Sarah E. Westfall

The Finished Product

The Finished Product

And so Moses finished the work. (Ex. 40:33) I love decorating my home. From painting to putting up wall art, I’m passionate about creating comfortable, cozy spaces for my family and guests. Because we don’t always have the funds to go out and buy new...
Stay the Course

Stay the Course

Moses did everything just as the Lord commanded him. (Ex. 40:16) Five times I had asked him to put on his shoes. My reservoir of patience was quickly running dry. After a deep breath, I got down to eye level with my son, one more time pleading with him to get his...
God’s Purpose in the Pain

God’s Purpose in the Pain

I will declare your name to my people; in the assembly I will praise you. (Ps. 22:22) My husband and I went from being ecstatic to sorrowful overnight months after the birth of our firstborn. Illness had crept up on me, stolen my energy, and caused a large lump to...
More than Enough

More than Enough

The skilled workers . . , said to Moses, “The people are bringing more than enough for doing the work the Lord commanded to be done.” (Ex. 36:4–5) Last summer, when six children from our church tragically lost their mother at the hand of their...
A Generous Heart

A Generous Heart

And the people continued to bring freewill offerings morning after morning. (Ex. 36:3) An early morning knock at the door surprised us our first year living in a new neighborhood. When we opened the door repeatedly that day, children’s smiles greeted us, along...
The Best Blueprints

The Best Blueprints

Every skilled person to whom the Lord has given skill and ability . . . are to do the work just as the Lord has commanded. (Ex. 36:1) The news about the local supermarket shocked us. We can no longer shop there now. The store had been so close and convenient for us,...
Spread the Good News

Spread the Good News

And he has given both him and Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan, the ability to teach others. (Ex. 35:34) Vera* had grown up in an abusive, Muslim home, but when she discovered hope through faith in Jesus, her life was changed. Although somewhat quiet and...
Filled with the Spirit of God

Filled with the Spirit of God

And he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills. (Ex. 35:31) Expectantly sipping the delicious smelling coffee before me, I was immediately horrified. As a part-time employee, I had been...
Chosen

Chosen

Then Moses said to the Israelites, “See, the Lord has chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah” (Ex. 35:30) Maybe Kara (name changed) did not seem like a likely candidate for the role, being only fourteen. However, we knew Kara...
Taking A U-Turn

Taking A U-Turn

In you our ancestors put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them. (Ps. 22:4) A friend and I were trying to find a place of business. We arrived at the exact location entered on the GPS, only to hear, “Take a U-turn.” We obeyed, and almost...
A Fresh Outpouring

A Fresh Outpouring

I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name. (Ex. 33:17) Last year the farms around us were panting in drought. The corn was stilted and yellow, not the vibrant green of watered husks. Farmers looked to heaven and...
God’s Hand Is Our Hiding Place

God’s Hand Is Our Hiding Place

When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed. (Ex. 33:22) When a tornado touched down in Indiana near our friend’s home, they were on their knees with pillows over their heads. It wasn’t...
A Holy Companion

A Holy Companion

The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” (Ex. 33:14) When my daughters were little, the oldest was fearful in the dark. One evening I asked her to go to the basement for a can of soup and she hesitated, clearly wanting...
Recognizing God’s Presence

Recognizing God’s Presence

Whenever the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance to the tent, they all stood and worshiped, each at the entrance to their tent. (Ex. 33:10) Lovers of Krispy Kreme doughnuts know the secret of the light—if it’s on, free, warm doughnuts...
Pitch Your Tent

Pitch Your Tent

Now Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the “tent of meeting.” (Ex. 33:7) My daughter recently moved to a large farm house. She showed me a large closet and said, “My war room has been a tablet,...
Heart Worship

Heart Worship

Be exalted in your strength, Lord; we will sing and praise your might. (Ps. 21:13) I have always liked pomp and circumstance. Not just the graduation melody, but the feeling of ceremony. Things that signify special moments in our families and professional lives...
Worship Equals Worthship

Worship Equals Worthship

Oh, what a great sin these people have committed! They have made themselves gods of gold. (Ex. 32:31) My college music professor, Garen Wolf I, often made the comment that worship was really “worthship.” And he was right. The root comes from the Old...
Plagues After Worship?

Plagues After Worship?

And the Lord struck the people with a plague because of what they did with the calf Aaron had made. (Ex. 32:35) No, I’m not talking about the viral infections that seem to sweep the congregation once or twice a year! Although those are bad enough. You can...
The Only One

The Only One

You have committed a great sin. But now I will go up to the Lord; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin. (Ex. 32:30) As a fifteen-year-old girl at youth camp, I found myself in a predicament. I was seated for the morning service next to one guy when another young...
Who Can I Blame for My Worship?

Who Can I Blame for My Worship?

They gave me the gold, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf! (Ex. 32:24) Most parents are acquainted with the childhood ploy of siblings blaming each other for misbehavior. “She started it.” “He hit me first.” “She...
Festivals to Self

Festivals to Self

He built an altar in front of the calf and announced, “Tomorrow there will be a festival to the Lord.” (Ex. 32:5) As a writer in a competitive and technologically changing field, I face the unenviable task of doing much of my own marketing. Publishing...
Let Me Make A God

Let Me Make A God

They gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods who will go before us.” (Ex. 32:1) My oldest child, like many firstborns, was born with an independent streak. And it was my job as her mom to help her channel that in positive ways—both as...
Somewhere Safe

Somewhere Safe

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. (Ps. 20:7) They wanted to live somewhere safe. So the couple facing retirement did their research. They checked out every place in the world where they thought it would be safe to...
Covetous or Contented?

Covetous or Contented?

You shall not covet. (Ex. 20:17) The desire to acquire is something that seems to be natural to all God’s creatures. Birds have an innate desire to collect grass, straw, sticks, even mud in order to build a nest where they can lay their eggs and raise their...