Thursday, September 24, 2015

For All of You Who Need to #ShoutYourAbortion

This week has shaken the media with one of the most audacious and shocking expressions of free speech we have yet seen or heard. Two women started a hashtag movement claiming an attempt to remove the shame and stigma surrounding abortion and provide a forum in which women could share openly about their choice to abort.

Responses to #ShoutYourAbortion have ranged from horror, outrage, and anger, to support, defiance, and even praise of abortion. 

I am not writing today to re-examine the core issues of this controversy. 

Rather, I felt compelled to respond to this sudden movement by taking a closer look at what it might be saying about the human heart.

Despite the span of strong emotions this brings forth, at the heart of all I have read on the latest hashtag trend on Twitter is a deep need we all share, regardless of our stand on the issue. 

Our shared human need is the need to be heard. To be known. To come out of hiding. 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Vanity Fair: The Desire to Be Admired

Maybe regular God selfies need to be a discipline in our lives.

The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7

They stood at the scenic overlook with towering, breathtaking waterfalls cascading behind them in the distance. A group of beautiful young women gathered around a selfie stick, posing for a photo shoot before turning to descend the winding steps and behold the magnificence of this natural wonder.

After getting just the right shot, all of the women dispersed except one. She remained, posing and preening, experimenting with just the right position, angle, and perfect shot. I stood transfixed for a moment, along with about 25 other tourists passing by. 

It was as if we were not there at all, as if she stood alone, a model on a photo shoot, with no one but her admiring camera crew present with her. She was gorgeous by any magazine's standards, and for a split second I was mesmerized by her.

By outward appearance, she was perfectly beautiful.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Prayer with a Price

I remember the day years ago, sitting in the parking lot with my best friend from high school. We had been shopping, and more important than the shopping, pouring our hearts out to each other. Now, back in the car we took a moment to pray for each other. I closed my eyes and began by saying, "Dear Lord, please give my friend patience..." 


A sharp pain shot up my shin and I grabbed it. My friend said with a hiss, "Don't pray that!" Some prayers come with a price, and she was not sure she wanted to pay it, at least that particular week.

Her kick to my shin still reminds me today that there are some prayers we pray with a price attached. Patience is certainly one of those prayers. Don't ask for it without considering the uncomfortable circumstances which may arise precisely for the purpose of answering your prayer.

Recently I have been studying the book of Ephesians, and I came across a small but weighty directive that just might also qualify for the title of Prayer with a Price. 

Be completely humble... Ephesians 4:2a

I was intrigued by this little powerhouse. Be completely humble? Is that really possible, Lord?

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Single. Not Broken. Part Two

Last week I shared with you my most popular guest post ever, an honest exposition on singleness by my friend Anna. Anna gives a voice to the single friends who haven't had the words to tell you just how it feels to be single in a couple world. If you missed last week's first installment, click Single, Not Broken. Part One. 

guest blog by Anna

Please don't try to fix me. I'm not broken.
Remember I told you last week you have a role in my singleness? Well, you do.

Interestingly, my singleness is often really difficult for people to encounter. They don’t get it. And they desperately want to “fix it” by saying things like: “Aw, you’re so great! How are you not married!?” “You just haven’t met the right one yet.” “Have you tried online dating?” “As soon as you stop looking, you’ll find him.” and my personal favorite, “You should date So-and-So! He’s single!” as if that’s my only qualifier.
I am not single for lack of opportunity. I don’t want just some guy.
I want and need a man who is passionately pursuing the heart of God. Only a man who says, “Yes, Lord! Now what was it you wanted?” will do. Only a man who chooses obedience over security and wants Kingdom things more than earthly things can be my partner in life.