I have a friend who will have an empty seat at his Thanksgiving table this year. That seat belonged to his father, who died recently.
A few days ago, a doctor told another friend that his dad probably wouldn’t live to see Thanksgiving next year.
I have yet another friend who was in a car accident and is in the hospital with serious injuries right now. He will be having Thanksgiving there. Read more
I remember the night my parents split up.
My older brother Caleb came into my bedroom and whispered that Mom and Dad were in the kitchen talking about divorce. We weren’t surprised. Read more
That’s typically not the word I think of when contemplating a miracle Jesus performed, but there’s one exception. Read more
I have this one childhood memory that used to haunt me. When I was in first grade, a careless adult did a great deal of damage with very little effort and it seemed like the hurt from that incident couldn’t be undone. Read more
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
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
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.
Dad was in denial for a while after they died. I would’ve been too. Their plane crashed into the Gulf of Mexico and rescue teams never found any wreckage or bodies.
I remember one time when I was a kid, dad painted such a vivid picture of his reunion with Rhonie and Scottie in heaven that I began jumping up and down in the living room and wanting to go there and see them too. That must have been a bittersweet moment for Dad.
It’s hard for me to imagine what it would be like to lose one of my children — I don’t want to imagine it. God doesn’t have to though. He knows quite well what it’s like.
He held back and watched as His Son was bludgeoned and beaten and whipped and spat upon and nailed to a cross with no mercy. What His tears must have been like that Friday afternoon.
Then Sunday morning came.
I can’t wrap my mind around what that must have been like for Father God, but I’ll bet my dad can — a Father heartbroken after the death of His child, devastated by the horror of such a violent end to such a beautiful life.
I can almost picture Father God at the resurrection — His face exploding with the most radiant smile in all of eternity saying, “There you are!” and welcoming His Son back from the dead.
The reunion that Jesus had with His Dad is something like the reunion that my siblings will one day have with my dad. It’s the same reunion that you and I will experience when, after we die, we step into the arms of our eternal Father. And our Father’s joy will be multiplied in knowing that it’s only possible because of His beloved Son, in whom He is well pleased.
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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 did not enjoy going to church last Sunday.
I took my three kids to the service by myself because my wife wasn’t feeling well. The journey started out well enough — we were in the car and only running 12 minutes behind when we pulled out of the driveway. But it was all downhill from there. Read more
Last week I made an unexpected phone call to an old friend, and five days later, countless thousands of people had heard about the conversation. Read more