The Necessity of Brokenness

I was on a search committee at church a few years ago. A group of us were tasked with finding a young man who could work with both the worship ministry and with youth – the list of his responsibilities were pretty long. We prayed before every meeting, asking God to direct us to His choice for this position. Early on in the process, the supervising pastor told us, “We need to make sure the man we choose has been ‘broken’.” It sounded a bit harsh, but we knew what he was saying: Brokenness in ministry is inevitable. Recovering from that brokenness marks the difference between a mature believer and a baby. I was reminded of that this morning as I studied the book of Job. Job was broken in every way possible – spiritually,...

You Never Know…

If you’ve never heard comedian Michael Jr.’s testimony – watch this. It’s funny and inspiring and so God-honoring. In it, he explains how some difficulties in his past really worked out to be blessings. God used struggles to mold him into the man he was meant to be. But Micheal Jr isn’t alone. God works in all of our lives, bringing beauty from ashes and making sense of the senseless. We don’t get to see the “why” all the time. But God often gives us what a former pastor called “glimpses of the Kingdom” – insight into how God is working to fulfill His purposes through His people. I can see these Kingdom glimpses most clearly in our moves. Every move (EVERY move) was tough. I hate moving! But every...

How Are We?

By the end of this week, we will have been in California for three months. Crazy. You regulars know that this move was major for our family. When I first blogged about it, I was still somewhat in shock….California?? Wha…?? But as we began packing and saying painful goodbyes, the shock turned to sadness, tinged with confusion. Why, God? Why move us all the way across the country, where we know NO ONE? But we kept packing, we said those painful goodbyes, we loaded up the Penske truck and our old van, and we started driving — away from the familiar into – as the old Steven Curtis Chapman song goes – the Great Unknown. The first month was a little rough – though we were warmly and graciously received by our new administrators, we...

Spiritual Anorexia

How long do you go without eating? A few hours? A day? Maybe, if you’re fasting – or on a crazy diet – you might go a few days or even a few weeks. What about a month? A couple months?  Crazy, right? It’s dangerous to go without food for an extended period of time. We’ve all heard the horror stories about anorexia. It doesn’t just affect the body, it affects the mind and the emotions, as well. We need food! God made our bodies to run on the fuel good food provides. We all (I hope!) know this and give our bodies the nutrients we need to thrive. How many of us, though, are starving spiritually? How often are you feasting on the Bread of Life, drinking from the Living Water? How long do you go without spending time in God’s...

Redefining Success

Over the last couple weeks, I have heard from several students that they are staying up until 2am or later to complete homework. 2am. First, I blame the parent — who lets their child stay up that late?? Seriously! Then, I blame the parent again — who is telling that student that an “A” is so important it’s worth losing sleep over? Finally, I blame the student. Because they are either WAY too busy, way too perfectionistic, or simply have priorities that are way too out of whack. (Why don’t I blame the teachers, you ask? Because students and parents choose the kids’ classes – they don’t have to take a course-load full of AP and Honors’ classes. You CAN tell the Guidance Counselor “no”.) Sure,...

Why I Love Christian Education

Before I start, please hear me when I say this isn’t a rant against public education. I am a product of America’s public education system. I am proud of what I learned and where I attended. My character was shaped by Christian teachers who invested in me and even by non-Christian teachers who challenged me to to examine what I believed. But God has called me (ME – not everyone) to be a teacher in a Christian school. I think we should all be passionate about what God has called us to do, and I am quite passionate about my calling. I love teaching in an environment where I’m not just “allowed” to talk about my faith, I’m required to. Christian schools – like Christian churches, Christian families, and Christian...