Satan’s Sifter: Why Judging Others Is Always Wrong

"Simon, Simon, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat." I find those words some of the most troubling in all scripture. I know what happened next. The night of Christ's execution was the night of Peter's sifting. The overconfident man whose passion for Christ was so strong he proclaimed that … Continue reading Satan’s Sifter: Why Judging Others Is Always Wrong

Conversion of a Candle in the Wind: The Woman at the Well and Me

On the surface my life seems more stable than hers. One husband, not five.  But I understand the Woman at the Well.  My heart is insatiable and wanders in all directions. I fall in love all the time, becoming passionately absorbed with pretty much anything or anyone. A new friend, a big idea, a chance for … Continue reading Conversion of a Candle in the Wind: The Woman at the Well and Me

Conversion as Shrinking: Mrs. Zebedee, the Sons of Thunder and a Little Child

When James and John, the "Sons of Thunder," left their nets to follow Christ, their dad stood in the boat and watched them walk away. I've often wondered whether old Zebedee thundered or stood thunderstruck as James and John left the family business, choosing an uncertain future with the Fisher of Men over the inheritance … Continue reading Conversion as Shrinking: Mrs. Zebedee, the Sons of Thunder and a Little Child

Neither Share a Reckless Rant nor Post a Mocking Meme: Give Me a Clean Heart

Woke up this morning The whole world was yelling I wish I was dreaming Of all that we've been through. These are the opening lines of "Clean Heart," the first song on the album I can't stop listening to:  Matt Maher's new release, Echoes. If there's anything good coming out of our current climate of division … Continue reading Neither Share a Reckless Rant nor Post a Mocking Meme: Give Me a Clean Heart

What Do You Want Your Pain to Become? How Forgiveness Releases Prisoners

I had rarely heard the word incarcerated before becoming a counselor, but years of work with at-risk children accustomed me to its cadence. It first surfaced on the lips of a dark-haired high school junior who'd come to my office to change her class schedule. Describing her family, she chatted nonchalantly about her grandmother and … Continue reading What Do You Want Your Pain to Become? How Forgiveness Releases Prisoners

How to Speak of Easter Hope without Harming the Humble Christ

Swiss painter Eugène Burnand renders the confusion and hope of Peter and John's first Easter morning with such poignancy. They'd learned of the resurrection from some women friends who'd been told by an angel, and particularly from Mary Magdalene, told by the risen Christ himself, to tell them.  And then they ran to see that … Continue reading How to Speak of Easter Hope without Harming the Humble Christ

Holy Saturday: Harrowing the Hell in Our Hearts

It was on a Holy Saturday about ten years back that I first saw an image of the "Harrowing of Hell," a depiction of Christ entering the realm of the dead and releasing the souls imprisoned there (1 Peter 3:19). We proclaim it in the Apostle's Creed:  Jesus Christ "suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, … Continue reading Holy Saturday: Harrowing the Hell in Our Hearts