My husband and I will celebrate our anniversary soon. Honestly, we’ve gotten along remarkably well, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have things to work on.
Over the course of our 19 years, near miraculously, I have learned how to tell him my concerns without crying. But you know what? I still need to work on being clear about my requests. Thankfully, he covers my flaws by having (sort of) learned to read my mind. This ridiculous exchange clearly demonstrates... Read More
Hi, my name is Mike, and it has been eight years since I last purchased a video game.
If that reminds you of something you’d hear at a recovery meeting, that’s exactly what I meant by it. Because I am in recovery from my daily habit of video gaming.
I grew up in the classic age of games. From Frogger on my brother’s Atari to Tecmo Bowl on our first Nintendo, from GoldenEye on the N64 to Oblivion on the... Read More
Have you failed miserably at something lately? You know, like marriage, your job, life?
A few months ago my pastor stopped me in the parking lot at church to tell me my youngest child was still in the building. When I got to the craft room and hurried the child out, saying, “I almost left you here!” the child responded: “Wouldn’t be the first time.” The pastor added, “Or the second.”
I’ve tried to be a good mom.
I read... Read More
John Crist is one of my favorite Christian comedians. I love his bit called “Church Hunters.” He riffs off the show House Hunters, exposing how Christians often church shop.
In this parody, a couple goes from church to church asking selfish, superficial questions about the ministry. They want to know: “Is the church casual, but not too casual.” “Is the pastor funny, but not too funny?” “Is the music contemporary, but not too contemporary?”
The video wouldn’t be so funny... Read More
I had intended to talk to you about spiritual influencers in our lives. There have been many in my life, and I know my story would not be the same without them.
Like John Parlow. A pastor radically committed to understanding culture and reaching a community. A man whose sermons made a 16-year-old me want to come to church, even when my mom couldn’t make it.
Or Daniel Deutschlander. A professor who turned freshmen into budding theologians. A Christian whose... Read More
“It’s a good life.” That’s how a friend of mine who is a pastor describes his career.
Isn’t that awesome?
At the same time, a survey of pastors found that while many pastors enjoy their calling, they still face real stressors:
84 percent say they’re on call 24 hours a day.
54 percent find the role of pastor frequently overwhelming.
48 percent often feel the demands of ministry are more than they can handle.
For the past month, people across the... Read More
Are you a godparent? Having sponsors at a baptism isn’t as common today as it used to be. And the Bible doesn’t tell us that everyone has to have godparents. So if your kids didn’t have a godfather and a godmother chosen for them at their baptisms, that’s okay.
But you can call me the Godfather. (Because I actually have a goddaughter. I also do a pretty decent Marlon Brando impersonation, but we’ll save that for another time.)
I love... Read More
Oprah. Michael Phelps. Harrison Ford. Lady Gaga. Jim Carrey. Terry Bradshaw. Ellen DeGeneres. Serena Williams. Robin Williams.
Each of these celebrities (and more!) has battled depression and has been willing to share his or her story. Scientists have studied the phenomena that show that as celebrities are willing to talk about their own mental health challenges, other people find the courage to do so too. According to the World Health Organization, depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, which... Read More
I have a number of friends who love fall. They love sweaters and bonfires and pumpkins. I struggle with dread this time of year, and after overdosing on pumpkin coffee a few years back and a long winter ahead, I have little to look forward to.
I have the same struggle with Christmas. I know some of you love walking into stores now that they’re decorating for Christmas. I can barely do Christmas music in December, and I don’t have... Read More
I thought I was just being a good Samaritan.
It was a brutally cold winter night in Wisconsin, and I was pulling out of the parking lot of a Mexican restaurant when I saw a woman shuffling down the sidewalk, hunched over and freezing.
I rolled down the window of my toasty Saturn SL2 and asked, “You okay?”
“No,” her teeth chattered. “My car broke down at that gas station.”
“Can I give you a ride home?” I offered.
“That... Read More