As a Pharisee, he was among the most respected and revered among his fellow Israelites. As a student of Gamaliel, he had a top-notch religious education. As a Roman citizen and son of prominent Benjamite parents, he enjoyed much more privilege than the average Jerusalem dweller.
No doubt, he was on track for High Priest someday. He had everything going for him.
I’ve heard people say they can’t believe in a racist, misogynistic god who lets tornados, hurricanes and earthquakes destroy entire cities. Who lets so many in the world go hungry and without clean water. Who lets so many suffer. An uncaring god who turns an unsympathetic eye to mass shootings, lethal diseases, and endemic poverty.
I have to agree with them. I couldn’t (and don’t) believe in a god like that either. I believe that God is good, and that He wants nothing but good things for His creation.
But there was a time not long ago when I had forgotten all about the goodness of God. My emotional pain had wrapped me so tight that I was suffocating. There were times I literally couldn’t breathe it hurt so much, and yet the world seemed to go on like everything was fine. Read more
Ever want to give up on a long-term dream or a huge goal? Maybe it’s homeschooling or losing a bunch of weight. Maybe it’s getting that record deal or learning a new language. Whatever it is, it’s likely you’ve been bogged down in the middle.
Even if you felt sure in the beginning you were called by God, you began to doubt He ever asked you to do this thing. You might have asked yourself why you even began in the first place. I’ve been there too.
Every social media guru and marketing expert advises blog writers to stay on their chosen topic, especially avoiding topics like politics, sex, and religion, unless those subjects fit their platform. This goes double for polite conversations and mixed company.
I’m about to break the rules.
No doubt you’ve read more than you ever care to about the lewd video and personal testimonies displaying Trump’s nauseating brag fest about kissing and groping women against their will. If you’re like me, the thought of reading one more political post makes you want to hurl your phone out the window.
But here’s the thing: this isn’t about politics. I have no delusions that this post will change your mind about who you vote for November 8th. However, there are bigger issues for people who trust and follow Jesus to consider than the outcome of the 2016 election. Read more
Like so many who experienced childhood sexual abuse, Michelle grappled with feeling barely tolerated by Jesus. She writes about her journey from spiritual pauper to extravagantly loved princess, so that others, like us, can realize our role in God’s creation as prized treasures.
It’s common for those who experienced childhood abuse to feel shunned by God. We know in our heads that Jesus loves the world, but that truth never quite sinks into our hearts. As Michelle puts it, “Some girls were precious in His sight – but not me.” Read more
We live in an unjust world. No one knows this better than St. Valentine, the man for whom the holiday we’re celebrating is named.
Legend has it the priest refused to obey Roman Emperor Claudias’ decree forbidding marriages. Claudias believed more men would be willing to join the army and go off to war if they remained single. Believing Claudias’ decree to be unjust, Valentine secretly officiated weddings anyway. Read more
I still do! In our fourteen years of marriage, Doug and I credit three things for our happiness:
Prayer—out loud, together. This helps us remember who the enemy is. (Hint: it’s not your spouse.)
Date nights—we have a standing date each week on the calendar. If someone asks us to do something during that time, we truthfully say we have a prior commitment scheduled.
Marriage conferences—conferences are my favorite! Attending one with my husband makes it even better. We always learn something helpful.
Last month we attended a simulcastI Still Do conference by Dennis Rainey’s Family Life Today. In his talk, Dennis noted that he and his wife Barbara had been married for forty years, but still had fights from time to time.
I love to read. This week’s pick reminded me of a story I read two years ago. This is my tale of two stories–both well written, but two very different perspectives.
Early in January of 2014, when my own private hell broke loose in my mind, I was taking an advanced fiction writing course as a part of my bachelor’s degree requirements at Oregon State. As one of our assignments, we read “Train,” by Alice Munro.
I wrote this in my assignment: “I find in this story an interesting juxtaposition of a circular story that runs along the sides of a straight railroad track. Jackson is trying to run away, but his life keeps turning in circles, despite his horizontal trips up and down the railway train. The story essentially is about figuring out what Jackson is running away from and why.” Read more