Connections 05.19.2019: “The Second Death”

This passage offers some of the most hopeful promises in the Bible. In the first part, death is overcome! In the second part, God rebuilds Jerusalem as a place of hope and strength and newness.

Crossroads: Good Friday

Have you ever had a week start off well, but by the end of it all hope seems lost? Terrible things happen all at once, and you just aren’t sure how you’re going to make it another hour, let alone another day. We’ve all had bad weeks and perhaps you have had a week so terrible that you just couldn’t go another step.

Death and Life

We lose so many good people. When Jesus finally arrives at his friends’ home, Lazarus has been dead for four days.

Connections 02.24.2019: Life after Death

Who among us has not wondered about the afterlife? Especially when someone we know dies, we cling to the few descriptions the Bible gives us about what we imagine as “heaven.” God is usually depicted as speaking from heaven, as in Psalm 33:13.

The Holy, Hard Things

I have had the honor of having two Papas on this earth, my father and grandfather. Both were men who loved God, sharing God’s good news every opportunity they had.

Connections 07.01.2018: Journeying through Grief

“Grief Is Complicated.” My first thought when I read the title for this lesson was Well, that’s an understatement! Anyone who has experienced grief—no matter the cause—knows that it is more than complicated.

Hard Things Are Hard

Hard things are hard. Sometimes life is just plain hard. You can’t escape it or get around it; you just have to live through it.

Death and All of His Friends

Earlier today, the oldest and I were riding in a car to an appointment. He was having a rough morning of his own doing and I wanted him to get re-grounded before we set off on the day. So I plugged in my phone and I played the Coldplay song “Strawberry Swing.”

Formations 04.09.2017: Jesus’ Death Foreshadowed

Jesus enters Jerusalem amid cheering crowds inspired by hope in “the one who comes in the name of the Lord” (v. 13). They came out to meet Jesus because they had heard about the raising of Lazarus (vv. 17-18). Ironically, it was this same sign that led to Jesus’ death.

A View from the Pew: The Beauty and Challenge of Baby Dedications

Whether they are innocently sleeping or desperately screaming, we can’t take our eyes off babies. This is especially true during baby dedications at church. Spend any amount of time in church, and you’re likely to be a part of such a service, especially in Baptist churches with young families.

Formations 07.10.2016: When Laughing Is Scary

May I begin by apologizing for what is to come? I was taught to do my best not to offend people, but this text makes it hard. In fact, I’m convinced that Judges 3:12-30 offends nearly everybody’s sensibilities in some way.

The Tale of Two Prayers

My friend was dying. When we met, she told me that she had cancer. Though, right now, I can’t recall why that was a part of our first conversation.

Holy Ghosts: Deadly News (For Raymond)

The news came crawling
Like dreaded, deadly spiders into my ear,
Spewing their gossip like a lethal poison.

Praying in the Shadow of Death

The Internet has been good for us in many ways. But, I feel that a warning should be issued at this point….If you begin to experience any of these symptoms, please stop using the Internet and consult a real person in real life.

Live Forever

Glenn Frey will live for as long as the world continues. That’s because he will live on in his songs. Now, before some of y’all get your halos twisted in a knot, let me say that I do believe in everlasting life.

Connections 01.31.2016: When Death Comes

Death came into my life during the night when I was around ten years old, taking with it a beautiful white dog named Princess. A few more dogs followed over the years, one of which I raised from a tiny puppy.

Crossroads: Praise the Lord!

As I write this, my family is getting ready to remember several losses in our family. On January 25th, we lost my great-grandmother (my mom’s grandmother) and my aunt (my dad’s sister), two years apart.

Uniform 01.25.2015: Effective Prayer

People love stories of miraculous healings. When I log on to social media, I am often greeted with links to stories about babies who are diagnosed with serious illnesses in the womb but are born perfectly healthy.

Formations 01.11.2015: Praying in Times of Tragedy

After showing hospitality to Elijah and seeing her meager provisions miraculously multiplied, we readers might have been lulled into thinking that the widow of Zarephath’s problems were now over.

Uniform 01.11.2015: A Grandmother’s Voice

As I read these words of Jesus this week, I am grieving the loss of my grandmother, who died just after Christmas. My mind is running a constant feed of the time my family and I spent saying goodbye.