There’s Only One Answer

Psalm 131. Job 3, Job 38:1-42:6.

I used to have so many questions,
So many “hows” and “whys.”
I looked to God for the answers;
I searched the earth and skies. Continue reading

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The Alphabet Soup of Bible Translations

Walking into the Bible section at a Christian bookstore is like alphabet soup: ESV, NKJV, NASB, NIV, NLT, MSG. What’s with that? Why do we need all those different translations of the Bible?

Bible stack
top to bottom: NLT, ESV, NIV, NASB (c) Carole Sparks

Or maybe your pastor recently switched translations and you’re trying to keep up in the Bible you’ve carried to church for the last twenty years. Hey, I’m not judging. I love an old, well-worn Bible: so much history, so much love, so much spiritual discipline and fruit represented by those weathered pages. What is more, I purposefully take a different version to church so I can compare as we move through the text. But I’m a Bible nerd; y’all know that.

Updated translations help us
understand God’s word better.

Bibles are printed and distributed by publishers who, with the exception of American Bible Society and a few others, are trying to make money (e.g. NIV by Zondervan and CSB by Holman). However, updated translations help us understand God’s word better, so we’ll invest the money…or use BibleGateway!

If you’re looking for a new Bible or just curious about translations, consider these key points first. Continue reading

Redeeming Halloween

This month on Pastor’s Wives, I share our approach to Halloween for the last couple of years. Whether you have children in the house or not, here’s one way to bless your neighbors on a day that seems so not-blessed!

In the fifteen years we’ve had children in the house, we’ve tried just about every option. One year, we even hid in the house with the lights off and hoped no one rang the doorbell.

For the last two years, however, we’ve approached this cultural observation differently. We’ve chosen to redeem Halloween—at least on our street—and use it to bless our neighbors. It’s a friendly, non-threatening way for us to meet our neighbors and for them to rub shoulders with real Believers.

Click on over to Redeeming Halloween to read about our approach. If something strikes you, leave a comment there or flip back over here to let me know.

The Season of Our Discontent

This month on PastorsWives.com, I talk about a challenging time in our ministry lives when God was preparing something new but we had to wait on it. There were some restless nights.

It starts like this…

Sometimes an indefinable restlessness comes upon a Christ-follower…a dissatisfaction with life even though nothing has changed. We’ve learned to call it holy discontent.

When God called us to move to a difficult, distant location, we hung contentment on the wall like a plaque. We memorized Philippians 4:11, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances,” and we determined to choose contentment regardless of what happened. Because really, contentment (the flipside of gratefulness) is a choice. Will I focus on the difficulties, troubles, and inconveniences in my life, or will I focus on God’s blessings?

Continue reading

Podcast Interview

IMG_9369
Chester doing the interview at our dining room table. He makes house calls.

I recently sat down with Chester Goad on his Leaderbyte podcast to talk about the creative process, writing, faith, and some other fun stuff. Chester made it interesting and easy to talk–even about myself. Still it’s #NotAboutMe, as you’ll hear.

If you want to know more about me or where I’m coming from, listen to this. Continue reading