Is Google Becoming our Bible?

I have a confession to make. I use Google a lot. This confession probably does not surprise anyone and I’m sure I’m in good company on that one.


I recently did a ton of food research that Google played a large role in. For example, Google led to me learning a lot about the Paleo diet. I did a search for blogs, articles, and websites that are in favor of Paleo eating. They were pretty convincing! So for a little while a few days a couple of minutes, I was a Primal eating pro. But then I started to slightly hate myself and food. So what did I do? I turned back to my trusted friend, Google, this time with a new search phrase: “Cases against the Paleo Diet.” And I found those articles, blogs, and websites even MORE convincing than the ones that favored Paleo! So I quit. Phew. Thank Google that I found links to tell me what I wanted to hear!

(side note: In case you were worried, I do not make all of my life decisions based on Google searches.)

Lately I’ve been thinking about the fact that many modern American Christians are at risk for treating the Bible like Google, or even worse: treating Google like the Bible.

As far as I know, most people do not just get on Google to spend time getting to know Google. We do not set aside time daily to just soak in Google, understand more of how it works, and memorizing it (and if you do, well… I don’t know what to tell you. That’s weird). No, instead we turn to Google for quick answers.

And that’s what many of us do with the Bible. We want answers about something, so we turn to the Bible hoping for a quick answer. One little verse here or there will often do the trick for us. And like my Paleo search method, if the answer we find is unsatisfying, we search other sources that sound convincing and tell us what we want to hear.

You’re not sure that you like what the Bible says about ___________ (money, marriage, stewardship, relationships, children, sin, etc)? No problem! There are many human authors, scholars, and preachers out there who will say the opposite and tell you exactly what you were hoping for. Phew. So you can stick with that.

The only problem is: that is the PROBLEM.

My brother likes to say that he could convince you that God likes chocolate chip cookies, using scripture. He could point to Genesis where it says that humans were made in God’s image, and argue that since he is human and likes chocolate chip cookies, then God must like chocolate chip cookies.

It’s a funny example, but it’s true. Taken out of context, you could use verses in the Bible to prove almost any point.

Additionally, in order to actually find answers we’re searching for, we are becoming more inclined to Google search them rather than opening the actual Bible.

This goes for two different types of answer searching.

1. When faced with general life problems or questions, we turn to other people, writers or bloggers to find out what we should think or to find someone who affirms what we think rather than doing the mental work of applying the Gospel to that situation. Your toddler is throwing tantrums and you are feeling defeated and frustrated? Google has just the thing for you. There just happens to be about 83972473 new trending articles or blog posts gone viral to make you feel better about your hard parenting days. You’re struggling with the way that motherhood has changed your body? Good news: there are also 982374 new trending articles and blog posts gone viral about how you should embrace your stretch marks and curves!

^ Examples from my own life.

Don’t get me wrong, I am so very thankful that there are gifted writers and Christ-followers out there who can speak truth into hard life places, and I deeply appreciate knowing that I am not the only one who is struggling with these things.

But I am too easily satisfied with that. I am tempted to get lazy about studying Scripture and thinking about how the gospel of Jesus Christ, God incarnate come to save sinners and restore a broken world, applies to these situations.

2. Sometimes we do actually want to know what the Bible says about something, so we Google it. “What does the Bible say about ___________ (money, marriage, stewardship, relationships, children, sin, etc)?” And what this does is takes us to a whole host of online opinions. It is like a buffet. Choose the opinions you like, and leave the others behind. We find something that sounds smart and credible that also happens to fit nicely into what we would like to think is true, so we buy it. Boom. Now we have our opinion and we didn’t even have to turn the pages of our Bible (or flip the page on our touch screen. Either way :)).

In my time on staff with a campus ministry, I once had some students tell me that hell isn’t real and that everyone will be with Jesus in the end. I asked where in Scripture they got that from. They pointed me to some articles they found on Wikipedia.

I don’t share that example to pick on anyone, but simply to give a sample of a very dangerous reality that we are facing in this generation.

I am concerned for us.

And trust me, this is no spiritual selfie for me to say that I am always doing this right. I have found myself struggling to find joy in engaging with Scripture lately, because it isn’t as easy or immediate as the constant input my brain is receiving from my virtual information sources. When Riley goes down for a nap, I grab a cup of coffee and my Bible and the iPad and cozy up on the sofa. But then often find that 30 minutes has passed and I have yet to open my Bible, but I’ve read several articles and blogs on my iPad.

