I feel a sort of protection over the wildlife in my backyard. As a child, I imagined myself to be like a Disney princess, surrounded by wild animals. As an adult, not much has changed. Currently, there’s a mama robin tending to her nest on my house, a few baby squirrels in our pine tree, yellow finches on my bird feeder, and until yesterday, two adorable bunnies grazing on the frosted green grass each morning.
Now there’s only one. We found the other’s remains leftover from the neighborhood stray cat that’s been hanging around.
It’s nature, but is it really natural? Death of innocent animals? The cuddly cat that becomes a predator? Hawks that swoop in to steal new life?
I’ve been studying the old story of the first garden where death didn’t exist and God’s creation was untainted. Things were perfect then—they were good then, as God declared (Genesis 1:31).…
Last week on a video chat with some close friends, I told them I was really thankful to not be one of those popular Christian writers who are expected to speak to cultural issues. “I don’t wanna write about the coronavirus. There are so many articles out there already.” I said.
Famous last words, I guess.
Because just two hours later, I found myself typing away.
That same day, tears filled my eyes while hugging my husband. I was overwhelmed with emotion, partially due to fear and also a burden for those most at risk for mortality. I must admit though, that my sadness had more to do with things of much smaller importance.
I saw my plans slipping from my fingers and it grieved me. My first summer with my baby boy, TGCW20 (a conference for Christian women) with my friends, vacation with my family at the beach. All of it is up in the air and I’m bummed.…
You know what’s interesting? The two most wise women in my life are the most impartial women I know. They seek out the outsiders. They look to meet the needs of all who surround them, not just those closest to them.
It’s almost as if James was on to something when he included “impartiality” in his description of true, godly wisdom.
“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” James 3:17
When I think about it, truly to be impartial is to be peaceable, pure, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy, and sincere. It’s to pursue peace with all, love others with a pure motive, be gentle in our handling of other people, remain open to hearing perspectives that differ from our own, show mercy to those many may avoid, and love others out of sincerity. …
After lying in a dentist chair for three hours, I finally walked to the front desk to check out. What was done was done—no turning back now.
The lady asked a question, and when I heard myself answer—immediate tears. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough.
At thirty years old, I sobbed in my car over the sound of my own voice. While driving home, I tried to sing. More tears! My lisp was so bad I sounded “ridiculousth.”
“Well, obviously I can’t sing at church anymore.” I thought to myself. No more worship team for this brace-face. I’ve always lifted my voice unashamedly whether in the congregation or while helping to lead them in song, but now I’d decided those days were over. I’ll just quietly sing to myself…
Oh but wait…am I singing to myself or to God? Why the sudden change? Will I allow the alteration of my singing voice to be an excuse for not worshiping with my whole heart?…
What makes a good friend? Harry Nilsson liked his best friend so much he wrote a song about him.
“People let me tell you ’bout him he’s so much fun.”
Fun. Is that the mark of a good and godly friend? There’s a new trend on Pinterest among today’s youth. Perfectly posed pictures of “friends” laughing and seemingly having a fantastic time are pinned to the walls of countless teen girls. These photos teach them to believe the main mark of a good friend is how fun they are. Friendship envy has always been a problem among women but I think these pictures create an even deeper desire to have the “perfect” friendship. Adult women aren’t immune to the deception either. Many times, pictures of this sort cause us to focus on the surface qualities of a friend. Do they make us laugh? Do they dress well? Do we have the same interests?…
She gave in again. His charm tempted and eventually convinced her that the passion of sin would outweigh the consequences. He lied. As he rolled over to fall asleep, she lay crushed by guilt and buried in shame. She wondered how she could be so weak.
Many Christians spend their days trapped in a cycle like this. We find ourselves continually falling prey to envy, sexual sin, various types of addiction, and the like. Many are weary, downtrodden, and feel hopeless in their struggle with sin. They wonder deep down if they’ll ever be free. If that rings a bell, I have a truth for you today from God’s Word and it’s one that has changed my life as a Christian.
If you are in Christ, you are no longer a slave to sin.
Grace and Our Sin
If you claim to be a follower of Christ and yet your relationship to sin hasn’t changed, you may not be a true convert.…