In Lieu of Self-Control

Recently someone asked me if I had all my babies naturally (as in, without an epidural). As it turns out, I did, but I don’t feel like I can claim that bragging right as fully as some women. Women who have their babies naturally in American hospitals are going up against a society that thinks pain is a sign of something terribly wrong and a medical system that is eager to over-engage at every turn. So those who commit to… Read more

The One Who Makes Us Tremble

When Russell and I first moved to North Africa we lived in a big green safari tent on a treeless plot at the base of a rocky hill. The government had insisted that all foreigners live on the far side of town, so after sunset, when all the women had carried their last load of firewood home for the night and all the little boys had ushered their father’s goats back into their pens, nights at our home were deep,… Read more

Claiming Blindness

So, you know things are bad when you have spent the last few years living in a place tucked neatly between two bloody civil wars raging largely along racial and tribal lines, and you come back for a visit and find yourself gob-smacked by the racism in your own country. I’m a white person, and a white person who has spent most of her life living outside of the United States, so perhaps I am ill-postured to have thoughtful input… Read more

A More Courageous Road

Home Assignment is hard y’all. We have been back in the States for a couple of months now, and as truly wonderful as it has been, I’m really looking forward to returning to the other side of the world. And it’s not because I am just travel-weary and romanticizing the place that I have been away from long enough to have forgotten about all the ants in my kitchen cabinets. (Missionaries who complain about America and how much they can’t… Read more

Christians Make the Best Atheists

Only a Christian can be a good atheist. -Jurgen Moltmann So this past month, I had the privilege of getting to go to Greece with my preaching friend Luke Norsworthy to get ready for a Fall sermon series we are doing together called “Christians Make the Best Atheists” We took a couple of Go-Pro’s and hiked over 40 miles in just a few short days to go all over Greece filming at the ancient Pagan temples and did some research in… Read more

Charlottesville, the Church, and Our Self-Deceit

Nobody thinks they’re a racist. Have you ever noticed that? In the social media bubbles of our own making, the echo chambers of our design we can safely assume that we are able to love everyone. Even some of the people who marched under Nazi flags chanting “You will not replace us” this weekend, when their identity was outed online wanted to make sure the world knew “I’m not the angry racist I appear to be in those pictures.” And while that… Read more

FAQs: “How Do You Do It? (I Never Could…)”

I distinctly remember long, slow runs around the Abilene Christian University campus around eleven o’clock at night when I was twenty years old. They were the kind of runs you take on a break from a research paper or because your roommate’s boyfriend is still over or because you slept until noon and you’re not tired yet. The kind of quiet runs that tend to drift into prayer. Not well-articulated or particularly deep prayers, but – as your blood is… Read more

FAQs “Why are Muslims Killing Christians Over There?”

“So why are Muslims killing Christians over there?” Usually right after I am asked this question I feel my husband politely squeeze my elbow in a gentle reminder that I would do well to try and not permanently offend the kindly elder at a church that helps financially support our work with the more pointed edges of my geo-political opinions. Because he knows that somewhere deep inside I am tempted to respond with a terse “They’re not,” and then head… Read more

FAQs: “So Are You Teaching Them English?”

“So are you teaching them all English?” Maybe people ask this from time to time because the whole Bible-translation-for-people-who-speak-unwritten-languages gig can be a bit confusing. Why not teach people English so they can read the Bible in a language that already has scripture translated? Surely that’s simpler than developing a whole orthography for a language that has never been written down, a full blown literacy program to teach people to read the language they speak, and then translating the entire… Read more

FAQs: But Are You Safe?

My family is back in the States this summer on our home assignment that comes every two or three years. It’s been a sweet time of reconnecting with family, friends and church partners that we love and miss terribly when we are in North Africa. It’s been fun to introduce our girls to American culture and see their amazement over things like water fountains and traffic lights and hear the things that strike them as unusual (“Mama, why are there… Read more

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