I want to see this change. In my own life, and in the generation around me. I want to see a renewed passion and vigor for knowing truth through Scripture.

I’m brainstorming. I’m trying to find some sort of fun way of knowing and memorizing more Scripture and inviting others to come along with me. I want to be invigorated by Scripture again, and I want it to spread like a virus.

Who is with me?

I’d love comments on ways that you enjoy engaging with God’s Word :).


8 Things.

A friend recently blogged through some “Things About Me” questions that she had been tagged in. She tagged me, I felt honored and figured, why not? I had been having trouble thinking about what to write about this week anyway, so thank you Jaci for helping me with writer’s block!

Instead of doing it interview style, I’m going to just go through it as a string of thoughts.

1. My life is… actually pretty much how I would have imagined it would turn out.
It’s funny. When asked if my life turned out the way I thought it would, I always feel like I need to immediately respond, “No!” Because that seems to be the expected answer. As if that is life’s common and cruel joke, to say to each of us, “Haha! You thought it would be this way, but it’s not. It’s that way.” Many times life does say this. To all of us. Of course there are winds and bends on the roads of my life that have taken me to unexpected places. But as far as the big picture goes, if I’m honest: I am exactly where I imagined I would be. Most of my life I knew that I had a heart for motherhood. And I’m pretty sure that as young as 14, I had a strong sense that I was going to end up in some sort of ministry capacity one day. I told my parents most of my life that I was not going to marry rich, that I would probably be someone who lived a simple life, and when I was in college I started telling my friend Beth, “I have a feeling I’m going to marry a missionary or a pastor one day.” And here I am! A simple, (local) missionary’s wife, who stays home full time with our daughter.

2. As a mother, you do a lot of good things that go unseen. And unappreciated. Come to think of it, the same was true of when I was in full-time ministry. It is a very humbling thing. And humbling things are good for humans.

3. When out with girlfriends, my drink of choice is almost always white wine. A Sauvignon Blanc, perhaps? Or if it’s a girl’s night in, Trader Joes Vino Verde! Yum. But sometimes I like a nice red. A yummy medium-bodied shiraz with a nice hint of blackberry and dark chocolate. Or an oaky, but not too buttery Chardonnay? Oh whatever, I just like wine and that’s what I drink with my girlfriends.

4.My blog came about from the prodding of a few friends. I had several people mention to me that I should start a blog, and I didn’t think I had any interest. I said, “What do I have to write about that people would care to read?” But finally when I got pregnant my friend Taylor said, “Now you have something to write about!” So I had started out writing about pregnancy, with an emphasis on my experience of gaining so much weight in a culture that values skinny (hence the blog title). And I realized that writing was so life-giving to me. I loved it. It helped me process and de-stress. And people happened to care about what I had to say. Thus started my love of this beautiful hobby and gift.

5. I’ve learned a lot about myself that has surprised me. For one (as mentioned above ^), I learned that I can write and that people care about what I have to say. I’ve learned through motherhood that I am both more selfish than I thought I was, and yet can be more selfless than I thought I could be. I’ve learned recently that I have wounds deeper than I realized that have watered my fear of not being enough. That my self-worth is lower than I thought it was. That I need my Savior’s healing hand in significant ways. That I don’t really believe a lot of the things He says about me. This has really surprised me. I think I didn’t realize it because our culture tells us that insecurity is so un-attractive, that we must never reveal it so I’ve just held it in and wouldn’t let myself face the depths of it.
I’ve learned that I am more introverted than I used to let myself accept that I was, and that is ok. I’ve learned that my laid back nature is actually a gift in some jobs (like motherhood), even though it felt like such a liability in others.

6. I love to cook, read about cooking, think about food, and eat food as a hobby outside of blogging :). I enjoy researching (strangely?)- Mostly about psychology, nutrition and health/medical stuff and sometimes about housing or vacations. I love to read (I am currently reading “Brain on Fire” and highly recommend it! Very compelling, fascinating, and well written.)

7. If money were no question, I would buy a beautiful house with a big yard and then hire someone to decorate it (decorating is not my thing). I would also buy organic and local groceries.

8. Sometimes I think my biggest struggle in life is wanting to eat all of the food but also wanting to be healthy. Wanting to eat bacon wrapped dates with beef bourguignon and chocolate mousse, but also wanting to be fit and healthy and active. Wanting crusty golden bread and melty cheese with every meal, but (seemingly) having gluten and dairy intolerances.
But really my biggest struggle in life is probably believing that I am enough.

