Archives For Life

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If you grew up in a Christian home during the last thirty years, you’re a member of an exclusive clique. You lived through McGee and Me’s tornado episode, survived a youth group game that required drinking a gallon of milk, and even weathered the Newsboys’ disco phase. Remember the day you accidentally ripped your Amy Grant poster? Some tragedies are too difficult to bear.

Christian culture possesses a unique attachment for its members, and judging by the amount of nostalgia-centric artifacts surging in popularity, we can’t seem to get enough of it…CLICK HERE FOR THE REST OF THE ARTICLE

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Before I could offer any advice, he spouted off a list of reasons why it was OK for him to rent a hotel room on prom night. He made sure to be safe. He and his girlfriend were legal adults. He had done it before, and his emotional health seemed just fine.

I heard these excuses from a student in my youth group, a student I was supposed to be counseling. I wish I could tell you I said something that changed his mind, but I only changed the subject. That day, I realized the way I talked (and thought) about sin needed more than a makeover. It needed a renovation. In the past, I only spoke to the personal, physical consequences of sin—broken relationships, legal trouble, STDs, etc.—and my students noticed. Individualism had sneaked into my belief system, constructing obedience into a selfish statue of personal comfort. I needed a better answer than, “Sin will ruin your life.”

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A few Easters ago, I lectured on the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus. At the end of my talk, a woman chastised me in front of the group. “It doesn’t matter what theologians, scholars, or logic says. All that matters is the Bible.” Work that statement out as you may, but I think the main thrust of it was, “You just have to believe.” Continue Reading…

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I never expected what losing my dad would do to me. Some days, I don’t want to pull the covers off. Some days, I don’t want to talk to anyone. Some days, I simply want to watch television, scrolling through Netflix until I find a story that takes me to another world.

This isn’t the first time I’ve felt this weight, but it’s definitely the most poignant. Don’t think you have to lose a loved one for depression to be justified. Grief comes in many sizes; some big, some small enough to fit into a mailbox. Seasons like these make worshiping God feel undesirable, even complex. Yet, for all our preconceived ideas of what worshiping God is, I was reminded of a line written by my friend Alan: “Some days, rising out of bed is a great act of worship.” Honoring God can be as meager and rural as lifting our head off the pillow in the morning. Continue Reading…

My Grief, Observed

Wade —  January 10, 2015

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As I write this, it’s been a month, to the day—nearly minute—that my father passed away. Last night, I dreamed about the evening he died. I think that makes two times in the last week. It wasn’t an oddly exaggerated dream like so many dreams are. It was actually fairly close to what happened that night. Continue Reading…

My Ten Favorite Films of 2014

Wade —  December 29, 2014

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I’ve seen some great films this year. Though there are still more I need to catch (Whiplash, Selma, Inherent Vice, and Birdman to name a few), I thought it would be fun to put together a list highlighting my favorites so far. I hope this will be a guide of sorts for those of you looking to expand your filmography. My top ten list includes blockbusters, independent and foreign films, dramas, a horror picture, a black and white feature, and even one movie with Tom Cruise.

Because one of my passions is examining how art and Christianity coincide, I’ve included within each description a number of themes I feel interact with that particular film’s story. This will, hopefully, help you look at these movies through a more critical, spiritually-minded lens. Continue Reading…

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I think our definition of “miracle” is often too small, too limited, and even a bit lazy. Here’s why. Continue Reading…

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I can’t keep up with Halloween costumes anymore. It has gotten out of control. I miss the days when you could celebrate in a simple, homely ensemble—maybe even go as the Ghostbusters if you were feeling fancy and free. Now, one has to be incredibly and specifically creative or they won’t get noticed at all. Continue Reading…

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Brie Larson in Short Term 12

I may be a youth pastor, but sometimes I don’t know what to say when a student comes to me for help. Case in point:

A few years ago, a teenager found me after a church service and told me about his home life. His words were emotional, but not soft. I think I remember him cursing a few times during our conversation. It’s hard to blame him, if I were in his position I might be cursing too. My response to his story didn’t come easy. I wasn’t speechless, but I wasn’t confident. My words tumbled instead of slid.

Then I said something that surprised me. It surprised me because I’m not sure where it come from. Continue Reading…

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Last year, I took some time to dissect Taylor Swift’s song, 22. It’s upbeat, fun, and a reflection of the darkness surrounding Taylor’s life.

What?!

Yes. 22 is more than just a catchy tune for teenagers driving to prom. It bleeds with clear allusions to failed relationships, sorrow, and, of course, an episode of The Twilight Zone. If you haven’t had a chance to read my piece, you can do so here.

Today, I’m going further down the rabbit hole by critically analyzing Taylor’s (we’re on a first name basis) new song, Shake It Off. Continue Reading…