“Be still my soul: the Lord is on thy side. Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain. Leave to thy God to order and provide; in every change he faithful will remain. Be still my soul: thy best, thy heav’nly Friend through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.”

Katharina von Schlegel

Placid. Undisturbed. That’s how the waters of the Chattahoochee River looked this morning as I ran beside it. I wonder if this picture captures the state of my own soul. As I stopped to observe another sunrise over these waters I contemplated the words of the above hymn. Stillness of soul and peace come as I think about the truths contained in it.

The Lord is on my side. Psalm 118 says the Lord is on my side as my helper. The one who spoke everything into existence and upholds everything at every moment is on my side. Don’t rush over that. He is on our side. Truly, if God is for us, who can be against us?

We can bear any cross, any sorrow, and any pain because the Lord is ordering and providing in and through them all. No, we don’t always understand, but he remains faithful through it all. Just think of the alternative – if God isn’t sovereign over your trials, then who is? Satan? Are your circumstances just random, dictated by a nameless and faceless Fate?

More than that though, he is a best and heavenly Friend who doesn’t leave us in our trials, but leads us through them.

I see at least seven truths about God in this one verse which can and should bring stillness to our souls:

  • The Lord is on our side.
  • The Lord orders every trial.
  • The Lord provides in every trial.
  • The Lord remains faithful when everything around us changes.
  • The Lord is our best heavenly Friend.
  • The Lord leads us through every trial, never leaving us alone.
  • The Lord will make sure the end is full of joy.

More Than Watchmen for the Morning

“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.”

Psalm 130:5-6

Before satellites and GPS, before radar, before clocks, before any of these technologies were around there were watchmen. These men were posted as sentries and called to be on the lookout for many things – for threats, for messengers, and for the faint glint of sunlight peaking over the horizon.

Imagine yourself sitting at a post in the long dark hours of the night. Did you doubt that the sun would come up? No. You knew it would. Every day of your life the sun had been faithful to rise and then set. Rise and set. Rise and set. But without a watch to let you know exactly when this would happen every morning you were left looking, watching, expecting.

Go back and read the verse from Psalm 130. Do you see how waiting is compared to the eager expectation of the watchman? We tend to think of waiting as a passive thing. Think of the grocery store checkout line. Why is it stocked with magazines and candy? To give you something to do while you’re waiting. Today we have phones for that but we’re still distracting ourselves while waiting. This is not the kind of waiting the Bible talks about, especially here in regards to God and his word. Waiting in the Bible is filled with hope and expectation, an edge of your seat anticipation, a squinting your eyes toward the horizon kind of longing.

The watchman trusted that the sun would come up every single morning, but don’t we have a greater hope? Shouldn’t we be spilling over with faith-filled confidence?This is the point of what he’s saying. Our waiting is filled with more eager expectation than the watchman. Why? Because our God is more faithful than the sunrise. The promises of his word are more sure. The things of this world will pass away but the steadfast love of the Lord endures forever. His promises are rock solid.

“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.”

Isaiah 40:8

So how is your waiting? How is your watching? Is it filled with confident expectation? Our God is more faithful than the sunrise and I am praying that I can be found on the edge of my seat, straining my eyes toward the horizon eager to see his promises come to pass just like he said.

First Impressions of Seminary

I’ve attended three classes so far at Reformed Theological Seminary here in Atlanta and thought I’d share my first impressions.

The professors are friendly and available. I entered class kind of intimidated. These men have many degrees and loaded bookshelves, but they are not aloof. One of my professors starts class each week by playing the guitar and leading us in worship. Yesterday he told a story about his special needs son learning to ask the Holy Spirit for strength. My other professor spent the first hour of class having all the students get to know each other and said that he’s always available to eat lunch with us before class.

There is a diverse community here that’s vibrant and refreshing. My first day I was greeted by a fellow student who was manning the front desk. He said he recognized me from a couple months ago when I took a tour. (I’m guessing it’s the curly hair?) Before my first class, a fellow student confirmed my name and I asked him how he knew it. He said he looked at the list of students before class so he could be familiar with his classmates’ names. There are more women than I expected. And there’s a couple guys from Uganda who’ve only been in the States for about five months. I love hearing them pray.

