Marveling at the Absurdity of Redemption

As Genesis 45 comes to a close, we read of Jacob being reunited with Joseph, his beloved son, and the salvation of God’s people. It’s in this marvelous chapter that we see the big picture of how God used what was intended for harm to instead deliver and preserve His people. If it sounds absurd to you, then you’re in good company. But redemption takes place in the most absurd circumstances. Why should Pharaoh have the degree of respect for Joseph that he does? Why should famine (and the inevitable death and anguish it causes for many) lead to reunion? […]

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Three Truths about Fasting

This January, many evangelical churches within my community participated in a church-wide fast. I know this because it is advertised on pamphlets, social media, and because of personal conversations with the fasting participants. I have always marveled at the concept of fasting in 21st century consumerist America. As a little girl, my church made a big deal about fasting, but I saw many participants of these fasts misinterpret the true meaning of what it means to go hungry before God. This often played itself out in “humble bragging.” For example, “I can’t go out to eat, I’m fasting,” or “Don’t […]

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Two Marks of the Gracious Life

In our last home, my 12 and 10 year-old sons shared a bedroom. They had for 9 years with a minimal amount of divisiveness. But that bedroom was also our playroom (did I mention their siblings are 3 and 1?), and also our laundry room (there’s a large closet housing our machines a few feet from their beds). So the combination of these factors and their becoming pre-teens has resulted in a few more blow-ups that are sometimes humorous. For example, my 10 year-old is aware of all of the little things that his older brother holds dear: the Rubik’s Cube […]

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The Nagging of Dread

My relationship with camping, hiking and similar forms of enjoying nature did not begin well. My Boy Scoutmaster loaded up our packs with gear and drove us out into the middle of the country 4-5 miles away from our intended campsite. “Walk straight down this road, boys, and you’ll see us waiting on you.” I made it a ways before the weight of pack brought me to tears. One of the other scouts had to take some of my weight, and he didn’t exactly do it out of kindness. We played “king of the hill” later that night and I […]

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Paul’s Top 12 Truths for the Church from 1 Timothy

Things weren’t going well for Timothy in Ephesus. Sure, Paul was a tough act to follow. But the internal pressures of pastoral ministry coupled with the external pressures of an oppressive pagan culture were a crippling burden. Aware of this reality, Paul penned what we now call 1 Timothy, a letter that serves as both a balm for the weary pastor’s soul and a rallying cry for a church that’s lost its way. In this letter, Paul gives Timothy and the church 12 powerful truths about them and their mission. Mission is our posture. I have written so that you […]

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I Hate Running.

I hate running. Not because I don’t dig the shorts. Not because I don’t want the leg strength and amazing benefits from the cardio. I just hate running. I feel terrible when I run. And yet it seems that running is all the rage where I live. Every day I see someone driving … presumably to or from the gym … with a sticker on their rear window letting me know the maximum number of miles they’ve run in some race. 13.1 26.2 And the truly obnoxious 140.6 I so loathe this pretentious display of personal achievement that I put […]

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So … How was your Christmas?

  So, how was your Christmas? To put it politely, this Christmas was not my favorite. You could have made a really funny movie with Chevy Chase and Randy Quaid with all of the shenanigans associated with our family’s Christmas this year, including that time Clark snapped having received the jelly of the month in lieu of a bonus. Yes, it was that bad. I couldn’t possibly share all of the reasons why this was such a blah Christmas for us, but I think the stories surrounding the stomach bug trouncing through our house like a boss should suffice. The […]

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Patience in Suffering

“If you think you’re that good at tennis, then walk over to the park and try and beat the backboard.” These were the words of my mother who was exasperated with both the vast amount of free time I had one summer and the utter lack of humility I had about my tennis game. I marched off in search of a victory, but returned all too shocked at my inability to keep much of a rally against the “green monster” plywood backboard. It’s a wall I would return to countless times over, and while I never won, I did walk […]

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Hush Yo’ Mouth

“Hush Yo Mouth.” To hear by 3 year-old niece say this with a deadpan stare and a mild speech impediment is one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard. And not just because of her perfect delivery: I also laugh because I know she picked up this phrase from her dad, my brother. I know I’m not supposed to laugh. For many of us, the expression “shut up” in all its forms is regarded as impolite and unacceptable. But the Bible records an instance when God tells us to shut up, and He has the right to do it! Romans […]

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Why We Lie about …

Lying can be quite convenient when we want to get something we love more than the trust we break to get it. Parenting is by far and away the grandest arena for seeing this in action. We’ve busted our kids on it many times over the past year, and discipline has varied (as has the effect of the discipline on the behavior). I recall the time my boys were asked to eat 6 baby carrots (along with the rest of their lunch) if they wanted any dessert (generally speaking, dessert is for non-whiners who either clean their plates or bravely […]

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