God Does Not Despise the Small Things

March 24, 2022

Zechariah 4:10 says, “Who despises the day of small things?” Indeed, everything we do is a very small thing. 

The Lord asks this rhetorical question of Zerubbabel, who led the rebuilding of the Jerusalem temple around 530 B.C. The Hebrew exiles were returning from Babylon, which was very good. What they returned to was an absolute disaster, which was not. The temple was unrecognizable to those who witnessed its former glory. Zerubbabel and his motley band of not-always-reliable volunteers would work at its rebuilding for “the day,” which turned out to be one day out of the twenty years it took to complete. 

This is Meekness

March 17, 2022

A person’s ride usually tells you something about that individual. A minivan suggests that it is probably driven by a family man—a family man with a big family. A hot hatch with nice alloys and the suspension lowered perhaps indicates that it belongs to a young person. A pickup truck is almost certainly driven by someone intensely practical. An elegant European saloon, in pristine condition, probably points to a late-middle-age driver who has taken early retirement and washes his pride and joy at least twice a week. A person’s ride usually tells you something about that person. That is exactly what we find in Matthew 21:1–11 with Jesus:

Love Goes Outside the Comfort Zone

March 10, 2022

On a very (very) hot Sunday morning, my family was driving to church when we saw a car stopped in the center of the road.

There was plenty of room to nudge around it and keep going as plenty of vehicles did, but my husband pulled our minivan behind the stalled car and turned the ignition off. Stepping onto the hot pavement, he made his way over to where a man was bent over the open hood.

With our engine (and therefore, air conditioning) turned off, our van became an instant sauna. I noticed the rest of the stalled car’s occupants standing nearby in the shaded grass of the ditch, so I suggested to my children that we join them.

I Love You, But I Don’t Like You: When Liking Your Teammate is Hard

March 3, 2022

I can’t deal with that one.
He just rubs me the wrong way.
She gets on my nerves.
I can’t vibe with them.

Have you ever said these words about a teammate? I know I have.

Before we get carried away, this is not about the gift of discernment or vexation of spirits. I am aware of those things. But, this is about a person who lives for the Lord, but your personality and their personality clash. Why?

Broken Hallelujahs

February 24, 2022

Recently I was listening to Leonard Cohen’s popular song, Hallelujah, which is often played around the holidays. As I listened, I was struck by the phrase “broken hallelujah.” It made me think about how in weakness and suffering our praises to the Lord are often imperfect and broken. 

A Godly Life in Christ: Suffering with Jesus

February 17, 2022

“All who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” – 2 Timothy 3:12

Suffering Learned 

The apostle Paul lowered his eyes as the words came rolling off his tongue. After a few moments, the amanuensis lowered his pen and scroll, waiting in silence. Apart from the crackling of the fire, Paul’s prison cell was eerily quiet. For some time, he remained in silent contemplation, occasionally glancing out of the window into the cloudless night sky. 

3 Ways to Clear Your “Soul Clutter”

February 10, 2022

There is a living home within you.

Whether stately and beautiful, expansive and serene, or dilapidated and in disrepair, cluttered and chaotic—it’s often hard to detect your own setting for lack of visibility.

It’s actually quite rare that someone doesn’t have what I call soul clutter—that white noise of other’s opinions, stories we tell ourselves to cope, lies we’ve believed or agreed with, unregulated emotions, or pain that has become paralyzing. It’s also quite difficult to deal with the resulting chaos because we either cannot map a way beyond the clutter or we are too afraid to journey into the thick of it.

Social Media and Christians: How to Give Good Faith Answers

February 3, 2022

In a June essay, celebrated Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie mourned the decline of good-faith conversation, especially online. The post, titled “It Is Obscene,” promptly went viral.

“There are many social-media-savvy people who are choking on sanctimony and lacking in compassion, who can fluidly pontificate on Twitter about kindness but are unable to actually show kindness,” she wrote.

I’m So Tired

January 27, 2022

At the beginning of my freshman year of high school, I was somehow persuaded to sign up for cross country. The team was known for being tight-knit and fun-loving, and though I had never been much of an athlete, I figured, “It’s just running. How hard can it be?” 

I soon found out that it was not only hard but painfully hard. I enjoyed the thrill of a short sprint, but when the distance stretched into miles, running began to feel like torture.

The Salt of the Earth

January 20, 2022

You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is not good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. – Matthew 5:13

Salt gets bad press. It is tied to hypertension, obesity, heart disease, and other ailments. The need for salt is questioned. The use of salt is discouraged. The presence of salt on many tables is more decorative than anything else. However, this was not the case when Jesus announced to his disciples, “You are the salt of the earth.”