Bible, Museum of the Bible, Uncategorized, Work

Museum Highlight: Performing Arts Theatre

October 17, 2016

What is one of the most interesting aspects of the museum?

This is an impossible question for me to answer. I’ve been asked about my favorite aspect or what is most interesting, and I never know what one thing to pick! In traveling around the country and sharing the vision of Museum of the Bible, I do get one common reaction from audiences. When I present the visuals of what the museum will look like, the one area that always receives an audible response from the crowd is the renderings of the performing arts theatre!

We are using a digital mapping technique to transform the theatre and its white walls into a enveloping experience that brings the audience into the production unfolding around them. Using seventeen high output projectors and angle-compensating software, digital images are seamlessly woven together over varied surfaces to create a coherent environment—scene, landscape, or background—for the visitor. Here are a few renderings of this immersive space:

Standard Theatre view:


Theatre with digital mapping:



Theatre in concert mode:


Theatre in Bible reading mode:




We love incorporating the latest in technology in the museum, and this is just one example. So whether it is a daily Bible reading happening in the theatre or a Broadway show making its way to our stage, you will absolutely want to experience the performing arts theater once we open in the fall of 2017.


Bible, Culture, Millennials, Theology, Uncategorized

Theology Matters: Doctrine and Theology

October 7, 2016


“Studying theology is just too hard. I’m not a scholar so it’s not for me.”

“Why do I need to know doctrine? I know God loves me and that’s good enough!”

“Theology is boring; I would rather read something more interesting.”

“Doctrine causes division.”


Have you ever had these thoughts? I know I have.


My current reading has lead me to realize the importance of understanding doctrine and studying theology. I’ve been reading some books that emphasize this point: Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin and Worship Matters by Bob Kauflin.

Doctrine and theology are words that some in my generation (millennials) may find divisive, yet on the flip side, we see a resurgence in the desire for greater depth in faith from millennials. (Recent study that shows youth and young adults value substance over style.)

Theology is “the study of God.” Our theology is shaped by how we view God from what we’ve studied (or from our lack of study).

Doctrine, which originates from the Latin word for “teach” (docere), means “what is taught.” Doctrine also can be about what is taught on a specific topic—such as the doctrine of salvation, gifts, worship, etc.

Theology matters.

Theology matters because it is the study of God, and there is nothing more worthy of our thoughts than God.

There is nothing more worthy of our thoughts than God. Click To Tweet

But theology also matters because it shapes how we live. Whether it’s how we vote, if we get married, how we handle our finances, how we view our work—our understanding of who God is shapes every area, whether we realize it or not. The more accurately we know God through his Word, the more effectively we can live out lives of genuine worship of Him.


Applying our minds to study theology and doctrine is worth it.

I used to think that if studying the Bible felt forced, then I should stop and come back later when my heart was in it. I thought it seemed fake, like going through the motions or checking off a box by studying, when I didn’t “feel” like it. I’ve changed my mind.

Mark 12:30 speaks of loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Yet in our world where feelings often rule our hearts, it is easy to make excuses for applying our minds to thoughtful study. Instead, we want to sit through a worship service that makes us “feel” connected to God or listen a sermon that makes us “feel” good. While these are good things, we also must have the balance of knowing God with our minds. Emotions ebb and flow, and in the moments or seasons when I don’t “feel” God near me, my world can be stabilized by the truths of what I know of God’s character—regardless of how I feel.


Transformation moves from the mind to the heart.

As Jen Wilkin helpfully says, “The heart cannot love what the mind does not know.”

In her book Women of the Word, Wilkin writes of the scientific community’s study of the mind-before-heart connection. When asked how to get more pleasure out of life, Dr. Paul Bloom of Yale University answered, “Study.”
A practical example of his point came from my love of coffee. I don’t enjoy coffee more by gulping down gallons and gallons of it. The enjoyment of coffee can be greater felt when I learn about coffee—how to appreciate it, recognize its distinct flavors, the different roasts, etc. Jen Wilkin puts it this way in her book:

Bloom has found that pleasure results from gaining knowledge about the object of our pleasure, not, as we might assume, from merely experiencing it over and over. Specifically, our pleasure increases in something when we learn its history, origin, and deeper nature . . . Finding greater pleasure in God will not result from pursuing more experiences of him, but from knowing him better. (p. 31)


Growing in theological and doctrinal understanding is a lifelong process. Take it in steps that are do-able for you. The best way to grow in these areas is to get into the Bible. Beyond reading the Bible, I find it helpful to read others’ writings about their study of the Bible or various areas of doctrine.


