Do Whatever

By |2020-05-22T11:43:59-04:00May 30th, 2020|

In a recent film, a self-proclaimed “genius” rants to the camera about the world’s “horror, corruption, ignorance, and poverty,” declaring life to be godless and absurd. While such thinking isn’t unusual in many modern film scripts, what’s interesting is where it leads. In the end, the lead character turns to the audience and implores us to do whatever it takes to find a little happiness. For him, this includes leaving traditional morality behind...

The Smiling Jesus

By |2020-05-13T14:09:03-04:00May 20th, 2020|

If you were to play the part of Jesus in a movie, how would you approach the role? That was the challenge faced by Bruce Marchiano, who played Jesus in the 1993 Visual Bible movie Matthew. Knowing that millions of viewers would draw conclusions about Jesus based on his work, the weight of getting Christ “right” felt overwhelming. He fell to his knees in prayer and begged Jesus for—well, for Jesus...

Hungry for God

By |2020-04-15T16:51:15-04:00April 16th, 2020|

A new believer in Jesus was desperate to read the Bible. However, he’d lost his eyesight and both hands in an explosion. When he heard about a woman who read Braille with her lips, he tried to do the same—only to discover that the nerve endings of his lips had also been destroyed. Later, he was filled with joy when he discovered that he could feel the Braille characters with his tongue...

The Faith to Endure

By |2020-02-26T14:16:14-05:00February 28th, 2020|

Ernest Shackleton (1874–1922) led an unsuccessful expedition to cross Antarctica in 1914. When his ship, aptly named Endurance, became trapped in heavy ice in the Weddell Sea, it became an endurance race just to survive. With no means of communicating with the rest of the world, Shackleton and his crew used lifeboats to make the journey to the nearest shore—Elephant Island...

Thoughts of Joy

By |2020-02-25T12:20:38-05:00February 26th, 2020|

In What We Keep, a collection of interviews by Bill Shapiro, each person tells of a single item that holds such importance and joy that he or she would never part with it. This caused me to reflect on the possessions that mean the most to me and bring me joy. One is a simple forty-year-old recipe card in my mom’s handwriting. Another is one of my grandma’s pink teacups...

Playing with Joy

By |2019-06-20T12:08:17-04:00June 24th, 2019|

One of our sons, Brian, is a high school basketball coach. One year, as his team was dribbling its way through the Washington State Basketball Tournament, well-meaning folks around town asked, “Are you going to win it all this year?” Both players and coaches felt the pressure, so Brian adopted a motto: “Play with joy!” I thought of the apostle Paul’s last words to the elders of Ephesus: “That I may finish my race with joy” (Acts 20:24 NKJV)...

Knocking Down Pins

By |2019-06-12T14:27:17-04:00June 8th, 2019|

I was intrigued when I noticed a tattoo of a bowling ball knocking down pins on my friend Erin’s ankle. Erin was inspired to get this unique tattoo after listening to Sara Groves’s song, “Setting Up the Pins.” The clever lyrics encourage listeners to find joy in the repetitive, routine tasks that sometimes feel as pointless as manually setting up bowling pins over and over again, only to have someone knock them down...

Biblical Prescription

By |2019-04-25T12:47:54-04:00May 1st, 2019|

Greg and Elizabeth have a regular “Joke Night” with their four school-age children. Each child brings several jokes they’ve read or heard (or made up themselves!) during the week to tell at the dinner table. This tradition has created joyful memories of fun shared around the table. Greg and Elizabeth even noticed the laughter was healthy for their children, lifting their spirits on difficult days...

Serving the Smallest

By |2019-04-18T14:40:16-04:00April 24th, 2019|

The video showed a man kneeling beside a busy freeway during an out-of-control brush fire. He was clapping his hands and pleading with something to come. What was it? A dog? Moments later a bunny hopped into the picture. The man scooped up the scared rabbit and sprinted to safety. How did the rescue of such a small thing make national news? That’s why. There’s something endearing about compassion shown to the least of these. It takes a big heart to make room for the smallest creature...