Unlocked Archives

  • September 9, 2023

    I adored the cowboy boots Papa bought me at the feed store. But running in them for gym class had gotten difficult. I just had to find my missing purple sneakers; they were my only other shoes appropriate for school. Now, if I could only remember where I'd left them. . For almost two weeks, [...]

  • August 16, 2023

    READ: PSALM 133:1; EPHESIANS 4:1-6; 1 JOHN 4:19 I got the part; now I needed the costume. At age eleven, I tried out for the role of mascot for my school. The judges picked me, and I prepared to entertain the crowd at football games alongside the cheerleaders. The school didn’t provide a uniform, so [...]

  • August 5, 2023

    READ: ISAIAH 64:6; ROMANS 3:23-24; GALATIANS 2:15-21 Even though I couldn’t understand the words erupting around me, I sensed we were going to be thrown off the tram. I had arrived in Romania to serve for a year in ministry. Earlier that evening, my teammates and I had purchased tickets and boarded a tram to [...]

  • July 27, 2023

    READ: PSALM 37:1-7; PROVERBS 16:1-9; 19:20-22 As a young child, I dreamed of many variations of my future: a ballerina (which I was told I could never accomplish), or a nurse who flies in helicopters to help with medical emergencies, or an environmentalist who protects God’s creation. I also fantasized about opening a shop that [...]

  • June 24, 2023

    READ: PSALM 107:1; ROMANS 8:31-39; 2 CORINTHIANS 5:7 I was out of ideas for where to look. Finally, I pulled out my journal, grabbed a pen, and wrote, “Lord, please help me find my grammar textbook.” About a week before, I’d misplaced a schoolbook. I had already been reprimanded about not having the textbook for English [...]

  • June 10, 2023

    READ: PSALM 32:1-5; 1 JOHN 1:7-9; 4:18 I watched as a droplet of shimmery liquid slipped to the floor. Regrettably, I realized too late that I shouldn’t have painted my nails while sitting on the carpet. What would my landlord say about this mistake? The carpet had looked new when I moved into the apartment. Would he charge [...]

  • May 16, 2023

    READ: 1 CORINTHIANS 9:19-23; PHILIPPIANS 2:5-8 I sat down at a table lavishly spread with traditional Romanian foods. And that was the day I began eating meat again. Years ago, at age sixteen, my best friend and I ordered steak sandwiches while on a school trip. Our meals arrived undercooked. Even though the staff remedied the [...]

  • April 22, 2023

    "Ninety-eight, ninety-nine and that makes one hundred,” I counted aloud while another volunteer added the total to the app on my phone. My family and I had volunteered to pick up trash surrounding a lake in our community. One of our tasks involved tracking the number of various kinds of items we collected in our [...]

  • April 15, 2023

    "She must really want this job,” I told my roommate. All throughout our dorm, posters promoted a candidate for dorm treasurer who I'll call “Millie.” Each time we entered or exited the building we spotted these well-made campaign signs. . Other people were competing for positions on the leadership board of our dormitory, but nobody [...]

  • February 13, 2023

    "She does WHAT?" As we walked out of class, a friend told me something surprising. A boy at our school, who I’ll call “Henry,” had persuaded his girlfriend, “Vanessa,” to do his homework for him. When another student asked Henry about this, he admitted that every school night Vanessa completed not only her own homework [...]