A tree is one of the most beautiful displays of God's absolute sovereign brilliance. Here is a created entity that serves in so many roles in this world. A tree can bear fruit, provide a home for creatures, or fight erosion. Most importantly, a tree...

After last week’s warning from Hebrews 3, I clearly identify my natural tendency to harden my heart in virtually every area of my life. In verse 7, we hear that warning again: “Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts.” Here, the writer...

A few months ago I decided to pick up Tolstoy’s War and Peace for a bit of light reading. I mean, I knew it was a big book, but multiple people had recommended it to me as one of the best they’d ever read, and...

How quick I am to call places my home. How eager I am to connect with new people and hold tight to old friendships. I could say my home is Chesapeake, Atlanta, Baton Rouge, Nashville, Martin, or Greenville. I could say my “second home” is...

It’s been a long week, I’m ready to be home, and my hands smell like people. I’m writing this between airports, coming home from yet another work trip. And at the end of each day while we’re traveling, my hands always smell like people. It’s...

Our culture romanticizes words such as “wander,” “adventure,” and “free spirit.” If you take a scenic hike, you better snap an artsy picture, slap a filter on it, and upload it to Instagram. If you travel to a foreign country or visit a well-known city,...

At my daughter’s school they are studying indefinite pronouns. I don’t personally have a memory of learning indefinite pronouns, per se. Do you? All. Another. Any. Anybody. Anyone. Anything. Both. Each. Either. Everybody. Everyone. Everything. Few. Many. More. Most. Neither. Nobody. None. One. Other. Several....

When I lived in Wilmington, NC, I attended a church there that encouraged us not to make New Year resolutions, but to choose one word that we would like to see God work out in us for an entire year. I loved this challenge while...

It was 1982. I was a wide-eyed, naïve, college freshman dancing in my pj’s, singing a brand new song and pretending to party like it was 1999! I blinked and 17 years went by. Suddenly it really was 1999. The world was afraid of what...

The holiday season was the most wonderful time of year for some of us. For others of us, it provided a painful reminder of how broken the world is in which we live. Many struggled with difficult life circumstances such as job loss. Others tried...

This summer I had a memorable conversation with my Dad. He will turn 65 in a couple of months and he was talking to me about insurance options that my parents had been discussing. As we sat in that small coffee shop in Rehoboth Beach,...

Our current community group study has me excavating the depths of my heart and taking a thorough inventory of my sin patterns and their effect on my life. It’s a dark and lonely road. I am learning how easily I gloss over, legitimize, or even...

Absalom was known as the most cunning, handsome, and ambitious of David’s sons. The Bible describes him in 2 Samuel 14:25 saying, “Now Absalom was praised as the most handsome man in all Israel. He was flawless from head to foot.” I don’t know about...

2 Samuel 12 begins, “then the Lord sent Nathan to David.” Many of us can think back to those specific moments in our life when we came face-to-face with a God-sent friend. For most of us, those moments have only happened once or twice, but...

My friends make fun of me incessantly for being the sentimental sappy one, and I would be deceiving myself if I tried to deny the label. They've watched me save cheap orange pom-poms from big football games, drive the long way around just to look...

I grew up with the understanding of God’s grace before I understood how desperately my heart needed it. I fully believed that He lovingly accepted me no matter what I did. I fully believed His love was unconditional, that He would never walk away from...

If I’m being honest, like taking a microscope to my heart kind of honest, I think I'm a pretty big deal. Of course I don't insert that line into everyday conversation, because it's not socially acceptable to be obviously arrogant. You have to coat your...

The God I worship is the God of the universe and all of creation. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the One who holds the world in His hands and gives us life. This is the God I worship, yet sometimes I fail to...

Do you know those days when you feel like you’ve got it all together? You know what needs to get done, and you know exactly how you’re going to do it. You’re motivated and focused; you’re on it, and everyone else better move out of...

I had the immense privilege of growing up on the edge of a family farm. And despite having to run from charging cows a time or two and spending summer days (and Christmas Eve nights, let's be honest) climbing stacks of hay bales, I can't...

Liturgy, that old word for old worship, comes from the Greek words for "public" and "working." Through the centuries, many in the church have made use of these root words to define liturgy as "the work of the people." This definition grows out of the...

As the youngest son, David performed the lowly, menial job of taking care of the goats and sheep in the fields. But when David comes before Samuel, the Lord said, “This is the one; anoint him” (v. 12)....

One of the first lessons I learned in elementary school is that your name must go on everything. It was drilled into our heads that if your name isn’t on it, it isn’t “yours.” Fast forward a decade, and in a college job, before turning...

My first few jobs through and after college were work. And they were just that; they were jobs that no one may have found glamorous, and I certainly did not see them as anything but a means to a paycheck and a stepping stone to...

At the risk of sounding like an annoying overachiever, the idea of hard work has never really bothered me. I'm probably too competitive for my own good, so the thought of a challenge (even a dumb one) has always called to something deep and elemental...