What You Really Need When Life Goes Awry

The suffering I experienced during treatment for cancer shattered me. The illusions I once clung to of youth and strength and vitality vanished as chemical toxins stripped me of the life I once knew. Pain lacked a throttle.

The equations of God plus life I once knew no longer added up.

Perhaps those words seem strange to you, particularly if you’ve never had life go away.

But if you’ve known marrow cutting pain or blood curdling suffering or bone breaking loss, if you limp among the fellowship of the afflicted, then you know that hollow platitudes like…

It can’t happen to me…

It will all work out…

If I just do this and this then that won’t happen…

If I just pray this and this then that won’t happen…

If I just believe this and this then that won’t happen…

All. Wash. Away.

It can happen. It does happen. And sometimes it happens to you…despite all you’ve done..all you’ve prayed…all you’ve believed.

Then what? read more…

Why You Must Do This One Thing When You Read the Bible

Wahoo! So thrilled you’re joining us for week one of Overcomer. Watch the Facebook Live teaching by clicking here. (You’ll need to be sure you “like” my Facebook page to receive access and future notifications). Now let’s dive in to week 1:

We tend to have books we prefer to read—whether snuggling down with a great biography, savoring a collection of poetry, or enjoying a mind-bending mystery novel.

But have you ever considered that what you read affects how you read?

A stellar whodunit makes you flip the pages faster with every cliffhanger moment, while a rich, layered poem slows your pace, inviting you to reread and reflect with each passing line.

If you’re sitting down to light summer fiction, you might be carried away in the story—even choosing to read it in an afternoon or few days.

But if you’re about to crack open a 700-plus-page biography, you can expect the book to be neither short nor light. You’re committing to dive deep into a person’s life and topic, pay attention to crucial details, and learn with each passing page.

What you read affects how you read. read more…

This Method Made Me Love Bible Study Again

Have you ever struggled to study the Bible? I do.

My eyes glaze over. My mind wanders. My heart disconnects.

If you’ve ever read the Bible and wondered nine minutes later, “What did I just read?”

You. Are. Not. Alone.

I want to show you a method through a silly video that I’ve been using that’s helped the Bible come alive for me again.

The Color Method involves using colored pens, pencils, markers, or crayons to identify key words. I circle verbs in red, places in brown, people in purple, numbers in orange then this amazingness happens: read more…

 My Embarrassing Mistake—Did You Catch It?

On Wednesday, I made a big announcement about this summer’s Bible study. After prayer and reflection and outstanding feedback from you, I felt led to develop Overcomer: A 4-Week Study of Philippians.

Overcomer divides Philippians into 20 readings. Each one invites you to use The Color Method to study the Scripture alongside a devotional and 7 Reflection Questions for personal and small group study.

Our precious designer sent us the cover at 7:30pm on Tuesday night. Our team scrambled until midnight scheduling the announcement, posting sample pages, and loading the product into our store.

The announcement went out at 4am.

When I awoke at 6:52am, I knew something was wrong. We’d sold out of Beloved quick. Yet in the first three hours, not one person had placed one order for Overcomer.

That seemed like an odd silence to the big announcement. read more…

Summer Bible Study Announcement: Your Invitation to Be An Overcomer

A couple of millennia ago a tentmaker found himself in prison after stirring a public dispute. The longer he sat in the cell, the more he felt neglected and forgotten. Yet he managed to push through the darkness and depression to pen a series of letters.

Meanwhile, Roman emperor Nero lived with extreme wealth and power. He loved writing and became quite prolific.

Almost 2000 years later, none of his literary work remains.

Yet those letters from an imprisoned man named Paul haven been printed and read by hundreds of millions of people.

The Book of Philippians is written by an overcomer to a church of overcomers that teaches us how to be overcomers.

We were overwhelmed by the response to Beloved: 40 Days in the Gospel of John for Lent. Many of you have been asking, “What’s next?”

After much thought and prayer, I’m thrilled to announce the summer study will be: read more…

Little Known Ways to Build a Platform and Protect Your Soul

Over the last week an online conversation has emerged about platform building. Beth Moore calls us Christward when she writes:

This is what I know for certain. It would be unspeakably better for us to drop into obscurity than sell our souls. We may have to make the biggest sacrifice in our entire social media culture: we may have to settle for being unknown.”

Oh Beth. You are a gift to the body of Christ. Your grace, your humility. May we all continue to learn from you—in what you teach, in who you are, in how you live.

I wrestle with this issue every day—both for myself and for those I coach and mentor through the Write Brilliant Academy. read more…

Meet Margaret