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.

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Posted in Personal Helps, Why I'm a Baptist

Getting Over the Good Kid Complex

M’kay, I’ve got something super-personal for you today, something that’s been weighing heavy on me for some time. If you’ve been reading IYSF a while, you already know I love being a ministry brat. I love that I’ve spent my whole life actively serving in a local church. I love my Baptist heritage. I know, from the Bible, why I believe and live the way I do, and I love sharing that with others. I don’t get tired of the lifestyle, and I know exactly why I want to live this way for the rest of my life.

Being a good ministry brat Continue reading “Getting Over the Good Kid Complex”

Posted in Encouragement, Personal Helps, Stories & Studies

Moving On (After You’ve Moved On)

Finances. Relationships. Work. Vehicles. Faucets. Rifts of every description, from a breakup to a church split. By this point in our lives, most of us are resigned to the fact that things don’t always run smoothly. In fact, “Things” are a lot like the pigs in Matthew 8; they’ve got a bad tendency to absorb every evil entity out there and go charging off a cliff with no regard to our opinions on the subject.  “Things” are as unpredictable and prone to trouble as first-graders on a field trip. We’re prepared to admit that. We feel we’re strong enough to hang on when the storm winds blow. We’re psyched up enough to just accept it and get on with our lives. That’s good, right?

Continue reading “Moving On (After You’ve Moved On)”