Jonah Wasn’t the Main Character

When you grow up in Sunday School, it’s tempting to think you know everything there is to know about the book of Jonah. I mean, we all grew up with the story. Flannelgraphs of a giant whale (even though we know it was a fish); Bible story books with pictures …

Newness of Heart

I was pretty familiar with Colossians 3 before I started studying it last weekend. Colossians 3:1-4 (“set your mind on the things above…”) has always been a favorite passage. Our youth group has gone through the book twice that I remember. The focus of the chapter is “put off/put on” – we’ve …

What Do We Thank God For?

Family. Friends. Provision. Studying. Good music. Iced lattes and hot tea. Dark chocolate. Safety from hurricanes. Late afternoon sun on floodwater.  There are so many little blessings every day that we never stop and thank God for. Sometimes the abundance of His undeserved kindness seems overwhelming. But the things I …

Seeing God’s Mercy In a Paradise Lost

Shame. The searing, unfamiliar sense of guilt. The biggest leaves they could find, hastily pieced together to cover the bodies they had only just realized were naked. The terrifying sound of the footsteps they used to welcome. Awe, wonder, and intense love now turned to gripping fear. Blame and anger rearing …

Every Breath As a Gift

The theme for this year’s Bible Bee study was Created. It seems pretty obvious. I mean, if you grew up in church Genesis 1:1 was probably one of the first verses you ever memorized. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” But what started to stick out …

Overcome

I think a lot of times we hear the word, “overcome,” and we think of someday. Of eventually, when we’re going to fight that great, big, important battle (you know, argue that atheist professor, or graduate from college after many long nights, or run a marathon, or win that competition, or publish …

Children of God

“See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are…” (1 John 3:1a) “See how great a love.”  In and of themselves the words are stunning.  They were some of the first words from the Bible that …

Incarnation

//In my study of 1 John 1, one of things that struck me the most was the awesome truth of what it meant for God to become human in the form of Christ.  I wrote a whole article on it; and then I realized I could probably say it better …

Cliques and Koinonia

I hate cliques.  I hate them so much.  I hate them even more because I’ve been a part of them.  It’s galling to realize you’re in one of the groups you’ve always secretly condemned – the group that stands off by itself, silently discouraging all contact.  It’s not like you …