Night to Shine & Mark 11


Tim Tebow hosts an international event called Night to Shine on the Friday before Valentine’s day every year. It is a grand prom night for people with special needs, and thousands of volunteers come together to make this night possible.  If you’ve never heard of the event before, just check this video out for some inspiration.


Last Friday night, I had the opportunity to be the date of one of the girls with special needs who had been invited to the prom. My date was so excited about the night. She had a gorgeous dress on, and had spent “12 hours in rollers” to achieve beautiful curls for the night. It was her first prom experience, and I was overjoyed that I would get to share this experience with her. Continue reading

A note to begin Mark 11

One of my bible professors used to have a saying. At times he would say,

“Class, today we are going to water ski.”

This implied that our teacher would be giving us a high-level presentation with many facts but little depth. We would learn the basics, but avoid going into tedious details on every subject. We would just skim the surface of his topic, hence the term water skiing. At other times, he would arrive in class and boldly announce, 

“Class, today we are going to scuba dive.”

This implied that we were diving deep into his material, and we would be required to know a great deal about this particular subject. We would need to learn far more than the basic facts on the scuba diving subjects.

This analogy is helpful when thinking about how we’ve been reading Mark. Continue reading

The Apron Shirt & Mark 10

It was a humid Wednesday evening, and I was getting ready to go to bible study. I caught a glimpse of my blue jeans and white t-shirt in the mirror, and knew that it would do little to impress the cute boy I liked at bible study.

I decided to layer a red racer-back tank top over my white t-shirt. I sprayed on some perfume, put on some earrings, and a swipe of lip gloss. Finally satisfied with my appearance, I walk across the street to the house our bible study group meets in.


This picture is what I was going for only my tank was red!

Immediately upon my arrival, the Dasher’s young daughter runs over to give me a hug.

“Shelby! Have you been baking?” she asks me curiously.

“Why?” I say, “Do I smell like cookies or something?”

“No! You’ve got an apron on!” she says laughing.

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The Resurrected Life Trailer & Mark 9

What is heaven like? The question we all find ourselves asking over the course of our life. We imagine all the foods, people, and hobbies we love being there.We envision God and Jesus on a throne. A really cool but long worship concert.A big feast.

people at concert

Photo by Vishnu R Nair on

But truthfully we don’t have a clear picture of what heaven will be like. And the Bible doesn’t give very many details. It makes very clear that it’s a life we want, but doesn’t give away all the secrets. 

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Aslan & Mark 8

My grandfather was an avid reader. My Pop would always lie on the couch, munching on a fried bologna sandwich, while thumbing the pages of a worn-out book. (he did all of this without his teeth, I might add.) My sisters and I often spent summer days with my grandparents and I would borrow books from his collection and munch on bologna sandwiches with him. One of the most delightful book series I came across was The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S Lewis. One of the series of books was called The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.


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The Lottery & Mark 7

The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson, is a short story that was first published in the New Yorker in the summer of 1948. It is notable for being one of the “best short stories” in American Literature. I will briefly summarize the plot, but you might also consider reading the full story when you have time. It’s simply brilliant.

The lottery begins in a small New England village of about 300 people. The opening narrative begins with children gathering stones while the adults of the town begin to prepare for an annual ritual which is supposed to ensure a good harvest.  Continue reading

Juan Carlos, Viña del Mar, Chile & Mark 6

Have you ever witnessed something so magical or experienced something so profound that you knew, even in that moment, that it would be one of the most remarkable days of your life?

One of my most remarkable days ever was the culmination of a semester abroad in Chile while I was attending college. I lived in Viña del Mar (literally Vine by the Sea) and my apartment was so close to the ocean, I could literally throw a pineapple out the window into the ocean. (And I know this because I did it, of course.) It was just magnificent. vdm

(All Photos used in this Post were taken by the marvelous, talented photographer & friend Mackenzie Hernandez)

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Gender Reveal Parties and Mark 5

I recently helped plan a gender reveal party for my pregnant sister and her husband. If you’ve never heard of this before, a gender reveal is a party for a pregnant couple who entrusts the gender of their baby to a friend who then plans an elaborate way of telling the soon-to-be parents whether they are having a boy or a girl. You invite friends and family to the party and everyone gets to discover the Baby’s gender at the same time. Some of the more popular ways to learn the gender include cutting a cake where the inside part is dyed blue or pink, shooting off blue or pink fireworks, and opening a box of balloons filled with blue or pink balloons. You get the idea! 

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Dead Poets Society & Mark 4

I wonder if any of you are familiar with the 1989 film starring Robin Williams, called Dead Poets Society?

Dead Poets Society begins in 1959 at an elite boys preparatory school, called Welton Academy located in New England. Todd Anderson, a shy senior student is assigned to be Neil Perry’s roommate. (Neil was a popular student under enormous pressure from his parents to attend Yale Law school like his brother). Todd Anderson quickly becomes a part of Neil Perry’s group of five friends. Continue reading