Of all the questions God might ask me, one in particular fills me with dread. It’s important. It’s crucial. In fact, it might be the most penetrating, vital question of all. But because my potential answer reveals so much about me, because it makes me feel naked emotionally and psychologically and spiritually, I’m afraid to respond. And, I suspect, you are too.
He was 30 years old. A good head on his shoulders. A fine education under his belt. He was what we today might call a millennial with a Master’s degree and upward mobility. He paid the bills as a highly gifted public speaker who kept his audience on the edge of their seats.
In the Halloween dusk, our front porch began to swarm with heroes and heroines. Captain America stood proud, resplendent in red, white, and blue. Spiderman dropped by. And an adorable little Wonder Woman graced us, too.
In churches that celebrate the Reformation, we usually hear this verse thrown about at the annual religious shindig: “The righteous shall live by faith.” It’s a compact little creed. A good word.
If our prayers were hooked up to a polygraph during certain seasons of our lives, we’d be revealed as liars.
We cannot rush through sorrow. Walking through pain and loss and grief is like walking through water—slow, hard, and exhausting. It takes time. And it takes a toll on us. We feel trapped in confusion, surrounded by chaos.
At twenty minutes till nine, on the day she was to be married, Miss Havisham received a letter from her fiancé that hijacked the rest of her life. He was standing her up at the altar. And, in that moment, she chained herself to the past.
If we make a list of the moments in our lives that have shaped us as individuals, our list will comprise good and bad things we’ve done. On the “Good List” might be getting married, having children, earning a degree. On the “Bad List” might be going through a divorce, betraying a friend, getting a DWI. Things we do, actions we take, alter the course of our lives. They shape us (and sometimes warp us) into the people we’ve become.
We tend to forget that man’s very first action was not to build a house, plant a garden, or even worship God. His first responsibility was to interact with animals. God formed ravens and eagles, elephants and dogs, every living creature, paraded them before Adam, and gave him the authority to name them.
A couple of weeks ago, a friend of my children sat down next to Matthew McConaughey on a flight from San Antonio to L.A. There they were, a regular gal and the Hollywood heartthrob, inches away.
When we invite people into our lives, we show them the architecture of our hearts. We take them on a tour of our bedrooms of love, kitchens of pleasure, and family rooms of joy. They are sunlit and smiling places. We’re not ashamed to show them off.
In 1907, when young Adolf was sipping a cup of coffee outside a corner shop in Vienna, he wasn’t plotting how he could murder six million Jews. He was pondering his next watercolor painting, dreaming about becoming an artist.
My friend, Tullian Tchividjian, and I co-wrote the following article, which was posted on his website yesterday (August 16, 2018). Here's the introduction, followed by a link to the full article.
If we’re going to raise well-adjusted children who have a shot at doing well in the world, having healthy relationships, and avoiding the toxic temptations of this life, then a good first step is to stop trying to boost their self-esteem.
In today’s list of rules for relationships, “Don’t Settle” ranks close to #1. A quick search will yield thousands of articles, books, and (of course) memes that warn against this pitfall. “4 Reasons Not to Settle in a Relationship.” “9 Signs You’re Settling in a Relationship.” They all beat the same drum.
When we got home from church, Mom would walk in the front door, pull on her apron, and go to work in the kitchen. A little while later, we’d all take our places at the table for the Sunday meal. It might be chicken fried steak. Or baked lasagna. Or hamburgers.
I have a challenge for us modern parents, especially the American variety: let’s stop lying to our children.
Despite 21 centuries worth of trying to tame Jesus into a good-ole-boy savior who walked around the holy land flashing his pearly whites while he did good stuff for people, anyone who’s actually read his story knows that’s as wrong as wrong can be.
When a big change happens in our lives, it takes some time for us to get used to whatever the “new normal” might be.