Live Dangerously

Have you ever had the amazing spiritual “high” after a great week of camp? Or felt like God is so near you could almost reach out and touch Him? Do you ever feel like God is really far away? Or do you sometimes wonder if he’s even there at all? My kids and I were listening to the fabulous Focus on the Family’s Radio Theatre production of CS Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters in the car a while back. In this book, a “head demon” is writing to his student about how to keep “those awful” humans from knowing God. The whole book is brilliant, but one particular “letter” always sticks out to me: The one where Screwtape tells his student about the “Law of Undulation.” This law is the reality that sometimes Christians can feel very close to God and...

Matters of the Heart

I‘m not old. But I can see old. I am perilously close to the top of the hill. I know I’m getting older because people look at my wedding pics and say, “Look how cute you were!” (emphasis on the were). And because people think I’m lying when I say that I just got my first gray hair this year (It’s true! And it’s still just the one). And  because my firstborn is just a few months from turning 16 (excuse me while I hyperventilate). There are benefits to getting older: I have 39 years of life lessons behind me. My wrinkles reflect wisdom. My gray hair (did I mention I just have the one?), survival. I no longer ask Dave if my butt looks big in those jeans. Of course it does! I’ve had three kids and I hardly ever exercise. I no longer try and compare...

Beware of Bandwagon Christianity

Most of you reading this are like me – you’ve spent a lot of time on a Bandwagon. If there’s a new fad, a new saying, an “it” fashion, you are all over it. We’re all guilty of it. I’ve been around long enough to see everyone I know – myself included – fall victim to one Bandwagon scheme…or a hundred. That crazy diet that makes you sick to your stomach, causes your hair to fall out and your breath to stink? Yes, that one. It was THE health craze. Those fabulous purses that cost three times more than the no-name brand and fall apart just as quickly? HAD to have it. And let’s not even go into the shoes. Who cares if they’re ridiculously uncomfortable and you have to fracture your pinkie toe to...

On Subtweets and Snapchats

I know today’s teens get a tough rap, but I happen to think you are pretty spectacular. You guys have been thrown a lot of curve balls – the ultra-protection that comes from living more of your lives post 9/11 than pre-9/11; the constant influx of new technologies; the increased pressure to get better grades, take harder classes, pass more tests…Being a teen today takes far more work than it did back when I was that age. But here’s what we had that some of this generation is missing: in-the-same-room communication. While texting and Snap chatting and Tweeting are fine – in the right context – none of that substitutes plain, old-fashioned talking. In the wrong context, texting, Snap chatting, and Tweeting can actually...

Finding God in “The Small Stuff”

I don’t know about you, but when it comes to “The Will of God”, I tend to think of the “big” stuff: choosing a career, getting married, having kids….that kind of thing. But the older I get, the more I realize that it is just as important to seek God in the small stuff as it with the biggies. Because here’s the deal: even the “big stuff” gets small. My wedding day, while amazing, was just a day. Thousands of days have passed since then. On my wedding day, I said “I will” to  “for better, for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health”. But every one of those thousands of days since, I have had to make the choice, with God’s help, to live those vows out. Having kids...

Discipline

I don’t like having to discipline my kids – the biological ones or the ones in my classroom. I want them to behave because they know they should. I don’t want to have to force them to behave by bringing in restrictions, taking away gadgets, or writing up referrals. But, after 15 years of parenting and 7 years of teaching, I have learned that, like or not, discipline is necessary. If I let my own children get away with whatever they wanted, they’d be rotten right now. If I let my students do what they wanted in class, very little actual learning would take place. Discipline, though not fun, is necessary to accomplish my goals as a parent and a teacher. God is the ultimate Parent and the Master Teacher. As such, he recognizes that...