The Wrong Kind of Prayer

In my almost-30 years as a believer, I have prayed for all kinds of things– from requests as seemingly insignificant as a parking space in the rain to literal life-and-death issues. Right now, though, I feel like God is teaching me to take a step back from the way I’ve always prayed. In the past, I have prayed very specifically — not that praying that way is wrong. In fact, God used the answers to specific prayers to bolster my faith and encourage me that He is there, He is listening, and He cares for me. But specific prayers can be very selfish (“Lord, give me that job, that house…”). And I can often confuse real prayer with wishes. Though I know God isn’t a genie, I treat Him like that when I am constantly bombarding...

Did God REALLY Say…?

Life today is quite different from life in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve would surely be shocked to see cars and planes, televisions and cell phones. They would probably be disgusted at what we eat and wear, but impressed with what we have built and invented. Despite all those differences, though, the first couple would likely recognize that, in our hearts, we are still just the same. In Genesis chapter 3, we see that Satan’s tactic with Eve was to question God’s sovereignty. “Did God really say not to eat the fruit of the tree?” And, once he gets her questioning that, he assures her that God’s warnings (“You shall surely die”) are not true. God is, in fact, tricking Eve, Satan argues, because He doesn’t want...

Listen!

I hate when my students don’t listen. I give instructions in several different ways: talking, writing on the board, emailing, inputting on the online lesson plans, repeating… Invariably, though, there is “that” student: the one who, after all of the instructions, raises his hand and asks, “What are we doing today?” And, worse, he acts shocked if the plans for the day include a test or quiz. “What?” He asks, eyes wide with shock. “I didn’t know we had a test today!” *Groans* *Pulls hair out* “Seriously?!” I was thinking of that today, as I got frustrated – again – for being ignored – again. And God gently reminded me that, far too often, I am “that” student. He has told me to expect trials (James 1:2); He has warned me that I...

To Tattoo or Not to Tattoo

Tattoos are incredibly popular. There are tattoo parlors all over the place – in storefronts, in malls, in the city and the country. There are upscale tattoo parlors, non-smoking tattoo parlors, tattoo artists working alongside make-up artists and hair stylists. Tattooing is a statement, it’s art, its fun, it’s meaningful… But it’s not for me. I’m not saying it’s wrong. Lots of people I know and love have tattoos. I’m just letting you peek in my head (be careful, it’s messy!) and see how I came to my conclusions. You, of course, are free to  make your own choices. Unless you’re still living at home or being supported by Mom and Dad. Then you need to do what they say, whether you like it or not. When you’re making your own money you can go...

A Work in Progress

This week was “Show Week” at my school. For those who have participated in theater – whether behind-the-scenes or onstage – you know that week is crazy. Lights, sound, costumes, hair, make-up, set and props must all work together in harmony with the acting, singing, and choreography so the show can be the best it can be. You also know that, almost without exception, there is a point during show week where the cast and crew think, “This is going to be a train wreck.” But, also almost without exception, the show ends up much better than anyone expected. “Bye Bye Birdie” was no exception on either count. We had a couple rough rehearsals. Lines were dropped. Props were dropped. Even actors were dropped! (this is my...

A Wake Up Call

Earlier this week, a police officer knocked on our front door — in the middle of the night. Dave and I were both sound asleep, and my first thought was that we were being robbed — obviously  I was sleep deprived. What robber knocks?? We warily approached the door, where a very nice lady cop was standing, her car in our driveway. Dave opened the door and the officer apologized for waking us. “But,” she said. “Your garage door is open, and we have had some robberies in the area. I wanted to make sure you were all right and that you knew to shut and lock your garage.” We thanked her and promptly obeyed, walking around the house to make sure no unsavory characters had made the same discovery the cop had made. While we...