I’ve written a number of posts about how I engage in the Bible, and there are a lot of great resources that I link to in these previous posts. Maybe you’ll find something there to help you get started.


Here are the results of my twitter poll on Theology and Doctrine:



Bible, Culture, Family, Millennials, Theology

Millennials and Marriage

August 31, 2016


My little sister, Danielle, just got married. I have four younger sisters, and she is the first to join me in the married club. Danielle is one of my best friends, and I absolutely love walking with her through the different seasons of life. Now that will include walking with her in this new, exciting chapter in her life! She is 23, and she and Caleb have a cute little place to call their own. Yet the latest research shows that they are not the norm.

Why are millennials (18-34 year olds) more likely to be living with their parents than living with a spouse? A 2014 Pew Research report noted that for the first time in American history since 1880, young adults are more likely to be living with parents than living with a spouse or cohabitating with a partner. The Pew report points to a few reasons why this might be so:

  1. The postponement of marriage until later in their twenties (or total retreat from marriage).
  2. Lower employment rates among young people, and increasingly lower wages (after inflation) for young men when compared to 1970.
  3. Higher college enrollment since the Great Recession (late 2000s to early 2010s) led to more young adults living at home.

Although all of these reasons are suggested as causes for this phenomenon, the report emphasizes the delay of marriage as the leading cause, over and above the lower employment rates and higher college attendance factors.

Having lived in two U.S. cities that vary culturally – Oklahoma City and New York City – I have seen both ends of the spectrum when it comes to marriage age. New York is one of the oldest-marrying states, with the average marriage age being 28.8 for women and 30.3 for men. The only location with an older-marrying age is Washington, DC. In contrast, Oklahoma is one of the youngest-marrying states, with the average marriage age being 24.8 for women and 26.3 for men. Only Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming have a younger-marrying age.

I’ve heard a lot of people, too, that support the idea of marrying at an older age. Their logic is understandable: enjoy singleness, be independent and free while you can, “find yourself” before you settle down, focus on your career first, etc. But what about doing these things alongside a spouse? It may take longer, because there inevitably needs to be time factored into your schedule to work on the marriage – but I also think there is great power in partnering.

Our culture sees individual autonomy as the highest good. Yet while this does keep some people from having a positive view of marriage as the gift that it is, I want to acknowledge that there are also those who are led to remain single or desire to be married but haven’t found the right person yet. To those that are single, your singleness does not mean that you are “incomplete,” or waiting for “real adulthood” to begin. Singleness should be valued. God uses single people to teach others valuable lessons as well. But I want to challenge those of us in the millennial generation that may delay marriage because of the cultural notion that individual autonomy should be valued over collaboration.

I recently read an article where Jeannie Gaffigan, wife of comedian Jim Gaffigan, was being interviewed. She points out that culture subliminally tells us that we have to be 100% on our own – independent and autonomous. But independence can be overrated. It is not weak to be joined up with someone – whether a spouse or even a team. We can accomplish more in a team than we can on our own. The same goes for marriage. When you are teamed up with someone, it may take a little longer to get where you want to be, but in the end you can go farther.


I was younger than the average Oklahoman when I got married at 21 in 2009, and I wouldn’t change it for anything. Marriage has taught me a lot over the years. It has shown me more of my selfishness than anything else in my life thus far, and I value those lessons. (I hear this happens all over again when you have kids– but I’m not there yet!) It has also taught me how to work with someone who has opposite strengths, and this has allowed me to grow in areas where I am weak. I also have built-in accountability, which grows my character. All of these things have been beneficial for me in other areas of life and in my work.

