Category archives: Gospel Story

When It Doesn't Make Sense to Sing Peace on Earth or Goodwill Toward Men

I stand in this wreaking barn, with the manure splattered on the wall and the dust swirling in the air while the radio blares. They're telling me that there's been another shooter at a school in Connecticut. This guy has killed more than twenty people, mostly little kids. My gut groans. There's something terribly the matter with the world.Hours later, the sadness doesn't lift. Just this heavy weight pressing in, for everything twisted and painfully broken. I look over at my kids and listen to their little cheerful voices as they help Grandpa feed the cows. What sort of world will they grow up in? Can't I keep them safe? Their lives only knowing sweet things like newborn calves and kitties? Growing corn and wheat? Long walks down an old lane in the security of a family farm? I would spare [...]

What I Hope My Kids Really Get For Christmas

Christmas is coming! We've already spent lots of time in the toy aisle. Gideon's been pointing out all the stuff he could really use. He even tells us what Hopey needs for a present. It tends to be stuff he's mostly interested in playing with himself. TRAINS! No,wait, CARS! No, wait, creepy Mickey Mouse doll that rocks and rolls! Okay, just kidding. He's not interested in rock-n-roll Mickey. I think he's actually scared of him. We're all a little scared of him.   Now that Christmas is coming, I do feel this tension. Because, for us, it's really not at all about the presents. I mean the presents are nice. Who doesn't love presents? But, for us, Christmas is really a sacred holiday. But, how do you instill in your wee little squirts that Christmas is so much more than trains and c[...]

Friend of Sinners

Jesus is a friend to sinners. And who hasn't sinned? I mean, really, no one has ever gotten it all right. No one, that is, except for Jesus. And that's why He could be the perfect sacrifice. That's why He could bear the thorns and take the nails and bleed out on the cross. Because only His blood was good enough to pay the ransom for my life. To bring me back to God.And this God who made everything--He's not some impersonal deity up by the stars who can't be felt or known. He's a God who is there. A God who makes Himself known. A God who stepped into the world through the Person of His Son, so that He could be seen and touched and heard. And so that He could make things right again. Because sin, it marred this whole place. It broke us and we've all been reeling ever since. So, we all needed[...]

When You Just Want to Feel God

I sat in this quiet cafe' over a grilled  ham and cheese while my friend told me her story. How all her growing up years, she knew God was real but she just couldn't get why He was so intangible. Because, she just wanted to feel Him. To reach out and take a hold of Him somehow. But, she never could. And as I looked in her eyes, I could feel her ache. I had wondered it too, remembering how I'd laid in my bed on quiet nights, tears streaming with the deepest pain in my chest. And on those nights, I'd reached up, arms open wide, just wanting God to embrace me. Aching to be held. So many times, I'd wished I could crawl up in His lap, closing that cosmic gap between us. It had sent my heart pounding for heaven, in the wildest way.And as she poured out bits and pieces of her soul, I sat the[...]

Thoughts about Jesus

I'm a Jesus follower. Meaning, I believe Jesus is the only way to God, like He says He is. I believe Him to be the Savior. I'm not a perfect Jesus follower. I'm not even a very good one. Not by a long shot. For one thing, Jesus says to love your neighbor as much as you love yourself. I don't do that. I love myself way too much. But, I figure if Jesus is really God, and if His aim is to make me more like Himself, then He will use all the stuff in my life to do that. To make me more like Him. To help me love in ways that don't make sense apart from His help. You don't have to convince me that I need a complete overhaul of my heart in order to do that. Because I wake up every day pretty keenly aware that I don't have that kind of sacrificial love on my own. I need Him. Like, every hour I n[...]

No Small Thing

I wake up early on a Resurrection Sunday and slide open the back door. The moon gleams, soft beams lighting up all the dark and I whisper it quiet, "He is risen. He's alive." I think I hear the stars sing. This is the day. This is the day the Jesus followers hold so dear. The day we claim, ever so outlandishly, that though our God died to wash the world clean with His blood, He is not still dead. Deep in my heart, I know this is no small thing. That this Jesus, battered bloody and hanging from a cross, who breathed out stars and planets and life into this very chest, gave up His breath. Laid down His life. Then He lay in a tomb black as night, and there He put death in his grave. The earth shook. The rocks split. The world was turned upside down the day Jesus rose up and walked out, alive [...]

The Stuff We Need to Breathe

A long time ago, before stars filled up the sky or before there was a sun to make the day bright. Before there were little acorns growing up into oaks or there was an ocean teeming full of mysterious living things, there was God. And He was thinking way ahead. About you. About me. About all of us.And He knew we would need rescued. And that He would rescue us. And He knew how He would rescue us. And so He sent Himself as a great Rescuer. He sent us Jesus. And this Jesus brought the world grace. And grace is the stuff we need to live this life. To live a life that's holy. A life that's set apart.And so through Jesus, He gave us this grace as a gift. Not because of our works. Not because of our struggle and strive to measure up. Because we can't. And we don't. Every day we fall and we get sou[...]

How I'm Learning to Live: Resolutions for Mental Health

When I was a little girl, I would play for hours in my yard or in the woods after school because there I felt the remedies of God in nature. I still do. Even now as I sit at my desk and scribble these words down, I can't help but look up again and again to drink in all the beauty filling up my view outside this window. There's just something about all the wild things. God speaks volumes to me through a tree, a leaf, a blade of grass. I know it's strange to say, but when I'm outside, something inside me heals.As I've grown older and have looked around at life, I've found that most of us go about our days with this busy rush of living. I wonder if our frantic pace has impaired our vision? It isn't that we don't see enough, it's that we don't see well enough. The sky [...]

A Medley for Your Soul

Today I marry Gungor's music and lyrics with my pictures, in hopes that it will encourage you deep and minister to your soul. Just push "play" and scroll down.Would You believe there's a great Redeemer who can take the mess of our lives and make it beautiful? It's what He came to do--to make the ugly beautiful. He's not through yet...Listen close...All this painI wonder if I’ll ever find my wayI wonder if my life could really change at all. All this earthCould all that is lost ever be found?Could a garden come up from this ground at all? You make beautiful thingsYou make beautiful things out of the dust.You make beautiful thingsYou make beautiful things out of us.  All aroundHope is springing up from this old ground,Out of chaos life is being found in You. You make[...]

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