Instead of tagging people, I’m just going to say if you’re a reader of this blog, I’d love to see your answers to these questions. If you decide to use this as a blog post, leave your link in the comments section, and I will try to check it out 🙂



(I just realized that I missed a question. It was “What do you love about yourself?” But instead of going back and adding it, I am just going to forgo that one, and leave you with Jaci’s answer because it cracked me up: “That part of my elbow that looks like elephant skin. Beautiful.” I knew I had a friend crush on her for a reason!)


Throwback Thursday: My Sister turned 25

Earlier this week, my “baby” sister turned 25! I can’t believe it. It really does not seem that long ago that we were putting makeup on our little brother or playing barbies under a tent in our bedroom.

And now here we are, well into our 20’s with our own little families.

There is something so special about a sister relationship.

I really cannot even remember my life without Justina in it. We shared a bedroom most of our lives where we would talk and laugh late into the night, share each other’s clothes and shoes (which really sounds a bit more lovely than it really was. I mean, it gave each of us a bigger wardrobe. But it also caused many an argument…), lock each other out, hide from our parents, cuddle together scared of thunderstorms, and tiptoe around to get ready while the other one was still sleeping.

A sister is a friend that goes way beyond the depths of other friendships.
Because you have shared your entire lives with each other.
Because you have truly seen each other at your worst.
Because you have rolled your eyes and thought you couldn’t stand them; you have screamed at them and called them names, yet if anyone else even attempted to treat them that way, you would turn into the hulk and get insanely defensive and protective over them.

I have slept beside Justina on 13 hour family drives to Massachusetts while our brother was singing “I know a song that gets on everybody’s nerves…”
I have sat beside her at many family dinners.
I have run with her through long grass, shallow creeks, and beaches.
I have walked with her through breakups, transitions, and loss.
I have sat beside her hospital bed, and have cried with her on the phone.
She has listened to my irrational rants on hard days, advising me to eat some carbs and drink some wine (she gives great advice).
She held my daughter in the hospital the day she was born, and took her on her first little toddler trip to the zoo.
She has held my hand when my world has fallen apart.
She stood beside me and defended me when a [misunderstood] scandal broke out and people in our hometown were saying awful things.

I’ve thrown things at her. I’ve said mean words to her (<–these things in childhood, of course). I’ve laughed with her until my stomach hurts and I gave the toast at her wedding.

I may or may not have gone on a rage-filled search all through our hometown with my father one day to track down a cheating boyfriend of hers, convinced that we were going to end up in jail if we actually found him…

I have been worried for her. I have hurt deeply for her. I have been excited for her. I have watched her fall apart. I have watched her grow strong. I have rejoiced deeply with her when she found the incredible man who is now her husband, a very welcomed addition to the family.

I have experienced a lifelong empathy for Justina, an investment in her life as if there is a section of my heart that is solely reserved for her.

I have often told Jordan that I hope Riley has a sister one day. I want her to know the sweetness and the eternal bond between sisters, like Justina and I have.

(For the record, I also hope Riley has a brother one day. I love my brother too, and there are different great things about a sister/brother relationship!)

Happy 25 years, sis! I love you and I look forward to walking through the next 25+ with you!


Your big sis.

4 year old me, holding newborn Justina on September 2, 1988

Childhood sibs.  We wore awesome outfits with awesome hairdos. One of us was more serious than the others, but I'll let you decide who that is..

Childhood sibs. We wore awesome outfits with awesome hairdos. One of us was more serious than the others, but I’ll let you decide who that is..

We got a little bit more attractive as we grew up.

We got a little bit more attractive as we grew up.

Justina was my made-of-honor on June 26, 2010

Justina was my Maid-of-Honor on June 26, 2010 (pictured here with our mom)

And I was her matron-of-honor on June 23, 2012  :)

And I was her Matron-of-Honor on June 23, 2012 🙂

We have been so blessed to gain another sister through her marriage to our baby brother (good job, bro!)

We have been so blessed to gain another sister, Sarah, through her marriage to our baby brother (good job, bro!)

We have been there for each other in our not so cute moments (sorry, I couldn't resist!) :)

We have been there for each other in our not so cute moments (sorry, I couldn’t resist!) 🙂

And now get together fairly frequently for girl's night with wine!

And now get together fairly frequently for girl’s night with wine!