A Letter to my Daughter in the Age of Feminism.

Recently millions of women – strong, beautiful, brave women – came together in cities across the country to march for equality and empowerment.  They were passionate, unified, and got a lot of things right.  And they were loud.

And yesterday morning as I laid there watching you sleep peacefully, I was wondering exactly what kind of world you’re going to grow up in. I was thinking about the full set of values that these women were marching for, and I was wondering how they ended up grouped together so firmly.  Many of them are values I hope you have, goals I hope you march for – many, but not all.  But it can get so loud in the world sometimes that suddenly it can be hard to even make sense of who you are through all the clamor.  And it struck me that I’m going to really have to get my act together if I’m going to teach you to stand apart from it.  Because if not me, then who? Continue reading

this mystery is profound

So for years I’ve heard people say this thing about marriage that goes something like “nothing will humble you quicker than marriage.”  And for years I have thought that was a really cool aspect of marriage, but one that probably would not apply to me.  Not that I already thought I was humble enough; I just thought I wouldn’t fail often enough for it to really make a difference.  In fact, as my own wedding date approached and I began to hear this sentiment more and more, I would often think “oh, that will be really good for Brandon.”  Honestly!  I don’t know who I was kidding with this arrogant, absurd, prideful, drastically flawed thinking.  But boy was I wrong. Continue reading

best&worst

A few weeks ago I was serving at a holiday dinner for our church staff.  The dinner was being held at my pastor/future uncle’s home and toward the end of the evening he gathered everyone together to reflect upon the previous twelve months as well as to look ahead to the coming year.  This is a pretty common activity during this time of year, and at first I thought very little of it.  I took a seat in the back and prepared myself to listen to what these men and women of the Lord were going to share.  Mark opened the floor up by asking a simple question: In what ways have you seen God move in our church this past year?  With this one sentence, I felt tears flood my eyes and out of nowhere I was struggling to hold it together.  Because the ways that I saw God move in our church this past year have been too great to number, because the ways in which God moved in my life this past year have been too great to number, and because the Holy Spirit just decided this would be a great time to totally wreck me out…. I was completely speechless for the next half hour or so as I quietly remembered.  
To tell you what God has done in my life this past year will require me to tell you what he did in my life the year before that.  This is my best story, and this is my worst story; and this is not my story at all.

Psalm 63:1-8

this is a scripture that speaks powerfully to me, and it has brought me great peace lately.  in bold you will find the Biblical words of king david.  in the lighter color, my own thoughts.  i would love to know how these verses speak to you.

(1) O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
 
O God, you are my God!  God of Creation, THE God, eternal and sovereign over all…. and still you are a personal God to me.  you enjoy my company.  you chose me and adopted me from the bonds of death.  you love me with patience and with discipline.  you deal with me in a way that is unique to me and to our own private relationship.  you speak to me in ways that i can understand.  your love is tailored to the secret places of my heart.
 
i am desperate for you.  to look upon me, to comfort me, to SAVE me.  you are the air to my drowning body.  i gasp for you frantically.  there is no other way for me.  you alone can sustain my fragile life.  and when i surface from the deep, you are there to refresh my weary lungs.
 
O, Father, how i need you!  and how you then restore me!  in the desert of my soul, in my scorched and broken flesh, you come to me with healing.  you have led me to a cool and sparkling spring when a pool of bitter rain water would have far sufficed.  and with a touch to my parched and pleading lips, i am fully replenished.  only let me stay and drink forever! Continue reading