Tag: joy

My theme for 2017 matches the traditional theme for Advent’s third Sunday: joy. How did I do with reflecting joy this year? With Philippians 4:4 as my key verse, I practiced rejoicing…over and over again. I did this when I didn’t feel like it. I did it when I did feel more like it, yet […]

Here is are lines from “Strawberry Seeds” that will appear in The Last Time We Were Children: The Tenth Anniversary Edition.

Applying joy enhances the big picture of “it.” If I were faced with that same geometric castle today, I would not hesitate. I would flip open a textbook and relearn all the theorems I ignored when I wrote poetry in my high school geometry class. Then I would teach them to my children, and—with my […]

Are we open to receive the end result of “it” with joy? Are we still consumed with what we want and failing to accept from God what we need? Lacking means “leaving behind,” “need,” and “remains.” To see the completion of “it” clearly, we need to leave behind what cannot be attained and focus on […]

We get this part of the process wrong most of the time. The expectation is the solution for “it” will be perfect or flawless. “Perfect” by human standards will never match up to God’s standards. For one, we live in a sinful world. Just as critical, we put too much pressure on the word perfect. […]

Much like physical training, trials and testing build endurance and strengthen faith. I learned this truth as a long-distance runner in high school. Without suffering through daily workouts of varying difficulty, I would not have been prepared for my races. Adding my own personal workouts strengthened an inner resolve. When faith in myself wavered, perseverance […]

Trials and testing appear to mean the same thing, but they are also juxtaposed ideas. The word trials indicates an experiment. The word testing is synonymous with proof. These definitions seem appropriate to me. Science and math—specifically geometry—continue to be my least favorite subjects. My college roommates can attest to my foul mood during the […]

Every time I read James 1:2-4, I emphasize all. Some versions use the word pure. But, I prefer all because it, too, has a counterweight with the last word of the passage: nothing. All (pas) and nothing (mēdeis, mēdemia, mēden) are included in each other’s Greek definitions. Consequently, there is a sense James is using […]