This past Sunday, Pastor Mark Jeske’s final broadcast for Time of Grace aired. For the past 18 years, his sweet messages of God’s amazing grace first reached only hundreds, then thousands, and now millions of people.
As I watched this look-back video, I couldn’t help but reminisce. When I was in my early 20s, I joined the church where he was the pastor. I learned so much from Pastor Jeske’s messages that I started bringing my Bible to church. (What... Read More
We sat across from each other in a moment of silence. He had just shared with me some personal struggles. He was confused and looking for guidance from God in the Bible. So we talked through what the Bible says. And then he threw me a curveball. He said, “Do you think of people differently . . . you know, once you know things like this about them?”
What would you say? Do you think differently about people once you... Read More
Last week Minnesota got nailed with yet another snowstorm. Right as spring was supposed to make an appearance, the residents—who already lived through the snowiest February on record—got their hopes dashed. When Steve Patterson of Twin Cities Live talked about it on Live with Kelly and Ryan, he said, “We are broken. We are angry. We don’t like it. This is garbage. It has to stop.”
That pretty much sums up the feelings of people who have no choice but... Read More
Lent is a Christian observance that lasts for 40 days, from Ash Wednesday to Holy Week. It’s a time when Christians focus on Jesus’ impending suffering and death on Good Friday. I used to dislike Lent. I wanted to scream to my doleful church pewmates that we didn’t have to be so sad because Jesus wouldn’t stay dead for long. Basically, I wanted to skip over Lent and go straight to Easter Sunday. That is . . . until I... Read More
Faith can be so confusing, can’t it?
Maybe you’re a new believer. You know Jesus loves you and forgives you, and you’re excited to be part of his family. Still . . . you try to read the Bible that a friend gave you, but—holy moly—there’s some weird stuff in there. Other parts are so far over your head that you get overwhelmed. Maybe you have questions but aren’t sure you want to ask them out loud because you don’t... Read More
I am a doer. I love lists. Each time I cross something off, I feel a surge of accomplishment.
Last September a friend and mentor challenged me to stop doing and start being. Those were strange words for a type A personality to hear. Just be? What’s the point? What does that even mean?
In January both my parents were diagnosed with cancer. Their prognoses look good, but through this season, God has shown me what it means to just... Read More
I have a spiritual question for you—Why do many Christians pray before they eat or before going to bed?
You might say, “To thank God for daily bread” or “To be grateful for getting through the day.” Or something like that.
But I think you’re wrong (no offense).
My hunch is that the real reason many of us pray at those times (and not other equally important times) is because . . .
They are triggers.
Someone at some time... Read More
Jussie Smollett has been making headlines. In January the Empire actor said he was the victim of a hate crime. In February two men came forward and said Smollett paid them to stage the attack. Not long after that, Smollett was arrested for staging the hoax with prosecutors saying he arranged the whole thing to advance his career. In March all the charges against Smollett were dropped.
Smollett maintains his innocence. The mayor criticizes the decision. The Chicago police are... Read More
Wouldn’t it be nice if the Bible was neatly indexed to the issues of your life? It’d be great if you could turn to the right page and find out exactly what you’re supposed to do in every circumstance.
Some things are black-and-white issues. Murder, adultery, and idolatry are always bad. Loving others, honoring authority, and praising God are always good. Other issues aren’t so black and white. And the Bible doesn’t always have clear-cut answers to those sorts of... Read More
I spent my spring break chaperoning a choir trip with 50 Christian teenagers. While it meant six nights with a far later bedtime than I usually prefer, it was also a great opportunity to thank God for this awesome group—and think more about the role God has for them in his family.
Encourage them to lead now.
It’s a (grammatical) pet peeve of mine when people tell teens they are the future of the church. Every person who is in... Read More