These Fruits Are Made for Pickin’

“I am the vine. You are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit.” These beloved words of Jesus have shaped the spiritual formation of countless people who, over the ages, have sought to walk in the way of Christ. They’re inspirational. They’re endearing. They beckon … Continue reading These Fruits Are Made for Pickin’

The Edge of the Frame

Note: The following is the funeral message for my grandfather, delivered on June 19, 2018, in Leitchfield, Kentucky. One of the more welcome effects of loss is nostalgia. For me these past few days, that has looked like shuffling through my own mental database of memories involving the man the world knew as Hubert Gene … Continue reading The Edge of the Frame

Love Learns the Language

Take a moment and think about your favorite song. Maybe it’s a song from your youth that holds a nostalgic sway over you whenever you hear it. Maybe it’s a song from your wedding that kindles feelings of romance and love. Maybe it’s a song that helped you get through a particularly tough season of … Continue reading Love Learns the Language

The End of Spiritual Disciplines

Somewhere in the world there’s a company that manufactures prayer journals. And they’re probably working overtime right now. With the arrival of the new year comes an opportunity for improvement. And as Christians, there is perhaps no area we see more need for improvement than our practice of the spiritual disciplines. So with the arrival … Continue reading The End of Spiritual Disciplines

Evangelism and Empathy

Perhaps you’ve seen the comedy sketch where Bob Newhart plays the part of a painfully direct psychologist. When a woman comes into his office with a debilitating phobia, he cuts right to the chase with two simple words of advice: If you think about it, the psychologist has a point. There’s a sense in which … Continue reading Evangelism and Empathy

Jesus Loves the Little Children

When you’re a teenager, few things are as humiliating as being treated like a little kid. You want to be thought of as independent and responsible. You want people to respect you. You want to establish your own identity. In other words, you want to stop being a child—which is precisely why it’s so frustrating … Continue reading Jesus Loves the Little Children