I made sure to start reading ahead for my classes and that’s been very helpful. I know the workload will only increase as the semester goes along, but I’m trying not to hurry through the reading or worry about how I’m going to write this upcoming research paper. I’m realizing how much of a gift this really this, and how I want to treasure everything I’m learning.

Last year at this time I hiked up Kennesaw Mountain with a bald head. I look a lot different today and am so thankful to God for how far he’s brought me and for his abundant goodness.

The Beauty of God in Music

This past Christmas season, I wanted to do something different, maybe start a new tradition. Inspired by a night at the Atlanta Symphony, I did an Internet search for holiday concerts in the area. I didn’t want Celtic Woman. I didn’t want TranSiberian Orchestra. I wanted a small and intimate environment and music that was more classical, more sacred, not just popular. I came upon this group. I’d never heard of them, but I knew enough to know that this would be different and possibly very special. Sacred choral music sung by a professional chamber choir.

I need to back up though and tell you about this book I’ve been rereading and the impact it’s had on how I listen to music. It’s Delighting in the Trinity by Michael Reeves. If you haven’t read it, I urge you right now to stop reading and go order it. You won’t regret it. Reeves does something few theologians are able to do. He teaches doctrine in a way that engages your mind and moves your heart. Listen to how he describes the inner harmony and beauty of the Trinity:

“It is from the heavenly harmony of Father, Son and Spirit that this universal frame of the cosmos – and all created harmony – comes. To hear a tuneful harmony can be one of the most intoxicatingly beautiful experiences. And no wonder: as in heaven, so on earth. The Father, Son and Spirit have always been in delicious harmony, and thus they create a world where harmonies – distinct beings, persons or notes working in unity – are good, mirroring the very being of the triune God.”

Michael Reeves

I had never thought of music in this way, had never connected the dots between the essential nature of God and how that is reflected not just in our human relationships but in every aspect of creation, especially music. With these thoughts in the forefront of my mind, I went to this concert eagerly anticipating not just a beautiful performance, but a chance to reflect on the beauty of God.

As my husband and I sat silently in the wooden pews of an unfamiliar church surrounded by even more unfamiliar people, the music began and I struggled to keep from weeping. My emotions rose within me not only because of the words being sung but because of the purity and harmony produced by the voices. The effect was transcendent. I closed my eyes several times during the concert so I could just delight in how pleasing it all was, such sublime and wonderful unity from diversity.

Is this what David longed for and sought after in Psalm 27:4?

“One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.”

Psalm 27:4

After the concert was over I felt like I had tasted the goodness and beauty of God, that I had somehow pulled back the curtain and peeked at holy joy. I pray that those who performed that night will realize the significance of their gifts and the beautiful God they point to. As a musician myself who uses her gifts and talents in worship most every Sunday, I pray that I won’t take this holy privilege of making music for granted.

Seminary Lessons: Read More Broadly

I start my seminary classes in a few weeks but I’ve already learned an important lesson from the books I’ve been assigned to read – read more broadly.

The truth is that each of us tends to glom on to certain individuals and their teachings. Some people have an outsized influence on our lives and on our coming to faith. It’s only natural that you’d hold tightly to their views and interpretations. You may have grown up in a solid Bible believing church and had little interaction with people from other denominations. Therefore, your view of certain doctrines is modeled and molded after your experience, maybe more than your own individual study of the Scripture. You don’t question it. Most of us don’t like conflict and so we stay where we are, not willing to have our own views challenged. As a result, our perspective on things is narrower than it should be.

My early Christian life went like this – as a new Christian, I was influenced and discipled by people who liked authors like J.I. Packer, Elisabeth Elliot, and John MacArthur. I read their books and was introduced to other authors like Jerry Bridges, R.C. Sproul, and John Piper. And it was there, with the writings of Piper, that I stopped and stayed awhile. A long while. It’s not like I didn’t read anything else, but in those early years of my Christian life, I devoured most anything John Piper wrote and listened to countless sermons, either on CD or on the Desiring God website. Did I agree with Piper on everything? No, but probably most things. He has been like a spiritual father to me. From him I learned the importance of the affections and how to fight sin. He introduced me to Jonathan Edwards and other “good old dead guys.” He made Calvinism come alive to me and always challenged me to go deeper in my understanding of the Bible.

