I've noticed myself becoming impatient with some of this year's newly published books, which seem to be running toward Christianity as a self-improvement project. Scanning the lists from publishers, it dawned on me that there's no way I can be or do or fix all the unspoken broken that populates our world, the church, or… Continue reading Embrace a Life of Restful Exertion to Counteract a Self-Help Culture
Sunday Scripture We hear the disclaimers after every major tragedy: "God had nothing to do with this! A good God would never have allowed it to happen." Trying to let God off the hook for the inexplicable and ignoring scripture's affirmation of God's sovereign control over life and death, some misguided God-followers even question the… Continue reading Are You Trying to Create God in Your Own Image?
Sunday Scripture "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God." (John 1:1) John begins his story about the life of Jesus on this planet by revealing to his readers what it had taken him nearly three long years to… Continue reading In Your Dealings with Jesus, Begin with Awe and then Move On
Sunday Scripture Why is it that the big questions float to the surface unexpectedly? It's not when I'm sitting alert with open journal and quiet mind, but rather when I'm pushing a shopping cart or a vacuum cleaner hose; when I'm mixing cookie dough or scrubbing a pot, that a face comes to mind or… Continue reading Why Does Evil Exist in the World?
He had dropped his candy cane, and the sticky surface now wore a fairly even coating of dirt and dust. Through his sobs, I could just make out the words, "Wash it, Mama!" but this candy cane had seen a lot of action. It would be far easier just to give him a fresh start.… Continue reading Make the Ultimate Christmas Gift Exchange
Whether from a desire for “authenticity” or from a mistrust of formal statements of faith, the use of creeds has fallen out of favor in many evangelical churches. However, in The Apostles' Creed: Discovering Authentic Christianity in an Age of Counterfeits, Albert Mohler—president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and TGC Council member—argues that creedal… Continue reading The Apostles’ Creed for the 21st Century
My finger hovered over the screen as I read and scrolled, the words landing like lead in my stomach. A friend had simply reported the facts: “Try this!” she chirped, her heart pure, meaning only to encourage. “It worked for me! I’ve had 300 responses in just a few hours!” I darkened the screen with… Continue reading The Glory of Being Loved and Known by God
Most days on this country hill are a blur. With every line in my planner filled, there’s also the background music of laundry and continual cleaning. In the winter, there’s a voracious wood stove; in the summer there’s a garden that needs constant attention. Stuffing a ratty t-shirt into the washer’s maw, I try not… Continue reading Celebrating the Labor and the Love
He placed one hand on the door frame, shifted his weight to one foot, and then placed the other small boot toe-down on the floor. Looking at his dad, he checked his hand position and then assumed the facial expression he deemed appropriate to the occasion, a conversation among "the guys." My grandson's imitation of… Continue reading 10 Ways to Reflect God’s Character
Sometimes, afternoon lands heavy and hard. The morning caffeine has long expired, the daily do-list looms unfinished, and it’s clear that I’m going to run out of energy before I run out of day. That’s when the brownies on top of the fridge start crooning my name. The open carton of mint chocolate chip in… Continue reading The Power of God and the Partnership of Obedience