A Disciplined Spiritual Life Month 1
  • Spiritual Disciplines
Simplicity’s challenge to us is to desire less, less, and less in a world of more, more, and more.
6 Ways Christians Can Become Trauma-Informed 
  • Calling & Purpose
Ultimately, Christ models for us the foundational principle of how we are to be trauma-informed—by being connected to God and being relationally present to the joys and the pain of one another—and to do so in community.
How to be a trustworthy Christian online 
  • Digital Evangelism
…no matter where you find yourself in community with others online, I want to highlight some of the habits that helped establish trust and opened the door to conversations about faith.
Cultivating Faith-Fueled Community Online
  • Digital Evangelism
Remaining with others through division and standing on the rock of my Redeemer means I honor the Divine Hands that made the person on the other side of the internet from me.
Being a Person of Peace Online 
  • Digital Evangelism
When we interact online, we are faced not just with a choice of what to say, but what is inspiring our words. Emotions help us name our needs as humans, but do we choose to let them rule us or inspire us?
A Disciplined Spiritual Life
  • Spiritual Disciplines
…these disciplines are a gift. These historic practices are a way to help channel devotion and shape the daily practice of our faith. They’ve withstood the test of time for a reason.
I Wonder Why I Wander 
  • Spiritual Disciplines
When I take the time to regularly go wandering, I find my everyday life to be less noisy. The intimacy of my time wandering with Jesus and praying filters its way into my days. When stressors come, I can close my eyes, breathe deeply, listen intently, and hear the sounds of the trees, the birds, my footsteps, and the benefits of time spent with God.
On the Matter of Books and Banning 
  • Culture & Faith
My message to those who would ban books for whatever reason is this: Telling people they can’t read a certain book is the surest way to increase readership. Humans are naturally curious, and we need to do more to open doors than build walls between each other.
Learning to Love from My Rescue Dog 
  • Calling & Purpose
Some people have been hurt before and need some time to heal before they can love you back. But in learning to love someone else, we can learn to love ourselves better too.
How can we help?
  • Calling & Purpose
Jesus’ teaching about giving isn’t just good news for people who knock on our door, it’s also good news for us. It’s changed us. Grown us. Challenged us. Delighted us.
3 Reasons We Need to Care About Animals
  • Culture & Faith
No matter our political beliefs, we are called as Christians to be kinder, consume less, and become better stewards of all living things.
Finding a Church in My Neighborhood  
  • Calling & Purpose
Even if you don’t live in a major city or urban center, there are plenty of ways you can “walk” through your neighborhood and consider how your spiritual life is impacted by your community and how your spiritual life impacts the community around you.
Come Together 
  • Calling & Purpose
We don’t have to live in a state of constant loneliness. We can do better. And by doing so, we can reflect the love of Jesus to each other.
How Much Jesus Has Done
  • Calling & Purpose
[Luke 8] is certainly an example of how, in Christ, we should view outcasts and aliens but, even more importantly, in this story of the demon-possessed pariah, we should see ourselves.
A Reality Check with Reality TV
  • Culture & Faith
Because while I may be able to see heartache and tears and triumph and laughter behind modern dating shows, what it boils down to is this: we were created to love and be loved, by our Creator and by the people He fills our lives with. And that is a reality I love to celebrate.
Accidents Happen
  • Culture & Faith
..supporting and comforting people who are hurting is an opportunity to listen and truly understand how someone is feeling–and then love them where they are.
You Can’t Find Purpose from a Job Alone
  • Spiritual Identity
Work isn’t just where you make a living and earn a paycheck. You’re working when you’re changing your children’s diapers and seeking to raise them well. You’re working when you’re obeying the laws of your society, which aim to bring security and peace to you and your neighbors.
Choosing to Meet God as I Am
  • Culture & Faith
Some days I strive for answers by asking questions because I believe God is big enough and wants to hear them. Some days I rest in the peace that He’s simply a mystery and it’s okay that there is much I won’t know this side of heaven.
Loving Harder in the Face of Violence
  • Culture & Faith
We must think creatively about how we practice and apply [love] everywhere and how our outreach can reach those who are hurting. We can think creatively about what tangible revolutions of kindness look like.
What to do when you doubt God
  • Spiritual Identity
On my own journey, I’m so thankful that I encountered believers who gave me the space and language and freedom to bite at God’s silence, to ask hard questions, to wonder. I’ve learned that God daily invites us into the wrestling ring with him. His people, Israel, had a name that meant “wrestles with God” after all.
