Duty, Drudgery, and Joy

“Coming from my denominational background, I’ve always seen Christianity as more of a duty,” one young woman recently shared with me. She attended church, read her Bible occasionally, but only out of a sense of duty. She knew intellectually that the only way for her to be fulfilled was in Christ, but confessed, “I know…

Guarding Your Heart by Guarding Your Worship

“Guard your heart!” Like most teenage girls, my parents’ reminder was not something I was always eager to hear when my thoughts started fantasizing about a guy. Of course, I knew everything they had told me about the dangers of giving your heart away to the wrong one. I knew well the analogy of the…

What Can I Give Him?

Navigating her way through the crowded streets, Mary pushed through groups of chattering women, baskets of fresh olives and dates at their sides or perched atop their flowing headdresses. Children darted through, narrowly missing upsetting a cart of eggs. Mary shook her head, her eyes intently scanning the colorful array of booths, carts, and storefronts….

Because Christ is Shalom

Sleeves rolled up and sponge in hand, I was scrubbing the bathroom floor when I heard my 7-year-old nanny boy timidly call, “Julianna?” I turned around to face him, knowing he’d just been let out of his room from a talking back incident we’d had earlier. “Will you forgive me?” He said it softly, with…

Digging to the Root: Fighting Idols Through Loving Christ

“Why am I reacting like this?” The previous few weeks had been a rollercoaster of crazy emotions—despair, anger, uncontrollable tears… Yes, life was changing faster than I could process with my family moving out of state. Yes, one of my jobs fell through. Yes, I was facing uncertainty, but none of this seemed to explain…

What God Defines as Precious

“Precious” necessarily excludes most things. Something is precious because it is rare, set-apart, solitary, or uniquely valuable. Precious metals are not so-called because a particular culture thinks they are more valuable than dust or sand or iron. No, they are universally precious to all cultures and times because of some intrinsic rarity or value. Our…

A Prayer of Surrender

One of the perks of being a history major in college was finding treasures buried deep within otherwise long, laborious reading assignments! I found one such gem while working through a two-volume, nearly 1,900 page account of 19th century revivals in Wales. I was reading about one of the lesser-known traveling preachers of the period,…

The Greatest Woman

What defines a great woman, or at least a great Christian woman? I’ve been mulling over this question as I’ve recently been reading through Eric Metaxas’ Seven Women and the Secret of their Greatness. His choices of women for the mini-biography series intrigue me: Joan of Arc, Susanna Wesley, Hannah More, Saint Maria of Paris,…

Identity in Christ XTAWG

Hi friends! I just created this booklet to facilitate an XTAWG (eXtended Time Alone with God) for a girls retreat my sisters and I are hosting. I’m sharing it in case any of you would be interested! XTAWGs are truly sweet times with the Lord, and if you haven’t set aside time to do one…

Yep, There’s Something More

“I hope this job will work out.” “I hope I’ll feel good today.” “I hope I’ll get married someday.” I use the word hope quite flippantly. Perhaps that’s why I’ve had trouble grasping the biblical idea of hope. My hope in a job, health, or marriage has no certainty in it. God hasn’t promised me…