Storm warnings and the ocean of faith

Sometimes it’s our sin that leads us to desert places where we feel distant from God. Other times, it’s not sin, but faithfulness that leads us to a place where waves and storms threaten to overtake us. What does the Christian do when we say “yes” to God, and end up someplace overwhelming? In my…

Ugly crying and the desert of doubt

There’s a lonely place devoid of spiritual awakening. A barren place of my own undoing. And I know I’m not alone in acknowledging the desert. It’s just that a lot of Christians don’t want to stare that reality down. Last week I had to sit in a doctor’s office and hear results from an MRI…

Cow Babies and Dog Armies

Hey! Know what a cow does when she’s in labor? Nope? Me neither.   So imagine my surprise when my friend said: “Look at her udders. And listen to her baying. And watch out. Because she will charge your car if she’s scared of coyotes.” My friend is part of a farming family of ten. Her…

The Weak and the Least

Gideon would lead the Israelites into military victory. He would become a commanding leader who had guts enough to tear down pagan altars and incur the wrath of enemies. But, he just didn’t know it yet. When we first meet Gideon, there has been a multi-layered starvation in Israel. First, the Midianites kept destroying their…

Religious Crust and the Walking Dead

“Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.” Luke 24:5 I remember the day I fake gave my life to Christ. I was at a church camp and the speaker was really loud and seemed to specialize in how awful hell was. I was a fornicator….

It never really makes it better…

And I was too busy to prepare myself for the tidal wave of emotional pain that would wash over me. It was just a college campus tour or two. But, when I saw my sons walk onto campus, towards the next chapter in their lives, it was like two seeds being blown away from me, slipping…

Forgiveness and the Flying Boulder

  Dear random Catholic priest who was just trying to perform a wedding ceremony. In Latin. When I was sitting next to my best friend in high school. Who, as it turns out, can do an amazing impersonation of a priest performing a wedding ceremony in Latin. I. Am. Sooo. Sorry. Also, my apologies to the…

Four easy steps to open heart surgery

  I’m often tempted to immediately dismiss any person who proclaims that Christianity is easy. That taking up your cross and following Jesus is a simple feat. There are books and podcasts and flyers stuck on windshields that mislead people into thinking that an all transforming relationship with God can be done in three easy steps….

The “S” word

I turn into a self-righteous hypocrite when I study the Old Testament. Don’t these people get it? God is holy! They go for a while in their obedience, and then they get soft in their wealth and military victories and start coloring outside the lines of God’s commands. Morons! Oh wait. I have idols in…

Help for Spiritual Weenies

Have a difficult time being strong and courageous? This might help even the most dedicated spiritual weenies!