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If you think God looks at you and sees ugliness, think again

One day when I was in my 20s, I was struggling with a lot of guilt and shame because I felt like the only thing God ever saw about me was my sin and brokenness. God must’ve told my mother.

I came into the dining room where my mom was and she said, “Joshua, look at that angel up there on the shelf,” and then she pointed to a ceramic angel behind me. Read more

Something to consider the next time you get annoyed with someone

I was standing across the counter from the lady at the hole-in-the-wall dry cleaners and I was getting irritated. She had lost my pants and I was sure of it, but I couldn’t find my ticket to prove it.

The woman kept insisting that I hadn’t dropped them off with my suit jacket. Read more

This lady had no idea she was about to be an answer to my desperate prayer

I was a poor law student living on $300 a month, and as soon as I saw the police cars down the road, I instinctively put my foot on the break. I couldn’t afford a ticket.

It was just a police checkpoint though. I slowed down, stopped beside the officer, and handed him my driver’s license. He furrowed his brow. Read more

This what God may be doing with your unanswered prayers

I wanted the job. I wanted it badly. And a few weeks after making it to the final round of interviews, I learned that I had just missed the cut.

I called my friend Shon to share the bad news.

“Is the door totally shut?” he asked. Read more

The most awful, humiliating, embarrassing thing that’s ever happened in my marriage (so far)

In my first year of marriage, my wife and I got into a disagreement while visiting a family member’s home. We went to the guest room to hash it out privately but we had no idea how badly we were about to embarrass ourselves.

While in the guest room, our tempers flared. Unfortunately, I became particularly disrespectful until suddenly, my wife’s face dropped and she said, “Oh my gosh – the baby monitor is right next to you.” Read more

My baby nephew was dying and his mother’s response was unforgettable

My seven-month-old nephew Canaan was dying and nobody knew it, including his doctor, who had misdiagnosed his digestive issues. The real issue was Hirschsprung’s disease, one of the leading causes of death for kids like Canaan, who has Down Syndrome. Read more

Jesus surprised me — years after a devastating phone call

I was not prepared for the phone call I received on May 26, 1994. It came from my mother, who was letting me know she was worried.

“Joshua, I’m just calling because I want to remind you to be careful today. There was a teenage girl who was killed in a horrible car accident this morning.” Read more

I auditioned for a movie role and here’s how it turned out

I got my big chance to be a movie star in eighth grade when casting director David Rubin came to Petal, Mississippi, in search of a kid to star in an upcoming Kevin Costner film called “The War.” With great excitement, I got my brother-in-law to drive me to the local high school for my audition.  Read more

My dad’s stunning response when I told him off

A few weeks after my first child was born, I told my dad off. At the heart of my complaints was one central failure: Ever since I was a kid, he had failed to show up. Read more

There’s just one way to marry the right person (and anyone can do it)

When I was in college I wrote an op-ed for my local newspaper about the kind of woman I wanted to marry. It embarrasses me to this day.

I had three criteria for my future wife: First, she needed to have the body of Nikki Taylor, a “child bearing supermodel.” Second, she had to measure up to the perfection of my mother. And third, she had to be the kind of woman who Mary, the mother of Jesus, would approve of.  Read more