Should Christian Books be “Sanitized?”

© CanStock / envivo

© CanStock / envivo

The debate is nothing new, yet I’m still surprised by how often it comes up in Christian writer’s circles. One position claims that it’s fine to pepper Christian novels with swearing in an effort to accurately portray our fallen world. These novels are proclaimed “art” and therefore above reproach. They are “edgy.” These writers are sick of being judged and tired of novels that are prudish and “sanitized” for Christian readers.

I confess to sometimes reading secular books with swearing, and I’m not at all surprised when I come across it in that context. Does it grate against the fibers of my mind? Yes. Is it what I want to fill my thoughts with? No—but on occasion, I overlook offensive content for a book that receives rave reviews. Should I? Probably not. I give in less and less in that area. Is it unfair of me then to expect a lack of profanity in a Christian book? I’d argue, not.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)

When we choose to read a book, we put ourselves fully at the mercy of the author, their word choices and their worldview. One angle in this whole debate was that works of edgy Christian fiction can be life-changing and evangelical. My only response would be that in order to succeed in that aspect, the book might best be marketed in a secular category. Then again, if we combine it with Christian content of some sort, are we sending a mixed message?

“In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.” (Titus 2:7-8)

Have I failed in this area? Absolutely. Ignorant of another country’s potential offense to one of my word choices, I included it in my first book. When a reader in that country clued me in, I removed it. My efforts are far from perfect, but creating something that glorifies God is what I ultimately strain for. I don’t believe that using language that offends some is the way to accomplish this goal.

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29)

I have to ask Christian authors who choose to include profanity in their books—is it necessary? Is it worth it to risk offending, and even potentially losing, a portion of your intended audience? Or could the novel still be a work of art without it?

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8)

In our pursuit of excellence, it just seems right to craft a novel using lovely words—prose that will edify, and renew our minds. I admire authors who do. There is an art to achieving edginess without cheapening it.

I’m sure I just pushed some buttons here. I try my best not judge or condemn, but when I begin to feel assaulted by novels that claim to be Christian yet offend, I feel the need to speak up … just one girl’s opinion in a noisy world.

“May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14)

What is your position on profanity in Christian novels? Do you think it can bring about positive life changes when used in a certain way? Is it what you want to read?

Advertisements

Into All Truth, Part 2

Today’s post is a continuation of yesterday’s story

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / Nneirda

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / Nneirda

The next part happened quickly. A black shadow seemed to burst from the pot and flow over the half wall separating the kitchen from the great room. The motion light outside the kitchen window flashed on as the darkness fled. After an initial moment of shock, I darted into the kitchen. The vent on my greenhouse window was ajar. On impulse bordering on absurdity, I cranked it shut and grabbed a garbage bag from under the sink. I shoved the horrid pot deep inside, tied a knot, and continued out to my back porch where I smashed it against the concrete without hesitation. Had neighbors witnessed my fervent display, they would likely have kept their distance. Like a woman scorned, I marched it out to the roadside. I watched the bagged and shattered pot from my son’s bedroom window until the garbage men picked it up the following morning.

After that evening, my son enjoyed restful nights of uninterrupted sleep, and so did I. Yet it wasn’t a story I would have shared with anyone at that point in my life. Just. Too. Weird. Did others have similar experiences, keeping it to themselves? I wasn’t sure I wanted to know.

I can only speculate on the intricacies of what transpired that night — or the other odd events that took place during the years I displayed that hideous pot on the shelf outside my son’s bedroom door. I am far from an expert in such matters, but I can assure you that I now believe evil spirits move among us, plaguing unsuspecting believers and vulnerable innocents with dark intent. Prior to that event, I’d been numb to it. Blasé even. It was the stuff of movies. Not my concern.

“Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father.” (Galatians 1:3-4)

So there it is. Not something that will come up often in casual Christian conversation, but perhaps something one of you needed to hear today. I’ve only told this story a handful of times before now and only to those close to me, but for some reason, it seemed important to share. I’ve learned to surrender to such nudges. Christ made the ultimate sacrifice to rescue us from the evil of this world. Faith in that truth will shield us from whatever form of evil Satan sends our way.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. (Ephesians 6:13-18)

Do I believe there are strategies and tricks of Satan at work in this world? Absolutely. Do we need to examine every object with suspicion? Probably not. But the prince of darkness rules this world and the Bible tells us there are huge numbers of wicked spirits in it. We need to be alert. We need to be ready: armed with faith and knowledge of the word of God. Nothing is worse than being deceived by the evil one. We must knock down his strongholds whenever they are revealed to us.

