If Paul Were Your Pastor

Caricatures are hard to shake. Once people have an image of someone indelibly printed in their minds, not even the facts can dislodge it. If I showed you a picture of Jenna Fischer, you’d probably call her “Pam Beasley” because of your familiarity with one of the greatest sitcoms ever, “The Office” Will Smith will always be “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” (though “Enemy of the State” was pretty convincing) Harrison Ford will always be Han Solo or Indiana Jones (a rare double typecast) Christopher Reeve will always be Superman Jennifer Anniston will always be Rachel on “Friends” Emma Watson […]

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The Bible is not a Social Media News Feed

INFOBESITY. Macmillan dictionary defines it as “the condition of continually consuming large amounts of information, especially when this has a negative effect on a person’s well-being and ability to concentrate.” In layman’s terms, it’s when you can’t help but pull up a news or gossip site while working on the computer, likely over and over again any given hour. “News” articles that have no bearing on the quality of your life somehow become important and entertaining—stories like Wendy’s huge chicken nugget crisis or Rodrigo Alves’ 58th cosmetic surgery. What is wrong with me? Why are stories like this getting and […]

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I’m Not Short—I’m Fun-Sized

If you had any experience in church as a child, you likely sang a catchy little song about Zacchaeus. Zaccheus was a wee little man and a wee little man was he. But the short-statured semite had a bigly idea: He wanted to see Jesus. 4 So running ahead, he climbed up a sycamore tree to see Jesus, since He was about to pass that way. One of my (petite) mother’s favorite songs when I was a child was “Short People Got No Reason to Live” by Randy Newman. “They got little hands and little eyes, and they walk around […]

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Winter is Over

The winter is over. March 20th marked the official day of spring. The remains of snow have melted in our backyards. Ice is merely a memory on the highways. The biting nip of frigid temperatures has relaxed into a warm, humid bliss. We don’t have to wear our jackets anymore. We don’t have to wear a scarf or put on gloves. I have to wash my hair because it’s too hot for a beanie. My pale legs can invite the sun. I much prefer autumn’s leaves, harsh weather, and the playfulness of snowfall. I love bundling up. I like hiding […]

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The Best Parenting Decision We’ve Recently Made

How much “screen time” do you give your kids? That is, how many hours a week of television do you allow? Do they have a tablet or smartphone, or at least regular access to one? Our 3- and 1-year-old will watch a kid show every now and then, officially they have no screen time other than in the car when Mom or Dad need some solitude. By my 11- and 12-year-old boys … this is increasingly a struggle. Each have friends who have their own phones, tablets or portable gaming devices. They, too, have their own tablets thanks to the […]

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This Kind of Naked Truth is Almost Too Much to Bear.

Show up at my house between 6:30 and 7:00 PM, and you show up during bath time for my 3 year-old daughter and 1 year-old son. Well, most nights. This is almost always a shared experience. That is, they bathe together. Warm water, extra bubbles, bath-friendly toys, and an engaged parent to police horseplay usually make for a great experience. There is no talk (yet) of their anatomical differences, and there is no desire to hide their bodies after they dry off on the bath mat. Arguably, the best part of bath time is the opportunity to run naked room […]

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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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