Spiritual Formation

Overcoming Labels, Dispelling Lies

[photo credit: lucilight at creativeworshipsnss.blogspot.com] When we teach babies to talk, we start—of course—by naming things. We point a purposeful finger at the intended object, and we enunciate clearly and deliberately—our eyes wide, our faces expectant. “Mom-ma…Dad-dy…eyes…nose…juice.” Then, when our tiny student responds with a corresponding utterance, we clap and cheer and offer all manner… Read More Overcoming Labels, Dispelling Lies

Spiritual Formation

How to Navigate Change

We are the midst of transition again here—the bi-annual reordering of our lives—from our simple summer selves to the crazy school-year circus. Back and forth we swing, every fall and every spring. It’s always a shock to our system. It always comes with equal measures of irritability and joy, excitement and fear. And—I’ll be honest—I… Read More How to Navigate Change

Spiritual Formation

For All the Freshmen

Today was Freshmen Move-In Day at Moody. It moves me. Every. Single. Year. I first wrote this prayer in 2015. I re-pray it tonight and re-post it here in honor of the class of 2022.  ———- They arrived today. With their baskets of bedding and their neat stacks of notebooks and their brand new jeans.… Read More For All the Freshmen

Spiritual Formation

How Do I Move from Anxiety to Peace?

My anxiety always flares in August. Peter and I are both writing syllabi and course content. We are purchasing and organizing homeschool materials and activities. We are scrambling to finish house and garden projects. Then there is just the emotional anticipation of what is—for us—a HUGE transition back into our school-year lives. Last week—as I was… Read More How Do I Move from Anxiety to Peace?

Spiritual Formation

3 Qualities of a Successful College Student

It’s August, people! How did that happen? I’ve been a college professor for 20 years now, yet somehow this particular month still manages to sneak up on me. Every. Single. Summer. Our family will be cruising along, enjoying the sights and the sun. Then suddenly, as we turn the calendar page, I am once again… Read More 3 Qualities of a Successful College Student

Spiritual Formation

“Do What You Won’t Regret”

This simple piece of advice was given to me at one of the most pivotal moments of my life. Peter and I were trying to decide whether or not to bring baby D into our home—as a Safe Family placement to start with. His case was headed for the foster courts, and perhaps adoption, but… Read More “Do What You Won’t Regret”

Spiritual Formation

#HumanJustice and the Healing that Jesus Brings

Early last month I had the privilege of speaking at Moody Bible Institute’s annual Founder’s Week conference. The theme for the afternoon sessions was “Human Justice,” but the conference organizers also wanted to make available copies my book Pierced & Embraced: 7 Life-Changing Encounters with the Love of Christ. As I thought about the connection between… Read More #HumanJustice and the Healing that Jesus Brings

Spiritual Formation

Hope in the Midst of Difficulty: Part 2

Guest Post by Peter Worrall This is the second half of the Day One chapel message that Peter and I shared with the Moody Bible Institute student body last month.  Before you read it, I encourage you to pull out your Bible and read Lamentations chapter 3.    I (Peter) first turned to Lamentations 3… Read More Hope in the Midst of Difficulty: Part 2

Spiritual Formation

Hope in the Midst of Difficulty: Part I

On Friday, January 19, Peter and I had the opportunity to address the Moody Bible Institute community during our “Day One” chapel. “Day One” is a special day when prospective students and their families visit Moody to help determine whether or not God is calling them to come and study with us. Peter and I… Read More Hope in the Midst of Difficulty: Part I

Spiritual Formation

We’re Reading Romans!

The crazy start of the school year and the exciting book launch for Pierced and Embraced have prevented me from doing much personal writing here at This Odd House.  However, over the summer God led me to start another sort of writing ministry over on Facebook. Back in June, I felt Him nudging me to share… Read More We’re Reading Romans!