“It is true that I am an ordinary, weak human being, but I don’t use human plans and methods to win my battles. I use God’s mighty weapons, not those made by men, to knock down the devil’s strongholds.”
(2 Corinthians 10:3-4)

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)

Do experiences like mine happen often? I hope not! It’s embarrassing to confess. Most people aren’t going to bring this kind of thing home, but those of us with non-Christian pasts may have some things around the house we need to get rid of. When things don’t seem right, view your surroundings with a discerning eye. We need to be alert, but we don’t need to fear. As believers, the Spirit is with us.

“The Spirit in you is far stronger than anything in the world.”
(1 John 4:4)

Are you ready to stand your ground in the face of evil?


Into All Truth, Part 1

Those of you who have followed my blog for awhile know I don’t post often, or even on a schedule, but as the Spirit leads. This morning, I woke up at 1:46 a.m. with the urge to share this, and although I would rather return to sleep, I’ll obey the prompting. Perhaps someone needs to hear this. This information isn’t what you’ll hear in the average sermon or Bible study, but seems to be common knowledge among missionaries. Why don’t we hear about it more often, I wonder? This was my experience as a new Christian, and an unusual part of my journey …


 

Photo credit: Nic McPhee via photopin.com

Photo credit: Nic McPhee via photopin.com

“If you love me, obey me; and I will ask the Father and he will give you another Comforter, and he will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, the Spirit who leads into all truth. The world at large cannot receive him, for it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you do, for he lives with you now and some day shall be in you.” (John 14:16-17)

I’ve always loved primitive pottery and I’m fascinated by ancient cultures. Early in my Christian walk, I traveled to Belize and Guatemala. One hot afternoon, I ducked into a dark doorway to escape the heat. It was little more than a hovel, lit only by what few rays of sunlight dared to penetrate it from the doorway behind me. Once my eyes adjusted to its sparse and dusty interior I turned to leave, but a man emerged from a back room and lured me in by bringing attention to his coral earrings. On a shelf farther in, a lidded pot attracted my attention. The shopkeeper seemed pleased by my interest and told me his brother in Guatemala had made it. This piece was about as primitive as a pot can get, unglazed earthenware with tiny sculpting on its sides. I ended up buying it and taking it home, placing it on a shelf in my living room where it sat pretty much off my radar for three years.

Fast forward to the early years of motherhood and the many nights my infant son would wake up screaming. His disturbing shrieks would wake me in the dead of night and I would run to his bedside, heart pounding and unsure how to calm his mind when we couldn’t yet talk through it.

Around this same time an older woman in the church was mentoring me and happened to mention missionary lore of demon-possessed items. It gave me pause, but didn’t prompt any particular concern. Then, one night as I dashed to my son’s bedside, I noticed it. The pot from Guatemala. It was as if a shroud of ignorance lifted and I could view the piece with fresh eyes. In short, it was hideous. A nagging concern clung to me as I held my son, soothing away his night terrors by rocking him in my arms.

After putting my sleeping son back in his crib and heading back to my own bed, my mentor’s words returned to me. Destroy objects if they seem threatening. But why would I do that to my souvenir of a trip filled with wonderful memories? It had to be my imagination, fueled by a mind torn from sleep by horrifying screams. I turned back to eye the object in question. Most primitive artwork has a rustic beauty. This did not. I peered at the sculpting on its rough hewn sides. The shapes registered in my mind: arms, legs, heads. Body parts decorated the pot. As I took an involuntary step back, my breath caught in my throat. Why had I brought this thing into my home and what was I supposed to do with it now?

“But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.” (2 Thessalonians 3:3)

“The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom.” (2 Timothy 4:18)

Out of a growing sense of panic, I did the first thing that came to mind. I recited the Lord’s Prayer, memorized in early childhood, aloud. My love for my Savior flowed through me as I spoke the comforting words … deliver us from evil: for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever

“Last of all I want to remind you that your strength must come from the Lord’s mighty power within you. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand safe against all strategies and tricks of Satan. For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against persons without bodies—the evil rulers of the unseen world, those mighty satanic beings and great evil princes of darkness who rule this world; and against huge numbers of wicked spirits in the spirit world.” (Ephesians 6:10-12)

Have you ever experienced an evil attack? How did you handle it?

