“I’m going home, back to New Hampshire. I’m so determined; I’m so determined.” As a sojourner in CA for eight years, I maintained a certain soundtrack to my life. I listened to songs that reminded me of and made me reflect on home. One of my most-often-played and most-often-listened-to songs was “New Hampshire” by Matt Pond PA—an eerily beautiful song about regret and nostalgia.1 When some people on the West Coast had the audacity to tell me I would never go back, this one line became my prayer, my manifesto, my stubborn anthem that I sang along to. The line resonated with my heart and reinforced my deepest desire. Returning home was my burning passion and most cherished dream.Continue reading
If you’ve lived long enough in the big hard world under the big hard sun, you’ve experienced the crushing pain and unbearable weight of tragedy and loss. You’ve encountered shocking sorrow—jaw-dropping, gut-wrenching, life-changing news. The phone call that leaves you breathless on your knees feeling heartbroken, forsaken, and hopeless. And when this kind of trial comes your way, you invariably ask the same line of questions—
The greatest commandment is a high calling. Loving God with your whole heart, soul, and strength is no easy task. What is the groundwork for such a command? Is this command rooted in our ability to please God and earn his favor? Or is the basis for the command who God is and what he has already done?
What’s so great about the greatest commandment? Was Jesus’ answer really that profound? Of all the commandments in the Old Testament, why did Jesus point to that one? What role does this command have in helping us understand the whole story of the Bible?
The following is the story of my completely unexpected struggle with depression during my first semester of seminary and the important lessons that I learned along the way. It is much better to be overwhelmed with God than with your circumstances.Continue reading