One Sunday morning when I was in my early 20s, my mom came up to me after church and said something that stuck with me: “I notice you always pray to Jesus. You should think about calling God ‘Father.'”
I thanked her for her input but it agitated me a little. I was more comfortable keeping things on a first-name basis with the Lord and starting all of my prayers with “Dear Jesus.” I didn’t like the way it felt to address God as my male parental figure. I already had a father-son relationship and it was complicated. Read more
Ten years ago this month, I started the day by getting on my face before God and saying, “Lord, I’m getting down on the floor because if I get up, I’m afraid I’ll do something stupid.”
I had good reason to be concerned. Read more
I stared at the TV and fought back tears while watching a CBS news interview with American missionaries Gracia and Martin Burnham, who were haggard, filthy, and appeared to be disoriented.
The couple, who were missionaries in the Philippines, decided to spend one night at a resort to celebrate their 18th wedding anniversary. But that night they were kidnapped by terrorists, and a year later, they were being dragged through the Philippine jungle. One of their fellow hostages had been beheaded. Read more
I know someone who is trapped in a dead-end job right now. He’s been there for years now and he’s trying to make the best of it, but realistically, his resume is probably far too stale for him to get a different job for which he’s qualified.
I know a woman who has an ongoing chronic condition that doctors can’t fix. You’d never know it if you spent time with her — the embarrassing symptoms, the limitations. She longs for some medical breakthrough that will fix the problem, but there’s little hope for that and for whatever reason, God hasn’t healed her. Read more
One time I was at the bus stop and I saw a woman take her daughter by the ponytail, pull up, and force her to move down the sidewalk. As the girl walked forward, she tried to reach up and pull her mother’s hand away, to no avail. As the little girl cried and begged her mother to stop, a man standing nearby laughed about it, and the mother began laughing, too. Read more
For the first few years I wrote my blog, it was the number one source of stress in my life — more than moving to a new state, having two kids, starting a new job, or getting diagnosed with an incurable condition. Read more
I have a brother and sister who died in a plane crash when they were 10 and 14 years old. Although I only have one memory of them, I definitely felt their absence growing up. My father will tell you that he still does. Read more
I was five years old when I walked into my mother’s bedroom and told her I wanted to give my life to Christ. We got down on our knees beside the bed and I asked Jesus into my heart. After that, I proudly told everyone that Jesus had saved me, but my pride slowly diminished over the years.
Seven years ago, I was having a conversation at a birthday party when I suddenly felt like I was in a dream. My voice felt far off, the room looked two-dimensional, and I couldn’t get my eyes to focus. Fifteen seconds later it stopped, but that episode was only the beginning.
I started having a variety of other bizarre experiences. Sometimes it seemed like I was watching a scratched DVD — other times I would lose my words mid-sentence or forget how to type. Read more
I have a friend who was once known for her strength, and now she’s becoming known for her weakness. Rachel Wilhelm, a popular guest writer here, has felt her body break down over the last year.
The only diagnosis doctors can offer is fibromyalgia, a mystery illness known for pain, acute weakness, and frequent sleep disturbance. Yet somehow in the midst of it, God has taken Rachel’s weakness and made something strong out of it.
Here’s her story, in her own words: