There is a single phrase I really love to hear at the beginning of a weekly discipleship meeting with a young Christian: “I have a question.” It means the person sitting across from me is personally engaging in understanding and applying truth.
On this particular occasion, it was late in the month of December—the week before Christmas, if I remember correctly—when the recently-saved Christian I was meeting with began our discipleship meeting with that statement. It was her first Christmas after being saved as an adult a few months previously, so much was new to her.
I’m not usually taken off guard by questions of young Christians, but this one surprised even me: “Who is Emmanuel?”
Before I could answer, she continued, “I mean, we’ve been singing about Him in church a lot this month. Who is He?” Continue reading →
I purchased my first goat as a thirteen-year-old fresh out of the city suburbs. I had no idea what I was in for.
I named my new pet Sarah Jane, but my mom called her, “the big, black villain”—mostly due to her size and color. Mostly.
Exactly one day after my purchase, Sarah Jane had four kids. And I had my hands full. Sarah Jane nursed two of the kids, and I bottle fed the other two.
Bottle feeding goat kids is fun. They’re energetic, cute, and always look like they’re up to something. Healthy kids attack a bottle the moment it’s within leap reach. They drain it quickly and use every trick they know to coax for more.
But one morning, when the kids were two weeks old, one of them showed no interest in her bottle. Zero. Her ears drooped, and she made little effort even to be petted. I remember the concern that gripped my heart as I called the farm where I had purchased her mother. Continue reading →