The Gospel Gives Me Chills

The Gospel did it to me again today.

I’ve been reading Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken. (Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t read it yet and plan to, I’d click this post away right now.) Several of my Christian friends recommended Unbroken to me, so I assumed it was a “Christian book.” But halfway in, I decided it wasn’t. It is an amazing story told with sharp journalistic acumen, but I couldn’t find a Christian subtext in it anywhere. Not that I minded. A good story is a good story.

But as I read chapter after relentless chapter with titles like “Missing at Sea” and “Sharks and Bullets” and “Hunted,” I got bone-weary of Louis Zamperini’s tragic life. When would the pathos end? Once he got safely home to country and family, it only continued. How could it not, considering what the man had endured at the hands of his Japanese captors during World War II? I felt that surely this seemingly indestructible man was going to self-destruct in the end.

Then I turned to page 904 and got chills. Read more →

Celebrating Recovery

My name is Kendall. I’m a grateful believer in Jesus Christ, and I struggle with pornography.

I witnessed my first pornographic image around the age of seven. I can remember it pretty clearly. I went into the living room and pressed eject on my parents’ Betamax VCR (of course, this was ages before DVD or Netflix). When the VCR opened, a tape came out that I didn’t recognize. Being a normal, curious seven year old, I pushed the tape back in and pressed play. The image I saw seared itself into my memory and exposed me to something that would haunt me into adulthood. Read more →

My Broken Plate

For our Utopia series, we wanted to invite our community to share their brokenness on plates and break them to symbolize how God takes that brokenness and makes something beautiful.

Here’s what I was going to write on my plate Sunday:

I have a mind that is easily distracted and a heart that easily grows lukewarm and numb.

The general, albeit honest, confession of a mature Christian woman. I watched the film played during service, and I felt for Jackie as she talked about her broken family. But I couldn’t relate. Maybe this is the pride that contributes to my lukewarm heart, but I kind of think we have a utopian family. We’ve weathered the frazzled years with infants and toddlers, the frustrating years with teenagers, and now we have these grown up men with wives and children of their own. And we have healthy relationships with them.

But then I got distracted from my self-satisfaction long enough to hear Jackie say something I realized—like an arrow shot—I could relate to. She spoke of a family that “stigmatized” her. It’s a harsh word, one I’m fairly certain none of our sons would say was inflicted upon them in our home. But there it was, out loud and pointed and very clearly meant for me to hear. Read more →

Born This Way

I was born a sinner.

What does that mean?
I figured it meant I was born bad, like we speak of unruly kids. But that’d mean a few spankings and punishments and then I’d be a good kid and eventually a good adult.

Right?
Wrong according to Christianity. Read more →