Mostly what I am grateful for is the way that I’ve learned more about the gospel through marriage. Marriage is not for my happiness, but for my holiness. My husband has seen my worst moments, and I have seen his. No one can cause more pain than those closest to you, and in the times where I have wronged Michael, he has showed me grace and forgiveness. And likewise, as he has wronged me, I have had the chance to practice forgiveness for him. I can have the strength to forgive because I know that I have been forgiven exponentially more through Jesus Christ’s (Colossians 2:12-13; 3:12-17; 1 John 4:7-12, 19-21).

Marriage was created by God and is for our good. Let’s not allow culture to fool us into de-valuing this gift.



12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12-14

More pics from the magical night can be found on my instagram @laurenamcafee!

Millennials, Uncategorized, Work

What Millennials Really Want at Work: 3 Tips for Keeping and Engaging Millennials

August 18, 2016

You’ve got to love millennials, right? I love how this video represents some of the funny stereotypes that can be associated with this generation. It’s true, millennials are often considered self-absorbed, lazy, distracted, and entitled. But they are also capturing the attention of employers and researchers everywhere as they are on the way to becoming the majority of the work force.

According to a recent Gallup report, 71% of millennials are either not engaged or are actively disengaged at work. This lack of engagement by the millennial group (those born between 1980 and 1996) can lead to disloyalty to the organizations they serve. Why is this something we should care about? Because millenials make up about 38% of the workforce in America, and by 2025 that will jump to nearly 75% of the workforce. Employee turnover comes at a high price, so it could be worth your time to strategize ways to engage the millennial workforce, and harness their strengths.

Here are a few suggestions for engaging this powerful group of contributors:

1. Be a mentor. While it can seem that many millenials are entitled or overly-confident, we still value mentorship. Millennials want guidance from their counterparts who are older, and more experienced in the workforce. We are a very relational group, and often enjoy hearing feedback from an authentic relationship. Take time to provide helpful coaching conversations, and millennials will become more engaged in their work.

2. Communicate the company’s vision, and how millenials play a part. Millennials may seem short-sighted at times, but we do think about long-term plans. Millennials have a desire to make a positive impact on the organization they serve. We have grown up in a world where we see everyone’s successes and goals on social media, and can be tempted to lose patience with what we think should have been accomplished in our lives by now. This results in only half of millennials expecting to be with their current company one year from now. To help shift this staggering statistic, managers should show that they care about a millennial’s long-term plans. By communicating long-term vision which incorporates millennial’s role, this group will be more likely to get on board and stick around to join in making that vision a reality.

3. Recognize the myth that millennials are different from the preceding generations. Millennials want purpose, feedback and work/life balance just like those in the Gen X and Baby Boomer generations. Yes, millennials are more likely to voluntarily leave their jobs than their older counterparts, but the same was true two decades ago for employees under the age of 35. I would argue that millennials are not particularly unique when compared to other generations. Millennials are just young. As was every generation at some point. Treat millennials how any employee would want to be treated, and this will help foster long-term commitment.

When given guidance and purpose, millennials can be a powerful asset to any company. As companies look to the future, those that incorporate millennials well will be on the right track for success.


Related Articles:

Gallup- Many Millennials are Job Hoppers- But Not All

Harvard Business Review- What Do Millennials Really Want At Work? The Same Things The Rest of us Do

Bible, Life, Museum of the Bible, Travel, Uncategorized, Work

“Busy” is not synonymous with “Successful” – Managing life well

June 24, 2016

BYP-109 copy

Have you noticed that when people are asked “How are you?” their response, more and more, is “Busy!”? I’ll admit, this is often my go-to response. It is the natural reply that rolls off of my tongue during friendly small-talk conversation. When I began to realize that this had become my typical reply, and dug a little deeper to try to understand why, I discovered that one of the reasons I want to say “Busy!” is because I want to make it sound like I am doing a lot of important things. It is an easy way of giving a #humblebrag. So I’ve decided that I want something better to say.

This is not to say that “busy” isn’t a truthful response, but I don’t want it to be my standard. Honestly, I don’t always even feel busy. I do have a full schedule, but it mostly involves things that I am passionate about and that fuel and energize me. Besides investing in my marriage, relationships, and spiritual journey, I get to work full time for Museum of the Bible, wear my “Hobby Lobby/Green family member” hat at times, live on the road 60% of the time, and try to keep up with my inbox, blog, and social media activities. And for some crazy reason, I just enrolled in two graduate level seminary courses!

