(Photo cred: Mitchell Martin – Instagram: @mitchellrmartin )
I started to feel stressed this morning. As I realized how many things I need to accomplish this month, I began to feel the weight of all that responsibility weighing down on me. I’m usually fairly laid back, but, when stress hits, I grow overwhelmed quickly. Continue reading
The mini-fridge in the hotel room made a sound like a Geiger-counter in Chernobyl. That strange detail stood out to me as I tried to fall asleep in Pocahontas, Arkansas; that, and insecurity. I was preparing to represent my school at a college seminary day, and I kept wondering if I’d be able to answer student questions, if I’d be overdressed (or underdressed), if I’d do a good job. The event went well, and I had some great conversations with prospective students. Still, in the back of my mind, insecurity loomed, evaluating everything I did. Continue reading
I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that a person’s relationship status can easily become an idol. Individuals sacrifice time, money, and emotional well being to serve this ever hungry god, finding again and again that the idol can never truly be appeased. No matter how much you give, you will find this false god always demanding more. Continue reading
Marriage is a journey. I had the privilege of watching two dear friends begin that journey on Saturday, and I loved seeing their excitement for the road ahead. As they exchanged their vows and reflected on how God had so perfectly led them together, I saw yet another picture of God’s love for us. The simplicity and humility shown was beautiful, and it pointed to the pure example of Christ, who died for his enemies to make them adopted children of God.
As new marriages are beginning, others I know are marking the first of many anniversaries, allowing me to see couples in a various number of early stages. Not surprisingly, I’m learning a lot by watching those facing the challenges that time brings. Today, I wanted to continue adding to a post I wrote in June. I pray God will encourage and challenge you through these observations. Continue reading
A few years back, my buddy Justin and I embarked on the epic quest that is Kingdom Hearts. Many hours flew by as we battled enemy after enemy through the wonderful world of Disney, and many days were spent with no other agenda than to advance through the massive maps of the game. In short, Kingdom Hearts consumed our time in a major way for about a month. Continue reading
I used to be all about some trading cards. Granted, I never managed to jump on board the major trains (shout out to Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, Magic, etc.). Instead, I amassed stacks upon stacks of Young Jedi cards (a trading card game based on Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace), Marvel’s Recharge trading card game (complete with images from the first Spider-man movie), and, finally, The Lord of the Rings trading card game. For all the inherent nerdiness, trading card games captivated me for years. I loved to collect, to display, and, whenever I found an opportunity, I loved to trade.
My dad introduced my brother and me to Red Skelton’s comedy shows back in the day. While his sketches still stand out in my mind as some of the funniest I’ve ever seen, one of his more serious moments came to my mind the other day.
Oh let me never set my foot
Into this hellish place again,
This cesspool of the vilest strain,
This fountain of the blackest soot,
For I would sooner face my death
Than dare depart into the deep
Where devils in the darkness sleep
In wait for any sound of breath.
Alas, this place is never far,
For scorching fire doth walk with me,
Subverting any good I see,
Revealing this, my hidden scar,
The fatal wound within my heart
That came when I chose to rebel
And, left unhealed, will lead to hell
This soul who seeks to just depart
To freedom from the curse of sin.
O Jesus, can you save this wretch?
Can you before damnation catch
My soul and make my life begin?
Forgive me for my wicked ways
And rescue from temptation’s snares;
Keep me from loving what impairs
And make me yours for all my days.
I spent roughly the first seventeen and a half years of my life in the same city. I only ever attended my home church, I was homeschooled from kindergarten through high school, and my circle of friends consisted almost solely of kids I’d grown up with at church and a handful of students I’d met through state youth choirs and events. My parents and extended family are largely Christian, and the friends I made in my neighborhood growing up were from much the same background as I. All in all, I lived a somewhat sheltered life.
Here’s the setting: You’re sitting in a restaurant with your friends enjoying dinner. This is one of those restaurants that offers complimentary ice cream cones after every meal, and the ice cream machine has been getting a steady stream of traffic since you sat down. As you watch, kids all across the building scarf down their food with enthusiasm before turning (with mouths still full of their last bites) to their parents to get permission to go get ice cream. The kids can hardly stay in their chairs, hopping down and running to the ice cream machine as soon as they get the go ahead. You watch as little boys and girls figure out just how high they can get their soft serve to go on their little cones, and you laugh as the once clean faces are now being painted with vanilla. But then you notice one little boy crying.