The Joy of Glory

Discovering endless joy in the boundless glory of God…

Category: Guest Blogger

Belly of This Fish

*During Lent various members of Shades Valley Community Church are writing reflection poems as we journey through the book of Jonah. The following  poem was written by Danny Delgado and inspired by Jonah 2:1-10.

At my lowest point you find me –
Though I’ve been brought to this low by my own accord.

As Paul says, who will save me from this death?
Because we all know I chose to lay my head in this desert.

For it has been your heart of grace that has angered me,
And it has been your heart of grace that has saved me.

See…there is no end to your love.
No ceiling and no floor.
How can I choose who deserves your grace?
No one has before.

But see…like a good father you met me here.
In the place I’m enslaved, full of fear.

See no one can out run your pursuit.
None can wish.
Whether it’s the heat of the fire,
Or the belly of the fish.

Yet still there you hear my cry and rescue.
Grace is a person.
It’s you.


When God Is Quiet and the World Is Loud

This post was written by Kaitlyn Bouchillon and first appeared on

My throat is in that tight, choking grip that comes when you’ve just cried or are holding back the tears.

It’s both/and today.

There is so much noise everywhere we turn – in the media, in Facebook feeds and Twitter streams, in classes and books and everywhere more words.

This world is loud, mighty loud, and I haven’t right known what to say.

So I’ve pulled back. I’ve laid my head down an hour earlier each night. I’ve said no to movie dates and study groups and found my way to a blanket and a quiet minute in my room. With everything spinning around, I’ve hit pause and slowed down because I’ve grown so dizzy.

If you were to sum up how you are or even just your week in one word, what would it be? You might say full, happy, overwhelming, or surprising.

I would say I’m tired.

In fact, for the past two months my word would be tired and tired again.

And so I’m here, with throat tight and bags under my eyes from nights full of nightmares. There are rarely tears and it isn’t even sadness. It’s a weight pressing down and down I drown. We can doggy-paddle for a long time, sucking in air while trying to kick and squirm and reach the shore.

It’s been dark, y’all. And it’s been noisy.

The last thing I want to do is add to the noise, but as I sat on this Sabbath Sunday, homework put away and mind focused on the sermon this morning, I felt compelled to write where I’m at before telling you what I’ve seen.

There are questions and walls up and doubts I don’t know how to put words to, but there is a certainty and an assurance of Who He is. His goodness hasn’t gone anywhere.


He doesn’t abandon His people. He does not walk away. He does not un-choose us. He does not, He does not, He does not.

Sometimes the enemy attacks and we are left wounded and bleeding – but He is Healer.

Sometimes there isn’t an explanation for it – but we know He hasn’t gone anywhere.

And I’ll be honest with you, “it happens to the best of us” is both trite and inaccurate. Because sometimes it just plain happens and it’s just plain hard. It can feel like a season of groping in the dark, hands straight out in front of you, searching aimlessly for the light switch.

But this is what I know and this is what I am sure of:

He is the light of the world.

Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” John 8:12 NLT

What the enemy means for evil can be turned for our good. It will be turned for our good. He is always Faithful.

This morning I gathered with my people, the church it took me almost two years to find, the Body that feels like home. I listened, my heart beating fast, as our pastor tackled the tough question “Can I lose my salvation?”

Listen, let me make this clear: I am not doubting my salvation. I know I am His beyond a shadow of a doubt. But boy am I thankful for a pastor who doesn’t shy away from the hard conversations!

You can listen to the full sermon here [likely to be updated tomorrow with today’s sermon], but as he spoke of the covenant God made to His people I was struck by this promise-keeping, all-knowing, forever-loving God.

In the Old Testament, the most secure covenant was a blood covenant. This would be made by splitting animals in half and laying them in two rows. Then, the two people entering the covenant would grasp hands and walk between the animals together. It sounds gross and absolutely disgusting because it is.

But it was meant to signify that if one person didn’t uphold their side of the covenant, they were saying “may it be done to me as it was to these animals.” When God entered into the covenant with Abram, He put Abram to sleep before making the covenant.

God promised both sides of the bargain. In His promise-keeping, all-knowing, forever-loving way, He knew that we would never be able to keep our promise. We would fail, we would falter, and we would never uphold our side. The penalty would be ours to pay.

And so God promised. Both sides. And then He paid the penalty.

Jesus came, His body broke, and the veil was split in two. He broke so that all things could be made new.

He is a promise-keeping God to a promise-breaking people.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. John 1:5 NLT


He is working in each season, even when the world is noisy and He feels like a whisper. That still, small voice is present and active. We are more than conquerors in Christ, through Christ, with Christ.

You are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9 NLT

Hold on, friend. Hold on to what you know is true in the light when you can not see it in the dark.And if there comes a time when your grip loosens and you feel yourself falling, rest in knowing this promise-keeping God has got you tight and sure.

