24 results for tag: Laura Urista


The Heart of the Matter – by Laura Urista

If you knew for certain you only had a few hours left on earth, how would you spend those last precious hours? What would be the most important thing you’d want to do? I think I would want to tell my dear ones how much I love them and give some instructions about what I would want them to do going forward—to help comfort and prepare them. Sometimes people will give what is called a “deathbed confession” or provide their final wishes or last will and testament in their final precious moments. In any case, this is a time when you want to truly get to “the heart of the matter.” This is exactly what Jesus did on the night before his ...

What Are We Really Singing? – by Laura Urista

We praise Thee O God our Redeemer, Creator, in grateful devotion our tribute we bring. We lay it before Thee, we kneel and adore Thee, we bless Thy holy name, glad praises we sing. (Netherlands folk song text by Julia Cady Cory). Those are the opening words to my very first “favorite hymn.” I can remember singing those words at age four, surrounded by my family and hundreds of worshippers at a large church gathering. I still get goosebumps thinking of the shared joy of singing hymns of praise and worship with my parents, brothers and sisters as well as my spiritual “brothers and sisters in the Lord.” This great old hymn remains one of ...

Out of the Harbor – by Laura Urista

A recent news headline caught my attention – it said “If you have an office job – this is the most dangerous thing you will do all day.” Well, I work in an office so I had to read that article! Guess what it said? The most dangerous thing I do all day is sit. Our bodies were made to move around. We weren’t created to sit all day. The article said that even if you just stand up and move around for a few minutes every hour it can increase your life expectancy. Then I thought of my ancestors. My great grandmother lived to be over 100. My grandma, Olga, lived to be age 98. She was born in the late 1800s on a homestead in North Dakota. I ...

The Best Father’s Day Gift – by Laura Urista

Father’s Day has always had special meaning for me. I was born on Father’s Day. At the time of my birth my dad had moved away from North Carolina to Ohio to start a new job. My mom had been advised by her doctor not to travel, so she and my four siblings remained in North Carolina, near most of my dad’s family. The day I was born, Dad’s sister, Aunt Bea, called my dad to let him know he had a new baby girl. But I was born with low birth weight, jaundice, lung trouble and I needed blood transfusions. The doctor was afraid I wouldn’t make it. That was the beginning of a special bond between me, my dad and our heavenly Father. Dad ...

Five Generations: A Legacy of Love – by Laura Urista

One of my most treasured possessions is a black-and-white photograph of five generations of women in my family. Over the years several people have mentioned to me how unique and rare it is to have a five-generation photo. Pictured here are my great-great grandmother Mietz (seated in the middle), my great-grandmother Fiebick (seated on the far left), my grandmother Olga (affectionately called “Grandma Dee Dee”) and my mom, Charlotte, holding my oldest sister, Sandy, on her lap. This photo was taken in the summer of 1946. I wish I knew more about these wonderful ladies of my lineage. I do know that great-great-Grandma Mietz and great-Grandma ...

The Power of God’s Love by Laura Urista

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.—1 John 4:7-8 (my emphasis)     In the scripture above, we are admonished to “love one another for love comes from God.” The word translated into our English word “love” throughout this passage is the Greek words agapao (verb) or agape (noun). Agapao refers to the supernatural love of God, but that is only part of the meaning. Agapao also refers to the love which arises from a “keen sense of the value and worth of the object loved.” When ...

April 2022

CLICK HERE to read now (PDF Format) Brad Jersak: The Cross: God's Eternal Mercy Seat – pg. 2 Laura Urista: Trimming the Roses – pg. 5 Richard Rohr: The Saving Power of the Cross – pg. 6 Greg Albrecht: The Meaning(s) of the Cross – pg. 7

Connected To The Vine by Laura Urista

Have you ever read a familiar scripture and suddenly it’s as if someone flipped on the proverbial light switch? I experienced one of those aha moments when reading John 15:1-12. I thought to myself, “Hey wait a minute, did it always say that?” So I checked several translations just to make sure! In John 15:1-12, Jesus is talking to his disciples about the vine and the branches. I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.  You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. ...

December 2021

CLICK HERE to read now (PDF Format) Greg Albrecht: Once Before Time– pg. 2 Laura Urista: Awaiting Arrivals– pg. 5 Kenneth Tanner: The Inalienable Rights of the Incarnation – pg. 6 Brad Jersak: Jesus Christ Before His Birth – pg. 7

October 2021

CLICK HERE to read now (PDF Format) Laura Urista: The Gospel According to Pooh-Bear– pg. 2 Brad Jersak: Of Heretics, Kings & Foxes– pg. 4 Greg Albrecht: How Far Will God Go for Love? – pg. 7

May 2021

CLICK HERE to read now (PDF Format) Articles: What Is and Who Is the Church? – pg. 1 Break It Up – pg. 2 My Two "Moms" – pg. 5 Buzzy – pg. 7 Quotes & Connections – pg. 8

April 2021

CLICK HERE to read now (PDF Format) Greg Albrecht: When Jesus Rode into Town– pg. 2 Laura Urista: The Heart of the Matter– pg. 4 Ed Dunn: Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled– pg. 5 Brad Jersak: Pastoral Perspective – pg. 7