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Posts by Holley Gerth

Today’s Truth

I am the . . . bright Morning Star. (Revelation 22:16, NIV)

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The rough wooden boardwalk is cool beneath my feet as I make my way to the sand. The sky is still the thick, deep blue of night, and gray shadows sway in the salty wind. I sleepily take my husband’s hand. I’m not a morning person, but we’re on vacation and I’m determined to see the sun climb like a rising warrior above the waves at least once.


As we get closer to the shore, we can see more people who have decided to forsake pillows for flip-flops along with us. They sit on huge pieces of stranded driftwood, stroll along the edge of the water with cameras in hand, or sip from coffee cups with dazed looks on

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Today’s Truth

God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance. (Romans 2:4, CSB)

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I sit across from a friend who knows me well. We’ve walked together for more than a decade. My eyes are tear-filled as I look at her and say, “I messed up.” I tell her of how I have failed in an area that has been an off-and-on battle in my life for years.


We all have one, don’t we? I call it our “Signature Struggle.” It’s the choice or habit or escape we go back to even though we know better. We swear we’ll never do that again—eat the whole pan of brownies or snap at the kids or drain the drink. But then we’re tired or stressed or overwhelmed and, suddenly, we do. No, sister, it isn’t

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Today’s Truth

“So this is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who relies on it will never be stricken with panic.’” (Isaiah 28:16, NIV)

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I stand inside the bones of a building. Wooden beams stretch over my head like a rib cage. I am close to the center where the heart would be. I run my hands along a rough board waiting for a wall to cover it like skin. My husband and I often venture into houses that have not yet fully become homes. With his training as an architect, he can picture it all before it comes to be. “This is where they’ll sleep,” he’ll say. “This is where they’ll watch TV.”


So it makes sense that he’s the one I ask when I come across a word in Scripture I don’t understand. I’m reading in bed and his head is

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Today’s Truth

Trouble and distress have overtaken me, but your commands are my delight, (Psalm 119:143, CSB.)

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I read Psalm 119 on an ordinary Thursday morning, a latte to my right and a vase holding yellow daisies in front of me. It seemed like a fitting setting for a spiritual ah-ha moment. But I only scratched my head and thought, “God, I don’t understand this verse at all.”


Trouble and distress have overtaken me, but your commands are my delight. (Psalm 119:143)


Maybe you’ve never had this experience but it’s not the first time I’ve encountered a Scripture that makes no sense to me. Thankfully, we serve a God who’s not intimidated by our questions. So I stared off into space, past the yellow daisies to the neat row of blue mugs on a shelf and did

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Today’s Truth

Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.

(Zechariah 4:10 NLT)

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Do you ever feel like only the “big” things in life matter? It can seem that way, especially around the New Year when everyone is setting goals and making resolutions. But God has a different perspective, one that can free our hearts.


Almost three years ago we moved to a new home with a little pond behind it. When the weather is nice we can hear bullfrogs declaring love and war. Turtles sun themselves like movie stars circled around a pool. And, one evening last spring, a pair of Canadian geese appeared like guests checking into their favorite bed and breakfast.


We watched the two of them build a nest. For twenty-eight days the female faithfully sat on it, undisturbed

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Today’s Truth

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28, NIV).

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Gift-giving is not my strong suit. I stand in the aisles of stores slack-jawed with my eyes glazed over. I don’t know how to choose between the Cranberry Cinnamon Scone candle or the Christmas Cookie one. I just get hungry and go home empty-handed. Or if I dare to pick one it turns out to actually smell like the poor old pumpkin that has been on the porch since Halloween.


I’m not only like this with gifts for other people; I’m the same way with myself. I need quiet and instead I say “yes” to one more event on the calendar. I desperately want peace and instead make a to-do list so long it rivals Santa’s. I long for

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Today’s Truth

Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever, (Psalm 106:1, NIV).

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The sky outside is a dense, soaked grey today. It reminds me of earlier this year when my husband and I watched from our living room window as menacing clouds rose up in the distance then stretched their fingers tentatively toward the ground. We live in tornado country and we don’t take such sights lightly. Flipping on the television, we heard the weatherman telling us to find a safe place as he pointed to splotches of red on the map. We went to our designated spot and took a moment to pray as the tree limbs began to sway outside.


