Hope creates tension. It inserts a longing for a future reality that is totally secure but not yet accessible. Because our hope is not yet realized.Read More
Rebuke stings. But it also corrects and redirects, and we’re right to respond wisely.Read More
Truth is always good. No matter how harsh it feels. Truth always liberates. No matter how restrictive it seems. And therefore, truth is always worth embracing, celebrating, and proclaiming. It is for this reason that I am delighted to sign the Nashville Statement and proclaim it with joy! Because it is always a good time for truth.Read More
For as long as I’ve been in church, I’ve known that sexual sin is a guy's struggle. Lust, sexual fantasies, pornography, masturbation. These were all things common to man, not common to woman. But the truth is lust is a temptation common to humanity, not just men.Read More
Whole Foods, a high end grocery store, printed this on their brown paper bags: "Buy Goods, Not Bads." A follow up design stated: "Feed your better nature." Whole Foods isn't the first company to jump on the concept of food morality, of good and bad foods. Plenty of people are seeking to eradicate the bad foods and produce more of the good. Here's the question: is the food bad or are we bad? Does bad food corrupt our bodies, or has our sin corrupt the food?Read More
When I consider the last decade of my life, I see a series of deaths: Death of my pride through living in the shadow of my husband's giftedness. Death of my fear of conflict through divorces in my family and among friends. Death of my fear of confrontation through difficult friendships. Death of my desires through multiple miscarriages. Death of my fear of failure through situations where I could not win. Death of my hope in myself through seeing my exposed sin in high-definition focus.
Each season of dying has felt just like that—dying. The choking out of something I have loved, desired, and clung to for hope, peace, and safety. The choking out of things in me, writhing, gasping for breath and praying, "Does it have to be this way? Can't I follow You and also keep this with me? Does it really need to die?"
In God's kingdom, pruning is caring. Jesus is the true vine, His Father the vinedresser. Every branch in Jesus that bears fruit, the Father prunes that it may bear more fruit (John 15:1–2).
God's answer to my question is yes. Yes, it does need to die. It must be pruned. Without pruning, my life will become something even I don't want—an overgrown, thorny bush with no fruit to offer.Read More
Growing up as a church kid, repentance wasn't a good thing. It was like flu medication. If you got the flu, of course, it was commendable to take the medication. But even better than that was not getting sick. Avoiding sin was better than needing to repent. Goody-two-shoes that I was, this was great news. I was pretty good at obedience, at following the rule book. But sometime during those church-going years, I got a glimpse of God in His Word: His character, His beauty, His holiness. Rule-following was no longer appealing. Knowing Him was.Read More
Most stages today aren't like the ones in your old high school auditorium. A stage can be anything that creates an audience for you. Twitter and Instagram, blogs and YouTube channels, websites and books are all forms of stages. Through these online avenues, you can now create your own audience with little to no risk at all. You don't have to stare people in the eyes from your stage. It can be a stage on your own terms. In addition to the easy access to a stage, our culture celebrates audience building. Wowed by those who've made it to the top, many long to join the ranks of those vloggers and bloggers with millions of followers. But for those who follow the Jesus who taught us that true greatness is servanthood (Mark 10:43–45), is it ever okay to pursue a stage? To promote a blog? To write a book? To seek out new followers? If the stage is so dangerous for our hearts, how do we view platforms we might already have?Read More
God is unfair. Matthew 20 forces us to deal with this hard reality. Though an equitable God who treats everyone with the same favor would be easier to handle, that's not our God. Jesus makes this clear as He tells this parable.Read More
God's compassion has often been forceful. At times, his force has been the confrontation of a friend, putting before my eyes the way my sin is harmful to those around me. His force has been the perfect storm of circumstances that upon first glance seem to prove that He hates me but soon reveal that He was delivering me from self-destruction. His force has been suffering, the stripping away of everything I trusted in, leaving me with Him alone. The compassion of God seizes me by the hand and drags me out of my sin when I hesitate to flee.Read More
Repentance is the act of agreeing with God about our sin, turning from it and rejoicing in what God has done for us in Jesus. Most of our repentance is reactive. We repent primarily for the sins that are staring us in the face or the ones that others point out. And honestly, even then, sometimes we delay dealing with our sin. But what if we weren’t just reactive in dealing with our sin, but proactive? This is a trait we see in many of the godly men and women of the Bible: Josiah (2 Chron. 34), Daniel (Dan 9), and David (Psalm 139:23-24) to name a few.Read More
How can you tell the difference between a healthy and unhealthy friendship? Unlike the ingrown friendship model of the world, friendship for Jesus looks outside itself to find its purpose. Like everything else, the purpose of our friendships should center on Him. We cannot glorify God alone, we cannot live for His glory alone. We need each other!Read More
If I'm being gut-level honest, I just want to be awesome on my own and have some bit of glory for myself. I don't really like to live in the reality that apart from Christ I can do nothing. And because my Father loves me, He has set up circumstances in my life to sanctify this sinful tendency out of me.Read More
Could you live without Social Media? How many hours a day do you spend looking at news feeds and pictures? What is the result of a life of constant entertainment, connectivity, and distraction? What is the condition of the soul dulled with a steady input of mindless screen-watching?Read More
Every one of us is susceptible to falling into pride. But it is the Pharisee's religious pride that is the most dangerous because it doesn't appear prideful on the outside, instead it has the external appearance of holiness.Read More
What does it mean to be a Pharisee? How do we avoid their condemnable way of life? Here are a few identifying characteristics of these self-righteous, religious, anti-Jesus people.Read More
The love of God... is it true that it overwhelms and satisfies my soul? We sing this song and others like it with such passion on Sunday mornings, but often live a life that screams "God isn't enough for me. I need X, Y, or Z to be content, happy, and fulfilled."Read More