Maybe my go-to response will be #blessed or “better than I deserve!”—but those seem trite and too #Christiancheesy. While I continue figure out what to say when asked “How are you?”, here are a few ways that I keep my schedule under control to avoid mental and spiritual burnout.

BYP-99 copy

1. Knowing myself and my limits.

A few weeks ago, I forgot this one. I had some work events that were higher stress than normal, and I didn’t give myself room to decompress afterward. I went from hosting a three-day retreat for women that are speakers and leaders, right into a three-week travel schedule to seven different cities/events, and ending back in OKC just in time for a full weekend of college graduation festivities for my brother-in-law. When I landed in OKC to change clothes and go right into graduation party mode, I was not in a good place—and Michael and I were having conflict. It wasn’t pretty. And it affected half of the celebration weekend. (Sorry to those of you that were around me!)

I needed to let myself have time to recover and rest. I need to make sure I have space in my schedule to allow for recovery when I see that things might be hectic for an extended time. We were not created to work for rest, but to work from rest. And if there are seasons when it isn’t possible to create that space due to situations that don’t allow a Sabbath kind of rest, I need to be sure I lean on God to give me the strength to make it through that time with grace. This leads to my second point.


2. Not sacrificing my time with God.

I need to keep my spiritual walk a priority. When the schedule begins to fill up, and knocks other things off my schedule, I have to fight to keep this a priority. I need time with my Bible and time in prayer. It should be unthinkable that I can’t find time in my schedule for the Creator of all things.

God sustains me during the busy seasons better than any other gimmick or tip I could write about. I experience a significant difference when I am spending quality time with God than when I am setting aside that relationship as a lesser priority. God, and the truths from the Bible, is my greatest strength and sustainer. Yet for some reason, I still allow myself to forget and sacrifice that time for lesser things.

To this point, the friends of Martin Luther said he spent three hours in prayer every day. I don’t know what Luther’s schedule was like, but I have to assume it was pretty busy, with the-whole-starting-of-the-Protestant-Reformation-thing he did. He made time to pray, and it served him well.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

3. Creating a system that works for managing everything.

Whether its starting the day with reviewing my to-do list, or spending the first 15 minute at the office to say hello to co-workers, has led me to figure out my routines and processes and to use them. Since people have different personality types and temperaments, creating a system for managing things will be different for each person. This is something I learned when I got married, but saw even more clearly as I started working alongside my hubby. I saw that what worked for me as a system of keeping up with friends, work, spiritual life, etc. did not work for Michael. We have very different personality types and skill sets, so our life management strategies differ.

Here is one small practical example: Michael is an external processor, and he also tends to process his thoughts quickly. So for emails, he reads a complex email and can respond fairly quickly with a thoughtful reply. For me, I am an internal processor, and I need time to gather my thoughts. So I have a system that works for me where I read an email, and if I need to process it, I mark it a certain way and come back to it a little later to reply.

Another example is how we prioritize our Bible reading. I’ve found that the best way to keep consistent in reading my Bible is to do it at night. This has become a part of my routine, and I read my Bible and journal my prayers at night before I go to bed. This is not a system that works for Michael, and it won’t be the system that works for a lot of people as I discovered in an informal Twitter poll I took last week. I asked, “When do you read your Bible?” Out of 270 respondents, the results showed that 54% said “Random times,” 28% said “Morning,” 15% said “Night,” and 3% said “Weekends.”

We are all different, and it’s a wonderful thing. Find what works for you, and put your process to work.


4. Lastly, I give myself grace!

I won’t always balance the schedule and life perfectly, and in those times I am thankful for a God full of grace.


For a helpful book that provides perspective on how to manage the culture of busyness with a biblical worldview, I recommend Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung.


Bible, Church, Family, Theology, Uncategorized

Six Ways I Engage with the Bible: Part 3, Additional Reading

May 23, 2016

When I was a freshman in high school, I vividly remember reading my first book on spiritual growth. I had grown up in the church, and been exposed to Bible teachings and Bible study for as long as I can remember. I was periodically reading the Bible on my own, trying to understand how it could help my high school struggles. But when I discovered books that could help my spiritual growth by expanding on spiritual disciplines and theology, I was hooked.