The dark masses soon gave way to brilliant blue again. The wind quieted and we stepped back into the

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Today’s Truth

The plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations. (Psalm 33:11, NIV)

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I stand at the sink, dirty pan in hand. I feel small in this space, ordinary and rooted to the ground. I have been here for a long while now, in this kitchen, on this earth, and I silently ask, “What’s my purpose?”


Across the street a mama or grandma might be asking the same question as she changes the tenth diaper of the day. Maybe in the center of town someone is leaning her head on her desk with the door closed, just resting for a moment on that stack of spreadsheets and wondering this, too.


When we ask this question and silence seems to be the answer, we often go searching. We’ll say yes to another opportunity or

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Today’s Truth

For when I tried to keep the law, it condemned me. So, I died to the law—I stopped trying to meet all its requirements—so that I might live for God. My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So, I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die. (Galatians 2:19-21, NLT)

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I’ve been given a hard task—write down the lies/condemnation my heart hears and the truth that will set me free.


I approach this assignment on an ordinary weekday morning over a cup of coffee. I pull out my favorite journal and write Lies/Condemnation on one side and Truth on the other, and then I draw a black line right down the middle.


The first lie/condemnation comes easily, like a strong wind blowing through me… I’m not good enough.


It’s my signature struggle, the phrase that echoes through my mind most often. When I’ve addressed it in the past I’ve tried a simple counter argument: I am good enough.


This never seems to work. I can say the words but I don’t feel

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Today’s Truth

We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.

(Isaiah 64:8, NIV)

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I walk through the door of a room that smells of earth and dirt. The table is rectangular, surrounded by a rainbow of small chairs. My daughter and I are decades ahead of our fellow participants in this clay class. The others are pig-tailed and freckled, dark-headed and clad in neon tennis shoes. “Did you know it would be like this?” she asks. “Nope,” I reply. We grin.


I signed up for this class as part of my resolution to be a tourist in my hometown years ago, long before Covid-19 and social distancing. I wanted to do things I never had before. I’d pictured fellow adults around me, a serious and substantial exercise. Instead, it’s like art class

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Today’s Truth

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.

(Psalm 4:8, NIV)

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“What’s going to happen?”


“How will this work out?”


“Do I have the strength to get through this?”


Questions like this swirl inside her mind at the end of a hard day. Her head is on a pillow, but her heart is in another place. One that’s filled with fear, anxiety, and uncertainty.


We’ve all had nights like this one. We stare at the clock as the minutes pass by and sigh, “I used to be able to sleep like a baby.” That phrase has always sounded a little odd to me because I have lots of friends with kids and, well, their babies never seem to sleep as much as mom and dad would like.


But I think that saying comes from

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Today’s Truth

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

(2 Corinthians 1:3-4, NIV)

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The farmers market is crowded this morning. Vegetables in every color are laid out across tables like squares on patchwork quilts. Dogs on leashes strain toward each other or the enticing hydrant on the corner. Babies bask in strollers with dribbles down their chubby chins. Toddlers place one hand in Mama’s and wrap the other around organic all-fruit Popsicles.


Oh dear, there it is. The weekly tragedy. A grip loosened in a moment of forgetfulness or exuberance and that Popsicle falling down, down, down to land with a splat on the sizzling pavement.


Then the tears come, an instant river, followed by the snot and the hollering. Mama leans down, and of course, she says, “Knock it off, kid. You

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Today’s Truth

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

(Romans 8:1, ESV)

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On a recent evening my daughter and I met for a writing date. We spread our laptops out on a wood-topped table in a corner booth of our favorite place. We ate delicious soup and clicked on our keyboards.


In between paragraphs we’d talk and at some point, our conversation drifted to an area in which I’ve personally struggled. I’d never shared this with her and I felt afraid about doing so.


I’m supposed to be her Mama after all. What if this made her feel unsure of me, unsafe in some way? But it seemed God kept nudging so I cleared my throat and said, “There have been times in my life when this thing we’re talking about has

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Today’s Truth

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

(Ephesians 2:10, NIV)

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I recently returned to the place online where I asked the question, “What lies are women tempted to believe about who we are?” As I scrolled back through the answers, I saw all over again how many expressed, “I’m just a mess.” In other words, I can’t possibly be amazing. And yes, none of us are perfect. We “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). But that is only part of our story—and Jesus has already rewritten it.


