this phrase many times in September while talking with friends. Eventually, it began to feel like a litany that sums up my year thus far. I’ve been struggling financially for most of 2017. In 2016, I took a leap of faith in obedience to God; I started 2017 without a full-time job. When the difficulties started, I honestly thought that they would be short-lived. But by the time spring rolled around, my smiles had become a bit more strained, and my go-to response to “How’s it going?” was usually something like, “Oh, Read More


The Forever Place

Today’s post is from Alicia Wu, the winner of my “Everbloom” contest, which encouraged readers to submit their own story of living a deeply rooted and transformed life. In addition to having her work featured here, Alicia will also receive a free copy of “Everbloom: Stories of Deeply Rooted and Transformed Lives.” Purchase yours today from Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Paraclete Press! Alicia Wu is a licensed mental health counselor and crisis counselor and has an MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Alliance Graduate School of Counseling, NYC campus. She is currently pursuing an MDiv with a concentration Read More


Finding an Audience is Complicated, So I’m Sharing Mine!

When I try to describe the experience of being a writer/speaker, “it’s complicated” often comes to mind! Publishers and agents want me to have a platform of millions. Because I don’t have that, I sometimes get caught up in the trap of thinking that what I do doesn’t matter. But then, I’m reminded of the numerous times people have told me how much they enjoy my social media and blog posts. I may not have millions of followers, but I have a consistent base of folks who value what I have to say. I’m grateful for that audience, and I Read More

Nowlin artwork photos

I Am a Tree

I Am a Tree Bending, swaying, leaning, flailing Cracking, breaking, weeping, wailing Scarred from fires Thirsty from droughts Drowned by floods But Standing Growing Blooming Bearing Feeding Planted Firmly rooted. This post is in response to the writing prompt for Bronwyn Lea’s “No Story Wasted” in Everbloom: Stories of Deeply Rooted and Transformed Lives. Bronwyn’s piece uses tree imagery to remind us that we know more than we think and have experiences from which others can learn. The prompt is “Record God’s work in your life based on this statement: She is like a tree planted by streams of water.” Read More

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Lenten Reflections – week 7

April 10, 2017 Today’s post highlights the anointing of Jesus at Bethany, in preparation for his upcoming burial. #Lent2017 #EncourageYourselfInTheLord #BeEncouraged #PourYourPraiseOnHimLikeOil April 11, 2017 On his way to the cross, Jesus stopped in the Temple to teach. As usual, the Pharisees tried to trip him up… “Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: ‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’ Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ Read More

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Lenten Reflections – week 6

April 3, 2017 “I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” – Psalm 121:1-2 “You are the source of my strength, You are the strength of my life.” #Lent2017 #EncourageYourselfInTheLord #BeEncouraged #AMEN April 4, 2017 Wow, wow, wow! Today’s post is full of so many wonderful/artistic gifts! Whether we’ll acknowledge it or not, we are all Peter and Judas at some point in our walk with Christ. Today’s song comes from today’s post from Biola’s CCCA Lent Project, and it’s in the form Read More

Nowlin artwork photos

Lenten Reflections – week 5

March 27, 2017 “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.” #Lent2017 #EncourageYourselfInTheLord #BeEncouraged #ScepterOfJustice March 28, 2017 Sometimes, you have to ignore the naysayers (even when YOU are your own naysayer) and get obnoxiously loud until you get Jesus’ attention… #Lent2017 #EncourageYourselfInTheLord #BeEncouraged #CryOut March 29, 2017 “I know you hear me, I know you see me, Lord.” Amen. #Lent2017 #EncourageYourselfInTheLord #BeEncouraged March 30, 2017 “God is great, but sometimes life ain’t good.” So build, dream, love, believe, sing, pray…anyway. #Lent2017 #EncourageYourselfInTheLord #BeEncouraged March 31, 2017 I’ve Read More