Posted in Personal Helps

Down to the Wire

Confession: I am a Procrastinator (with a capital P). If it can be put off, I do. I begin with good intentions, making plans and lists, gathering all the supplies I need well ahead of time. I’m rarely late with assignments or projects. But I get complacent; “I’ve laid all the groundwork, and getting started is half the battle, right?” I vastly underestimate how long things take. I get swamped with numerous little projects all vying for my attention at once, increasing the last-minute panic. We’re not even going to talk about those college projects. Everyone says what a horrible thing procrastination is, and certainly it causes a lot of unnecessary stress and cut corners. And while I don’t pretend procrastination is healthy for me, there’s a secret code within it that always produces my best work – urgency.

It’s surfacing right now. I am less than three weeks away from moving out of state to work in a Christian school. There are boxes everywhere; Continue reading “Down to the Wire”

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Posted in Personal Helps, Proactive Faith, Stories & Studies

In the Real Hero’s Shadow

Caleb’s name has been passed down through the ages as a courageous hero. His beloved Hebron is immortalized on thousands of church signs. You sing “I Want That Mountain” in church, inspired by his story. You know at least a few people named for him. But what if Caleb was… your dad?

You know the story. Joshua and Caleb were among those spying out Canaan, and would be the only two adults in faithless Israel to get to enter. Fast-forward 45 years: Joshua is now Moses’s successor, and is busy conquering Canaan. Caleb is now an old man, trying very hard to be patient as his tribe waits their turn for land allotments. He tells Joshua, “Moses promised me Hebron. I have been faithful to God and He’s kept me going. I’m still ready to fight. Can I please just have it now?” And Caleb the 85-year-old giant-killer charges into Hebron and possesses that thing.

Achsah (pronounced “ak-sa”) is Caleb’s daughter. Imagine growing up in Caleb’s shadow. You’ve heard him talk about giants and victory and Hebron your entire life. He spends his evenings telling you – again – about the amazing things he saw there. He’s ingrained it into you that fear, disobedience, and complaining are all roads to failure and misery. He’s stubbornly supported everything Moses and Joshua have ever said or done. You never get home from the tabernacle before dark because Dad’s volunteering the family for everything. But for all his annoying cheerfulness, you know unquestioningly that he is the greatest man you’ve ever known. He’s a hero to you – especially when he finally gets to defeat the sons of the giants and claim his beloved Hebron.

Continue reading “In the Real Hero’s Shadow”

Posted in No Need of Spoil, Personal Helps

A Classic Woman in a Changing World

 

What constitutes a classic?

If you instantly pictured a Dickens novel or a 1960s Camaro, well, you’re not wrong. A classic is something distinctive that doesn’t lose its appeal over the years. It’s something timeless, that continues to resonate long after its creation.

So in six millennia of human existence, what is classic womanhood? The world hasn’t really ever decided what to do with women. Throughout the ages and across cultures, women have been worshiped, abused, treated as property or bargaining chips, reverenced as the leaders of society. What constitutes a classic woman in a world that can’t make up its mind about us? Continue reading “A Classic Woman in a Changing World”

Posted in Ministry Helps, Personal Helps, Stories & Studies

The Eutychus Syndrome

Confession: I have dozed off in church at least a couple of times since reaching adulthood. Yeah. I’m a preacher’s kid. So sue me.

Paul was pulling an all-nighter in the first-century church of Troas. Eutychus, bless his heart, couldn’t take it any more. Around midnight, despite the “many lights in the upper chamber”, he dozed off in his seat and schlumped right on out the window, falling two stories to the ground. Paul, after checking for a pulse like the problem-solver he was, simply resumed his talk and carried on until sunrise. All the folks clucked and fussed over Eutychus, who doubtless protested and blushed and looked for a table to crawl under. I mean, come on. Imagine having your name recorded for thousands of years’ posterity as “that guy who fell out the window while Paul was preaching”, by none other than the visiting preacher’s personal blogger, Luke.

Continue reading “The Eutychus Syndrome”