Right now, I’m looking across the room at my son, a newborn baby boy curled against my wife’s chest. She’s nursing him, which takes a lot more effort than you would imagine. And speaking of effort, there are a host of other little tasks that somehow manage to take up nearly the whole day. We don’t mind it, but we’ve come a long way since our first two children were infants.
While I vividly remember many moments from my wedding day, there’s one moment that still moves me, and I hope it always does.
I don’t flip people off in traffic, but this week, there was an ugly part of me that felt like doing it. I was in rush hour traffic and was trying to get across downtown D.C. to get a haircut. It is difficult to find street parking at that hour, but lo and behold, right when I arrived, a woman got in her car to leave — and then she took her time.
The night before my wedding as I was drifting to sleep, I decided to ask God for a small favor.
My wife is seven months pregnant, and we’re getting into that phase of pregnancy where something as simple as moving around can be challenging for her. I have no idea what she’s going through, and this pregnancy is showing me that I’m similarly incapable of understanding God’s work in saving us.
When I was in my 20s, I was obsessed with the fear that I was not actually saved — that my so-called “faith” was nothing but an elaborate web of self-deception that would end in eternal damnation.
Here’s a tough memory verse for all of us social media users: “If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless” (James 1:26). “Worthless.” Whoa.
I spent a lot of my early Christian walk hiding the areas of brokenness of which I was most ashamed. It was like I believed the worst stuff would go away if I simply didn’t acknowledge it. All it did, however, was cover up the symptoms until my issues bubbled to the surface, causing me to sink into shame. But over the years, the Lord spoke a lot of comfort to me with this Bible story about a man who was seen as unapproachable.
Most of my life, I’ve resented Barrabas, the criminal who got released on Good Friday instead of Jesus, who was sent off to be tortured to death. Now, I’m grateful for his example.
I can hardly stand to read my journal entries from my college years — it stresses me out. I was an extremely zealous Christian, and although I was genuinely seeking to follow Jesus, I got a little sidetracked during my freshman year.
I’ve had some stressful rehearsals as a worship leader in my church, but last Sunday took the cake. While my wife and I were on the stage practicing with the band, my daughters were running around the sanctuary pretending they were queens in Narnia. I noticed they were up in the balcony at one point, but I didn’t pay much attention to them. But then over the sound of the music, I thought I heard someone screaming.
I am conversationally fluent in Spanish, but under the right circumstances, speaking Spanish can be scary for me.
This morning, I got down on the floor and played with Lincoln Logs for the first time my life. We got them for our daughters for Christmas, and my youngest daughter wanted me to show her how to put them together. In no time, I got lost in the process of building the perfect log cabin with her. I think there’s something beautiful that was going on with that.
Last week, I wrote an op-ed for Fox News Opinion called, “How to Know the Moment When You Really Got Saved.” I have never written something that provoked so many comments, personal emails, or Facebook messages. Fortunately, most of the responses were filled with awe at how completely God saved us through the blood of His Son, Jesus. And one of those messages, in particular, touched me.
I grew up in the Deep South, an area heavily influenced by the evangelical Christian faith. For many of us southern believers, the best articulation of our theology of salvation was the phrase, “Once saved, always saved.” The idea basically boils down to this: Jesus died on the cross for your sins, and once you say the “sinner’s prayer,” you are forever saved, and it can’t be undone, no matter what you do.