A Christian Vision of Justice
  • Calling & Purpose
Justice is something every single person, in particular the Christian, can and must promote.
The I in Community
  • From the Thred Desk
We tell our children that actions speak louder than words, but this isn’t exactly how we meet the world every day. Especially when words are all we have in our hardest moments, there’s an important balance between the things we say and what we do in our relationships with others.
Personal Identity in the Parent Adventure
  • Spiritual Identity
But when we choose to accept ourselves wholly for who we are, to see ourselves fully as parents, to see ourselves as parents who are artists, parents who are athletes, parents who are academics, we become better and strong individuals—ones who can reflect our own passions and personal values back to our children.
This Is the Reason You’re Here 
  • Calling & Purpose
...I want my life to count for something. And...the reason I’m here is to thoughtfully, faithfully take steps forward in my various vocations. The reason I’m here is to become implicated in the world around me.
Faith Is… 
  • Spiritual Identity
As Christians, “faith” is one of the most important words in our vocabulary. In fact, the Bible tells us that faith is essential for our eternal future because it is the way we receive God’s gifts of forgiveness and salvation. But do we really know what it means?
Grief: Let’s Talk About It 
  • Culture & Faith
Experiencing grief lends you entrance to the club no one wants to be a part of. But it can connect you to others who have had to face the same pain.
Do we make faith too complicated? 
  • Calling & Purpose
We can—and should—have faith in each other, one human to another. You can have faith in someone and, sometimes, that’s all they need to hear to get through whatever life throws at them.
Creativity in the Creator 
  • Spiritual Identity
I meet God as a reflection of the ultimate Creator in my creative work. This is the beautiful spiritual work He calls me to every day.
The world’s view of purpose can be exhausting 
  • Culture & Faith
Busyness for the sake of busyness doesn’t just hurt us; it can also hurt our relationships. If we are overscheduling ourselves, we might not have enough quality time with others, and we might miss out on being there for them when they need us.
To Be a Witness 
  • Digital Evangelism
I truly believe that listening to people, trying to understand their points of view, and developing friendships over time is one of the purest ways of reflecting and sharing God’s love.
Many Joyful Noises
  • From the Thred Desk
As a singer, I’ve learned harmony is about relationship. You can’t hit the right notes in a chord without listening to the other people around you.
Carrying Assumptions 
  • Digital Evangelism
If I want to build bridges of communication we can both walk across, I need to recognize that my words carry assumptions, and I need to understand what those assumptions are.
How Long, O Lord? 
  • Spiritual Identity
I have tried to find new ways to praise. I open my Bible and bow my head and I still turn the volume high on worship music. But it doesn’t feel the same. The joy is drained from my worship. And grief overtakes me once again.
Rearview Mirrors
  • Calling & Purpose
Every time I get into the car with my son now, I look at the rearview mirror a little differently. I remember the awesome opportunity to look back with gratitude, and look forward with hope. And, of course, I put on my seatbelt.
How to Help Your Friend with Mental Health Issues 
  • Calling & Purpose
I know what the bible says. David wrote heart-wrenching psalms. Job lost everyone and everything he loved and experienced immense suffering. Jesus sweat drops of blood in his anguish and sorrow. And depression and anxiety are part of being human.
God’s Mission in the World and Your Purpose in It 
  • Calling & Purpose
...evangelism is actually God’s business. He’s out there ahead of us, doing His work in the lives of those who do not yet know Him. He’s introducing Himself to them. Our job in evangelism is to discover what He’s already doing, then enter the conversation.
An Expectant Mother’s Prayers
  • Spiritual Disciplines
Whether you are an expectant mother, a nervous father, an eager grandparent, or someone in between who feels the call to pray for a child who is not yet born, I share this with you. These are a few of my prayers.
When I Grow Up 
  • Calling & Purpose
When I was a child, I thought that the only way I could serve was by leading directly in the church. But as an adult, it turns out there are so many beautiful opportunities to be in and among the people of God.
A Simple, Daily Way to Interact with Scripture 
  • Spiritual Disciplines
I love scripture. Whenever I interact with it in a meaningful way, I leave feeling closer to Jesus. I’m less likely to worry, lash out in anger, or act in my own self-interest that day.
