Saturday, October 12, 2013

Dying to self

Recently, I made a facebook post asking, "How do you view the nature of faith in Christ in the midst of suffering and in the context of community?" One response I received was a simple, "Dying to yourself to give to others." I wondered to myself just how many people actually know what that really means...what dying to yourself actually looks like.

Friday, August 2, 2013

What My Son Taught Me - Part One

One day, as I was cooking supper, I was blown away by a revelation that began years ago, with my son. It was a picture of beauty that brought me to tears...

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Sacrificial Atonement

This is a term paper that I wrote for Old Testament Introduction during my first semester in seminary. I enjoyed writing this paper thoroughly. Enjoy, but please don't plagiarize.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Little Is Much

Today, I participated in a Day of Service with other students from Asbury Theological Seminary. When I got to our service project site this morning, I didn't really know what to expect. I knew that we would be doing some cleaning, but it was morning, and I felt very energetic and ready to work. When I walked into the dormitory that we were going to clean, my heart dropped. I looked around at the peeling paint, dust, and grime, and I wondered how we would make that space seem livable. Today I learned how much God can do with insurmountable tasks.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Lord's Prayer: Part 3

As a spiritual discipline, I have been in a pursuit to better understand the prayers and the creeds that I have used over the years. I've been seeking to find where my heart connects with God through these words, and so, I have recently done some blog posts on what the Lord's Prayer really means to me. I have already covered The first three sections of the prayer in previous posts: The Lord's Prayer and The Lord's Prayer: Part 2. Now, I seek to address the part that, quite frankly, kept me stumped for a while. 

"and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil"

What is theology and why does it matter?

Merriam-Webster defines theology as "the study of religious faith, practice, and experience; especially : the study of God and of God's relation to the world." 

Christian theology is not white-haired old men with numerous degrees speaking in strange words.
Christian theology is not someone's personal opinion supplanting the Word of God.
Christian theology is the study of God.

Why is it so important?

Friday, April 19, 2013

Hurtful Responses to Tragedy: Hate or Fear?

In the past month, it seems, there have been so many instances of very publicized, very tragic events. Right now, it feels like our entire world is in a state of shock and fear, particularly America. Often, we see people come together in amazing ways to support and lift up those who are hurting during such tragedies. However, there are also those who seem to add hurtful words, condemnation, and blame to situations that are already painful enough. 

This problem is disturbingly rampant within the body of Christ. Often, the rest of us focus on their inappropriate responses and think they are merely hate-filled people. Though I certainly do not condone their unjustifiable actions and words, I do seek to understand people better, especially fellow believers. My question is this: are they really reacting from hate, or are they more likely reacting from fear that has resulted from an unhealthy worldview? To answer this question, I turn to some typical aspects of a western worldview and how they have affected Christians.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Is Our American Nationalism Stronger Than Our Unity in the Body of Christ?

I look at the nation's response to the Boston Marathon bombing, particularly the response of the church in America, and it really makes me think. Overall, the response has been that of love, support, and the sharing of mutual pain. We share the pain of our fellow Americans because we are bonded together as a nation. We may have our petty quarrels from time to time. We may even be hopeless in our political and religious bickering. But, when the rubber meets the road, we share one another's burdens despite our differences. It is truly a beautiful moment in which our nationhood shines brilliantly

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Beauty of a Child's Song

I was preparing my lunch today, in the solitude of an empty house. As I worked in the kitchen, I was absentmindedly singing a praise song that had been in my mind when I woke up this morning--"Better is One Day." Slowly, an awareness of God's presence crept up on me and I had to smile when He reminded me of a memory that I held as a precious treasure in my heart...

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Easter Story You Haven't Heard

The weight of a lifetime of shame and utter worthlessness hung on her neck--a burden far too heavy for such a frame. All the words that had been spoken against her--countless stones cast over the years--left bruises that would not heal. She could barely lift her head to cast her eyes to the heavens--eyes that grew dim from searching for hope. "Harlot," "Daughter of an addict," "Sinner," "What a waste!" Battered and beaten, she was abandoned by the very ones who had been chosen to nurture her. The sole cry of her broken heart is, "Abba, don't leave me!"

Sounds like the description of the lost, doesn't it? But, it's not. It doesn't seem like the daughter of a King should live this way, but how many of us secretly live these lives because we have been stuffing our emotions, afraid to admit that we are broken.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Lord's Prayer: Part 2

Recently, I have been unpacking the Lord's Prayer in my mind and considering what it means to me. In the first post of this series, I took a look at the first two parts of the prayer: 1) "Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name." 2) "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven."
In this second post, I would like to investigate the third: "Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us."

While God led His people through the wilderness, on the way to the promised land, He provided manna from heaven to sustain them. The catch was that except on the Sabbath, they had to gather fresh manna each morning to provide their nourishment for the day.

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Lord's Prayer


After a semi-sleepless night of leg cramps that made me want to gnaw my own leg off, I wake up at 6am. After waking my son up and telling him to get ready for school, I decide to lie back down and sleep a little longer...only to wake up two hours later to find that my son had gone back to sleep and missed the bus and breakfast! I probably could have handled that situation much better, but I must admit that I let my frustration get the better of me. As soon as I realized it, I had to bring my thoughts and emotions under control and cry out to the Father to help me remain centered in His grace. I had to pray.

Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses 
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,
For Thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory
Forever and ever Amen.

Christ taught His disciples to pray in this way, but I think that sometimes we repeat it so often, that we don't stop to think what it truly means. Lately, I have been making it a point to be conscious of the liturgy I repeat and the prayers that I pray. It has made all the difference in the world, and God has really spoken to me through my treasured traditions. The Lord's Prayer was the focal point of my day today and the first two statements really spoke to my heart this morning. Let me tell you how my heart sang with understanding.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

I Believe

I believe in the God the Father, maker of Heaven and Earth,
And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, died, and was buried.
On the third day, He rose from the dead,
He ascended into Heaven,
and He sits at the right hand of God the Father, Almighty.
From there, He will judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the universal Church,
The fellowship of believers, the forgiveness of sins,
The resurrection of the body, and everlasting life.
I also believe...

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Dead or Alive

As we enter the season of Lent, the temptation is to treat it as a well-worn book--one to which we already know the ending. Indeed, we can quote most of it by the memories of year after year of thematic bible readings and preaching. So, as Christians, we already know the ending. We know that our Savior rose from the dead and is very much alive. I would like to pose a different question--one that I will be exploring in my own life this Lent. Am I alive?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

A Mom's Lesson

My little boy would snuggle up in my lap for comfort while I breathed in his sweet little boy smell. Moments like these, though frequent, were fleeting. All too soon, he would slide down off my knee and explore the world around us...but he would always come back to the familiar, loving, and comforting embrace that was Mommy.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Beginning a New Chapter

Do not ever let the devil tell you that you can't accomplish what God has called you to do because you're not worthy and you're going to fail. Through Christ, you can do anything because He is worthy and His love never fails!