YouTube

In Hot Pursuit ~ New Online Study

November 27, 2016

In my last post about the release of Though I Stumble, I said I was excited to share something more. Some of you may remember the study we did here on the blog called, In Hot Pursuit. Believe it or not, that was nearly five years ago! It’s been on my heart to re-write that study in a more accessible way. I’m excited that by God’s grace, I was finally able to do it. A “mini-devotional study” with four lessons, it will be available for download as a companion to Though I Stumble on Friday, December 2. Continue Reading…

Books

Now Available for Pre-Order: THOUGH I STUMBLE

November 18, 2016

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I am so excited to finally show you all the other book I’ve been working on this year. I’ve been telling people it felt like I was operating out of different sides of my brain as I switched between nonfiction and fiction. But I have to say—it felt good being back in the fiction groove. Many of you know it’s been two years since my last novel (Hidden Blessings) was released. And for a time, especially after I got the contract for Cling, I prayed about whether God was calling me to give up fiction altogether. But when this story formed in my mind, I knew I had my answer. And I’m so glad! Continue Reading…

Cling

Cling Bible Study Shoot—Behind the Scenes

October 21, 2016

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I had an amazing time filming the sessions for the Cling bible study in Traverse City, Michigan, this week. I had to share about it because God has been so present every step of the way, beginning with the idea to do a bible study. It wasn’t my idea or my agent’s. Soon after I received a contract to write the book Cling, one of the editors at Discovery House Publishers said she thought it would also make a great bible study. She presented it to the media side of the ministry (Our Daily Bread Ministries) to see if they would be interested in the project. A few weeks later, it was a go. Just like that. All God.

In June, Julie Richardson flew down to see me. She’s a producer with Our Daily Bread, and said she wanted to get to know me a little and hear my heart about the project. We spent an entire day together (plus dinner the evening before), talked about ideas for the filming, and even spent time in prayer for the Cling bible study—that God would give direction, clarity, and wisdom for the project, that He would use it to impact each person who picks it up, and so much more. I was blown away by her Spirit-led leadership, and by the company’s willingness to invest time and resources into the project in that way. All God.

Continue Reading…

grace, YouTube

{New Video} 3 Things You Should be Doing with Grace

September 25, 2016

Grace Sign 2I’m hyper aware of my need for grace. I don’t think a day goes by without thinking about grace and praying for grace. Maybe it’s because, as a writer, I hit enough walls trying to figure out where to go next, what word fits just right, how to sync several plot threads . . . Or maybe because I’m quick to get an attitude or react with wrong words. And then there are the thoughts I don’t want to think and feelings I don’t want to feel (don’t you hate when you “feel” offended or slighted or anxious . . . and you really don’t want to?).

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Christian living

Struck Down, But Not Destroyed

September 19, 2016

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In the movie Creed, boxer Adonis Creed takes a brutal punch in the fight of his life, and gets knocked to the ground. He hits the floor hard. The people in his corner are shouting, “Get up! Get up!” His opponent is on the ropes celebrating, thinking it’s over.

But while Creed is out, his mind is scrolling through all he’s been through up until that point, and all the people who love and motivate him. Like a jolt, he’s up before the count of ten — and is back in the fight.

Creed’s boxing life may seem to bear little resemblance to our lives as believers. Though we encounter battles, we don’t train intensely for them, with dedicated professionals to put us through our paces and shore up our weaknesses. We don’t know the time, date, and location of our next bout, such that we can show up prepared. Our battles are spiritual, seemingly upending the comparison.

But as the apostle Paul showed, boxing (like running) provides a vivid metaphor for the Christian life (1 Corinthians 9:26).

You Will Get Hit

We often don’t see it coming. It could be a health crisis, loss of a loved one, an employment shake-up, betrayal, or some form of persecution. Or maybe it’s something we’re aware of, something we thought was mild or temporary, but it “hits” when it morphs from hill to mountain.

The question is not whether we will find ourselves in a battle, but when. “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds” (James 1:2). Paul likewise says it’s part of our privilege as believers. “It has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake” (Philippians 1:29). We remember vividly the times we have been hit. Many of us are still recovering.

Continue reading over at Desiring God . . .

Books

CLING: Choosing a Lifestyle of Intimacy with God {Coming Soon}

September 8, 2016

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I am so excited to be able to finally tell you why I’ve been ignoring this blog. ;-) I’ve been working on two book projects, a nonfiction book and a novel. My nonfiction title is shown here, to be released March 2017 by Discovery House Publishers—CLING: Choosing a Lifestyle of Intimacy with God.

Last December, I blogged here about how my agent emailed me and asked if I would consider writing a nonfiction book proposal. He’d seen my YouTube videos, uploaded to a channel I’d almost shut down, but I digress . . . When I prayed about it, the word “cling” came hard and fast to my heart.

Continue Reading…

Bible, womanhood

Let the Bible Tell You How To Be a Woman

July 12, 2016

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There are biblical womanhood passages we hardly blink at. That older women should impart wisdom to younger women is esteemed. That women ought to love their husbands and children is expected, even if challenging at times. And as much as we may give attention to hair and clothing, we understand that in Christ, the inner person deserves our utmost adornment.

But other passages spark something more. Submission can ignite a lively exchange all by itself. Toss in “worker at home” and roles in the church, and you might be ticking towards an explosion. The casualty, however, is often the word of God. As believers, we have an obligation to treat Scripture — even “troublesome” passages — in a Christ-honoring way.

Treat Scripture with Humility

When we encounter hot-button issues in biblical womanhood, we do so armed with our own experiences and opinions. These issues are central to our identity as women and stir convictions that are deeply entrenched. Almost instinctively, we rise to defend them. But in Christ, we have a higher call, to elevate the Lord and his word above all.

Continue reading over at Desiring God . . .

 

gospel

A Mother, A (Black) Son & The Gospel

July 7, 2016

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I checked Twitter on Thursday morning, and there it was—another black man shot and killed by the police, the aftermath caught on video. Philando Castile had gotten a haircut for his upcoming birthday, gone to the grocery store, and was on his way home with his girlfriend and four-year-old girl in the car.

But they had a broken taillight.

A cop pulled them over and asked for license and registration, which Castile kept in his pants pocket. According to the girlfriend, as he reached for his registration, he let the officer know he had a firearm, which he was licensed to carry. Seconds later, the officer was firing shots into Castile, who died as a result. The governor of Minnesota, who has asked for a federal investigation, said the incident “probably would have ended differently had Castile been white.”

Stunned and saddened after watching the video, I looked up from my computer and saw my son about to leave the house. Quentin knows the Lord. He knows he is made in the image of God. He knows he is precious in the sight of God and loved eternally by Him. From the time he was young, we have instilled these truths and more into him.

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gospel, grace, parenting

A Daddy, A Daughter & The Gospel

April 14, 2016
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“I want my daddy.”

Those were my daughter Cameron’s words yesterday. We’d gone to the hospital to have an ultrasound done. Her stomach had been aching since Sunday, and her doctor ordered one to see what might be wrong. After the radiologist studied the screen, he showed me what he saw—a swollen appendix with a stone inside.

“You must have a high tolerance for pain,” he told her. “This should be excruciating.”

He quickly left the room with an assistant. Cameron and I thought we’d be heading home, waiting for word from her doctor as to what would happen next. When the radiologist returned, he said we were heading straight for the emergency side of the hospital. He’d spoken with Cameron’s doctor, and Cameron needed to be prepped for surgery. Now.

Continue Reading…