I fasted on only bread and juice for Lent. This is what I learned.

My stomach felt like an empty pit. There could not possibly have been anything left in the tank. I had already been on the toilet for 10 minutes, but I had not built up enough confidence to walk away. Diarrhea for reasons beyond our control is bad enough. This time it was, I admit, completelyContinue reading “I fasted on only bread and juice for Lent. This is what I learned.”

Dark Devotional: Getting Naked

The trees are getting naked around here. The trees: companions in my neighborhood, definers of the landscape, manifestations of God’s goodness, creativity, and strength. Towering oaks, maples, aspens, birch, all tucked between the pines. These wide-reaching wonders now expose their bark, limbs and brownish cores. Orange-tan leaves that once defined them, now cover the groundContinue reading “Dark Devotional: Getting Naked”

Death comes for us all, Oroku Saki

“Death comes for us all, Oroku Saki, but something much worse comes for you … for when you die, it will be without honor.” ~ Master Splinter, to the Shredder, in “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie” (1990). At the climax of one of my favorite films, the 1990 cinematic masterpiece “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,”Continue reading “Death comes for us all, Oroku Saki”

Work and rest

  This last month was a strenuous one in my youth ministry. It involved back-to-back weekend events, and I found myself putting in tons of extra hours and working for a 21-day stint with only a single day off. It involved late nights and early mornings. It was hard, tiring work. During one evening ofContinue reading “Work and rest”

Ugandan faith lesson #5: hope

Faith lessons from my Ugandan family Editor’s note: This is the final blog post of a five-part series “Faith lessons from my Ugandan family”  (see lessons #1, #2, #3 and #4) by Messy Jesus Business guest contributor/Rabble Rouser Nicole Steele Wooldridge about her experiences in Mbale, Uganda. More than almost anyone I know, my Ugandan host parentsContinue reading “Ugandan faith lesson #5: hope”

Ugandan faith lesson #3: give from substance, not abundance

Faith lessons from my Ugandan family Editor’s note: This is the third blog post in a five-part series “Faith lessons from my Ugandan family” by Messy Jesus Business guest contributor/Rabble Rouser Nicole Steele Wooldridge about her experiences in Mbale, Uganda (learn from lessons #1 and #2). Stay tuned throughout this week to experience the nextContinue reading “Ugandan faith lesson #3: give from substance, not abundance”

Lent for the love of others

Lent: we’ve been into it for over a week now. We are in this spiritual wilderness desiring to be better people, hoping to change. All sorts of actions are getting us into spiritual-shape again: fasting, almsgiving and prayer. Through each simple act, we confront our weaknesses and give up on trying to make it on our own.Continue reading “Lent for the love of others”

ashen renewal

I am excited to celebrate life; Lent is here and it’s such a good time.  I am totally pumped to grow and learn.  A little while ago, while working in our “Loving God” unit, my students and I discussed how sacrifice is an essential element of Christian living. Personally, I am ready to give upContinue reading “ashen renewal”