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Category: Faith

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…

My Big Plan To Reduce Stress in 2015

I’ve been a little stressed lately. I know because my body tells me: -I have a consistent and annoying pulse in my right eye. -According to my dentist, I tense my jaw at night and need to purchase a mouth guard asap (sexy). – During a massage–the second massage I’ve ever had in my life—the masseuse told me I have some of the most tense muscles she has ever felt. I told her about my mouth guard, and she told me, “That’s great, but you should really just fix your problems.” Point is, I’m…

Why We Create Out of Brokenness

I’m in a women’s class at my church on Thursday mornings. We’re studying the book Waking Up Grey, which is all about waking up your creativity. As I sat in class last week, I looked around and noticed several women crying. They were just sitting there, letting tears run down hardly wiping them away. They looked like the broken kind of tears. You know what I’m talking about? The times that you cry at little to no prompting but you can’t stop it because you just feel mushy inside and like nothing is working…

2015: No More Clean Slates

The phrase “a clean slate” is kicked around a lot this time of year. People are encouraging others and themselves to forget the heartache or mistakes or tragedies of last year and begin anew. A clean slate. It sounds so crisp. So freeing. So beautiful. So…clean. But I’m beginning to wonder, is a clean slate actually possible? And even if it were, is it desirable? To start anew and forget last year, as if it never happened? I walk into 2015 dragging a heavy, messy, embarrassingly dirty slate behind me, and I think I’ve been under-appreciating…

A Christmas Reminder for Perfectionists

This weekend I attended The Gift of Christmas–a night of spoken-word poetry and music with Ann Voskamp, Amena Brown and Ellie Holcomb. I expected the Christmas songs and the candles and for the word “advent” to be thrown around a few times, but I didn’t expect to be so moved by it all. I like Christmas, but I’m not a fanatic. I don’t want to get all excited about something that will last only one day. I think it’s a self-preservation thing. Anyways, that’s why I didn’t expect much more…

He Fights for You

Have you ever learned something about God for the first time and then suddenly, that same lesson is everywhere? It’s like God is saying, “You’re going to really learn this.” Lately, the scripture “The Lord will fight for you” is everywhere for me. It’s all over the Old Testament (like Ex. 14:14 and Deut. 1:30) in stories I’ve read a million times. God keeps telling his people that, that He will fight for them. It’s a beautiful promise and important for us to remember. This Sunday at my church here in Nashville, we…

Do You Worship Your Worship Experience?

I sat in a church I’d never been to on Sunday. It was different from the churches I typically attend for a few reasons. It was much smaller. It didn’t start on time. It was a different denomination. And the big one, the demographic, as far as social class and age, varied greatly, and I wasn’t in the majority. I was there with a friend who sat by me and explained that this church happens 24/7. Sure, they have a Sunday service, he said, but Sunday service is a very small part of this church…

Pastors, You’re Doing a Great Job

  I’m the only member of my immediate who has never worked in full-time ministry. My little sister, her husband, my dad and my older sister’s husband have all been in or are in full-time ministry. By default, my older sister and mom have also practically been on the church staff full time, as ministers’ wives will understand. Because of this, I’ve observed a lot about pastors and their jobs and their lives. Part of the reason I’m not in full-time church work is because I know it is very very hard and…