Category archives: Gospel Story

The Thing That You Can Whisper Into Your Darkest Doubt

There's this one love story I know. It has some tragedy in it. Well, a lot of tragedy. The kind that makes you feel cold inside and has you wondering if there's any point going on. But, thankfully, there's a whole heap of triumph in the story, too. It ends in triumph, which is where each of us aches for all the love stories to end. It's the sort of love story that helps you when you're in the middle of your hard things, be able to whisper to yourself, "All will be well." Even if you have to repeat that a few times to yourself and practice believing it when you mostly want to doubt. This particular story starts way back in the beginning. Like, back in the Garden-beginning. Back when everything was pure and good and as it ought to be. There were people involved. And a Maker. And t[...]

Jesus and the Desert Dude

There was this rugged desert dude in the Bible who turned out to be quite the preacher man. He had some earthy clothes made out of camel's hair. And an awesome beard, I'm sure. And probably some dreads because I don't think they made hair brushes in the desert back then. Though, he might have brushed his hair with a cactus. But, probably not, seeing as that's a bad idea. He ate gnarly food. Like crunchy grasshoppers. Which he most likely dipped in honey so they wouldn't taste so grasshopperly. This rugged desert dude's name was John, and he believed the whole point of his earthly existence was to point people to Jesus. (He very much believed Jesus was the remedy for the human condition.) So, everyday, after his grasshopper and wild honey breakfast, John would stand out there in t[...]

If You Get Lost in Your Day

Do you ever get lost in your day? If you happen to be in the same season of life as I am, you might find yourself standing a little bewildered in the middle of your kitchen, as your five year old and nearly four year old are on their hands and knees on the linoleum, simultaneously wailing at the top of their lungs because of the wretched disappointment in which their lives have turned out. You know, because your boy doesn’t like the toast with “nuts” in it and your girl seriously needs her chocky milk “warmed up.” All the while, your eight month old is pulling all the cook-books off the shelf for the umpteenth time. A momma can feel so lost before 10 a.m. And if you’re not careful, everything will ream out of control from there and you’ll only get more lost-er. (No, that’s not a [...]

The Boy Who Left Home (And the Daddy Who Couldn't Stop Missing Him)

Hopey and I go for a walk in a cornfield. And as we trudge along, stepping between the puddles and bending down to pick up husks of last year's corn, I'm reminded of a story. So, I tell her one. Once upon a time there was this daddy and a son. And the son decided that he was tired of living at home. He'd had enough of curfews and family meals and sharing stuff with his brother, so he asked his dad for all his allowance so he could go away and see the world. His dad, being a good dad that he was, sat down with his boy and had a little chat. "Now son," he said, "You can have your allowance but I was hoping you'd save up so you could buy your own house or start your own business someday." "Nah, that's alright," replied the boy, "I don't need a house. I just need to get away f[...]

Why You Really Can Cease Striving (And Get Some Soul-Rest)

I see you there, crumpling up that sheet of paper, tossing it into the waste basket and wondering if anything good will come out of your life. Or if there will just be this broken record, repeating "failure" and "you don't measure up" and "you don't deserve anything good." I see the way you try. The way you keep getting up and dressing up and showing up and hoping that things don't screw up, again. You get so tired. You're running out of energy and it's had for you to enjoy your life. Do you mind to sit down for just a minute and let me tell you some things? Some true things? Some things that could perhaps restore your soul and give you some hope? Some things that could help you keep going and maybe even set you free? You really can cease your striving. You need soul-rest.[...]

On Loving Christmas More

  I’m loving Christmas more and more. It’s incredibly fun with little ones. Gideon seems especially excited this year. I wish you could have seen him, in the living room, jumping up and down, exclaiming, “Momma, I can’t WAIT to put up the Christmas tree! You know why? Because I love those BALLS! You know those shiny BALLS? Let’s get some of those BALLS and put them on the tree! Can we? Can we?” He was ridiculously beside himself. And in all his thrill and awe, I recovered my little girl wonder. And now that our tree is up, one of my favorite things to do is get up early before my rambunctious little people do, stumble downstairs to turn on the Christmas tree lights and then drink coffee on the couch while I spend time with my Maker.  It’s a sweet time. Just me and God and the [...]

What's Written In Our Very Skin

See these two little twirps? I love them with everything that's in me. I love them so much, it actually pains me. When they're fast asleep and I go in to peek at them, with their soft skin, and that little peach fuzz still on their cheeks, and their little beating hearts and their sweet hands and those cute toes, I sometimes just cry because of how much I love them. Every bit.  And golley, how I want to protect them. There's not a doubt in my mind that at any sign of trouble, I'd scoop them up and run to keep them safe, or I'd lay down my life right then and there just to keep theirs going. I'd suffer anything for them. And if they ever got lost, I'd spend my life searching the world for them. I just love them so deep.And I think they need that kind of love. We all do. We need someone[...]

The Story I Bank My Whole Life On

Occasionally, I tell myself the Gospel story. Mostly, because I bank my whole life on this story, so it’s important for me to know what it actually is. And we Jesus-followers can get bogged down with a bunch of religiosity pretty quick, so it’s good for us to shave it down from time to time, right down to the bare necessities. We need to speak it into each other—the pure and naked Gospel truth.And so today I tell myself again the story. And I tell it to you, because I don’t want to just assume that you’ve heard it before. Maybe someone stopping in here to read has never really heard it. I write this with you in mind. It all begins with a Holy God. Perhaps the most offensive verse in all the Bible is the very first one. The one that makes the most audacious claim, "In the beginning, God cr[...]

The One Thing

This morning I read about the day Jesus was beaten to a bloody pulp and nailed to a splintery cross. He had all this power available to Him. I mean, He could have called for thousands of angels and they would have come and protected Him from all the bad guys. But He didn't. He didn't do that because Jesus didn't come to live a safe life. He actually came to die--that's why He let the bad guys win.And as His enemies were all crying out, "Crucify Him!", they said a very interesting thing. They said, "May His blood be upon us and on our children." (Matthew 27) And little did they know, but that is exactly what they needed. And that's precisely why Jesus let the bad guys win. This is what the cross is all about. Because the way that God would take sin-ravaged and sin-imprisoned souls and make [...]

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