I lost track of the brothers after they split up 6 years ago. On their own, Nick and Joe’s independent pursuits weren’t as wholesome as what the brothers had produced together. It quickly became apparent that their previous convictions to sexual purity were not taking priority as their music became riskier and the purity rings disappeared.
I’ve always found Mary’s response to the shepherds sharing what the angels told them sweet, but now, as a new mom it holds new depth. Mary wasn’t just being sentimental, she was being wise.
A generation of girls made an abstinence pledge with the doe-eyed hope of a passionate wedding night only to discover their new husbands (who often were virgins themselves) had no clue what they were doing. Depending on how good your communication with your new spouse was, this night could still end up being sort of what you hoped and dreamed for. But, it could also end in frustration. Your first sexual encounter, what you had been waiting for and saving yourself for, could seem to be a disappointment.
When we just consume media, and don’t take time to dissect what we are consuming, we gain nothing of value. If we want to gain anything of positive impact we need to be diligent in looking for it. The Bible can be used to help us see what is good about a story. What we should take away and maybe even allow to impact our behavior. The Bible also can show us what is not good.
How do we get Jesus peace, joy, and hope amidst hardship? We need to have His perspective, and Jesus’ perspective is always looking beyond the temporary. This world is not our home. Whatever it throws at us is temporary. It’s difficult to keep that perspective sometimes, but it is key. Jesus has overcome this world, and we can too. Every day we choose to live for that which is eternal, we are conquerors.
We fail a lot. In fact, you could say it’s human nature to fail and to do so frequently. So how can we fail and be "perfect just the way we are" at the same time? Something seems off about that...
When I reflect on high school and college and all the ways I worried, I now see so clearly the peace worry robbed from me. I became a slave to my worry. That's not what God wants for us. He desires for us to walk in freedom from worry.
Both male and female bare the image of God. Our gender is sacred because we bare that image differently. As women we reveal something about the character of God that man cannot. Men in turn do the same.
Warm, winter light filled the little Chinese restaurant with its golden glow. As my family enjoyed their lunch, the sun wasn’t the only thing in the room beaming. I was deeply engaged in conversation with my parents about the upcoming science fair. I was in 8th grade, in love with everything science, and thrilled to be able to show off my knowledge at the school fair. The question of whether I would place in the competition wasn’t even a question in my mind. The actual question was where I would place: First? Second? Or maybe third?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been the “Good Girl.” The kind one. The honest one. The encouraging one. The happy one. The good one. I knew the right things to do and say: what my family wanted, what my friends wanted, even what I thought God wanted. I was polished on the outside, doing all the “right” things, but on the inside, I was selfish. I was angry. I felt inadequate. I was driven by performance and perfection.