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Posts by Barb Roose

Today’s Truth

For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16 NLT).


 


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A month after my dad died, my mom and I showed up to serve at our local shelter for un-housed individuals. We figured that serving others would help us navigate our grief, but I was uncomfortable because I worried about how I’d keep up conversations with the guests.


When we arrived, I gazed longingly over at the volunteers who stood behind the plexiglass and chafing dishes in their paper hats and plastic gloves. No awkward conversations or uncomfortable emotions, they simply scooped the food and sent the people on their way. As I settled at our assigned table, I knew that my fear of being uncomfortable may block me from seeing the God-potential of meeting new people and getting

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Today’s Truth

Trust in the LORD with all your heart do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take (Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT).

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“Fine, God, I’ll do it!” After days of arguing with God about why He would ask me to go to the hospital to visit someone that I didn’t like, I finally went. As I rode in the elevator with a “I’m-a-good-Christian-woman” look on my face, there was nothing godly about what was simmering on the inside. I was madder than a millennial without a cellphone power cord. As I walked down the hallway, frustrated words escaped in a furious whisper, “God, why me? I really don’t want to do this.”


Can you relate? When’s the last time that you had a negative attitude to living out some aspect of your faith?


You resist forgiveness because you don’t think that it’s

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Today’s Truth

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye (Matthew 7:3 NLT)?

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I shook the evidence of an addiction in front of a loved one’s face. In my fearful pursuit of confirmation, I weaponized the facts with cutting words and unkind opinions. While I had a right to be angry about the situation, I was completely wrong in how I addressed the struggle. Like a vengeful judge, I banged a self-righteous gavel atop my loved one’s heart until I felt like I’d gotten my point across. While I repented and apologized later, God used that terrible day to convict my heart of prejudicial thoughts and behaviors that often led to judging and thinking poorly of others.


God never calls us to give unconditional approval of sinful behavior. Yet harboring or communicating

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Today’s Truth

So, don’t worry about these things, saying, “What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear” (Matthew 6:31 NLT)?

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For years, I struggled with the anxious “what if’s,” so my solution was to buy lots of extras of anything and everything. My goal was to be prepared for any uncomfortable or uncertain situation that came my way. In fact, I had a magic three-word phrase that gave me permission: just in case. As I accumulated my just-in-case items like extra toiletries, kids’ clothes or snacks, I found a sense of security in those stockpiles. In fact, those extras propped up the illusion that I had control over my life. Yet, I didn’t actually have control, I just had a closet that was full of stuff and a heart that was full of anxiety and fear.


When

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Today’s Truth

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up (Galatians 6:9 NLT).

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“Daddy, why do you do that every day?”


After working his 12-hour shift, one of my dad’s first stops after work was to drop his spare pocket change into a large cardboard Tootsie Roll bank on his dresser. As a little kid, it was one of my favorite moments each day. Sometimes, he’d let me drop a few coins through the slot and he’d smile as the metal coins clinked together. Periodically, he’d remind me why he made that coin drop each day: “I’m saving for summertime, sweetheart.”


We only went on a few family vacations during my childhood, but my parents always made sure that we’d visit the large amusement park near our home once or twice a summer.

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Today’s Truth

But you, O LORD, are a shield around me; you are my glory, the one who holds my head high (Psalm 3:3 NLT).

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One summer, my grandmother placed a book on top of my head and ordered me to start walking. I’d had a growth spurt that summer and my grandmother often remarked that she never wanted me to be tall like her. As an unusually tall Southern-born, African-American woman, my grandmother grew up at a time when shorter, smaller black women were deemed less threatening and more employable. Even though times had changed, my grandmother was still wary of the world that I would grow up in. She told me, “If you’re going to be tall, then you need to learn how to hold your head up high.”


I spent that summer walking back and forth in my grandmother’s living room

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Today’s Truth

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn (Romans 12:15 NIV).

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During my divorce, I withdrew from a few of my longtime friends. These precious women had stood by my side throughout years of difficulty and pain. They were my people. Yet, I pulled away.


In that painful season, the “green-eyed monster” of envy was eating me alive. I wept and admitted to my counselor that I was envious that my friends were still married to their husbands while mine walked away. It hurt to watch them enjoy the empty nest season with their spouses while I was starting a new season of life alone.


During that tough time, envy seeped into other areas, too. On social media, I dreaded seeing pictures of couples celebrating anniversaries or vacations. I struggled through

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Today’s Truth

But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here” (Matthew 14:27 NLT).

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During a Monday morning planning meeting, I was given two choices: pet a tarantula or jump out of an airplane. I picked jumping out of an airplane because I am that afraid of spiders! Which one would you choose?


