Guilt and Grace

The following second-hand banana story was written by my mom, Monica Burney. As she says, this story is a great reminder of how much God loves to bless His children and for me, it is also a fresh reminder that: guilt and grace are like water and oil. They don’t mix.   Satan loves to…

Secrets & Surprises

I’ve been keeping a secret. I have known for over 5 months now that I would be coming to California this November. Back in the spring of this year, Jesus had been gently but persistently suggesting to a friend of mine that they pay for a plane ticket to California for me. While I know…

Friendship & Forgiveness

The following is ripe banana story written by my amazing mom, Monica Burney. I think this is a story most everyone can relate to. We’ve all hurt and been hurt by those dear people in our lives we’ve opened our hearts to and call friends. Thanks mom, for being such a great role model of…

A Ripe Avocado

August 2nd, 2016: This morning, I was thinking to myself, “Aw, nuts! I probably won’t be able to make guacamole until the end of the year since now is not the time of year for avocados” (avocados are rather uncommon here in Sicily, or so it would seem). Then a friend comes to me this…

Exactly What I Needed

 I just met them earlier this year. A few months after we were first introduced, we were having dinner at the house of some mutual friends when we started discussing what it looks like for each of us personally to live by faith. Earlier that same day, I had a technician come to my house…

Flashing Neon Signs

Whether I am looking for a job, a car, a place to live, a church to attend, what college to go to or what ice cream to buy at the supermarket, I could thoroughly inspect all the options the world can offer but only God can see the future and knows what is ultimately best…

Ripe Flowers

Divine decorations: Last week, my sister in California asked if I would be at home Wednesday or Thursday evening of the same week. She said she had a surprise but couldn’t say what it was, only that I needed to be home. I was thinking perhaps my grandparents were coming to visit my sister and…

Rear-view Mirror

2015 is officially over. It really is amazing how much can happen and change in just 365 days. Over the past week or two, I have been thinking back over this past year, thinking of all that has happened, all that I’ve experienced, the lessons I’ve learned and all the friends and neighbors I know…

Not By Chance

Today’s Reminder of God’s Sovereignty: Today I went to Catania to pick up my new visa document. Or at least that was my plan in going to Catania. This document has been ready for several weeks and after two other failed attempts to go to Catania earlier this week, today was going to be the…

A Banana Named Mo

Mo, the family dog of one of my good friends from high school, recently died. Dave and his wife, Julie, acquired Mo almost 10 years ago. The day Mo died, Dave wrote a poignant tribute which he posted on Facebook. In his tribute, Dave shared the story of how he and Julie found Mo. It…

Of Packages & Party Dresses

Does God really care what I wear to my birthday party?  (written August 2015) This last week I turned 33. A week before my birthday, I found myself at a nearby shopping mall looking for a light fixture for my dining room. As I was passing by one clothing store after another, I had the…

A House-sized Banana

Below is a story written by my dear friend, Jen, about the large bunch of ripe bananas she and her husband, Chris, received last year. You can read more about Jen and Chris and how they met and married in the ripe banana story from April 2013: (Why) Fridays Are the Best Day of the Week…