And now to him who can keep you on your feet, standing tall in his bright presence, fresh and celebrating—to our one God, our only Savior, through Jesus Christ, our Master, be glory, majesty, strength, and rule before all time, and now, and to the end of all time. Yes.

Jude 1:24-25 The Message

This post was written by Kaitlyn Bouchillon and first appeared on

Stories of Transformation…Mike

*On Sunday July the 6th, three stories of transformation were shared within our worship gathering at SVCC. These are true stories that come from the lives of people within our faith family. I will be posting all of these beautiful testimonies of the transforming power of Jesus this week. Below is the third of the three. To hear the story read click here.

I remember the day I knew I had to stop drinking.  I looked in the mirror and hated what I saw.  I was disgusted with myself.  I had sworn as a youngster that I would never end up this way… unable to stop.  Everyone I knew drank.  Everyone.  We drank when we were happy, when we were sad, at the end of the work day, to celebrate the good things in life, to drown out the bad.  It was a way of life, and I enjoyed the ride. But eventually…  the ride wasn’t fun anymore.  Life just stopped working, and I didn’t want to be the person I was with a drink in my hand.

But every day was the same.  I put the same stake in the ground: No more drinking.  But the struggle continued.  Eventually I walked into an AA meeting, trying to find the help I needed.  I tried everything I knew to try, sure that I had it in me to stop this train wreck from happening.  At some point during this struggle, I became aware that I now really believed in God, believed in Someone who could help me.  I cried out to him over and over to help me stop, pleading with Him to show up, to help me….   He did.  He showed up.  I had tried and tried and tried…. and in an instant, it was gone. I woke up with no desire to drink.  How did this happen? How??

Life definitely worked better without the constant struggle of alcohol on my mind.  Life was running like a well oiled machine – everything working as it should.  Things were good at home and at work.  My business was growing, and I knew that God had done something significant in me.  Life was better, and I knew God was real.  There were times that I could feel God so deeply, and He would speak to me.  I knew he was real.  Life was good, but there was something still missing…. I couldn’t put my finger on it…

I walked into the room full of people I didn’t know… looked around and knew something was different here.  These people were mourning the loss of a good friend and member of the family, and yet they had hope.  What they had was enticing…  And then I met David, the man who would lead me into the truth that would turn my world upside down.  This group of people had gathered to honor the life of my brother in law.  My wife and I had traveled to Dallas to be a part of this gathering, but little did I know that in the midst of remembering his life… I would find mine.

It had been seven years since God had miraculously taken away my need to drink.  I know it was God, but that day in Dallas it was literally like scales fell from my eyes.  I saw things I had never seen before!  I understood things I had never understood before! Because David was willing to sit with me, ask questions, learn about my life, and then tell me about Jesus, I found new life that day!  It was like I had discovered a gold mine!  While I had been trying to change my life from the outside, David  talked about how Jesus changes men from the inside out.  I now understood that the Son of God had become a man so that men could become sons of God, and this understanding changed everything!  I left Dallas in love with Jesus Christ.

It was revolutionary, and I went home a new man.  I didn’t know how to tell my family of the changes happening in my heart and mind.  Jesus was all I thought about from the time I woke up to the time I went to bed.  I couldn’t stop thinking about Him… and I wanted my family to experience all of this new life.  I know God’s desire was to capture us all, and that’s exactly what He did.  We were caught up in his love and all the goodness that he had for us. Again, life was good…

But I was not prepared for the coming years… I met Jesus in 2006 and by 2008, things were going downhill – and fast! My business – the one that had been doing so well – just collapsed.  Collapsed.  I was devastated… but with each year, things got worse, until finally in 2012 we lost everything.  The house that we called home – it had been in our family for over 50 years – was a part of that everything.  I was devastated… just wanted to crawl inside a hole and disappear. And the worst part – I just didn’t understand.  When I met Jesus, I turned everything over to him, trusting Him with my life, my livelihood, my family,  my belongings.  My life was different because I had encountered Jesus, and I just didn’t understand why he had taken everything away from us.

I still don’t fully understand why.  But I trust Him.  And I know he’s good.  From the day everything started going downhill, I felt Him with me.  And he’s still here.  He knew I had a tendency to try to do things on my own, to rely on my own ability to figure things out and make my way in this world.  And it seems He’s chosen a path for me that demands my complete reliance on Him.  I believe He’s using this for my good and that he really does have a purpose in this, and I guess that’s what faith is, knowing deep down that God is who he says he is, that he’s good like he tells us he is, and that he sees us.

Fifteen years ago, all I knew to ask for was help with my drinking problem, but He gave me so much more… He has been healing me ever since, in spite of myself.

My name… is Mike Wingo.
Story: Mike Wingo
Writer: Ashley Armistead
Reader: Andy Gotshall

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