I love everything about a good mystery novel--anticipating the protagonist's brilliance and bravery, the twists and turns of the plot, and the intrigue of the unknown. (Persevere to the end for a review of my most recent mystery read!) Because it's such a popular genre, when the word mystery shows up in the Bible, sometimes… Continue reading Have You Read Any Good Mysteries Lately?
Take Courage from the Power, Majesty, and Authority of God
I can’t think of a thing more discouraging than being defined by what I am NOT. Of course, the list is long, and for most of us, that list is freighted with a fair amount of disappointment, squandered opportunity, or even just plain failure. In his letter to the church he planted in Ephesus, Paul… Continue reading Take Courage from the Power, Majesty, and Authority of God
Embrace a Life of Restful Exertion to Counteract a Self-Help Culture
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
Are You Trying to Create God in Your Own Image?
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?
In Your Dealings with Jesus, Begin with Awe and then Move On
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
Why Does Evil Exist in the World?
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?
Make the Ultimate Christmas Gift Exchange
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
The Apostles’ Creed for the 21st Century
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
The Glory of Being Loved and Known by God
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
Celebrating the Labor and the Love
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