There are a lot of different ways that the Bible helps us picture Jesus, and each of those pictures teaches us something about him.
One picture of Jesus that really resonates with me is the Shepherd. I like the thought of Jesus gently picking me up, placing me over his shoulder, and carrying me safely home. I like the picture of Jesus coming after me when I’ve wandered and bringing me back to safety. And I like the fact that... Read More
I have two boys going through Bible instruction class right now, and at our church, a parent attends the evening classes along with his or her child. One night in class, we talked about the three “omnis” or the “alls” of God—if you’re not familiar, these are attributes that are unique to him only and qualify God as God:
Omnipotence—God is all-powerful.
Omniscience—God is all-knowing.
Omnipresent—God is all-present.
Our pastor asked us which one of these attributes we’d like to... Read More
A few years ago I visited a church that was passionate about prayer. So passionate that they inserted all of their church family’s prayer requests in the bulletin so their members could pray for one another throughout the week.
But as I read through the long list of over 30 prayer requests on the light-blue insert, I started to notice a pattern—Pray for his cancer. Pray for their safe travels. Thank you for her successful surgery.
After reading... Read More
To get through college, I washed windows for a wonderful Christian man named Joe. In one of our initial conversations, Joe told me, “Ben, if we’re going to work together for any period of time, we’re going to have conflict. It’s inevitable. So when it happens, let’s speak to each other face-to-face and deal with it.”
About a year later, we had a disagreement. But because we were ready for it, we talked about it, dealt with it, and moved... Read More
Not too long ago, I had a rough, restless day at church. It wasn’t the pastor’s or the musician’s or my fellow worshipers’ fault. Pretty sure it was my fault—even though I have no idea what my problem was. My mind couldn’t focus, I had a hard time listening, and I barely felt like praying along. I started to wonder if I should’ve even gone at all.
I think we all have “bad” days when it comes to faith, the... Read More
Do you know someone who’s drifted from church?
Maybe your best friend or your niece or your grandson has gone months without joining other Christians to hear God’s Word and respond in gathered worship. Maybe your heart is heavy when you see those empty Sunday seats or sparsely populated pews. Maybe you know this isn’t about church attendance; it’s about real people with real eternities who are missing a real chance to hear the real gospel from a real church... Read More
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