Parents, Broken Bones, and Sin’s Curse

broken arm cast

by John Ellis

There are moments that remind parents that our children aren’t really ours, not really. Moments that interrupt daily life, underscoring parents’ finiteness and the fragility of our children. Moments that stand still in pain and hopelessness while you implore, to no avail, for time to reset itself back into daily life.

Tuesday evening as I sat reading on our back-deck, the weak yet desperate cries of help coming from the front yard were the first signal that a chain of unwanted moments for my family had been set in motion.

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Alarm Clocks, Skinned Knees, and My Mom’s Magic


band-aid-on-knee

by John Ellis

My mom possessed some sort of secret magic. Through some sort of wizardry, she made herself indispensable to me when I was a child. At the time, I believed myself to be fierce and independent. Preparing to battle invading commie armies, daydreaming about outwitting kidnappers, and plotting ways to capture dangerous wild animals, I didn’t need my mother I would scoff to myself. Only babies and wimps need their mom.

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The Art of Petulance: Boycotting Nike, Serena Williams, and the Christian’s Tongue


pouting baby

by John Ellis

Over the last few weeks, both “sides” of our increasingly bifurcated society have aptly demonstrated that our similarities transcend politics. Sadly, the specific similarity we’ve witnessed of late isn’t reflective of our “better natures.” Our society appears to be in the throes of competing temper tantrums.

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‘Desiring God’ Says that I Ruined My Life; Jesus Says Otherwise


The-Return-of-the-Prodigal-Son

by John Ellis

(Edit: Shortly after I emailed him this evening, Jonathan Pokluda emailed me back, demonstrating humility and charity as he expressed concern for me over and above his article. As I contemplated his kind words to me, I thought, “Would I respond with this much humility and charity if someone challenged one of my articles?” I don’t know the answer to that, but I pray that I would/will, by God’s grace. 

Writing online is a tricky business. Rarely are you able to say all that you want and all that you believe on a given topic. I wrote this blog post under the assumption that Jonathan Pokluda did not intend to provoke the response I had while reading his article. But, I had my response and I was concerned that others might have a similar response. In His kindness, God has me in a place, spiritually and materially, where my existential navel-gazing is overcome by His mercy and kindness exhibited in my sanctification, by the power of His Spirit. However, before I began writing, I wondered how my response would’ve festered if I had read something similar as a new Believer. So, while I stand by what I’ve written below, I would be remiss if I didn’t say that I believe that Jonathan Pokluda would counsel Christians who have “ruined” their lives that, in Christ, their life has not been ruined. If I never meet Pokluda in this life, I look forward to laughing with him about this in the new heavens and new earth.)

It’s not that I disagree with Jonathan Pokluda’s advice in his article “How to Ruin Your Life in Your Twenties.” It’s that in his article he allowed little to no room for me and others like me. You see, I ruined my life in my twenties. I violated every single one of his resolutions. And, yet, although I ruined my life, my life is not ruined. And that’s a paradox of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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Why Sex Outside of Marriage Is a Sin

 

wedding-ceremony-flowers-decorations-2

by John Ellis

Rebecca was alternately excited and mystified by the beautiful alabaster box her missionary grandmother had sent for her 17th birthday. Written in her grandmother’s familiar, shaky hand, the accompanying note added to the mystery, “Remember, dear, this can only ever be opened once.”

Gently placing the alabaster box on her bed side table, Rebecca puzzled over the meaning of her grandmother’s note while admiring the delicate beauty and intricate patterns of the alabaster box. Assuming it contained a precious perfume or spice, Rebecca determined to preserve the alabaster box intact for a special day.

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My Illness Reminded Me to Be Careful What I Preach

Sick man

by John Ellis

I’ve prided myself on my body’s ability to heal quickly. It’s rare that I’m sick for longer than 24 hours. In fact, it’s rare that the lingering effects of illness stay with me longer than that 24-hour period. A good case in point is the last time I had strep throat.

Late one afternoon on a Saturday in August seven and a half years ago, my throat began to hurt. As the evening wore on, the pain became worse. By the time the sun rose on the Sunday morning, it felt like there were razors in my throat. I immediately went to a Minute Clinic type place, was prescribed amoxicillin, took my first two doses that Sunday, and woke up Monday morning almost 100% back to normal.

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