I once considered such beliefs paranoid, but now I see my previous standpoint as naive. Where do you stand? Can an object pose a threat?
Is it something we, as Christians, should be concerned with?


What happened next??

To keep my posts brief, this story will be done in installments.
Return tomorrow for part 2, or subscribe to my blog for alerts.


What on Earth was I Thinking?

photo credit: mtsrs via photopin.com

photo credit: mtsrs via photopin.com

Why write The Place of Voices? Mayans and koalas and orphans. Oh, my. It’s all so odd. Christians don’t usually discuss ancient Mayan history. It’s a history full of brutal practices. Yet the Bible — and particularly the Old Testament — is full of comparable examples. No culture or civilization can claim a higher moral ground. In all my research on the ancient Maya, I could find nothing in it that didn’t have a modern parallel (human sacrifice included). In fact, in every area of ancient history and culture I’ve studied, I find that a close examination usually reveals more similarities than differences. If anything, our contemporary parallels are less spiritually motivated and more self-centered.

We know little of what God has in store for us in the future, or why his plan has unfolded as it has. We can’t possibly judge or condemn ancient cultures from a comfortable distance, limited by our modern sensibilities. One thing we can be sure of, though, is that everything and everyone belongs to God — whether they claim him or not.

“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” (Psalm 24:1 NIV)

We all come from the same source. Only time and distance have made a distinction.

“From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.” (Acts 17:26-27 NIV)

“I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.” (John 10:16 NIV)

We are all his creation—one he originally found “very good.” Yet, in our fallen world, all people are under the power of sin (Romans 3:9), no one superior to another.

“As the Scriptures say, ‘No one is good not even one. No one has real understanding; no one is seeking God. All have turned away from God; all have gone wrong. No one does good, not even one.’” (Romans 3:10-12 NLT)

When I visited Tikal in 1999, its haunting ruins tugged at my heart and prodded my imagination. Shrouded in mist and surrounded by exotic bird call, the massive pyramids left a lingering impression on me. Here were a people who aspired to greatness. Somewhere in that quest, something went horribly wrong. We can only wonder at the possible causes.

The mysteries of our world and history are fascinating. Curiosity stirred, my mind can’t seem to resist speculating as I reflect on the limited details revealed, testing possible connections. Why not examine these mysterious locations from a Christian perspective?

And so, The Place of Voices took root in my mind. An unlikely trio of friends, an unconventional location … a timeless adventure of discovery.

Sometimes it takes a journey through time to learn the true meaning of sacrifice.

Cover1_sm
THE PLACE OF VOICES
Available on amazon.com

Kindle version on sale
September 18-21, 2014 for only 99¢

DISCLAIMER: No humans were sacrificed in the making of this book. The Place of Voices is a clean read” appropriate for readers 12 and older.

 


Join Anna and Brendan as they reunite in book two of the TimeDrifter series, The Veil of Smoke, for a harrowing adventure in Pompeii—releasing early 2015! To receive announcements on giveaways, sale prices and new releases in the series, subscribe to Lauren’s email list or visit www.laurenlynch.com.

 


Trust Issues – Part 2

Of Trust and Trees (When Trust is Misplaced)

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / kosmos111

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / kosmos111

Once burned by misplaced trust, many will turn inward, trusting only in themselves. I tend to withdraw and disengage for a while when I have been betrayed. I take a step back and watch the world through wary eyes. God doesn’t want us to go through life suspicious, angry, or resentful — but he does want us to place our trust in him alone.

“With all your heart you must trust the Lord and not your own judgment.”  (Proverbs 3:5 CEV)

“And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.”  (Psalm 9:10 ESV)

Trust placed in God will never be betrayed. He will not let us down. Not only can we trust him in all things and in all ways, he will help us. We can let go of our vengeful attitudes, knowing that God will make it all right in the end.

“Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you. He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.” (Psalm 37:5-6 NLT)

“Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.” (Romans 12:19 MSG)

God wants us to put every bit of our faith in him — not in our family members, or our closest friends — or even our spouses. Every relationship in our lives should be secondary to our relationship with him. While we know this in theory, it’s not as easy to put into daily practice as we’d often hope. We are to love God with all our heart, soul, strength and mind. (Luke 10:27) All of it.

“Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie!” (Psalm 40:4 ESV)

Unlike the desert wastelands we experience when we place our trust in flawed humans, if we trust in the Lord, we are like lush trees surrounded by life-giving water. Our obedience will be rewarded. There are no worries if our trust is placed correctly. Instead of struggling to get by, our growth will be constant and we can focus on bearing fruit.

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:7-8 NIV)

Do you have unresolved trust issues? What can you do today to trust God more? 

 

 


Trust Issues – Part 1

Of Trust and Trees (When Trust is Betrayed)

© Can Stock / kamchatka

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / kamchatka

Have you ever been betrayed by someone close to you? Someone you believed you could trust? A parent? An employer? A pastor? A mentor? A good friend? A spouse? All of the above? I’ve been let down more times than I can count, yet I am repeatedly surprised when my trust is betrayed. The closer we come to placing our faith in a trusted friend or family member, the deeper the treachery cuts. Trust seems like a good thing, but is it?

“It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans.”
(Psalm 118:8 NIV)

When the betrayer is in a position of authority, it’s particularly disturbing. We want to be able to hold those in leadership — especially Christian leadership — to a higher standard. It seems like a right we should be able to claim, but is trusting others what the Bible teaches us to do?

“Don’t put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there.” (Psalm 146:3 NLT)

“Let everyone beware of his neighbor, and put no trust in any brother, for every brother is a deceiver, and every neighbor goes about as a slanderer.” (Jeremiah 9:4 ESV)

Love your neighbors, yes. But trust them? Not so much. We can’t put our faith in mankind. When Jesus walked among us, he performed miracles and people began to believe in him, but he knew better than to trust in men — even his closest friends and disciples. He knew they would ultimately betray him.

“But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.” (John 2:24-25 ESV)

There are times in our lives when we must rely on others, but we must be very careful where we place our confidence. God likens those who place their trust in humans to a bush in the wastelands. It’s not a pretty picture.

“Do not trust a neighbor; put no confidence in a friend. Even with the woman who lies in your embrace guard the words of your lips. For a son dishonors his father, a daughter rises up against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—a man’s enemies are the members of his own household.” (Micah 7:5-6 NIV)

This is what the Lord says: Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord. That person will be like a bush in the wastelands; they will not see prosperity when it comes. They will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives.” (Jeremiah 17:5-6 NIV)

Ouch — harsh! If I put my faith in an earthly source, I will always be disappointed. Always.

When is trust good? (Return tomorrow for a more uplifting view of trust!)

Where have you placed your trust and how has your choice affected your life? 


Loving Others: The Good, The Bad and The…Really?

 

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / sumners

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / sumners

The Greatest Commandment (Matthew 22:36-40) has become almost oversimplified these days. You see it everywhere, reduced to four words: Love God. Love others. Sounds simple enough, right? Not always.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” – John 13:34

Although we are undeserving, we are truly and deeply loved by our Creator. And he has a command for us: to love others in the same way he loves us. Think of someone you have difficulty liking. Now imagine loving them. Visualize loving them with the same sort of passion and forgiveness your Maker has for you.

We must love everyone—not just those who are easy to love or those who return our love, but also our enemies. (Matthew 5:43-48) When I struggle with this—when I find my mind resisting the worthiness of another to “deserve” my love—I must by mindful of my own unworthiness as a recipient of God’s love. Yet he gives it, freely and unconditionally.

“Let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” – 1 John 3:18

“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” – John 13:35

Merely saying we love isn’t enough—we must show it and mean it. Our actions will always speak louder than our words.

“Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.” – Matthew 7:20

“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” – James 1:22

I want to be recognized as a Christian by the fruit of my deeds. As believers, we are called to loving action—to be doers of the word.

Fellow humans, I love you. I love you! While my love may be a work in progress and far from perfect, I will make it my daily effort—my journey toward truth to be sincere in this love.

Challenge for the day: How can you show the people you encounter today that you love them? How can you be a living example of God’s love?

 


Should we follow our hearts?

©Photospin/Krillov

©Photospin/Krillov

I am an emotional creature by nature. I am driven by empathy. I feel things. Deeply. I can be as sensitive to the joys and pains of others as if they were my own. I would say that I make decisions more from my “heart” more than my “head.” So it caught me off guard one day when an acquaintance of mine expressed disgust over the fact that people mention following their hearts. She quoted Jeremiah 17:9 to support her belief that our hearts would only lead us astray.