We reflect the image of God. We are beings with souls. We have hearts full of hopes and desires. God has placed invisible gifts within each of us. And when we give ourselves to Jesus,

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Today’s Truth

The Lord will protect your coming and going both now and forever.

(Psalm 121:8, CSB)

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The airport is crowded this morning. As I wait for my flight, I watch the parade of people. Disgruntled teenagers with caps pulled down over their eyes trailing behind determined parents. Bright-eyed couples holding hands with the honeymoon sun still on their faces. A group of grey-headed ladies in pink matching t-shirts laughing and exchanging stories while they sip coffee. I wonder about all of them. Where have they come from? Where are they going?


I realize all over again in that moment God knows the answers. He sees every detail of our lives. He’s been with us in every step we’ve ever taken. And as we welcome a new year, this reassures me because none of us knows

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Today’s Truth

I will never leave you or abandon you.

(Hebrews 13:5 b, CSB)

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My daughter Lovelle and I sit on the couch in my living room and read the familiar story. The Garden of Eden. Eve. The forbidden fruit. The fall. We are going through a series of passages called “From Creation to Christ” and, of course, this scene makes the list. It’s where everything changes, after all.


Afterward we walk around the neighborhood on a blue-sky summer day and we talk about what we’ve read. What does this tell us about God? What does this tell us about people? How does this change how we live? Three simple, complicated questions.


Before I know it, I’m saying this, “God always comes for us. He came for Adam and Eve when they were hiding

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Today’s Truth

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

(Galatians 5:22-23 ESV)

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This time of year, we sing Silent Night and yet this can feel like the noisiest season. The ring of the telephone and cash registers, the clink of silverware and oven timer, the endless demands that seem to come from every corner. In the middle of it all, how can we know and hear God’s voice?


I’m sitting at a table full of women one evening and we’re talking about this very topic. Someone says, “A friend once told me that God’s voice is always kind. So, if what I’m hearing in my heart or mind isn’t kind then it’s not from God.”


These words follow me out the door that night like a line of loyal ducklings. When I

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Today’s Truth

God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.

(Ephesians 2:6, NIV)

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The sparrows sing from branches, perhaps telling of love or war, hope and the weather. I come to our patio table, the one with the wide khaki umbrella, and take a seat in my favorite woven chair. I have raspberry tea in front of me, a book in my hand. I am reading Rhythms of Rest by Shelly Miller.


Shelly says rest is a gift, a blessing from the heart of a loving God. And yet even in this moment of quiet I fidget, tap my toes, swing my legs, put a hand up to shield my eyes and search for the red-headed woodpecker tap-tap-tapping like the thoughts in my head.


It’s so easy to be endlessly moving, distracted, slow

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Today’s Truth

I will never leave you or abandon you.

Hebrews 13:5, CSB

Friend to Friend


My daughter Lovelle and I sit on the couch in my living room and read the familiar story. The Garden of Eden. Eve. The forbidden fruit. The fall. We are going through a series of passages called “From Creation to Christ” and, of course, this scene makes the list. It’s where everything changes, after all.


Afterward we walk around the neighborhood on a blue-sky summer day and we talk about what we’ve read. What does this tell us about God? What does this tell us about people? How does this change how we live? Three simple, complicated questions.


Before I know it, I’m saying this, “God always comes for us. He came for Adam and Eve when they were hiding

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Today’s Truth

Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God!”

(Psalm 42:5, NLT)

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The other day someone asked me about our infertility. It felt a bit like being asked about an old scar, one that has faded and become so familiar it feels more like a freckle.


This question was part of a radio interview; the host wanted to know what I would say to a woman in a similar situation. I paused for a very long time, reaching back into those memories like one might a trunk in the attic.


I pulled out a single memory like a brightly colored scarf. I held it up to the light and watched the dust drift down. The scene on it was a particular Christmas morning. We were visiting my in-laws and I felt certain

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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