I’ll be honest. The motivation for reading that first book was out of a desire to impress an older guy at my school who had recommended it. Despite the selfish motivation, it had an impact on me. The book was Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire by Jim Cymbala. Cymbala is a pastor in Brooklyn, NY, and I actually got to enjoy lunch with his daughter Susan just last month! Meeting her and touring the Brooklyn Tabernacle (which the book is about) brought me back to those high school days when my passion for reading was set on fire.

When I read Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire, I was stepping out of my small context in Oklahoma City, and I was brought into the stories of how people’s lives were changed through the prayers of people in the church of Brooklyn, NY. I read stories of people with deep faith, despite difficult circumstances. It inspired me to want to strengthen my faith as well.

As I began reading Christian books, I loved them so much that I actually haven’t read anything but non-fiction since I graduated high school! It wasn’t until a few weeks ago when I read an article by Dr. Russell Moore encouraging the reading of some fiction, and also my husband buying me the Harry Potter books for my birthday that brought me to read my first fiction book in ten years. I must say, I am loving the Harry Potter books—I have been such a fan of the movies, I figured I may as well give the books a try. Plus, I just went to “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter”™ in California, so the timing was perfect.

Getting back to the point though . . . . In reading various books, I have found that authors who have studied the Bible can provide me with deeper insight of my favorite book. Through good books, I benefit from others’ study of theology and the Bible. It also allows me to see how they understand and apply it in their thinking and lives. Hearing this additional perspective provides more opportunity to relate to the text of scripture.

Through the years, I have read a number of books by a variety of authors. Some have been good, and others were . . . well, let’s just say I wish I could get the time back that I spent on them. The experiences with those books can be helpful, too, though. As I read, I want to consider all of the author’s claims, and compare to what I know of the Bible to ensure that I am not absorbing bad theology. If I am unsure about something I’ve read, I usually discuss it with someone who I know can help me think through it. For me, I usually work through these questions with my husband and get his feedback. I am grateful to have a husband who is theologically trained and knowledgeable about the Bible. Discussing my questions with him is helpful, and I enjoy learning from my husband’s feedback.

Let me share with you my five favorite books for spiritual growth:

  1. Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts by Jerry Bridges

This is one of my all-time favorites. Jerry Bridges takes a look at the sovereignty of God, and his faithfulness, even when life seems unjust. I read this book during a difficult time in my family, and it was an incredibly helpful reminder that despite the broken promises or broken trust that I have experienced with people, I can trust God because he is perfect in keeping his promises.

  1. Humility by C.J. Mahaney

I love this book because I constantly need to push back against my pull toward pride. I was reading an article the other day that put it like this: “When you stand in the water at the beach you feel the persistent pull of the current. Regardless of how long you stand in that water the current will, with varying intensity, pull you. To deny or minimize it will result in potential bodily harm. Such is the case with pride” (Erik Raymond). Thus, I love this book Humility, and it helps me keep my pride in check.

  1. Knowing God by J.I. Packer

I read this book recently and found it a bit more practical than some of the others. Packer shares deep theological knowledge, but also conveys the realities of trying to live out the Christian faith in the day-to-day world. Knowing God is a classic. It was voted in Christianity Today as one of the top fifty books that have shaped evangelical Christians.

  1. Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die by John Piper

In this book, Piper looks at fifty reasons found in the New Testament for why Jesus came to die. This is a look at the meaning behind the cross of Christ. It was a humbling book, as well as a reminder of many truths that often get overlooked. Each chapter is one page, so it is easy to read a chapter a day or use as a devotional.

  1. Radical by David Platt

This book helped shape and challenge me when it comes to my struggle with materialism. Radical is more than a book on materialism, though. The book is about following Christ, no matter what. There is a lot of discussion about material things that sidetrack us from being “all in” for God, but the book as a whole points to the life transformation that happens in every area of life because of the gospel.

These are just some of my favorites from what I have read, but there are so many more that I am sure I haven’t gotten to yet! For a few more suggestions, check out my friend Matt Brown’s list for what he thinks are the 5 best books on spiritual growth.

