I’ve heard it many times and from the most unexpected sources: “I try to read the Bible, but . . . it doesn’t seem to say anything to me. I don’t understand what I’m reading. It doesn’t help me, so I end up quitting . . “ Set this response beside David’s from Psalm 119:… Continue reading So You Want to Be Relevant? Commit to Taking God at His Word!
Sunday Scripture The woods behind my house is waking up. Sprigs of green are shooting their way up through last year's matted carpet, and swollen buds hint that my view is about to change from grey to vibrant. I never tire of this transition from death to life. God has crafted an infinitely varied range… Continue reading Have You Ever Been Inspired to Praise God for His Creativity?
Christians, even the most devout, have an uneasy relationship with the Old Testament. We rhapsodize over the psalms and spin heroic tales from Israel's hall of fame, but to be honest, we're queasy over discussions of slavery, God-sanctioned Canaanite slaughter, the exclusion of women from worship spaces, and all manner of bizarre customs. We're far… Continue reading Do We Still Need to Know the Ten Commandments Today?
Sunday Scripture On the first Sunday after the first full moon following the first day of spring, it's a pretty sure thing that we'll be having ham for dinner. When it comes to Easter, don't confuse the arbitrariness of the celebration's timing with the laser focus of its purpose. Easter is a celebration of resurrection.… Continue reading The Startling Difference the Resurrection Makes in Your Following Life
The number of plates on my dining room table had been a constant so dependable that I could set the table on auto-pilot. Often the number would swell to account for guests or shrink when one of us was visiting elsewhere. However, the ebb and flow always had a fixed point of return–until it didn’t.… Continue reading Holding On, Letting Go, and Doing the Work of Loving Your Empty Nest
Sunday Scripture By their narrowed eyes and over-the-shoulder glances, the sixth-grade boys made it very plain that they did not appreciate my presence in the classroom, especially since I was standing behind them where I could see their laptop screens and monitor their conversation. I was "just a substitute teacher" in the room, but my… Continue reading Is Jesus Welcome to Make Another Palm Sunday Entrance?
I am working my way through a hymnal at the rate of one per day, reading the lyrics, trying to hear them over the roar of familiarity that dulls all meaning. I'm making note of the most vivid words in my journal, and am continually astonished at the treasures I am uncovering: "From the best… Continue reading The March Book Talk Where Smart People Read While We Wait for Spring
Sunday Scripture When I am serving as a substitute teacher, I'm often intrigued by the books I find sitting on the desktops of the teachers I am helping. Sometimes there is even time for me to skim a chapter or to scan the table of contents and to be inspired. On a middle school math… Continue reading When Obstacles Become Part of Your New and Good Story
In the dark, in the car, hands on the steering wheel, I sighed in frustration. “I can’t do this anymore,” I said out loud, startling myself with the fierceness of my tone over the sound of the car’s heater. On that frigid January night, I was brittle with fatigue and hollow with disappointment. I had… Continue reading What Is Your Reference Point for Success in Ministry?
Sunday Scripture Did you remember to spring forward today? Every year when we "spring forward" and go around the house setting all our clocks ahead one hour, I lament the disappearance of that hour of sleep or productivity. I know... we get the hour back in the fall, but, to tell the honest truth, some… Continue reading Do You Feel As If Your Spring Forward Is Just Plain Sprung?