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Category: Faith

Who Is God to You, Really?

We all paint pictures of God. Over the years, we gather some information here, some scripture there, some thoughts from a pastor here and, subconsciously, we put them together and piece them in such a way that they make up our God. Our own little personal mosaics of who God is, to us. As we live, this mosaic changes. I lived a few years with a nice, pretty picture of a young God who was my friend. Then, it was the old man – grandfather – Santa Clause hybrid God. And most popular these days, a more stern God who…

The Lie That You Can Always Be Better or More

Last Monday night I set my alarm for 5:30am to get up for a 6am workout class. My plan was to go to that class, then come home, shower, get ready, go to to work and then go to an afternoon meeting. This was my Tuesday plan. What happened instead? Well, Monday night I couldn’t sleep because I was having one of those can’t-shut-your-brain off kinda nights, so when 5:30am rolled around, I hadn’t been asleep long enough to be functional at 6am. I eventually rolled out of bed around 7am and…

Feeling Bent. Feeling Broken.

Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but – I hope – into a better shape.  – Charles Dickens I spent about 26 years of my life feeling pretty good about myself. I was always a good student. I didn’t get in too much trouble in my teen years. I was active in my church, and in my community. I went to grad school. I worked out regularly and tried to eat healthy most of the time. I had a…

When Church Is the Cause of Your Hustle

Last week I was feeling irritable. I was busy. I had a lot of things to do and places to be and I didn’t like it. My soul wanted to rest. You know that feeling? When you realize you crammed a few too many things onto your calendar for the week and you feel the pull? The pull between being committed to things and not wanting to do them at all? I don’t have scientific evidence to support this, but I would hypothesize that church people tend to feel this more than non-church people because church people…

Six Tips for Navigating Your Twenties (+ a Giveaway!)

Winners of the All Groan Up giveaway are… Leslie Wood Beverly Vance Missy Mutchnik Send me your address via my contact page or PM. CONGRATULATIONS! A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about an article I had read that inspired me to embrace this unknown season of life I’m in, rather than run from it. I tweeted about the article and because social media, I ended up virtually meeting the author, Paul Angone. Turns out, Paul has just written a book all about navigating the shaky, weird decade that is your twenties. The book is All Groan…

When Life Is Shaky, Weird and Hard, But Good at the Same Time

    I’ve moved a lot since college. Almost every year in fact. From apartment to house to condo to another house. It’s the typical transient life of the twenty-something, I suppose. Though I leave a lot behind when I move—clothes, old picture frames, dishes I don’t want anymore—one thing I’ve carried with me to each new residence is a painting I bought in Paris when I was studying abroad as a junior in college. I bought it near the Seine, where vendor after vendor lines up to sell cheap artwork, postcards, calendars…

I'm Strong, But I'm Needy, Desperate and Fearful, Too

  I have an irrational fear of being in weddings. I fainted during a ceremony a few years ago when I was a bridesmaid and ever since, the thought of being a bridesmaid brings back that blurry vision, wobbly knee feeling. It’s irrational, I know. The reason I fainted in the wedding a few years back was because the wedding took place outdoors, in the Texas heat, and the ceremony was long, and, it turned out, I was sick. The perfect storm for a fainting bridesmaid. This past weekend I was a bridesmaid in another wedding. It was in…

Deciphering God’s Will (+ a Book Giveaway)

THE WINNERS ARE: Mikki Jacobs Pedre Decupe Alayne Kim k Congratulations! You will each receive one copy of The Grand Paradox. Please send me your mailing address using the contact page.  In my former life as a book publicist, I got to know a man named Ken Wytsma. Ken is an author, a pastor, a husband, a father or four girls and he founded a rather large annual gathering called The Justice Conference. One week in the cold of February, Ken and I traveled to Pittsburg, where he had some media lined up for his first book Pursuing Justice. My…

The Journey Was His Idea

We all know the story about Jesus calming the wind and the waves, right? (Mark 4:35-41) Jesus was on a boat with his disciples and then a storm came. The disciples freaked out because they were afraid the boat would capsize, and they would drown. They woke up Jesus because, yes, he had been sleeping, and Jesus told the wind and the waves to stop. “And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.” Seriously, that story never gets old for me. But the other day, I was reading it and noticed the beginning for the first…

Do You Want to Know God, Or His Game?

{This is a big question that requires much more than a blog post. Here today, I will simply examine one molecule on one piece of ice that sits at the tip top of the iceberg. A question like this deserves a book, of which I’m sure there are many.} I’ve caught myself asking “Why?” a lot lately. After a decision here, a decision there, an event here and a disappointment there, my knee-jerk reaction has been to look toward the sky and ask God, “Why?” Why did this happen? Why do I feel this way? Why couldn…