What’s the evidence of the work of God in someone’s life? For the demoniac of Gadera, it was that he was clothed and in his right mind. For John the Baptist, it was that the heir of the high priest chose to live in the desert with honey and locusts in his scraggly beard. God’s glory can be displayed in the chaotic becoming decent as well as the polished going wild. In college, my sanctification mean going outside the four walls of my room and looking into the full moon. It was trading my prayer closet for a prayer pasture. It meant becoming less civilized, not more.
American evangelical Christianity hasn’t historically emphasized pilgrimages. It’s a practice as distant from the minds of young Christians as the far-off places that men in shaved heads and sandals visit. But the Ramp somehow felt like a pilgrimage–and I don’t know if anything could have prepared me for what I experienced at that radical ministry in an otherwise unassuming corner of rural Alabama.
Cultural expectations these days are tougher to meet than ever. Imagine the pressure on young guys to create a proposal event for their ladies that is at once memorable, thoughtful, and grandiose. Now imagine what it would take to make it a surprise to her. Now… try doing it from 7,800 miles away in the […]
I’ve been provoked. I’m angry. I have a righteous indignation. It all started in one of the city’s many malls the other day. I was getting another charger for my cell phone (hopefully one that won’t break this time) and some groceries. As I finished, I was walking toward the taxi line to head back […]
It is my great pleasure to feature Stephen Garner for the first time. I hope you enjoy my father’s unique blend of biblical insights, illuminating anecdotes, and punny repartée. Our numerous hikes together over the past decade have then a powerful connecting force during my young adult years. Read more of his work at https://hikerdude.wordpress.com/. […]
Have you found God’s plan for your life? Wouldn’t it be nice if every one of us got a letter in the mail when we were 17 years old telling us exactly what we were made to do? I definitely did not, yet the journey has been both winding and incredibly satisfying. I hate to […]
[Orig. pub. Oct. 23, 2016 on Ramblings of a Bluestocking] Ok, let’s be raw. I’ve always been a very driven person. In college, I knew what degree(s) I wanted, where I would be in ten years, what kind of job I wanted, and what kind of man I wanted to marry. However, if you haven’t […]
It’s not often that an offshoot of the Allman Brothers Band starts a conversation about God‘s revelation. I went hiking last week of my father in Shenandoah National Park. As we tackled a particularly steep 800ft ascent, my father began laughing as the iPod he was listening to shuffled across a song by the band […]
What do you do when life knocks the breath out of you? How do you handle heartache and discouragement? I’ve dealt with low-level chronic pain for more than a decade. Rather than ignoring the pain, do what I learned. Process through the pain with God. 1. Tantrum – This first step may surprise you. Whether […]
“What I think you really want is God,” my friend said to me. What a slap in the face. No, I want the girl! The protest nearly made it out of my mouth, but I caught it when it was still in the back of my throat. Surprised at me? I wasn’t talking about my […]
Walking to the edge of our theology, the farthest reach of what we understand of God, is like getting waist deep in the ocean that goes on as far as the eye can see. I was raised in a church culture that did not value mystery. In it, the most important thing about life was […]
The flea market is often where you find the most spiritual people. For many years, my cousin’s father sold collectors’ knives at the local market. I remember going with Kyle to visit his dad’s stand one time. We leisurely wandered around looking at all of the lights, wall decorations, used furniture, antique stoves, classic video […]