Lamentations & the Steadfast Love of the Lord

I glance over and see my four-year-old daughter sitting on the couch. Still in her pajamas, she’s coloring happily, a spray of multi-hued markers in reach of her right hand. She’s healthy, she’s safe, she’s here with me. Glancing over to my computer screen I gaze at a photograph of a four-year-old girl in a …

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Will We Eat and be Satisfied?

Five barley loaves and two fish—not much to feed more than 5,000 hungry people. But in Jesus’s hands not enough is transformed into abundance. Not enough, it turns out, is more than enough. The feeding of a crowd of 5,000 men, along with women and children, is the only one of Jesus’s miracles other than …

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Fellowship: Can a spiritual reality draw us together even when we feel miles apart?

If I say the word “epiphany,” what immediately comes to mind? I think of a bright, startling moment of understanding or inspiration. I imagine an unexpected insight in which the contours of a truth once hazy snap into place. Once seen, they can’t be unseen. In this sense, epiphany is revelation—something made manifest to us …

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When a Blessing Breaks your Heart

“Blessed are you among women, ” Elizabeth ecstatically exclaimed to Mary, but I wonder. In the run up to Christmas this year, I’ve been thinking about Mary, about her experience of motherhood, about what it means to say that she was “blessed among women.” How could a mother who would one day witness the suffering …

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Come to the waters: A design for stained glass

When my hope starts eroding, I turn to a river. I want to wash. I want to drink deep. One of the most evocative images in Scripture for me has long been the picture of a river of life flowing from the throne of God in Revelation 22. The waters are unpolluted and clear as …

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When Wedding Gifts Become Wedding Blessings: Memory and Presence

Sixteen years ago today I was staring out a window in Texas watching torrential rains flood the garden where I was supposed to be married later in the day. I learned then, what I’ve learned many times since, that a marriage takes improvisation and the willingness to change course, sometimes at a moment’s notice. We …

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From Curse to Blessing: How Grace Gets the Last Word

“The last word of the Old Testament is ‘curse’ (Mal. 4:6), and it is meaningful that the opening sermon of our Lord’s ministry commences with the word ‘Blessed.’” —Charles Spurgeon   “What have you got in here?” I ask my son, slinging his backpack over my shoulder. “Did you fill your bag with rocks?” He’s …

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Breathing Room for My Soul: How to Find Rest in the Noise of a Day?

My eyes flit across the surfaces of things, as if I’m rushing around glancing at scattered pieces of a puzzle without the attention to start finding connections, much less meaning. I can’t still the turning of the world; but I do have some control over the degree to which my mind and soul are carried along with it. Here are a few things I’m trying in order to cultivate internal stillness.