Along the way I’ve realized how much my own understanding of the Bible and my own teaching of it has been influenced by John Piper. That’s not all bad, but it is one dimensional and, if left unchecked, it could lead to a kind of laziness where I just trust what he says without question. If we only stay in our own comfortable backyard of theological knowledge, we never meet any new friends who can add so much depth to our own understanding.

This is why I’m excited about the books I’ve been assigned to read. I’m taking one New Testament class and one class on the story of Scripture. The authors I’ve been assigned to read are almost all new to me. No Piper. A lot of them use categories and vocabulary that I’m not familiar with. One of them surprised me by quoting and praising the insights of some female theologians and pastors I’d never heard of. I don’t believe Scripture permits women to be pastors, so I would have never taken the time to read their views. I’m learning that just because we don’t agree on secondary issues doesn’t mean I have to throw out their views entirely.

I know that as I get further and further into my degree program, and become exposed to even more diverse perspectives, my own theological convictions will be challenged and sharpened and broadened. I pray I will gain the wisdom that comes from many counselors, not just two or three favorites.

Reflection on Psalm 131

Distraction. Busyness. Restlessness. Discontent.

It seems these are the default settings of my soul. But Psalm 131 paints a different picture.

“O Lord, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great or too marvelous for me.”

Psalm 131:1

Too often in this modern world where we can have access to an overabundance of information about people and places and events we would have never encountered a hundred years ago, we believe the lie that we should have access to it. That to be a responsible person, we have to be aware and be up to date on everything.

But David – who is the King, who should be ‘in the know’ about most if not all things – confesses here that there’s a limit to his knowledge. He humbly acknowledges both that he doesn’t know everything and that he is not going to strive to know everything. He’s learned the lesson of Deuteronomy 29:29 – “The secret things belong to the Lord…”

A striving after all knowledge is not only pointless, but it leads your heart in the wrong direction. David learned this at the end of his reign, when he requested a census of Israel. He wanted a measure of his might. We don’t know when he wrote this Psalm, but it may act as a kind of confession. There’s no way to be sure, but we do know that in David’s desire to account for his strength, he was only acting as his ancestors did, as Adam and Eve did when they distrusted God and sought a kind of knowledge that was forbidden. That selfish ambition is also echoed in Isaiah 14:13-14 by one of whom it was said: “You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.'”


Above the stars.

On high.

The far reaches of the north.

Above the heights of the clouds.

David understands the perils of that ambition. Instead of seeking to ascend, instead of a frantic grasping for knowledge and significance, he paints a picture of humble diminishment.

“But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.”

Psalm 131:2

Instead of stretching upward, David has instructed his soul to assume the posture of a weaned child with its mother. A weaned child. Think on that.

Those of us who’ve nursed babies may recall those days, especially the days before your child was weaned. Whenever you held them close to your chest, they knew by smell, by instinct, where their nourishment was coming from. Your baby would impatiently seek and reach until they latched on.

But soon enough your baby grows and her palate matures. She begins to eat solid food and graduates from her mother’s milk. When held close in her mother’s arms, her restive instinct to get nourishment is replaced by a feeling of comfort, contentment, security. She’s been weaned.

Which picture represents your soul? Striving, reaching, impatient? Or restful, trusting and content? One is a picture of restless craving and self-reliance where the other is of humility and dependence.

“O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and forevermore.”

Psalm 131:3

Three verses. That’s all. The first two present contrasting pictures. The third, I propose, gives us a key to how we get from striving and straining to trusting and resting.


From this time forth and forevermore, hope in the Lord.

Reset your soul with hope. When we hope in the Lord, when we actively and continually place our trust in our God who names the stars and keeps count of the hairs on our head, when we day by day practice abiding and remaining in him, reminding ourselves of his complete care and faithful love, we too can direct our souls to this place of rest, to the very bosom of God.

