When You Become a Medical Mystery (Interview with a Giant-Killer #3)

I am rereading the Gospel of Mark as I frequently do, and have been impressed with Jesus’ show of authority over all things during His ministry on earth. Now, in these interviews with giant-killers, we are reading testimonies that He continues to exercise that authority. Interview #1 demonstrated His authority over sin. Interview #2 demonstrated His authority over violent abuse. In this week’s interview, we read of His authority over illness. Aaron Gansky is a dear friend – one of those people I instantly knew was a kindred spirit and would be my friend for life. I read his short novel, The Bargain, three years ago and I still think about at least once a month. It was that powerful. Here is Aaron’s giant story:

doctor-1149149_640Describe the giant in your life and how you overcame:

It came spinning, setting the whole world in unceasing motion. This was more than simple dizziness or vertigo. It was a nauseating momentum that put me at the center of a spinning galaxy. Here I was, shortly after our youth group meeting, and I couldn’t stand up, couldn’t even sit up without falling over. I lay down, hoping the spinning would stop, but it didn’t. It intensified.

That’s when I lost my strength. Once the spinning subsided, I couldn’t walk on my own power. I had to lean against walls, have people support me, as if I’d run three consecutive marathons. I’d never experienced a weakness, a fatigue of this sort, and I was only twenty at the time. Continue Reading →

Will I Be Alone at the Lunch Table? (Thank You, Tosca Lee)

education-662458_640Will I be alone at the lunch table?

Remember wondering that? As the photos of children returning to school or jumping on the bus for the first time flit across my Facebook feed, the memories flood back.

I loved school. Learning was a joyful and effortless pursuit for me. Books were my haven, writing my gift, and I understood math at least long enough to pass a test. New school shoes, paper bag book covers, and shiny unblemished notebooks were like Christmas stockings and Easter egg baskets.

But also, through those years, I was alone all the time. Even surrounded by classmates. Even on a busy playground. Even in a cafeteria full of peers. I was always alone. Continue Reading →

Can We Heal a Soul with Our Applause?

spectators-1444043_640Can we be healed by majority rule?

If enough people accept me, say that they love me, applaud for me, and welcome me into their hearts, will that fill the empty space inside and make me whole?

Is life and identity truly best informed by a scene from Peter Pan where the audience saves Tinkerbelle with their handclaps and not by the true story of creation, fall, and redemption found in Jesus Christ?

Can we be “liked,” “followed,” “downloaded,” and “viewed” into mental, physical, and spiritual healing? Continue Reading →

Some Giants Die Slowly (Interview with a Giant-Killer #2)

Dear Reader, I’m honored to bring you today’s interview with Karen R. It’s a powerful testimony to the love of Christ that is stronger than death. I do want to warn any readers who experienced childhood trauma that Karen tells her story using frank and direct words. If you’re someone whose memories may be triggered by this, proceed reading with caution and in the arms of the Holy Spirit but know that what you will read is that God triumphs over all evil. Thank you, Karen, for bravely sharing your story.

lost-1159278_640Some Giants Die Slowly

Describe the giant in your life and how you overcame:

My giant was fear, of both God and people.

I experienced a vicious assault as a child by a neighbor who told me, “I’m punishing you because God said you’re a bad girl.” Fear marked my life from then on. I used food, drugs, alcohol, and anything else I could think of to hide. As an adult, I locked myself inside my home. At times, I needed someone to hold my hand just to cross the street. Alarm bells screeched any time a man approached me. Continue Reading →

I Will Never Trust Another Hummingbird

hummingbird-1056383_640A tiny hummingbird hovered at the hanging pot of million bells on my porch and I mention it was tiny because it was remarkably small, even for the species. My husband and I watched it dip its proboscis down the throat of the pink flowers, its wings fluttering like a Southern belle’s eyelashes as it darted from bloom to bloom.

After several minutes watching the creature, feeling fortunate it was remaining in sight so long, we both tipped our heads to the right.

“Does that seem off?” my husband asked.

“The shape isn’t quite right, is it?” I responded as I typed in a quick search on my phone for “mini hummingbird.”

“Could it be a baby?” he asked. Continue Reading →

Why Some Christians Enjoy Safety, Health, and Peace

glasses-1004311_640God is never afraid.

He doesn’t fear Somalian warlords, the Zika virus, suicide bombers, desert assassins, inner-city riots, California wildfires, Louisiana floods, lone gunmen, or cancer. The presence of these varying forms of violence, whether manmade, natural, or biological, doesn’t prevent the God of the Universe from being present. It doesn’t chase Him out. He doesn’t exit the building. Even in places where every believer has been shot dead or raped into silence, God can enter in and He often does this on the incense of His people’s prayers. Continue Reading →

Interview with a Giant-Killer: Meet J.J. Johnson

giant-1013693_640Describe the giant in your life and how you overcame:

My story is a simple one. I never tried in school. I just didn’t care. I was busy playing in a punk band and trying to write songs. That was the plan. A record deal, a big tour, signing posters, and t-shirts- I had an epic life all planned out.

When the time for high school graduation came- I walked in the ceremony. I did the entire cap and gown thing. It was the start of something new. Then I discovered the truth. I didn’t graduate. I was a full credit short and my GPA was a joke.

In the few days that followed, I wasn’t sure what to do. I was embarrassed. I felt like a failure. I wanted to crawl under a rock and hide. I started researching how to get my GED. I was certain I would spend the rest of my life working in the Toilet Paper factory. Fortunately, God had different plans. Continue Reading →

The Secret You’ll Hate Me for Telling You

secret-1142327_640I’ve been thinking about the sacrifices of persecuted Christians in other countries you know, in between television shows and restaurant outings.

In wondering about them and what makes them capable of laying down their lives, I’ve also wondered (during breaks from social media and watching the latest Youtube video) what gets in our way that we don’t appear to have the capacity to lay down our daily “to do” list, never mind our lives.

And I was reminded of the seventh degree black belt who owned the karate school where I earned my first degree. One day, he instructed us to do one hundred pushups and several people moaned. (one of them may have been me) Another complained, “Oh sure, one hundred pushups is easy for you. They’ll never be easy for me.” Continue Reading →

When You’re a Total Loser

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Sometimes you think you’re getting somewhere, you know, with this whole growing up in Jesus business.

You’re hitting your Bible regularly and going deep, not just the quick pass over a verse and a thought but digging in and rocking it. Your prayer life is consistent and gets more involved than “Help!” and “Please!” (not that those words don’t feature frequently) They know your face at church and well, you get the point. You’re no soul slouch.

Then, whammo! You hit what is apparently a giant spiritual pothole of what was that? Instead of choruses of praise songs, your mind floods with whispers from the dark side. Continue Reading →

Whiny Baby Sissy-Mary Christians (the call to courage in these times)

pout-1190741_640Outside of this blog, I’m not very brave.

It bothers me when people don’t like me or misunderstand something I’ve said or disapprove of my opinion. I know I have a high tolerance for pain, but if someone made me sit in an uncomfortable chair in a room with nothing to read or do and ignored me, I’d be giving up state secrets in a matter of hours. That’s all to say that what I’m about to write is as challenging for me as it may sound to you.

I believe a time is near when American Christians will endure intensified social persecution but I think we shouldn’t whine about it.

It’s good that there are watchmen and watchwomen who post blogs and news reports about ways that our religious freedoms are being eroded (more quickly every day, it seems) in favor of social agendas and political correctness. I don’t think, though, that we should gather on Facebook or Twitter and bemoan the coming tide or reminisce about the past like a bunch of hand-wringing school marms wondering what to do when the black hats ride into town. Continue Reading →