“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” – Jeremiah 17:9

I was familiar with the verse and it inspired me to ponder use of the word “heart” to convey the source of our feelings and love—but also to express the source of our worldly desires. Yet, in Ezekiel we learn that God gives us a new heart and a new spirit—a soft, open and teachable heart, enabling our spirit to do his will.

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” – Ezekiel 36:26-27

It has taken many years to develop what I would consider good discernment. I believe that discernment is an ability to hear and comprehend the leading of the Holy Spirit—an ability that I consider a gift of my heart.

“And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” – Romans 5:5

“For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” – Romans 10:10

With our heart, not our mind, we believe. We have a choice. We decide what and who is in our hearts. We must guard our hearts and make certain they are centered on God and not our selfish desires. If we love God with all our hearts, there is nothing safer to follow. Our hearts will be moved by His Spirit.

“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” – Proverbs 4:23

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” – Matthew 22:37

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” – Luke 12:34

“The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” – Luke 6:45

When seeking God’s will, would you say you act based on your feelings or thoughts? Your head or your heart?


Stress got you down?

Image

© PhotoSpin.com

If I asked you to close your eyes and envision yourself in a serene and relaxing environment, where would your thoughts take you? Do your picture yourself nestled in the soft sand at a beach? Are you surrounded by majestic mountains or resting by a serene lake? Most of us imagine ourselves in a scenic natural setting. Stressful environments are man-made—but in nature, we see evidence of our Creator and it fills us with awe and gives us peace.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Psalm 19:1

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. Romans 1:20

Our Maker formed us from the earth and created a lush garden setting to live in. That was the life we were designed for. It’s who we really are. Only our disobedience or denial of truth takes us away from the beauty of what we were meant to be.

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. Genesis 2:7-8

But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? Job 12:7-9

Playing outdoors takes us back to the innocence of our childhood and from that perspective we can see our beautiful world with all the wonder of a small child. When we grow world-weary, when our faith grows stale and our patience wears thin we have only to seek out the beauty of our natural surroundings to find peace and get in touch with our loving God.

Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3

You have taught the little children to praise you perfectly. May their example shame and silence your enemies! Psalm 8:2 (TLB)

How can you enjoy the beauty and peace of nature today?

Image

© PhotoSpin.com


Change

Speed

© PhotoSpin.com

The older I get, the more I struggle with change. In my twenties, I craved it. In my thirties, it was still new and exciting. But now, pushing fifty … not so much. And it happens faster than ever these days.

I had a great-aunt who was born in 1880s and lived into the 1980s. The child of pioneers, my Aunt Ora traveled across the prairie in a wagon. She also witnessed the advent of television, computers and space travel. Although from my perspective, she always looked the same—with neatly-coifed silver hair, a pillbox hat, a prim dress and no-nonsense shoes—she had experienced amazing change in her lifetime.

Two generations behind her, I have still seen substantial change. My childhood was spent largely playing outdoors, unencumbered by any electronic devices. My first boyfriend did have an Atari Pong game, but it wasn’t enough to distract him for long. I watched my first VHS video at a high school party. My world was rocked when I got my hands on the brand new Macintosh SE my last year of college. I even managed to finish college without once having a conversation interrupted by a cell phone call.

Now, in a career that has spanned more than 25 years, I’ve owned more computers and software upgrades than I can count. At first, I latched onto each new innovation with anticipation. At any given moment, I could take advantage of a smart phone, my beloved Kindle, my laptop or my desktop computer—or a combination simultaneously. Now, I’m over it. I admit it. I’m tired. I just want to get off the ride. This city girl has moved to the country. We live in a cellular dead zone. And I love it. I crave a simpler life.

In this fast-paced, ever-changing world, it’s comforting to know that our God never changes. We can count on him no matter what. Amid the swirling sands of change, we have a foothold.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. James 1:17

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8

In this imperfect world, change isn’t always for the better—but Bible scholar, Arthur Pink, nailed it for me when he wrote: “God cannot change for the better, for He is already perfect; and being perfect, He cannot change for the worse.” Unlike the shifting environment our lives are tossed by, there is One we can count on—a constant, soothing source of peace we can rely on.

Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. Psalm 62:6

Where you do find comfort when constant change starts to wear you down?

I'll admit it. These days, I'd often rather just stay in my safe, little cocoon.

I’ll admit it. These days, I’d often rather just stay in my safe, little cocoon.