A Middle Aged Woman Goes To Seminary

I lay in bed in the wee hours of the morning nervously pondering what I’d just done the day before. I had just finished my application to seminary, to go back to school after almost thirty years. In the past thirty years I’d identified myself as a professional clarinetist, a wife and a homeschooling mother. In the past five or six years, I’d been cleaning other people’s houses for a little extra income. Now, with one click, I was embarking on a new identity: seminary student. Would I be able to do this?

For sure, reading and studying the Bible hasn’t been foreign to me these past thirty years. A common thread running through all these years has been a growing and deepening desire to know and understand the Bible accompanied more recently by a passion to know how to teach it. I remember in the early 90s, as a new Christian at Northwestern University, going with my friend Jen to the bookstore at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. After graduating NU, she had become a student there. She was also my small group leader. I had admired and picked through the Christian books on her shelf but this experience was different. These were serious theology books. But instead of being intimidated I was excited. For some reason I was drawn to buy a book edited by John Piper and Wayne Grudem – Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. This was the beginning of a growing passion for theology. Over the next decade I picked my way through this book and along the way my own theological library grew. I devoured books by John Piper and discovered the Puritans. My yearly Christmas list became littered with requests for systematic theologies and commentaries.

About seven or eight years ago, I started teaching Bible study to the women at my church and slowly learned the importance of loving them as much as I love the Word. In 2020, I launched a podcast and embarked on writing my own Bible studies. But then a cancer diagnosis came in 2021. My life suddenly became smaller as I detoured into a cul-de-sac of cancer treatments – chemotherapy, surgery and radiation. It wasn’t possible for me to keep cleaning houses.

When I came to the end of cancer treatment a couple months ago, I wondered what was next for me. Would I go back to house cleaning? Despite the strenuous nature of the job, I did enjoy it, but there were also times, usually during the meditative, and often prayer filled, push and pull of vacuuming, when I’d be overcome by a particular yearning. A yearning to do more with the gifts God had given me. But what did that look like? Was this a call to ministry? I had no idea. I could only pause as I wiped the toothpaste off a mirror or scrubbed a stovetop and offer up those yearnings and those desires to the Lord, hoping and trusting that he would make my path clearer.

A few months ago I was talking with a new friend and found out she had gone to seminary. She’s a fifth grade teacher at a local Christian school. I was impressed and intrigued by her accomplishment and told her I had thought about going to seminary myself. She immediately encouraged me to pursue it. Really? Was this the right time? I decided to ask more questions that led to conversations with other women who’d gone to seminary. They too encouraged me to pursue this path. I then posed this question to my pastor: What would it look like for a layperson like myself to feel called to seminary or ministry? How was I to know where God was leading me? After hearing about my interests and past experience, he also encouraged me to research seminary options and degree programs. Was my path getting clearer?

Perhaps my growing and deepening interest in Bible study and theology over the past thirty years was leading me to this. I wasn’t sure if my ever increasing passion to help women understand their Bibles was a specific call to ministry, but if God was calling me to serve him more, didn’t it make sense to become better equipped? Wasn’t seminary the next probable step? As I researched various degree programs, visited a couple places, talked to more people, and even sat in on some real classes, my excitement only grew.

Fast forward to today. I am officially a seminary student at Reformed Theological Seminary pursuing a Master’s of Divinity. Last year at this time I had just started 16 rounds of chemotherapy for breast cancer. Now I find myself nearing the proverbial bend in the road that I’d been squinting and wondering at for years. I won’t be wiping toothpaste off mirrors anymore, at least not other people’s mirrors.

But I still worried about what I’d gotten myself into. After reading various syllabi and reading lists I would wake in the middle of the night, wondering whether I was capable of all this study, all this reading, of writing research papers. What about Greek and Hebrew?

I’ve decided to start small, only registering for two classes, and one of those requires a lot less work than the other. Even though classes don’t start until the end of January, I’ve already ordered the required books. I was anxious to get ahead. But as I cracked these books open, I felt nervous to start. Would I understand them? Was I in over my head here? I’ve been pleasantly surprised so far. Some of what I’ve read has been over my head. But most of it hasn’t. Most of it has been fascinating and eye opening. I’m eager to learn more. To go deeper. To see how I can translate deeper theological truths to women who will never go to seminary.