Do you have any recommendations? I would love to hear what your favorite spiritual growth books have been!


Bible, Museum of the Bible, Uncategorized

Six Ways I Engage with the Bible: Part 2, Devotionals

March 8, 2016

Photography: Esther MartinezHave you ever tried to understand something and just couldn’t get it, but then had someone else explains it from a different angle and it finally helped you make sense of a situation? I had this happen the other day.

A few weeks ago, Michael and I were grabbing dinner with our friends Luke and Diandra. After an incredible tasty dinner at my favorite NY restaurant, Jacob’s Pickles, we walked back to our apartment for some hot tea and began discussing our careers. My friend Luke began sharing about how he is courageously launching into a new career in venture capitalism. I do not know a lot about VC, and I am not savvy enough to understand the words he used to describe his field. A few weeks later I was with Diandra again and she began explaining VC in her own words. It finally clicked. I had just needed to hear a different perspective to make it connect. That is the way I often view devotionals.

In my first part to this series on how I engage with the Bible, I wrote about daily Bible reading. In this post I want to look at devotional books.

Devotional books provide an opportunity to see the truths of the Bible through someone else’s perspective. Seeing how the Bible has impacted another person often gives me new insights. Some devotionals have stories or anecdotes that encourage me to reflect on the Bible applied in various life situations. Others have a bit more depth and unpack a passage to create better understanding of its teaching or meaning. Among the hundreds of devotionals out there, I think that most fall into these three categories:

  • Personal stories that incorporate a biblical passage or theme
  • Thoughts about the Bible and its interpretation
  • Explanation or commentary of a passage from scripture

Reading a devotional can speak to the heart. I often have personal experiences or hear friends talk about a devotional that spoke right to the heart on a particular issue that was so relevant to what was happening in life. Since some devotionals have a reading for each of day of the year, it is easy to read through with a friend and discuss the material.

When I approach a devotional, I am adding this to my daily Bible reading. I do my daily Bible reading with a plan from YouVersion at night. If I use a devotional, it is usually in the morning to start my day with a reflection on scripture.  Devotionals are usually short, which makes them ideal for a little taste of encouragement or truth for the day. Because they are short, I often walk away wishing that I had more.

If you are not in the habit of spending time reading the Bible, then starting with a devotional book could be an easy starting point for getting bits of scripture in front of you every day. I encourage you to grow from that into more time actually spent reading the Bible, though, because nothing quite has the same impact as actually getting into the Bible directly! A critical question that has helped me achieve balance in my devotional reading is this: “How much time am I spending reading other people’s thoughts about the Bible, rather than actually getting into the Bible for myself?”

So, if you find yourself looking for a devotional, let me share my favorites! I have used all of these at one point or another. I am always open to suggestions though! Do you have a favorite?

Morning and Evening, Charles Spurgeon: Web, book or app.

My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers: Web, book or app.

Jesus Calling, Sarah Young: Book or app.

“Solid Joys,” John Piper: Web or app.

Ligonier Ministries, Daily Resources: Web or app.

Proverbs 31 Ministries, Devotions: Web or app.

The Duck Commander Devotional, Al Robertson: Books.

Closer: 52 Devotions to Draw Couples Together, Jim & Cathy Burns: Book.

For the Love of God, D.A. Carson: Volume 1: Book / Volume 2: Book.

Fun Fact provided by Museum of the Bible: Did you know that what we now call devotionals is similar to “The Book of Hours” in the Middle Ages…Watch to learn more!

Bible, Family, Uncategorized

Six Ways I Engage with the Bible – Part One: Daily Reading

February 15, 2016


Growing up being homeschooled, my Dad taught my math lesson every morning before he left for work. And every morning as I walked into my Dad’s study, half-asleep, to start my math lesson, he was already there reading his Bible. Seeing my Dad prioritize this book, even amidst his busy schedule – president of a large privately-owned company and a homeschooling father of four (at the time) – made a lasting impression on me.

The Bible is important to me, but it’s not just me. Did you know that three of every five people that read this post will wish they read the Bible more? Based on a 2015 Barna Group study, 88% of American households own at least one Bible, and 60% of Americans want to read the Bible more. Even though most of us own a Bible, it can be hard to spend time reading it and to actually engage with it.

