Tag Archives: Suffering

Trust in the Midst of Doubt

      Comments Off on Trust in the Midst of Doubt

To listen to this reflection as a podcast, click here. The first-ever presidential inauguration took place on April 30, 1789, in New York City. On that date, Washington D.C. – the nation’s capital that would ultimately be named for the first president – was still swampland by the Potomac. Every detail of this special event was meticulously planned.  Except for one.  Nobody had remembered… Read more »

The Wilhelm Scream

      Comments Off on The Wilhelm Scream

To listen to this reflection as a podcast, click here. You’ve heard the Wilhelm Scream before.  You probably just didn’t know it had an actual name and history.  The Wilhelm Scream was recorded in a studio more than 70 years ago by voice actor Sheb Wooley, who’s best known for his novelty song The Purple People Eater back in 1958.  Wooley was asked to… Read more »

The Parable of the Stranger

      Comments Off on The Parable of the Stranger

To listen to this reflection as a podcast, click here..The most telling argument against the Judeo-Christian understanding of the world is the silence of God. Prayers go unanswered.  Children get sick and die.  Dictators drag their countries into meaningless wars.  Natural disasters claim thousands of lives. I recently had lunch with a friend who has had enough.  The last two years of his… Read more »

Worth Fighting For

      Comments Off on Worth Fighting For

Throughout the month of August, we’re taking a close look at 23 verses of the New Testament.  They comprise Ephesians chapter one, which paints one of the Bible’s most comprehensive pictures of what it means for ordinary people to be “in Christ.”   How can we know God’s will?  That’s one of life’s most perplexing questions.  And one of the most important, too.  Paul… Read more »

Rocks in the Mountains

      Comments Off on Rocks in the Mountains

Owners of restaurants, bars, salons, and retail stores live in the hope of receiving five-star reviews from Yelp, a popular online customer review service.  One-star reviews, on the other hand (“we had to endure the worst waiter ever”) can have immediate impact on public perception – even if the reviewer had simply gotten up on the wrong side of the bed… Read more »

The Disasters that Save Our Lives

      Comments Off on The Disasters that Save Our Lives

Shortly before his 17th birthday, Craig Barnes and his brother came home from the Christian camps where they had been working for the summer. They were PK’s – “pastor’s kids” – and their identity had largely been shaped by the predictable rhythms of home and ministry. All that changed when they returned to discover their parents were getting divorced.  Their mother had… Read more »

The Real Story

      Comments Off on The Real Story

Just a few months ago, most Americans couldn’t have located Ukraine on a map. Even after saturation coverage of that nation’s plight since Russia’s invasion last February, few people are aware that Ukraine has been intermittently trampled by powerful neighbors from both the east and the west over the past two centuries.  Every recent generation of Ukrainians has been burdened with… Read more »

The One Who Saves Us

      Comments Off on The One Who Saves Us

Dee Dee Kuruneru pointed to the grayish line permanently imprinted eight feet up the wall of his nearly demolished seaside house.  “That’s how high the water was,” he said.  “It stayed there for ten minutes.”  That extraordinary watermark was the legacy of the tsunami that overwhelmed Dee Dee’s hometown of Galle, a bustling community on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka, the… Read more »

The Problem of Pain

      Comments Off on The Problem of Pain

Every week seems to be a heartrending week. If you watch your local news, the First Awful Story is almost always about a murder, a shooting, a child abduction, a housefire, a missing person, or a rape.  Then come the Covid metrics.  The virus at the center of the pandemic has now claimed almost six million lives globally, and 907,500… Read more »

The Surprising Gift of Pain

      Comments Off on The Surprising Gift of Pain

Eleven years ago, a 25-year-old Oklahoma resident named Kristi Loyall noticed that her right pinky toe kept going numb.  During a doctor’s visit she was dismayed to learn that she had a rare soft tissue tumor called an epithelioid sarcoma.  Her heart sank when her physician told her that in order to save her life he would have to amputate… Read more »