SKIN DEEP

Book #2 in THE ELI DIARIES is available! In case you missed the initial announcement, THE ELI DIARIES is a series of novellas that address the question, “What if Jesus were in high school today?” Bill Myers, best-selling author (and so much more!), created this world, where Jesus (Eli Shepherd) lives in Ventura, CA and attends Ventura High. His classmates include Maggie (Mary Magdalene), Jude (Judas Iscariot), Martha, Tommy (Thomas), and Pete (Peter). The first book, The Battle Begins, written by Myers, is told from Satan’s perspective – the Enemy wants nothing more than to destroy Eli’s mission before it ever begins. This second book, written by the amazing Melody Carlson, is from Maggie’s perspective. I got to read this a...

Hearing God

Over the last few weeks, I’ve heard of a lot of things done “In God’s name” – many of them are awful: Some of the white supremacists who attacked Charlottesville did so believing they were acting on God’s behalf. I know of husbands who pervert scriptures and mistreat their wives, believing they have God’s authority to do so. I know pastors who encourage their people, from the pulpit, to behave in ways that directly oppose the word of God. Daily, I see and hear people spewing hate and justifying it, saying they’re doing “God’s work.” No wonder Christians are viewed as dangerous. I vacillate between complete frustration over this and overwhelming heartache. Followers of Christ – we must be VERY...

Out of Control

I am ashamed to admit it, but even after 30 years of walking with the Lord, I still doubt sometimes. I still look at situations and feel like I need to – or can – fix them. And, yet, because God is incredibly patient and kind, He still , after 30 years, graciously reminds me that He is in control, and He loves us. Here’s my most recent “Crisis”: My oldest daughter’s college choice. First, I need to tell you that I agonized ALL YEAR over the fact that Emma would be leaving home. I was stressed, my body was messed up, my emotions were all over the place. I was a wreck. And then, when I finally worked through all that and was at peace with her leaving…everything fell apart. The financing we thought we had for her to attend...

Freedom from Legalism

I always worry when I write about legalism. It’s like writing about humility – the minute you think you’ve got it, it’s gone. But I feel the need because it’s just so easy to slip into a legalistic attitude. I know, because I fight that battle daily.   So what is legalism? Most simply put, it’s “pursuing good works with the intention of earning God’s favor.” Few Christians would say we believe that – obviously, we know the Bible says salvation is by grace through faith. But practically, it just “feels” like we should have to do more. I, personally, like “checklists”. Right now, I have a long electronic Post-It note on my computer with a list of papers I need to grade, emails I need...

The Eli Diaries

It has been a while since I’ve written anything new, and I am SUPER excited to tell you that I am back!! I am thrilled to tell you guys about the new project I am part of… In this series of novellas, the question is asked: What if Jesus were in high school today? Who would he hang out with? What would he say? What would he do? Authors Bill Myers, Melody Carlson, Jeff Gerke, Shawn Hopkins, Tim Shoemaker, and I will each be writing from the perspective of one of Eli’s fellow students: Maggie: the all-school sleep-around Judas: the super-rich friend always looking for an angle Martha: the good, uber-religious girl Tommy: the pessimistic downer Pete: a hot-tempered jock with a bad case of foot-in-mouth disease The first in the series is out today,...