God

Reclaiming the Holidays

Read Time: 4 min.

During the holiday season, I often get one of two troublesome feelings. First, I think that the whole month-plus is too hectic and too busy. The season feels overscheduled with events and get-togethers that are good and joyful, to be sure, and which I would probably miss if they didn’t happen. But in my more reflective moments, a deeper sense that something is missing creeps into my experience of ...

Our Confusing Selves

Read Time: 3 min.

When I was little, my dad had a poster of an adorable chimpanzee next to his desk. This was long before the days of memes, but you may have seen an updated version. The chimpanzee held a thinking pose above the caption, “I think, therefore I am… confused.” My dad explained to me about the concept of philosophy and a man called Descartes. I felt incredibly grown up to be in on what I consider...

Lessons from a Culture that Celebrates Life

Read Time: 4 min.

Finding his way through the vibrant “Land of the Dead” in the Disney/Pixar film Coco, Miguel sadly watches an older soul fade away in front of him. Perplexed that someone can disappear, even from the land of those who no longer live, he asks his trickster companion Héctor what happened. Poignantly, Héctor informs Miguel that, “Our memories, they have to be passed down by those who knew us in life—...

Sufficient, But Not Saving

Read Time: 3 min.

I often notice that a lot of commercials and ads have one big message in common: if you’re not buying or doing or subscribing to or wearing such and such, your life is not as good as it could be. There seems to be almost a moral pressure to consume the advertised thing. It’s easy to wonder if I’m good enough, doing the right thing, living life the right way, or consuming the “right” things. These ...

Call Me Old-Fashioned

Read Time: 3 min.

Call me old-fashioned, but I think technology is a little overrated. Yes, we can have pretty much anything we want delivered to us without even putting on pants. Yes, we don’t have to go through the hassle of making real friends when we can easily connect with people online. Yes, we don’t even need to know where we’re going before we get in the car. But just because we have unlimited power at our ...

“You’re my only hope.”

Read Time: 4 min.

“Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.” Early in George Lucas’s epic work, we see a hologram of Princess Leia begging the old hermit Ben Kenobi for help. When George Lucas wrote the prequels several years later, Qui-Gon Jin was convinced that Anakin, the little boy who would eventually become the baddest villain in the galaxy, was the hope that would bring balance to the Force. In the late...

Loneliness breeds loneliness.

Read Time: 3 min.

I am 13 years old. School ended three hours ago, three hours that I have been sitting in my dad’s office—finishing homework, instant messaging, scrolling the internet, and waiting. Three months in, I should be used to this everyday routine by now. But I’m 13 and I want to go home. Not to the thirty-minutes away from school and work and community, too-small home we are currently renting—no. Home. 2...

Who is Jesus?

Read Time: 11 min.

Trying to describe Jesus is…difficult. I know him, but not in the usual way, where we’ve met face to face and had many long conversations in ordinary situations. In fact, I haven’t seen him face to face—not yet, anyway. And we’ve had many conversations, but they aren’t of the “Which sandwich would you like to get today?” variety. Nor can I clearly quote what he’s said to me in the same way I might...

Serving

Read Time: 3 min.

You hear a lot about service these days. Kids have service projects at school or in Scouts. People volunteer for food pantries or soup kitchens over the holidays. Social media has posts about “giving back” or “paying it forward.” But service goes way beyond that. For some people, it becomes a lifestyle. That’s what Jesus called us to—not just to do “projects,” but to spend ourselves in caring for ...

A Heart for Service

Read Time: 3 min.

Recently, I had a flood of sudden memories about a compliment that so many people gave me in my early life—they told me I had a heart for service. A thrill of excitement and acknowledgment would run through me every year or so when someone would say this. It meant people were watching me, were taking stock of the way I do things, and they had decided that I had a gift. A God-given gift. A gift for...

Faith in a God Who’s Subtle

Read Time: 2 min.

In one sense, I’m probably a great person to talk about faith in God, because it’s been a huge part of my life for…well, most of my life. For that same reason, I realize that doesn’t make me very objective. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t believe in God, or believe it was important to learn to trust him. I’ve always thought he was there. I’ve always thought he cared. I’ve always thought he w...

My Changing Faith

Read Time: 2 min.

I considered myself a Christian for many years. I was raised in a very Christian community. Everyone was a Christian. I won’t say faith was a huge topic of discussion—more of an idea taken for granted within the community. Faith was something everyone told me to have, but no one told me how to get. I spent most of my Christian years ‘having faith’ that faith would come to me. For me it...