As I opened the first book, a book on how Paul speaks of union with Christ, I was arrested by this verse quoted by the author – “Apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

This is just what I needed to hear at the beginning of this new journey. Truly, apart from Christ, I can do nothing. However long it takes me to get this degree (five, six, seven years?) I’ll need to lean on him more and more. Going to seminary is not a mere intellectual exercise. I know it will be a humbling experience and that’s good! I am anticipating that the deeper I go, the greater discoveries I’ll find, discoveries about God and myself. I’m looking forward to being stretched and challenged in ways I’ve never been, and along the way I pray that the Lord will equip me for greater service to him and his church. As I approach this new bend in the road of my life, I don’t have to be afraid. As David says in Psalm 138: “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me…”

I plan to write regularly about my seminary experience. I hope you’ll follow along.

Paraphrasing the Lord’s Prayer

I would never think that I could improve upon the words of the Lord or make Scripture better with my own ideas, but there is a benefit to paraphrasing passages you’ve been studying. After you’ve immersed yourself in the passage and seen the connections to the wider scope of Scripture, you can attempt to carefully put that passage in your own words.

Paraphrasing isn’t just finding synonyms for the words on the page and swapping them out. It’s about amplifying the meaning of the passage by incorporating truths from other passages. Good paraphrasing comes after you’ve dug deep, understood context and reflected on what the passage says about God and yourself.

I’ve been focusing on the Lord’s Prayer lately and here is my attempt at a paraphrase:

We call on you, Father, the One who is enthroned on high in heaven and yet near to our hearts and aware of our every need.

May your name be set apart and honored as holy, holy, holy.

Your kingdom is ultimate – let it grow and spread, displacing all earthly kingdoms and any false rule that has been allowed to breed in our own hearts.

May your will, your perfect purposes, prevail in all the earth and in my life.

Provide, our generous Father, for our daily needs as we look to you and lean on you.

Forgive us all our sins, known and hidden, and let us extend the same forgiveness and mercy to others who have wronged us.

Protect us from any evil thought or desire that would tempt us to stray and deliver us from Satan’s schemes.

Father of all, Lord in heaven, to you belongs all glory and honor and power forever for you are our eternal King.

Why We Struggle to Pray

I didn’t grow up a Southern Baptist, but have been a member of a Southern Baptist church for over 25 years. One thing I have learned about Southern Baptists is they like to count. Are other denominations like this? Probably, but from my experience as a Southern Baptist, serving in various capacities, numbers are taken seriously. Attendance is taken in worship and Sunday School classes. Numbers of decisions are always tallied as a result of Vacation Bible School and short term mission trips. And of course, every dollar is counted in the offering plate. My point is not to criticize this, to make it seem like we shouldn’t pay attention to how many people attend our churches and how much money is given. We should definitely do this. But I think there’s a temptation that can go unnoticed and a certain mindset can develop if we interpret these numbers in a certain way. Does an increase always equal greater success for the Kingdom of God? Does it always mean our methods are God-honoring? Does a decrease in numbers always equal less impact for Christ or a failure to be faithful? I’m sure many people have written on this same theme, but let me tie it to our prayer lives.

Since the industrial revolution, there’s been an increased fixation with productivity and efficiency. The bottom line in any activity or industry has become – “How much did you produce and how long did it take you to produce it?”  The goal has always been to produce more at a faster rate and with less cost and effort. We’ve so absorbed this way of doing things that we’ve uncritically adjusted our lives and our expectations according to the answers to these questions. We unquestioningly live according to this framework.

But prayer doesn’t work that way. And this is the reason I think that a lot of us struggle to pray consistently and confidently, myself included. Here are at least two reasons why.

Prayer Requires Faith in What We Can’t See

Productivity is all about what we can see and what we can measure, but Hebrews 11:1 gives us the definition of faith – “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Our faith and our prayers depend on a God we can’t see. We must admit that we will never be able to measure the effects of our work for the kingdom accurately, because we can’t see everything! As we serve God and lift up our requests to him, we must constantly and ultimately trust him with the results. If I support a missionary to an unreached people group and they serve for a short period of time without measurable results that we can see, will this discourage me in how I pray for them, or will it lead me to discontinue my support? Our your prayers for your pastor and your church guided solely by what you see? Our faith and our prayers should be fixed on God, who we can’t see, and the promises he has made that he will build his church. Numbers alone shouldn’t be the barometer of faithfulness and they shouldn’t be the sole guide of my prayers. Results aren’t always immediate and faith and prayer require a level of endurance and patience that just won’t fit into the productivity paradigm.