The next morning, I drove across my home state with two co-workers to go skydiving. As I passed the highway exit near my hometown, I considered giving my parents a call. However, wisdom, or maybe self-preservation, prevailed. I figured that if I didn’t die skydiving, my mother would surely kill me to keep me from jumping out of the plane.


After I arrived, the training staff taught us the basics of how to jump and how parachutes worked. I appreciated the

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Today’s Truth

Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2 NLT).

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A ministry leader contacted me about someone on our volunteer team who had fallen into sin due to a personal decision. It seemed to me that the best way to handle it was to send an email saying: “Hey, you know that’s not good. Stop doing that. Get it together.” But rather than shoot off an email with threats or requiring a behavior change, I set up a face-to-face meeting. I sat on my sofa and asked the person a series of questions that conveyed I cared about what was going on in her life, not just the situation.


Over the years, God has taught me that my first responsibility is to love, not finger-pointing or judgment. The goal

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Today’s Truth

“The LORD our God has secrets known to no one. We are not accountable for them, but we and our children are accountable forever for all that he has revealed to us, so that we may obey all the terms of these instructions” (Deuteronomy 29:29 NLT).

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Remember when television shows used to have cliffhanger episodes at the end of each season? There were infamous cliffhangers like Who shot JR? Would Ross marry Rachel? I remember impatiently waiting and wondering all summer long to find out the answers during the fall season premiere.


We have streaming media these days, so we no longer have to wait for television shows, but our lives still have cliffhangers, don’t they? Times when we’re waiting on God to relieve the stress and pressure of our uncertainty:


God, can you just tell me if my mom will survive her cancer?


God, when will we get on the other side of this financial hardship?


God, will I ever meet the person who will love me

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Today’s Truth

God will never walk away from his people never desert his precious people (Psalm 94:14 The Message).

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When Lara was taken by ambulance to the hospital for a suspected stroke, her husband called her adult daughter to let her know. Lara’s daughter said that she’d heard about the stroke but she wasn’t coming to the hospital. A few months later, Lara was at the grocery store and saw her daughter pushing a cart down the same aisle. As soon as her daughter looked up and saw Lara, the daughter wheeled her cart around and went the other direction.


As Lara wept in deep heartache, she wondered, where did I go wrong? Why doesn’t she want me to be a part of her life?


Rejection. It is so painful, isn’t it? Even if you know why someone ended

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Today’s Truth

There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28, NLT).

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Close your eyes for a moment and picture who you will see in heaven. Perhaps you’ll see the face of that beloved grandma who prayed for your salvation or the women from your Bible study. You know who else you’ll see in heaven? Jesus, loving people from all different colors and cultures, many who will look nothing like you. Yet, in eternity we’ll stand unified worshipping God together and proclaiming His name with one voice.


If we’re going to worship God with one voice for all eternity, what is keeping us from worshipping and serving God with that kind of unity today?


One of the most uncomfortable barriers to our unity as believers in Christ is the topic of race.

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Today’s Truth

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope (Romans 5:3-4 NIV).

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Many years ago, I reluctantly attended my first family member addiction recovery support group. I’d spent years trying to fix an addiction issue in my family, even forcing solutions when necessary. Nothing worked, but that didn’t stop me from trying harder. As my mind spun with hundreds of worried worst-case scenarios, I doubled down with begging, bargaining and at times, a barrage of angry words. As our family situation declined, I became desperate.I was losing hope fast.


While we like to think that hope is found in a happy ending, Today’s Truth illuminates the path to hope. It’s a progression that one scholar calls the “Golden Chain of Christian Growth and Maturity.” As the Apostle Paul defines the progression

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Today’s Truth

“‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours’” (Luke 15:31, NLT).

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When am I finally going to get what I deserve?


Maybe you’ve muttered those words under your breath while reading an email from your boss. Perhaps you’ve spat those words out in anger after a visit with your parents or your kids. You feel like you’ve bent over backward, but you still don’t feel appreciated, even though you put in the time, effort, or energy to earn it.


One summer, my youngest daughter worked on the restaurant staff at a dream destination theme park. She called home to express frustration with customers who yelled and even bullied restaurant employees when a ketchup container was empty, or an ordered sandwich was missing bacon. She remarked that customers justified their rude behavior

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Today’s Truth

“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner” (Luke 18:13 NIV).

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During my college years, I lived like a prodigal. Even though I knew that I was chasing my own selfish desires, I pushed aside the shame and guilt by distracting myself with the next party. I pretended that everything was fun and great until I crashed and burned. On the day when I realized that I’d messed up my life far beyond my ability to fix it, I feared that God wouldn’t want me anymore after what I’d done. I was too ashamed to read my Bible or even consider going back to church.


