When I was in college, I lived with the perpetual fear that somehow I had missed the salvation boat, that although I had placed my trust in Jesus, in the end, I would come before God’s throne, and He would shake His head and say, “I’m sorry, but you just thought you were saved.”
According to a recent study by the Barna group, at least 70 percent of single, self-identified Christian men view pornography on a monthly basis. Many Christian women probably look at this statistic and fear being stuck with a husband who’s more aroused by his smartphone than her. But I’m more worried many of these men will never get married at all.
The other morning, I decided to read the crucifixion story to my two little girls, hoping they would somehow understand how serious and heartbreaking it was. Although you’d think that would be hard for a three and a five-year-old, kids can surprise you.
Last night, my wife and I came home and discovered that the pipes in our kitchen were frozen. For those of you who have experience with this sort of thing, you realize this is not a small problem.
The other day, I was reading the Bible to my little daughters and we came across a passage that made me a little uncomfortable. In it, Jesus said, “Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow” (Matthew 5:42). It felt awkward when I tried to explain the verse to the girls.
It’s amazing how quickly unintended destruction can happen to a home. A few years ago in my hometown, a family was shooting bottle rockets in front of their house on New Year’s Eve. Someone lit a rocket and accidentally tipped the bottle over. The rocket shot out, flew through the open door, and into the Christmas tree.
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).
The last three months have been pretty hard on my family. A lot of it had to do with me traveling too much for work and struggling to find the time to complete a challenging feature article. Plus, the girls started school, which changed our whole routine, and my poor wife has gotten pretty sick a couple of times. And as much as I hate to admit it, somewhere in the midst of all that stress, my wife and I stopped being our best selves with each other.
When I was a little boy, I desperately wanted to be famous. It probably had a lot to do with me idealizing the lives of the children who appeared on Family Ties and The Cosby Show, not to mention the fact that my parents were struggling financially, and I thought being famous would make us rich.
I’ve had close friendships with countless Christians in my lifetime, and if there’s one thing we’ve all got in common, it’s that we’ve all got some bad habit, some addictive sin, some hangup that we just can’t seem to overcome. People struggle with all kinds of things — rage, overeating, jealousy, passive-aggressive behavior, and porn addiction, to name a few.
I used to spend a great deal of my time digging in my soul for spiritual brokenness. I was on a manhunt for sinful motives, ungodly habits, and character flaws – for badness, brokenness, ugliness – all the things I thought kept me from God.
When I was 16, my mother and step-dad got married and we began packing our things to move into a new house. At one point, my step-dad came into my room and looked in my closet.
A couple of years ago, I was talking to a young fiancee who was upset because her future in-laws didn’t like her. As she shared her experience, it was hard to believe that these adults, who were otherwise decent people, could be so socially tone deaf, so oblivious to their own unkind words and actions.
A few months ago, I had to rent a car for a month. Unfortunately for me, it smelled like cigarette smoke, but it was the only one they had available, so I was stuck with it for 30 long, stinky days. As one who hates the smell of cigarette smoke, it was exceptionally unpleasant.
I’ve spent three years of my legal career as a criminal prosecutor, a job that usually has one goal when it comes to wrongdoers: conviction. Once the defendant has pleaded guilty or has been found guilty by a jury, it’s all over. He has been convicted, and the only thing left to do is sentence him.