Though I’m not big on controversy, I aroused some when I guest blogged on a friend’s website. Ostensibly about church attendance, the underlying question was one I’ve thought about, pondered, and prayed over many times and much over the past months and years: How can I please God in my day-to-day life? Continue reading “How Can I Be Pleasing to God?”
The other day my son asked me how long ago something had happened to me. (Can’t even remember what it was right now—must be the encroaching Alzheimer’s.)
I said, “That was twenty years ago. No, wait a minute. It was THIRTY years ago. That was quick.”
“It sure was,” he said. “Ten years went by in like two seconds.”
And so it did. (Only one life, ’twill soon be past. . . .) Continue reading “Reflections on My 53rd Birthday: In the Blink of an Eye”
“So what do you mean by gospel?”
My friend was taken aback by my question. She had just been talking about the importance of living a gospel-centered life, based on the transforming power of the gospel.
But I had been feeling some concern that gospel is becoming more and more of a buzzword Continue reading “Should My Life Be Centered Around the Gospel?”
. . . and I want to do that more, especially important books that for some reason or other are failing to receive enough notice. I think there are probably other readers like me, who before buying a book want to read the Amazon review. So there needs to be one on the page! Continue reading “I Reviewed a Book on Amazon: Free and Fulfilled”
My daughter Katy was sick, really sick. It was four days before her wedding.
We were in the middle of all kinds of wedding preparations, and Katy lay on the couch moaning in disbelief that she was about to get married. And her eyes were turning yellow. Continue reading “Lean Hard”
My daughter is getting married, and she wants to wear a veil. In front of her face.
She knows that veils aren’t that common nowadays. It’s probably because at some point people thought that since their faces wouldn’t show up in the photographs, the pictures wouldn’t be good, so it wouldn’t be worth it.
But the symbolism of the veil hiding the bride’s face, the veil that the groom has to turn back in order to kiss her . . . that symbolism is rich with meaning.
He can now, as her husband, enter a place where he was never allowed before. Now things are different. Now he is welcome. And her eyes will say to him, “Come.”
I remember with crystal clarity a day twenty-one years ago, when this same daughter was two. We sat snuggled together in the big green armchair while I told her Bible stories. I was talking about a different veil. I pointed to the picture of the shocked priest, watching the veil of the temple being ripped from top to bottom.
Tears came to my eyes as I explained the symbolism of the tearing of the veil and what that meant Jesus had done for us on the cross: that now we can enter a place, in the presence of God, where we were never allowed before.
Little Katy stared up at me with her solemn eyes. She didn’t understand, but that was okay. I understood it better than ever.
This morning our pastor will be preaching about the rending of the temple veil, the shockingly beautiful symbolism springing out of and accomplished by the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on the cross.
This is the picture of our bold and joyful entrance into the very presence of God, a place we were never allowed before.
Everything is different. Now we are welcome into His very presence.
Now He says to us, “Come.”
Charles Dickens loved England. Because of this love, he felt a deep sense of urgency to help his homeland change in important ways. He wanted people to care about the poor, to care about orphans, and to arise from their complacency.
While his contemporary George Mueller worked for change by trusting God and starting an orphanage, Charles Dickens worked for change by writing books. Continue reading “Writing About Triumph Like Charles Dickens”
You probably know people who have said, essentially, “I know I ought to pray, because the Bible says I should, but if God is going to do His will anyway, why is it important?”
Yes, prayer is about seeing God’s will done. But really, it’s about so much more. Continue reading “So What’s the Point of Prayer?”
Teaching English as a Second Language has taught me something about English: There are loads of rules. People from other countries who just have to learn the rules and then all the rules about the rules (meta-rules?) can feel utterly overwhelmed with the complexity of the language we speak naturally. They can even become resentful. They could wish that English were their first language, but of course that cannot be.
But if you grew up in a home where English is spoken all the time, and spoken correctly, then it will seem natural, and the rules will come easily. In fact, you’ll be able to intuit rules you’ve never even heard. “Oh yes, I see. I thought so.” Continue reading “Lessons from Teaching English as a Second Language”