When we were in the military, I got really good at goodbyes. Not because they got easier, but because I got better. When I was still a rookie at the constant string of goodbyes, I wouldn’t allow myself to feel their sting. Frankly, there’s a good chance I just pretended I didn’t know it would be the last time I’d see someone and they’d get a casual, “See ya!” By the time my husband retired, I was wiser—and realized just... Read More
My father slipped into eternity on Christmas Eve 2014. He had always been a powerful influence on my life. He showed me how to be a Christian, a man, and a pastor. He always expended a great deal of energy to keep track of people, remember their names, remember their children’s and parents’ names—always showing interest in their lives. He had the gift of making other people feel important. He was a terrific speaker, both in the pulpit and classroom.... Read More
Well, are you ready for August 21? People in North America will be treated to a fairly unusual sight—a full solar eclipse. For about two and a half minutes that day the moon’s sky disk will exactly match that of the sun’s, and there will be eerie twilight in the middle of the afternoon. Everybody in the country will notice diminished sunlight, but the darkest moon shadow (“the path of totality”) will fall on a line 70 miles wide that... Read More
The “Surround Yourself . . .” memes are abundant on social media, reminding you to be around people who encourage, inspire, challenge, and support you. No one ever tells you to surround yourself with people who drag you down, take all your energy, and make you feel bad about yourself.
And as much as those Facebook philosophers’ advice seems like simple common sense, Professor Moran Cerf, a neuroscientist at Northwestern University, actually backed it up with research. He discovered that... Read More
Nothing says #momlife—or, more specifically, white middle-class suburban mom life—than a run to the store with your kid on a Thursday morning.
Last Thursday was a very normal Thursday with a very normal shopping run. I wasn’t expecting anything except the norm.
But God showed up in that place. Yes, in my local discount store.
To be clear, I do realize that God is always there. But it seldom feels that way. Intellectually, I know that God is in the... Read More
In 2006 Stanford linguistics professor Arnold Zwicky came up with the phrase “frequency illusion” to describe the phenomenon of how once you learn about or are looking for something, you start seeing it everywhere. (Some people call it the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon.)
Need examples? My family was recently looking for a used car. All of a sudden I started seeing used cars for sale on the side of the road. Or maybe you’re considering getting a tattoo, and now you see... Read More
Everybody loves Jesus’ miracle stories in the Bible. Whose heart isn’t moved by the accounts of lepers receiving clean skin, the deaf hearing music again, and the blind receiving their sight? Who is not thrilled by hearing of the three resurrections from the dead that Jesus performed? Who doesn’t love hearing testimonies of believers today whose prayers were completely and miraculously answered?
How can you not love to hear God’s promises to send his holy angels to keep you and... Read More
This week I was reading one of my favorite sections of the Bible. It might seem unusual to you, but for me it shows just how real the people of the early Christian church were.
It’s in Acts chapter 12, when “Peter was kept in prison . . .” (verse 5). And by in prison, the writer tells us that Peter was kept between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood at the entrance.
He was going nowhere.... Read More
The English language is constantly changing and morphing, and it goes where it wants to. Popular opinions shift, and so do the tools of communication. Existing words lose or change their meaning; new words erupt.
This is especially true around words used to describe human sexuality. Gay used to mean “lighthearted” or “merry.” In the traditional Christmas carol “Deck the Halls,” revelers are encouraged, “Don we now our gay apparel.” The main theme song from the TV cartoon show The... Read More
That sounds easy, right?
Or maybe it just sounds like what we should do, but we know it’s not actually what we really do. We are so easily distracted by work, family, hobbies that we often feel guilty that God has fallen to the bottom of the pile.
But what if we don’t need to change our thinking about our activities? What if we simply change our attitudes about our activities?
So often we think that our time at church... Read More