Sign up for my newsletter and get a free chapter from English Lessons! Click here.

this is a page for

Browsing Tag: community

When You Study the Bible for a Living

A few weeks ago my community group at church discussed this question: What is your relationship with scripture right now? I thought about it for a while and said, “It’s complicated. Scripture can feel like my job sometimes.” I study the Bible for a living. A lot of my freelance work over the years has been in the religious publishing sector. Right now, I contribute monthly to a women’s devotional site. I am working on a study guide for a Christian book releasing next year, and I blog weekly for a Bible study company. All of this work…

Who to Share Your Dreams With and When

I’m learning that I can’t tell everyone everything. For a long time, my habit has been to gather opinions from everyone around me when I’m making a decision or going through a difficult time and need some guidance. I remember when I started dating a guy a few weeks before Valentine’s Day. As February 14 approached, he told me he would rather not make a big deal of the holiday–too much pressure, too soon. I sort of understood his reasoning and tried not to read too much into it. However, the next day…

What’s Really Killing Your Spiritual Life?

What is the death of the church and the Christian life? I heard a pastor ask that this week, and his answer caused me to do an out-loud “hmm” – something I’m not prone to do in congregational settings, unless it’s really good. He didn’t say the death of the Christian life is not enough prayer or study. He didn’t say the death of the church was poor leadership or low attendance. No, the thing that will smother and sizzle out both the church and your Christian walk is this: Pretending. Hmm. When we, he explained…

Stop Pretending You Know What You’re Talking About

The other night I found myself in a cluster of new friends at a concert. The second band was sound-checking so we huddled together to talk about the previous band, what we thought about them, if we liked them and why, how they fit into the trend of that genre of music these days, where music was headed in general, and how everyone was starting to sound like The Black Keys. And when I say “we” talked about this, I mean that they talked about this, I said very little, and mostly listened and smiled. Because I don’t…

When We Let Friends Go

I spent this weekend wandering around a city where my good friend lives. I didn’t see him while I was there though. I actually haven’t spoken to him in a few years. We’ve lost touch and reaching out at this point would have felt strange. I was there for a music festival with another friend and as we drove, I remembered him, this friend I’ve lost touch with, and I wondered how he was. I wondered where his house was, or if I would run into him. I wondered if his family was ok and if…

The Risk of Getting to Know People

I think I’m getting worse at knowing people. What I mean is, I used to be able to ask new acquaintances endless questions about themselves. This is because I have good parents who are good at asking people questions, so I learned this from them. I’m still more of an asker and listener than a talker, but I remember after my first year out of college realizing this had gotten more difficult for me; it took more energy to keep asking questions. I blamed this on the fact I was living in England and people are less nosy…

Why Do We Love Those Who Don't Love Us Back? Part II

A little over two years ago I wrote a post entitled Why Do We Love Those Who Don’t Love Us Back? It is consistently my most-read post. When I visit my handy dandy WordPress dashboard, that tells me I haven’t written a blog post in months and 14 people viewed it last Tuesday, I see that one of the most common search terms bringing people to English Lessons is a variation of that question: Why do I love someone who doesn’t love me back? This has fascinated me for these past two years. People Google that…

How to Make Friends

I recently returned from a weekend at the seaside. I am a beach gal, though my fair skin hates me for it. And this weekend at the beach not only reminded me of my love for lying on a mound of sand and doing absolutely nothing for hours; it also reminded me of my love for lying on a mound of sand and doing absolutely nothing with friends I have come to know and who have come to know me. Friends I can be me around no matter how stinky me happens to be at the moment. I was not…