Posts by Sarah Ivill

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One of the greatest gifts we can give others is a commitment to pray for them, a commitment that will also bring us great joy. But it’s easy to just pray through a list of petitions instead of first thanking God for their faith and fruitful ministry. Paul’s thanksgiving and prayer for the...
What do we do when suffering breaks into our lives like an unwelcome intruder, when a diagnosis comes at an inconvenient time, when we feel disillusioned and full of despair? Where do we turn when we are scared, sad, and sobered at the fragility of our lives or the lives of our loved ones? This...
For many of us the inability to gather with church family during parts of the pandemic increased our appreciation for our pastors, elders, deacons, and fellow church members. It has not been unusual to hear people testify of how they will not take church gatherings, especially corporate worship,...
What moves you to sing? Is it the clock that signals the end of a long work day, the child that wants you to sing to them before bed, the celebration of a milestone in life, or the spouse you hold so dear? All of these are good reasons to sing, but Scripture gives us a better reason. In Psalm 19 we...
Have you ever considered that it is important to “guard your steps when you go the house of God” (Ecc. 5:1)? Perhaps we don’t often think of church as a dangerous place, and yet it is a very dangerous place for those who refuse to listen to the preaching of God’s word. The author of Hebrews warns...
As a mother of four children I’ve heard quite a bit of grumbling and questioning. But as I listen to my children, I’m often convicted at how many times I grumble about a particular circumstance or question why God has allowed something in my life. Scripture reveals that these are serious sins...
If you have been in the stores lately or checked your calendar, you are likely aware that Mother’s Day is May 8. As a mother of four children, I am always grateful to receive words or acts of appreciation from my family, and to have the opportunity to express words of thankfulness to my own mother...
So many people live and work for the moment at hand, pushing any idea of eternity out of their minds. They squander their time, money and resources without a glance at their Creator. They seek satisfaction, security and significance in relationships, education, and materialism. Yet if you speak...
Soon believers all around the world will celebrate Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Some will go to church because they are expected to do so by family. Others will go because they know the joy of gathering together on the Lord’s Day to worship Him. Still others will show up broken and tormented by...
What thoughts are first and foremost in your mind these days? Do you awake only to be overwhelmed by thoughts of your sin and shame? Are you paralyzed by thoughts of your suffering? When you go to bed are you already overwhelmed by your deadlines for tomorrow? It is not hard to focus on our sin,...
Where I live signs of spring usually arrive by the beginning of March. Although my favorite season is fall, I am always happy to see the flowers bloom and trees make new leaves. It reminds me that although I could not see it during the winter months, God made the flowers and trees in such a way...
One of the greatest memories I have of Valentine’s Day is from my time in seminary when my friends and I helped each other focus on the love of God. We were in an accountability group together and all single at the time. Far different from the romantic cards, chocolates, jewelry, and flowers being...
I have sat before women with tears streaming down their face confessing the truth of God’s sovereignty, but questioning His love in the face of death, despair, disappointment and disillusionment. Whether it’s the loss of a baby, the end of a marriage, the loss of financial security, the end of a...
For many people January is the month of new beginnings. By now, some of you have made it a few weeks on your new diet or exercise program, Bible reading plan, caffeine-free mornings, social media fast, budget, or endeavor to read more books. These are all good goals, but they pale in comparison to...
As we begin a new year many of us will talk about new adventures we want to take, new goals we would like to accomplish, new relationships we would like to build, and new opportunities we would like to be given. These are good things to think about, but at the end of Paul’s letter to the Galatians...
As a mother of four children I well remember many nights that were anything but silent. The cries of a newborn suddenly awakened by pangs of hunger. The moans of a sick child who needed another dose of acetaminophen. More recently, the voices of teenagers telling me about their day when they arrive...
Another Christmas season is upon us. As the world around us magnifies boxes and bows, decorations and displays, parades and parties, sleigh bells and snow balls, let us, as believers, magnify the Lord. At the beginning of Luke’s gospel we learn about two women—Elizabeth and Mary, who by God’s grace...
My bookshelf is lined with prayer journals covering the years of my life beginning with childhood. Rereading them brings both joy and heartache, but most of all an overwhelming sense that I have had the privilege to bow my knees before my heavenly Father and cry out to Him in the midst of sin,...
In a few short weeks many of us will gather around a table loaded with food to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends. For many it will be a day of feasting and family fun. For others, they may be too sick to eat, too filled with grief to laugh, or too busy to slow down and enjoy the day...
I recently returned from a speaking engagement in the desert, otherwise known as Tuscon, Arizona. While there I was captivated with the Lord’s handiwork of cacti and mountains, the sunrise and sunset. Even more so, as I taught God’s word, I was captivated with the Lord’s faithfulness to His people...
It had been a long, hot summer. The heat wave outside seemed to match the heat wave in my own heart of anger, chaos, disappointment, fear, grief, insecurity, loneliness, and physical pain. One night things seemed particularly bad. I was overwhelmed with the different needs of each of my four...
Several years ago I missed a turn for one of my speaking events. It didn’t take me long to realize I was on the wrong road, but I didn’t know how to find my way without help. So I pulled into a gas station and asked the locals for directions. Thankfully, they were kind and helpful, and before long...
When was the last time you wandered in the desert wastes of addiction or anger, dissensions or divisions, enmity or envy, idolatry or impurity, sensuality or strife, finding no way to fulfill the hole in your heart, but desperately trying to anyway? When have you faced betrayal or blame, cancer or...