Back to School


I then shall live as one who's learned compassion.
I've been so loved, that I'll risk loving too.
I know how fear builds walls instead of bridges;
I'll dare to see another's point of view.
And when relationships demand commitment,
Then I'll be there to care and follow through.

from “I Then Shall Live” by Gloria Gaither (1981)


But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against things like this.

Galatians 5:22-23


I bought a hiking bag online a few years ago. In the same transaction, I purchased a carabiner clip to attach my water bottle to my bag. When it came time for my first hike with the new bag, I went to clip my water bottle to the shoulder strap. To my surprise, my bag already came with a carabiner in that exact spot!

Sometimes our lives are the very same — we can forget about the things that came with our bag. In our relationships with God, we are told that the fruits of the Spirit will grow: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. When we live our lives like Christ, we produce these fruits. These fruits are the natural byproduct of authentic, Christ-like living. We don’t have to pay extra for them!

We’re not the best at noticing these though. Take a self-inventory of these fruits in our life, and you may notice these virtues in places you wouldn’t have expected.

Ben Brown


God who changes me, help me to notice the fruits of your Spirit that are blooming in my life. Surround me and nourish me in areas where I need growth. Grant me the eyes to notice these gifts in others as well. Amen.


Perhaps nothing helps us make the movement from our little selves to a larger world than remembering God in gratitude. Such a perspective puts God in view in all of life, not just in the moments we set aside for worship or spiritual disciplines. Not just in the moments when life seems easy.

Henri Nouwen in Turning My Mourning into Dancing (2004)

Go today in gratitude.

Go today with God.