• News,  Personal

    My Hometown of DeRidder in the Aftermath of Laura

    Last week, I wrote about Hurricane Laura as it bore down on my hometown of DeRidder, Louisiana. None of us knew then exactly what path the storm would take, but it turns out that the eye of the storm passed right over my childhood home. As the dust settled on Thursday, it became really clear that our little town was devastated. In fact, the federal government has designated our city as a disaster area. My parents have been taking care of my aged aunt who has been having extreme difficulties that have rendered her unable to walk or care for herself. For that reason, they had decided to ride the…

  • News,  Personal

    Waiting for the Storm

    I suppose most of the country is watching a political convention tonight. Not me. I’ve been focused all day on Hurricane Laura that is bearing down on Southwest Louisiana. My hometown is DeRidder, LA, and my parents still live there. It is 80 miles from the Gulf and is far enough inland that we usually don’t worry about Hurricanes there. We found out 15 years ago from Hurricane Rita that our inland “safety” is not as safe as we once thought. Mom and Dad rode that storm out, and it was one of the most harrowing experiences of their lives. The winds churned through our town. Mom and Dad said…

  • Christianity,  Devotion,  Personal

    Battling the Coronavirus Panic

    Our nation is facing a real challenge right now, and it is a real gut-check for Christians. Will we trust in Christ, suffer faithfully, show compassion, and bear witness? Or will we get swept away by the panic that seems to be unfolding in some places? I want to be clear about what I mean. I am not winding up to rebuke those who are taking seriously the novel coronavirus and who are being vigilant to do all they can to stop the spread and to encourage others to do the same. This is not a drill. It’s real. We all need to be vigilant. And we need to take…

  • Personal

    The Cajun Night Before Christmas

    If you have never heard of The Cajun Night before Christmas by Trosclair, well, you’re about to! It’s a mainstay where I am from, and my dad read it to us every year on Christmas Eve when I was growing up. Even now, he reads it to my children whenever the family is together for Christmas. The video above is a great introduction to this Christmas classic. The only thing that would make it better is if we could get Coach Orgeron to record his own reading. That would be epic. I have a good friend with an English accent who picked this book off the shelf in my home one…

  • Personal

    The Morning of My Years

    I first heard Allen Levi sing “Morning of My years” when I was in my twenties. The song is about turning forty. After hearing the lyrics for the first time, I remember hoping that this would be my perspective when it came time for me to turn that page. And now that I’ve turned that page some years ago, I still think about this song every year at my birthday. It meant a lot to me then, and it still does now. It represents hopefulness for the grace to age like wine and not like milk. Lord, have mercy on me, the sinner. The song first appeared on an album…

  • Christianity,  Personal

    I have no hot-take, only grief

    Last week Joshua Harris announced that he is divorcing his wife, is no longer a Christian, and has embraced LGBTQ+ views on sexuality. I don’t have a hot-take on this. Only grief. I am not surprised that apostasy exists in the world. Jesus warned us that it would happen (Matt. 13:20-22) and so did the apostles (Acts 20:30). And yet it is so painful and heartbreaking to witness. I resonate deeply with what Heath Lambert has written: The author of Hebrews warns, “Take care, brethren, that there not be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God” (Heb 3:12). Think about this verse,…

  • Christianity,  Personal

    All Flesh Is Like Grass

    I received news of Rachel Held Evans’ death on Saturday morning. Ironically, I was sitting in a session of our CBMW west coast conference when the text came from my wife. We had been praying for Rachel and her family for the last couple weeks. Nevertheless, I was stunned. Immediately after receiving the news and before the next session was to begin, we led the entire CBMW conference in prayer for Rachel’s husband and children.  The news really was a punch in the gut for me. Rachel and I never met each other in person, but we were not strangers. The New York Times obituary includes these lines: Ms. Evans…

  • News,  Personal

    Women and children first? Absolutely.

    I’ve been enjoying Andrew Roberts’ recent biography of Winston Churchill titled Churchill: Walking with Destiny. The book includes a letter in which Churchill opines about the sinking of the Titanic and about how proud he was that the men on the ship put women and children onto the lifeboats first. Churchill said that the whole event “reflects nothing but honour upon our civilization.” His prose is grandiose but stirring: I cannot help feeling proud of our race and its traditions as proved by this event. Boatloads of women and children tossing on the sea safe and sound — and the rest — silence. Honour to their memory. In spite of…

  • Christianity,  News,  Personal

    Top Ten Posts of 2018

    I want to thank all of you who have read and interacted with this site over the last year. I am grateful for every one of you. For those of you who are interested, I give you the top 10 blog posts from 2018. This blog is a combination of content creation and content curation, which means that I sometimes write original material and that at other times I pass on to you items that I find interesting from elsewhere on the interwebs (although over the last few years the curation part has moved more and more to Twitter and Facebook). A number of items on this year’s list surprised…

  • Christianity,  Personal

    Chaplain Bill. RIP.

    I only have happy feelings when I think about my days as a student at Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS). It was such a formative time, and I remain grateful to professors who poured their lives and teaching into me during those years. A big part of life on campus in those days was chapel. I don’t know if it’s still this way today, but we had chapel meetings four times a week (Tue-Fri). The personality who filled that space was our chaplain, Bill Bryan—known affectionately to everyone as “Chaplain Bill.” He had a big heart, a big voice, and booming trumpet, all of which he lifted up in praise to…