Posted in Personal Helps, Proactive Faith

How to Kill a Plant in 5 Easy Steps

I love plants, especially houseplants that don’t involve 95-degree sunny days, red clay, or mosquitoes. But I have a problem. Some people have “green thumbs” and can grow anything, but my thumbs are wrapped in angry yellow “CAUTION” tape. In my dad’s garden, I’m allowed to pick anything that’s visibly ripe, but otherwise, for its own safety I leave the garden alone.

Since I’ve moved to Indiana, I’ve been replacing some of the houseplants I had to leave behind – but I’ve been smart enough this time to buy only the ones I know I can’t kill too easily – pothos, Janet Craigs, dwarf palms. After a little humbling analysis, I’ve discovered what makes me the serial plant-killer I am… and they’re exactly the same problems I’ve had to address in my Christian life.

Continue reading “How to Kill a Plant in 5 Easy Steps”

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Posted in Personal Helps, Quotes & Verses

Do I Know You?

I started college back in 2007 when cellphones had hinges, calls were free after 9pm, and you called your parents to apologize if you accidentally went online. The rich kids had texting. For the rest of us, though, texts were ten cents apiece. So, trying to replicate the grand experience of texting, a classmate and I would Continue reading “Do I Know You?”

Posted in Personal Helps, Proactive Faith

Satisfying the Cravings

Cravings. Aren’t they the worst? You’re on a roll, staying hydrated, eating more veggies, cutting back on sweets and soda, and all of a sudden your body announces, “Hey, you know what would be a good idea? POTATO CHIPS.” Ever the budget-conscious adult, you realize that the party-sized bag is a much better deal than the snack size. Problem solved.

Then there are Continue reading “Satisfying the Cravings”

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”