Restored for a Reason 
  • Spiritual Identity
Jesus doesn’t love us because we lived our lives without regret. And just as He knew that Peter would deny Him, our Lord knows what we have done, He knows about our guilt, He knows about our regrets, and for those sins He went to the Cross.
Faith and Family 
  • From the Thred Desk
No family is perfect. No story is fully written. James and Jude were half-brothers of the literal Savior of the world—and they still took a whole lifetime to figure out how to live openly in their faith.
What To Know When You Don’t Know 
  • Calling & Purpose
We trust in the promise of Jesus’ love, even for those who confess their faith with dilated pupils and slow speech. After all, those who die are in the hands of God, and He is a far better judge of souls than we could ever be.
The Perilous Frontier of ME
  • Spiritual Identity
What would it mean if we began not by pointing the finger of blame away from us, but, in a reasonable and humble manner, toward ourselves? What if we answered, “What is wrong with the world?” by thinking first of…our own self-seeking, instead of the problems of others?
A Ukrainian Flag on Every Corner 
  • Digital Evangelism
What is the right way to respond to public crisis and tragedy? In a world where we have limited resources and little control, especially over events so far away, what should we do? Most importantly, what does God call us to do?
Rethink Evangelism
  • Calling & Purpose
By witnessing our faith in these ways, we…allow people to approach it if they want to. It's in these types of interactions—honest relationships and quiet conversations—that God starts to light flames of faith in people’s hearts.
Learn to Meditate like the Desert Saints
  • Spiritual Disciplines
The desert saints have emboldened us to be real about life. We are free to meditate on the truth of disappointment and sin....Trusting in the God who will never forget us, as shown by the uncertainty and failures of the saints who came before.
How Hymns Have Blessed My Life
  • Spiritual Disciplines
How can you inspire the people you meet today, both on and offline? Could music work as a connection or conversation starter? How can you share the joy of making a joyful noise to the Lord in your life?
Boredom and Happiness
  • Spiritual Disciplines
We need to do more than just reconsider how we use our devices. We need to redefine how we spend our days—and how we spend our lives.
If You’re a Doubter, You’re Not Alone
  • Spiritual Identity
The thought “we’re all gonna die” can act as a kind of wake-up call…and it indicates how persistently we are haunted by the possibility that there might be something more, something unseen, something enchanted, something beyond.
Avoiding the Food Blame Game
  • Culture & Faith
Ultimately, I want my daughter to understand that her body does amazing things and that her body is an amazing thing. She is fearfully and wonderfully made, just as I am.
Is God Ghosting Me?
  • Spiritual Identity
It has been six years since my daughter took her last breath in my arms, and I am just now beginning to hear God again. It hasn’t been an easy process, and it is a process far from over.
I’m a Pastor and I Need Counseling
  • Calling & Purpose
...counseling can help individuals to be more resilient and better able to handle the challenges that life throws their way. This can ultimately make them more effective at the job they love doing—pastoring, shepherding, and loving those entrusted to their care.
Defining Comity
  • Digital Evangelism
It is time to find common ground. We share a common humanity. It’s time to honor humanity with an honest effort to have comity and peace among all of us.
Does Suffering Actually Make You Stronger?
  • Spiritual Disciplines
 No, suffering does not make you stronger. But with God’s help through the guidance of others, we can still find beauty in the life we live around and through the pain.
How to Wrestle Online
  • From the Thred Desk
Jacob reminds us daily that spiritual wrestling is not about power and victory, but rather about vulnerability and relationship.
God Knows Your Heart
  • Spiritual Disciplines
I found it deeply vulnerable to turn the corner at verse 13 and consider that God knows me so well because He actually made me – carefully and masterfully.
5 Ways to Live a More Authentic Life 
  • Spiritual Disciplines
Living an authentic life requires acknowledging when you are, or are not, living according to how God made you.
ADHD and Me 
  • Spiritual Identity
Women with ADHD often go undiagnosed because society tells us to turn our struggles inward. We assume that if we can’t meet certain standards or perform certain tasks that we must be the problem, not the expectations that are placed on us.
Borscht and Why It Matters
  • Digital Evangelism
But what I’m beginning to realize is that recognizing and respecting the way others’ experiences and identities are different from mine is a major part of treating them as valued individuals and loving them as God intends.
How to Share Your Faith in 30 Seconds 
  • Calling & Purpose
Opening the door to conversations about faith always feels risky, and unclear. At the same time, I desire them. I want my close friends to know the most important parts of my life, including the part that believes in Jesus.