There will always be those who try to tear us down and to destroy what God has set up. Below are some thoughts on how God sustains us, as outlined in the first five chapters of Psalms. Links have been added to the verses for your convenience.
Since childhood the idea of competing against myself has always propelled me farther than the act of competing against others. Can I read a thicker book this time than I did last time? Can I write a longer, or better, story than I did last time? Can I climb higher in the tree? Can I run farther or faster during this track meet? Each personal success pushed me to attempt the next level.
Therefore, when I began reading the Bible at age 14 Continue reading
When I was a teenager, I was the one my friends always sought out for advice. I do not know if this is because they sensed a wisdom in me they did not receive elsewhere, or if it was due to the brash self-confidence in my intellect, which masqueraded as blunt honesty. Either way, the more I talked to people the more I realized that I tried to pursue the “third side of the coin.” That unique perspective, or outlook, that made them reevaluate their situation and choices. In truth, it wasn’t discernment at all. It was only creativity impersonating as insight. And if I was creative enough, if I gave just the right analogy, I could talk almost anyone into my point of view.
This was a talent that I nurtured. One that I cherished and believed in.
And then I had kids. Continue reading
Three years ago I lost the weight of the Christmas tree at the top of our stairs. The box went right as my leg tried to pivot left towards the attic, and two seconds later I grimaced in pain as I felt my knee pop out of then quickly back into its socket. A few months later, the orthopedic surgeon removed 60% of my meniscus. To this day I still think I can still play tennis, jog, etc., until my knee not so subtly reminds me it has less than half of its cushion remaining between my femur and my tibia. Admittedly I am a stubborn learner Continue reading
During World War II one of the boldest Christian voices combating the evils of Naziism was that of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He was a native German pastor and scholar whose writings and radio broadcasts intentionally placed his own life at risk so that God’s truth could be contrasted against Hitler’s worldview. Eventually, Bonhoeffer’s words were censored, and he had to flee his native country. But this choice was not permanent, and he returned to Germany, knowing it would probably cost him his life. In the end, it did.
But before the Nazis hanged him, he penned one of the best quotes in modern Christian writing when he said:
When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”
In a world where suffering in the flesh is disdained and avoided at almost any cost, Bonhoeffer sounds like a lunatic Continue reading
My teachers were a special breed.
Some inspired hard work, like Mrs. Beaver in 1st grade. She was the one who always reminded me, “If you put your mind to it, you can do it, do it, do it.”
Some were nurturing, like Mrs. Sealy in 4th grade. She was the one who always baked a birthday cake for each student when their date rolled around.
Some were owl-like in their foresight, like Mrs. Wise in 5th grade. She was the first one to encourage me to pursue creative writing as more than just a hobby.
And some, like Mrs. Templeton in 10th grade English, tattooed on me the fear of God. Continue reading