The freshness of the New Year is a reminder that God lavishes us with life, provision, and new mercies. At the time of the Exodus, Yahweh told the people of Israel to pick up just enough manna each day for their households, six days a week. He gave enough for every day--no need to worry, no need to hoard, no need to gorge.
I have let people slander, falsely accuse, and violate me, their words like slung mud on my back.
Martin Luther King, Jr., reverend, civil rights icon, and practitioner of non-violent protest, was gunned down at Memphis’ Lorraine Hotel in 1968. The then 38-year-old had made an indelible mark on the ethos, conscience, and better graces of America.
Mark and Grace Driscoll have written a book on marriage, sex, and friendship with your spouse. It’s spicy. No stranger to controversy, Mark Driscoll has received rabid criticism from other theologically conservative Christians for his NC-17 discussions of sexuality. He’s even inferred that marriages would be stronger if wives gave more oral sex.
feverishly checked the message boards for post-May 21 updates. All those people who quit their jobs, maxed out their credit cards, drove in RVs that said, “May 21, 2011: Judgment Day”—what would they say now? There were no rolling earthquakes, no bodies released from the graves, no Rapture. Were they despairing? Shame-faced? Repentant?
I was the definition of untouchable in high school: a black girl in a white school, a working-class girl with wealthy classmates, and a Christian girl in an amoral environment. I was a pair of Pumas in a world of docksiders. Rarely asked out on dates or invited to parties.
Camping’s humble pie is cold, and it’s got chunks missing. For example, he is silent about his lingering heresy concerning the Church. Camping fails to mention that his exquisitely blasphemous doomsday timeline also proved that the age of the church was over, and that anyone who went to church was under the control of satan.
It was a careless choice that resulted in significant trauma. I relive that choice. Every. Day. The force of regret from this experience silently envelops me in its lonely shame whether I try to run from it, attempt to cure it, or try to avoid it. It’s a slow bleed in my heart. A significant trauma can define the contours of life, shaping your reactions, hemming you in when you want to be brave, pulling you into a vortex of what if’s that paralyze you with fear and shame. It could be anything: a choice with devastating results; a betrayal; an addiction; abuse.
It’s the season of chocolates and heart-shaped everything … and loneliness and ache and isolation and the nagging question that plagues us in this fallen world: “Am I loved?” God loves you. His love for you is rooted in creation and redemption. Hold on…I know you don’t want to hear trite clichés. But sister, bear with me for a few minutes.
I confess; there’s just something about movies where the bad guy goes down in flames and the good guy wins. It may be in the spiritual DNA; we live in a time where evil reigns, and we long for the day when it is utterly vanquished. Movies that mimic the good-triumphs-over-evil theme temporarily satisfy the longing for justice.
Election season has been cancerous to the U.S. Body of believers. You’ve no doubt seen or engaged in political and religious discussions that have heated up to a frothy hot mess of gross generalizations and polarizations. Sides must be chosen. Votes must be cast. Vote for Christ or the antichrist.
I order Chick-fil-A so regularly that those closest to me can recite my order with relaxed confidence: a No. 1 with provolone cheese and a half-sweet, half-unsweetened iced tea. When I moved to Texas, I counted Chick-fil-A proximity as one of my favorite fast-food reasons for loving Dallas. Their menu has mouth-watering appeal; they deliver courteous service (“my pleasure!”) consistently; and they tame the beastly lines they encounter six days a week with panache. I admire the business acumen that uniquely honors the Sabbath.
We live in a hyper-technological society, bombarded constantly with opportunities to “connect” with “friends” with tweets and status updates and comments and likes and YouTube videos. There’s always more to skim, post, and respond to. God help you if you have a smartphone alerting you in real time to the email you just received.
Our rhetoric, while defending the Biblical definition of marriage, can, with posters on lawns and hate speech (no, not preaching the Word, but exhorting congregants to beat the gay out of their children), propagate a false gospel that repels some of the people whom Jesus came to save. This is the opposite of the Great Commission.
I attempted to watch Sex and the City at the height of its popularity, because I like to keep up with pop culture, and because I enjoy good writing. Beyond all the fornication and strange manifestations of self-discovery that most Christians would chafe at, one main thing kept me from being fan: what I’ll call the Friends Phenomenon. Like Friends, the writers of Sex and the City managed to reduce the city’s teeming sea of various cultures, races, religions, and classes to a diluted monolithic wading pool. I didn’t recognize my hometown; I didn’t see myself in any of the faces of the characters, and the women were reduced to martinis and Manolo Blahniks. Yawn.
The Kendrick brothers are back with lots of truth and a little less cheese. Courageous, the new film by the Kendrick brothers of Fireproof and Facing the Giants fame, has those trademark Kendrick moments. Which is a good thing and a bad thing.
“You like roller coasters?”
“Well, if you like roller coasters,” the flight agent said, “you’ll love this. I hate flying in planes, but I’ll take a helicopter anywhere.”
We walked the damp earth onto a makeshift helipad to board the helicopter. The soil heaved mossy sighs of heat. We weren’t in Dallas anymore.