What’s Behind our Inferiority Complex

When I was growing up in Petal, Mississippi, I felt a steady sense of being out-of-place. I didn’t play sports; my dad didn’t take me hunting; I paid the reduced price for my school lunch; and we weren’t Southern Baptists like almost everyone else in town. These were a few of the clues that helped me see that I didn’t belong.

The Article I Wrote for 150,000 Prisoners

This month, 150,000 prisoners will receive a newsletter called Inside Journal, which is a ministry of Prison Fellowship.  In that newsletter is a story called “A Secret No One Knows,” and it’s about a man who spent years hiding his secret of sexual abuse.  I was that man, and although it’s not easy to tell my story, I’m praying God will use it to help set prisoners free from shame.

What’s Going on in the Valley?

Eight years ago this month, I was at a hat-themed party in Washington, D.C., feeling an acute level of insecurity.  In a variety of areas of my life, I was dealing with a lack of integrity, self-control, and spiritual maturity.  And although I’m sure my personal life could’ve been worse, it was bad enough that I knew I wouldn’t be getting married for at least another couple of years.  

How Jesus Handles Doubters Like Us

One summer during high school, I spent a couple of weeks with a well-meaning adult who aggressively tried to undermine everything I believed about Jesus. The man inundated me with anti-Christian arguments I had never considered before and ran circles around my partially developed 14-year-old brain. By the end of our time together, my faith was in shambles.

What Happened When My Daughter Went Missing

The other day, I let my three-year-old daughter ride her scooter on the sidewalk in front of our house, despite my irrational fear of her suddenly being kidnapped by a random psychopath.  I wasn’t especially worried about it because I was landscaping just a few feet away. Occasionally, I looked down the slope from our house to make sure she wasn’t going too far down the sidewalk.

Hiding our Mess from God’s Love

The other night, I thought I heard something break upstairs in the girls’ bathroom, but I decided to keep a low profile until there were further developments.  I figured that one of the girls would let me know if I was needed for a cleanup.  Then I heard something at the top of the stairs.  It sounded two little steps.

To Those Who Wrestle with the Fear of Death

On May 26, 1994, my mother called me at home and reminded me to be careful if I left the house – apparently, a teenage girl had driven in front of an 18-wheeler that morning and had been killed on impact. “Someone said her mom is a schoolteacher named Betty Myers and works in Hattiesburg,” said Mom. “Mom, Erin’s mother is named Betty, and she’s a schoolteacher in Hattiesburg.” My mom paused for a moment as we both put it together. “Oh no.  Joshua, I’m so sorry.”

Taking a Pass on New Year’s Guilt

If you’re anything like me, just the thought of a new year’s resolution provokes a sense of dreaded guilt – the feeling that you’re only doing it because you’ve already failed in the previous year, and you’re going to end up failing in the next one anyway. I’m thinking this is not one of those things Jesus was talking about when he was talking about coming to give us abundant lives (John 10:10).