What about parenting? We’re tempted to think that if we put in the effort as parents we will get a godly child as a result. Put the coin in the vending machine, and out comes the candy, right? But when we don’t see fruit growing in our children’s lives, do we hit the panic button in prayer? Or is our faith and are our prayers guided by the character of God, who is faithful and good, who has come to seek and to save the lost, a God who loves generational faithfulness? Do we pray confidently, no matter what we see with our eyes, knowing that God is working in thousands of hidden ways we’ll never see? No wonder the psalmist exhorted us to be strong and courageous as we wait on the Lord! (Psalm 31:24)

The truth is that the life of faith involves many things we can’t see and we can’t measure! This requires us to have a prayer life undergirded by a  steely-eyed kind of faith and trust that is formed by who God is and what he has promised in his word.

Prayer is not Efficient

The dictionary says that efficiency has to do with functioning in the best possible way with the least amount of time and effort. But anyone who has dedicated themselves to prayer for any length of time knows that it requires a lot of time and effort and there are no shortcuts or hacks. Prayer is not efficient.

There have been many times when I’ve expended a lot of Spirit-led effort praying for someone or a certain situation. In those times I don’t want to be efficient. I want to linger as God reminds me of his promises and anchors me deeper in faith. It’s in those times that God gives me eyes to see things that can’t be measured and courage to wait as he works not as efficiently as I’d like but as faithfully as he has promised.

God doesn’t work according to the world’s principles of productivity and efficiency. But he does work! And prayer requires that we wait on our God and trust in his faithfulness, not merely in what our eyes can see. Our times in prayer may not produce immediate and measurable results but God does hear us. And prayer may not be the most efficient thing you do today, but we are promised that it is effective.

Since ancient times no one has heard,
    no ear has perceived,
no eye has seen any God besides you,
    who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.
Isaiah 64:4

Using a Dictionary to go Deeper

When I first started teaching Bible study, I used Jen Wilkin’s Women Studying the Word to teach basic Bible study skills. One resource she highly recommends and one I kept encouraging women to use was a dictionary. Not a Greek or Hebrew dictionary. Just a plain old English dictionary.

Most of us will never learn Greek or Hebrew, but if you’re using a good word for word translation like ESV or NASB, you can be confident in using an English dictionary to look up the meanings of the words the translators have carefully chosen. And doing this can lead to even deeper study and more penetrating application. Let me give you an example. Consider this verse from Ephesians:

“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.”

Ephesians 4:31

If I put you on the spot and asked you to define malice could you do it? Sometimes we assume we know what words mean when we really don’t. As a result, we may read through the list of sins in this verse too quickly, thinking most of them don’t apply to us. Malice? Me? I don’t think so.

So let’s look it up in the dictionary. Malice is the desire to inflict injury, harm or suffering on another either because of a hostile impulse or out of deap seated meanness.

Now that we have a thorough definition of the word, we can go back and expand on what Paul is getting at. Paul is asking us here to put away any desire in our hearts to inflict harm or suffering on another person. Now, we may have no desire to physically harm someone else, but let’s ask some questions that may cut a little deeper.

If you’ve been going through a string of afflictions, do you secretly wish your “seems-to-have-it-all” neighbor would experience their fair share?

As your peruse through your social media and see young perfectly toned thighs and stomachs, do you scoff and wish that someday they’ll experience the frustration of a menopausal body that stubbornly hangs onto every ounce of fat?

What about those with whom we disagree on politics or the way our culture is developing? Do you harbor unseen hatred towards them, hoping they’ll receive judgment, instead of imitating our Lord who said, “Forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.”

Malice seems to come in many shapes and sizes. Using a simple tool like an English dictionary allows us to slow down and ask sharper questions. And that helps us make even better application as we study the Word.

Now I think I’ll go look up the word clamor.