The Disciple Whom Jesus Loved

Name calling has been a thing for a long, long time. We accept what others say about us, and even our own self-given identities evolve.

We’re about a week into our study in John’s gospel, and already massive truths have come crashing over my head. This topic of names, for instance. John earned the nickname ‘son of thunder’ because of the story (which I find hilarious) in Luke 9:51-56. In case you’re wondering, ‘son of thunder’ means kind of the opposite of ‘all-around nice guy.’ But this isn’t the only title you’ll find attached to his lapel. What did John call himself as he penned his gospel? ‘The disciple whom Jesus loved.’

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What Women Need

(This post was edited for and originally published on the Baptist Convention of New England’s blog on June 24, 2019. You can find it here.)

While working with a program that prepared couples for long-term missions, I began to notice a deeply troubling disparity in the expectations and the definitions of spiritual excellence for males and females. Husbands were loaded up with classes, mentoring, books, and accountability groups – but a monthly meeting was too much to ask of their wives.

Both inside and outside the world of full-time ministry, studying the finer points of our faith is a mainly masculine enterprise. Aren’t women busy enough without diving deep into the Word? Let Pinterest catechize them. But when half the Church is spiritually deficient, the entire body walks with a limp.

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Stretch It Out

Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. Ouch.

This has been my ongoing and super complex inner dialogue since trying a new workout a couple of days ago. The program was apparently so effective it targeted muscles I was previously oblivious of owning. Funny, right, that my body is closer to health right now, while I’m in the throes of recovery, than it was back when I felt the painlessness of normalcy?

Progress comes with an ache.

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How It Works

You brave soul. Good for you! We can tackle this beautiful book together. How?

For each chapter, there’s a corresponding schedule, a plan to keep us on track. Sermons are linked for easy online access, or you can print the whole thing out if you enjoy manually checking off calendar squares as much as I do. As we wade deeper in, I’ll post chapter summaries of favorite quotes, questions, resources, and aha moments. Get acquainted with the landing page; it will be your best friend.

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Touring with John

I’m typically a safe adventurer. While you won’t find me out hiking mountain ranges or surviving the desert wilds, I love a good epic (and much like Bilbo, I prefer to read said good epic in front of my fireplace with a steaming cup of tea). Curled up with a sweeping journey through a vast landscape with all kinds of perils is my favorite. Should the villain gain too much ground or the challenge be too great, I can slam the book shut and go for a walk. This sort of adventuring allows for limits, boundaries to insulate its readers from insanity. (Because who needs to miss work for weeks due to the carnage of the battle at Hogwarts? Tempting, yes. Practical, no.) Calculated risks—the kind found only in the pages of a book—are my jam.

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Kingdom Rising

What’s the last concept you encountered that you knew would require extra time to work through? Something so meaty it refuses to fit into a tweet or on a dollar store coffee mug?

I just finished reading The Sacred Romance by Brent Curtis and John Eldredge. The book includes a couple of paragraphs that I suspect I’ll be unpacking for years. Here they are:

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The Procrastinator’s Gospel

(This post was originally published on the Baptist Convention of New England’s blog on June 3, 2019. You can find it here.)

“God has promised forgiveness to your repentance; but He has not promised tomorrow to your procrastination.”

(St. Augustine)

They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result. When it comes to procrastination, I find myself on the struggle bus. It goes a little something like this:

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A Few of My Favorite Things

June bursts forth with a thousand promises every morning. Ants are just as happy with the sugar-coated peony buds out front as kids chasing the ice cream truck down the street. Brides and babies and graduates and dads—what a month for celebrating! If the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, I always feel a bit closer to my purpose in June. Break out the beach-ready pedicures and iced pink lemonade! Summer has come!

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