Battling Your Relationship With Shame

Discovering who we are inevitably leads us to discovering the reality that we're not who we desire to be - at least in ways.  Shame and guilt over past sin or current struggles can paralyze us....completely.  We feel separated from God, the people of God and the things of God.

We have to understand, though, that shame creeps in because we wrongly identify ourselves in sinful actions/tendency/behavior.  At it's core this misplacement of our identity is because we view ourselves as bodies that have a soul versus a soul that has a body.  

It may seem like a matter of semantics, but it's not at all.  It's an entirely different identity.  If we view ourselves as a body that continues to sin and do what we ought not - cf. Romans 7:18 - we inevitably end with feelings of shame and guilt.  However, if we view ourselves biblically and through Christ as a soul that has been made new, our identity is beyond our fleshly limitations and actions.  This is important to understand because our identity, then, is not found in sin, but instead in who God has made us to be spiritually (cf. Ephesians 1:3-14).

continue reading

Trafficking in Haiti

Honored to go serve these dear brothers and sisters tomorrow...


The Cost of Fear

Fear abounds; on blogs, television, schools, nations, churches. Fear seeps in and makes us cling to the comfort of what we know which leads to a false sense of security. Fear denies, pushes away and closes off. Fear makes us forget that sacrifice is necessary for life.

Perfection, for me, was the mask hiding my fear.  I only handled matters I knew something about and pretended to know about issues I did not understand. But something shifted as I learned to take the mask off.  I didn't need to know all of the answers any more.  A change occurred in my soul as I became teachable from other people's experiences and stories. Together we could make a way through the fuzziness to be seen and so much of life is about just being visible to one another.

continue reading

Conflictions with Love and the Way of Jesus

In the words of G.K. Chesterton, “The way to love anything is to realize that it might be lost.”

I don’t like these words this morning.

I don’t like their seeming conflictions,

or conflicted implications. 


Jesus says He is the Way.

And God says He is Love.

And Scripture says They are one.

So I can only conclude that “the Way” must be “Love.” 

But what about times I don’t want to choose Love?

When I’d prefer another way in, or out,

Because the Way of Love hurts too bad?


Micah and I are leaving for Haiti next week.

I Parent Correctly and You Don't

Amy Chua and the “Tiger Mom” buzz is starting to wane, but the issues it raises are still vital. If you haven’t heard about it, here’s my oversimplified version: 

1. Chinese mother writes hyperbolic memoir about old-school Asian parenting, complete with music torture anecdotes and educational agony. 
2. The book’s most controversial moments become blogged and Twitterfied into a thousand opinions. 
3. American parents freak, self-righteously.
4. American parents pause to reflect, feel secret guilt.
5. American parents get over it, go back to permissive parenting.

Chua’s book is certainly stirring up my students’ discussions about their own home paradigm. I teach AP students in a culturally diverse high school, where Parmvir and Li-Lin (who are forbidden to quit cello or attend school dances) sit beside Jessica and Brandon (who hang out at parties on weekends, play video games, and make due with a casual GPA of 3.2). Chua’s memoir brings to the surface what my Asian students have known for years: their parents are out of the mainstream and dang proud of it. 

continue reading

Faith is Dynamite

Dynamite faith is childlike faith.

The other day I was having my quiet time (as I do every morning), and it JUST happened to be the day I was going to sit down and "discuss" with God how He's going to provide for my needs. I mean...

He called me.

Told me to move.

And so here I am scared and asking like a little child...or am I?

A child does not repeatedly ask his parents whether he will be taken to a doctor if he becomes ill or whether there will be another meal to eat (at least, not very often in our culture). The reason he does not ask such questions is that his parents have proven to him over and over again they they love him enough to take care of his needs. It is the same with God...
This is faith. How happy would a parent be if his child constantly questioned him as to whether his needs would be met? The parent would feel frustrated and sad, perhaps angry that the child did not trust him (Billy Graham, Unto The Hills, January 29).
continue reading

An Early Valentine

My Child,

You may not know me, but I know everything about you. Psalm 139:1
I know when you sit down and when you rise up. Psalm 139:2
I am familiar with all your ways. Psalm 139:3
Even the very hairs on your head are numbered. Matthew 10:29-31
For you were made in my image. Genesis 1:27

I Can't Think Of A Better Word, Sorry

In a world where Christians, in the name of holiness, arrogantly distance themselves from everything "secular"......and like the Pharisees, can't figure out what it means to be "in" the world but not "of" it........

In a world where Christians, in the name of holiness, arrogantly stand back and bash non-Christians for living like, well, non-Christians......

We need to check these actions and attitudes with the scriptures.  I have a word I sometimes use to describe this type of activity.  But I want to warn you, this could be bad.  I only use this word in conversations where people know my heart and theological convictions.  Posting it publicly like this could get me in trouble.  I don't mean to be rash by using this word, but I honestly cannot think of one that better describes this type of activity by the very people that are supposed to be following the example of Christ.

continue reading

Isaiah 51

 1 “Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness
   and who seek the LORD:
Look to the rock from which you were cut
   and to the quarry from which you were hewn;
2 look to Abraham, your father,
   and to Sarah, who gave you birth.
When I called him he was only one man,
   and I blessed him and made him many.
3 The LORD will surely comfort Zion
   and will look with compassion on all her ruins;
continue reading

Home: A commentary about my "next chapter"

I love receiving letters about the book, comments on the blog, and interacting with audiences at different events.  Since the book has come out a funny thing has happened.  I’ve been able to rest into the message as a vocational stamp on my life as well as laugh and cry with other perfectionists trying to find recovery from the madness.  However, there is another introspective anomaly that happens when I connect with others too.

When the book comes up and people have not heard about it, I explain the topic - in brief - if they ask.  They seem interested and nod as if pondering something much deeper.  I blanket the answer as this is “My journey - my story” of how I made peace with the feeling of not being good enough; that I was driven by everyone's expectations of acting and being and doing my life in a certain way.  In no way, shape or form am I trying to project my journey onto theirs (or sell the book, but that's always a perk).

continue reading
Syndicate content

Bloggers in Relationships

Sign-up for the Newsletter
Sign-up for the Newsletter
Get the latest updates on relevant news topics, engaging blogs and new site features. We're not annoying about it, so don't worry.