A Refuge From the Battle

I love word pictures. Maybe it’s from growing up on hours of being read aloud to—Narnia, biographies, historical fiction—that forced me to imagine a picture painted with the beautiful strokes of words. Thus I’ve found scripture’s imagery some of the most sweet, deep comfort during difficult and uncertain times. Within the artistic masterpiece of the…

Hijabs in Panera: A Journey of Learning to be Available to the Lord

I was leaning back in a booth at Panera the other day, waiting to have dinner with a friend at church. I had my Bible out on the table and was pouring over 1 Peter when I saw them: three girls chatting happily, indistinguishable from any other college-age girls besides their black and silver hijabs,…

What Am I Supposed to Do Next? A Prayer for High School Graduates

Dear Father, The clock is ticking on my school year, and May is right around the corner. In some ways, it feels like it can’t come soon enough. School is hard and I’m tired. But I’m also nervous. May also means the end of the structured routine of high school and an endless world of…

Brown Paper Bags and Big, Round Eyes

“Everything is so familiar, but we feel so out of place.” My sister said it best when we first walked into our local Walmart after returning from two weeks in Mexico. For a few days after, I would drive down the road and half expect to see a crazy quilt of houses and shacks built…

Discipling Girls [transcript]

The following is a transcript of a talk I gave recently to the “Reaching Beyond Yourself” Bible study for middle-school girls. Today, we’re not going to talk about a 5-step system for how to build a friendship with a younger girl, or take them through a program. Let me explain by telling you two stories….

Day 26: When Christmas Is Over

I am teaching world history to a couple of kids this year, and the first day of class was definitely my favorite. Before we discussed the Pharaohs, the Peloponnesian War, or the Renaissance, we started by drawing diagrams all over the white board. I wanted to make sure we had the foundation down: what is…

Day 25: Advent, Christ’s Birth and Cosmic Battle

Revelation 12 peels back the curtain and reveals the ‘rest of the story’ behind the nativity scene. What looks like an ordinary baby being born in a stable surrounded by an adoring mother and father and a few shepherds and perfectly-behaved sheep is actually the battle scene foretold in Genesis 3: “I will put enmity…

Day 24: Christ the I Am

You know a statement is powerful when the listeners start throwing stones. At the end of John 8, after an almost humorous back-and-forth with the Pharisees, who can’t seem to understand why Jesus claims to know Abraham, Jesus says it bluntly. “Before Abraham was, I am.” Immediately, everyone started picking up stones to throw at…

Day 23: The Lord our Righteousness

I am breaking from the traditional I Am’s of Christ to another name of Christ—one that I’ve been thinking about today after the sermon yesterday and a fascinating word study this morning. 🙂 Jehovah Tsidkenu. The Lord our righteousness. The name appears only in an obscure prophesy in Jeremiah 23: “Behold, the days are coming,…