Thank God for that Awful Lady in the Lexus

The other day, I was just minding my own business, trying to get to work, when a woman in a black Lexus brought out the worst in me. I was trying to park in a garage in downtown Washington, D.C., which is a challenge. I have little time to get to the garage after dropping off my daughter at school, and if I’m a minute late, the price goes up from $14 to $21. Time is of the essence.

How to Offer Jesus the Ugliest Parts of Your Life

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.

If You’re Secretly Afraid You Might Go to Hell…

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.

How to know the moment when you really got saved

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. 

Finding Joy in the Midst of Anxiety

A couple of weeks ago, there was an unexpected turn of events in my life that knocked the wind out of me.  At first, it agitated me; then agitation turned into anxiety, and anxiety turned into a low-grade feeling of panic.  I didn’t have a lot of control over the circumstances, and every moment I left things unresolved, it weighed on me more heavily.  

The Danger of Liquor, Buffets, and Self-righteousness

“Margaritas, everyone!” said the worship leader from my new church as she filled plastic cups for the partygoers in her home. I was mortified, and I figured God was too. Then I walked outside where I found our Austrian pastor making conversation and smoking a cigarette. All I could do was put on my best fake smile, bid farewell, and ease away from the party in confusion.

The Positive Side of Our Insecurities

Back in college, I was a high maintenance friend. As I’ve described in my article, “Facing Insecurity, Finding Friendship,” “I always needed a prompt reply to my phone call or email, an enthusiastic ‘yes’ to my invitations. I needed to be coddled and comforted and assured that I was liked.  If someone neglected to call back, it couldn’t be because they forgot — no way, it had to be because they were ignoring me and my all-important need for affirmation.”

The Reason to Forgive that Annoying Person

I know I’m supposed to like the whole Bible – especially anything Jesus said.  But there are a few parts that get under my skin.  One in particular is this passage from Luke 17:3-4: “Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.”