In Luke 18, Jesus tells a story about a Pharisee and a tax collector “to some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked

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Today’s Truth

“Jesus gave his life for our sins, just as God our Father planned, in order to rescue us from this evil world in which we live” (Galatians 1:4 NLT).

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For many years, I treated my faith like I was cooking dinner in the kitchen. Here’s what my Christian life recipe looked like for many years:


1 c. weekly church attendance


1 c. daily Bible study


1 c. volunteering (or 2 c. if pressured to do more)


1 c. Bible study group (sometimes a seasonal ingredient)


1 c. offering (or a dash if money is tight)


1 c. prayer (add more if you gossip, lie or occasionally swear)


1 c. good intentions


Directions: Mix together each week on your calendar. Substitute guilt for any missing ingredients. Pour generous amounts of worship music over the top to cover for anything that might be outdated or less than fresh. Finally, serve with a Sunday smile.


For years, I felt

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Today’s Truth

Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ (Galatians 6:1-2 NLT).

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While walking at a park, a couple in front of me abruptly stepped off the path. The woman reached down to take off her shoe and held onto the man for stability.  It only took her a few seconds for her to pluck out the rock and then she held onto him again as put her shoe back on.


As I watched that little scene unfold, I’m reminded of the times when I’ve been like that woman with something in my life that caused me discomfort or pain. I’ve felt emotional stones in my life such as depression, anxiety, control issues, anger, and disappointment. Emotional stones hurt! But it’s much harder to remove our emotional, spiritual, or relational stones

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Today’s Truth

The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the LORD’s favor has come (Luke 4:18-19 NLT).

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When I grew up in the church during the 1980’s, my grandmother and her friends hid a shocking secret underneath their fabulous Sunday hats. Those elegant hats were adorned with fluffy feathers, giant bows, and decorative nets. They anchored those hats to their heads with a legion of bobby pins just in case they felt like jumping up and down as the gospel music started to “get good.” So, what was their secret? My grandma and her friends didn’t style their hair underneath their hats! In time, those hats became a symbol of the kind of Christianity that I witnessed and lived much of my early life: Your life might be a mess on the inside, but as

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Today’s Truth

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone (Romans 12:18, NLT).

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One day, I discovered that one of my favorite hoop earrings was missing. It was a pair that I wore daily because they matched all of my outfits. I searched my room while wondering when the earring might have fallen out.


I held onto the remaining hoop for months in hopes that the missing hoop might turn up. While I had other earrings, that particular pair was important to me. I hated looking at that lonely earring in my jewelry box. I couldn’t help but think of how much I missed wearing them.


The loss reminded me of other things I’ve lost. If you’ve ever experienced the loss of a friendship or a fallout with a family member, it’s hard.

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Today’s Truth

Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry (James 1:19, NLT).

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Three-year old Mateo Beltran really wanted some cupcakes and his mother said no. Unfortunately, he did not like her answer. In a viral video on social media, little Mateo is better known as the little boy who says, “Listen Linda” over and over again. While little Mateo’s interruptions were funny in the video, regularly interrupting others is no laughing matter.


Do you tend to be a “Listen Linda”? Here are two ways that we can use interrupting as a control-loving behavior:



When we cut someone off while they are talking.
When we interfere in an other’s affairs.

Chances are that you’re like me and you don’t mean to interrupt others. In fact, you truly believe that what you are saying or doing

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Today’s Truth

…but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.

(Philippians 3:13, NLT)

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My dog, Quimby, is the best forgetter ever. Even though she was abused before she came to live with us, Quimby wakes up each day happily wagging her tail and licking our faces. She never remembers when we yelled at her the day before. For Quimby, each day is a clean slate. I wish I could be a lot more like my dog.


As humans, it’s not easy to forget the past. We’re prone to negative bias, and it’s much easier to remember the bad instead of the good. We drag around mental and emotional suitcases filled with our disappointments, pain, rejection and failure. Then, we lug that hidden baggage into and out of our jobs, relationships, and dreams

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Today’s Truth

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV).

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We like happy endings.


During the difficult World War II years, Hollywood movie directors re-wrote the endings to popular books such as The Grapes of Wrath to have happy movie endings. Since there was so much sadness around the war, the movie studios wanted to create a cinematic happy ending, even if the books didn’t end that way. One article called this revisionist process, “happyendingification” or the taking of a bad situation and turning it into a happy one.


Do you ever try to do some “happyendingification” in your life? When we or someone we love is struggling or when a situation we hate is out of control, we grab our control-loving remote to point and click our way to

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"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8