When God Calls You to Be “Average”

Teens today are saturated with the pressure that they should be prettier, stronger, skinnier, smarter. And they are collapsing under the weight of all that pressure. Teens are pushed to be above-average. But the truth is that far more people are average than are above-average. That is, in fact, what average means. And that’s okay. It’s more than okay – it is from God. God made us for a purpose. HIS purpose. He has works for us to accomplish, a career to pursue, people to impact, and, for many, a spouse to marry. And He gave us each exactly what we need to accomplish those things. Some people need above-average intellect because the careers God has called them to requires that. Some need above-average people skills because God is going to use...

How Softball is Like the Christian Life

My daughter, Ellie, a Freshman, is playing varsity softball this year. She has played softball before, but on church leagues where the coaches pitched and everyone got a prize at the end. This is the “real” thing, where girls pitch FAST and teams have to fight to make the playoffs. I’m not new to being a “sports mom”. But softball is different than the other sports my kids play. There is a distinct language among softball players, a unique cadence to their voices when they’re talking to each other that I haven’t heard in other sports. I teach all of the girls on this team, and I thought I knew them. But they are different when they’re together. Not a bad different – a “team” different. They speak...

In Favor of the “Friend Zone”

There is MAJOR pressure, I know, to have “someone”. Especially when everyone around you seems to have a “someone” and you’re stuck home on a Saturday with Netflix and a pint of Ben and Jerry’s. But, if you observe most high school relationships, there are problems: Young couples are often unprepared for the feelings that come from being in a romantic relationship. They can become completely oblivious to the outside world, losing friendships and, too often, pieces of themselves in the process. When girls, especially, come out of those relationships, they are devastated, lost, and, if they’re not careful, look for another guy to replace the one they’ve lost, starting the cycle all over again. As a result, they only...

What is Good Friday?

What is Good Friday? It is the day Christians remember Christ’s work on the cross. On Good Friday, Jesus was led to his execution. He was sentenced to a death so horrendous that it was reserved only for non-citizens of the Roman Empire. Not even the worst Roman citizen would have to endure this. And Jesus was sentenced for one reason: Because he claimed to be God. He wasn’t killed for being a good person, for being a wise teacher, for hanging out with tax collectors and prostitutes. He was killed because the Jewish leaders of his day found his claims of deity to be blasphemous. They did not believe he was the promised Messiah. And they understood – rightly – that that is exactly who he was saying he was. But Jesus was the Messiah. He was God in the flesh, come to...

I Heart the Arts

I have been thinking a lot about the arts lately – probably because, at our school, we just finished a fantastic production of “Beauty and the Beast”. And in thinking about the arts, I have realized just what an incredible impact the arts had on my education, on shaping who I am. I was involved in plays, in choir, in drama as far back as I can remember. Whether in church, school, or community theaters, I had the amazing privilege of growing up surrounded by people for whom the arts were valued. And, therefore, I felt valued. I wasn’t really a “well-rounded” kid. Not that my parents didn’t try — they did. I spent a season in soccer only to make one goal: for the other team. I played one season of softball and in all...

When Life Isn’t “Good”

Have you ever gone through a difficult time and some well-meaning person quotes Roman 8:28? I want to talk about that today. What does God mean when he says “All things work together for good”? If He means, as we often assume, that good circumstances will arise from bad ones, that a “happy ending” will come to our earthly story, that the sickness will go away, the heartache will be mended, the betrayal be made right…then something has gone REALLY wrong. Because sometimes bad things just happen. Even to good people. And there doesn’t seem to be anything “good” about it. To understand this verse, we need to understand the word “good”. If we come in believing that word means “made right”, then...