Resolution: Free Myself From Past Failures

Dear Lewis,

You’re going to hear a lot of talk about resolutions – promises people make, usually about how they’re going to better themselves in some way – this time every year. For a lot of us resolutions aren’t the start of something new. Rather, they’re a rededication to something that once was.

Leading up to Thanksgiving, I was in the habit of writing for at least 3 hours a day. All of the things that accompanied the move to St. Louis, the holidays and the blessing of getting to see family for an extended amount of time prevented me from doing much writing at all.

The same goes for my prayer life.

To be honest, no one prevented me from doing anything. I used my situation as justification for not doing what I know I should; what God has called me to do.

So, I’m studying the story of Daniel to remind myself that greater men than me have allowed their situation to justify their inaction, and that things don’t have to be this way next time around.

Continue reading…

What I Learned From “The Monster”

Dear Lewis,

You mom and I have begun calling you “The Monster.” You are everywhere, on everything, under everything, and you try to put everything in your mouth. We have an ankle weight on the trash can lid, that I’m sure you’ll be strong enough to lift in a week or two. We only use one outlet in the living room and we’ve had to build a fort of pillows, chairs and an ottoman to keep you from unplugging the computer.

Your mom worked so hard to make our living space feel like a comfortable home, taking great care in deciding where tea tins should go, where photos would look best, which counter space best facilitated the dish drainer. It was all in vain.

Now everything is stacked high, giving the illusion that people a foot taller than your mother and I live in the basement at grandma and grandpa’s. Whatever won’t go on a shelf we hide behind the couch, in cramped closets, under beds and in the dark corners of our home.

You find it all. Because you are a Monster.

Continue reading…

What My Son Taught Me About Augustine

Dear Lewis,

Slowly, we’re getting settled into our “transition home.” For the next several months we’ll be living in grandma and grandpa’s basement. It’s really not a bad setup. Well, except for all of the accessible dangers.

For example, we used to have a door that would close off our kitchen. Now we have what a creative realtor would call an “open floor plan”, with the kitchen, dining room, living room, storage and office area all being the same room.

The problem is you’re able, and determined, to get into everything.

Continue reading…

The Plan Of A Lifetime: A Letter From Papa

Dear Lewis,

I’m in an airplane as I write this, flying with your Nani to see some good friends in a country called Guatemala. When you get older you and I will go visit them, and we can climb a live volcano and throw stuff in the lava just to watch it burn (your Uncle Nik and I did that once and it was awesome – except when I burned my eyelashes and eyebrows off and thought for a minute that I was blind).  We’ll tell your mom that we’re going to Ted Drewes for ice cream – by the time we’re found out we should be halfway to Mexico.

Anyway, I wanted to write you to tell you about something that I am just now beginning to understand about God, something that I would have never begun to grasp if it weren’t for your dad and you.

Here it is: the God of the Bible is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It may not sound that exciting to you, so let me tell you what I mean.

Continue reading…

Why God Is My Last Priority

Dear Lewis,

I love praying for you. I get excited imagining all God has for you, and how He might use your life for His glory.

Will you restore people’s bodies with medicine like Nani, or through massage therapy like mommy? Will you play music like Uncle Josh, or be a teacher like PaPa? I can’t wait to find out.

There are two things I can tell you about what you do with your life. The first is that God will use it to bring you closer to Him. The second, the devil will use it to lure you away from Him.

His method is simple. He’ll cause you to ask, “Is God’s approval enough?” Don’t be so quick to say, “Yes, of course.” You’ll be surprised by how much time you’re going to spend desperately seeking the approval of everyone but God.

Lewis, by now you should know what’s coming: look to Jesus and how he handled this question.

Continue reading…

God Loves Me? I Doubt It.

Dear Lewis,

As my son you’re bound to inherit many of my traits. I pray my love for God and my desire to create are passed on to you. I hope the thrill of the unknown captures your heart as it has mine. There’s at least one quality I hope isn’t passed along: no matter how clearly God shows His love for me, I still question Him.

DNA and genetics are hardwired into us. Our instincts are not easily altered. But Jesus says, “Behold, I am making all things new.” (Revelation 21:5)

If you’re saddled with my struggle to trust God’s love, to know what being loved really means, as always, look to Jesus’ example. Look at how he understood the love of The Father.

Continue reading…

The Answer To The Question: Who Are You?

Dear Lewis,

The other day I told you that opposition from the enemy always follows a true encounter with God. Ask any follower of Christ and they’ll tell you the very thing they feel God speaking over them is the very thing they find called into question.

This is exactly what Jesus experienced in the desert after his baptism; a fact that I hope you will find most comforting in your own times of questioning.

And Lewis, you will question God.

Continue reading…

Why Questioning God Is Normal

Dear Lewis,

I don’t know what God has planned for you. I can tell you that you’ll never be more confident in who you are than when you know what He’s called you to do with your life. On the other hand, I know you’ll never question yourself, your calling, and your God more than you will once He makes that calling clear.

Don’t worry though:

Jesus went through the same thing.

Continue reading…

It Just Doesn’t Fit

Dear Lewis,

Around Easter many magazines, television shows and podcasts like to discuss whether or not the stories about Jesus are true. A lot of books and very smart people have given me good reasons to believe they are. This morning I noticed something that could never, by any stretch of the imagination, be considered proof. However, it’s too interesting for me to ignore.

Continue reading…