Biblical Illiteracy: My friend Jeremiah Johnston just posted an article on Fox News using the same Barna survey exploring a crucial question:
Why are so many Christians biblically illiterate?”

The Bible is the best-selling book of all time, every year. It is the most read, most published, and ironically, the most shoplifted book. It is a book that has changed the world in more ways than we realize. The Bible is worth reading!

I say all of this because it is helpful for me to remember every day the significance of the Bible. It is challenging to stay disciplined and to remember to spend time – especially during busy days – reading and engaging with this book. We live in a time where busyness can be seen as synonymous with importance. This simply isn’t true. Most successful people take the time to grow, to learn, and to read. The Bible, in my opinion, is the best book to spend time reading.

Easier said than done though, right?

I thought I might share with you six ways I interact and engage with the Bible. I will do so over a series of six posts, starting first with daily Bible reading.


Daily Bible Reading

I am one of the 60% of Americans who want to read the Bible more. Daily Bible reading is the foundational way that I get into this book. Taking time to read a few chapters of the Bible each day is a habit that I started in high school following my Dad’s example. I often do my reading through reading plans. I love the wide array of reading plans that are readily available. There are chronological plans, canonical plans, topical plans, plans focusing on specific books of the Bible, and more. I typically choose from one of the plans that can be found through the YouVersion app because they are free and easily accessible.

Daily Bible reading is different than digging in and studying a passage, or meditating on a passage. Reading the Bible every day is a great way to start spending time with this book and getting to know it. The one year reading plans I have used can be found through YouVersion:

BibleandPhoneReading the Bible can be daunting, but I encourage you to jump in with an easy reading plan, or just pick a book of the Bible and start reading through it chapter by chapter every day. I hope this gives you a few options to check out if you are looking for a one year plan. Otherwise, there are so many other ways to go about daily Bible reading. I encourage you to start today – even if it’s only for a few minutes a day!


How do you approach daily Bible reading? I would love to hear from you!

I’ll be back later with Part Two on using devotionals.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. 2 Timothy 3:16


Adoption, Life


January 31, 2016

In Africa in 2013

This month marks three years since Michael and I began the adoption process. As you may be able to tell from the lack of an Instagram feed filled with photos of a sweet little boy, we still have not completed our adoption.

It is a strange journey, adoption is. No two experiences are the same. The process is full of unknown. It may happen in a few weeks, or it may take a few years. I also have friends who have started the process and never actually complete an adoption because of so many road blocks that came up during the journey. But for those that do complete the adoption process, once a family brings a child into the home, the adventure is just beginning.

At a time when I needed a little encouragement with our adoption experience, I had the opportunity to hear from a few different families who have all gone through adoption. Hearing the stories from families that have walked through the long and difficult process of adoption was encouraging because in each instance, I could see God’s perfect timing in every situation.

So, to those of you pursuing an adoption or maybe even those that have completed an adoption and feel weary from the unique struggles that come with it, take heart: God is for you.

For the family that has just started the process and feel overwhelmed by the mass amounts of paperwork, approvals, interviews, meetings, expenses and unknowns- be encouraged, God is in the details and takes care of His children.

For the family that has been waiting for a child for months and months or years and years, don’t lose hope. God knows your child and will bring your family together at the right time.

For the family that may be praying about whether or not to pursue adoption, it is a hard but rewarding journey. Adopting is not for everyone. Although, I do believe that as part of the church, everyone should play a role in caring for the fatherless (James 1:27). While it is scary to consider providing a forever home to a child that has experienced trauma through whatever the circumstances were that brought them to adoption, every child deserves to be in a forever family and be loved. We need families that say “yes” to the calling of adoption.

A quick update on our adoption: The African country that we are adopting through has decided to reform their international adoption policies. While they reform the policies, they are not approving families for adoption. Our adoption is on “hold” for now while we wait to see if the country opens back up in the coming year. This is not where I expected to be three years into the process, but anyone that has gone through the adoption process knows that it never is quite what you expect.



Additional reading: Here are some reasons why you should consider adoption.