joy

  • Painting by Charles-Antoine Coypel

    Days of Dross and Deeper Poetry

    There are so many weddings in June. The arrival of the long-expected day and the celebration of unity contains, in part, a kind of poetic enchantment that lingers like the small flames of tea lights on the banquet tables. I taste, if just for an evening, a sip of greater...
  • IMG_7437

    2 Years In Scotland: The start of some reflections

    Next week marks two years in Scotland for the Carroll family. It’s been a time of ups and downs and many changes in lifestyle while we have been here. The family is really settling in well and Aberdeen has become home (at least for now). When we left our...
  • On This Day in History

    I want to tell you a story. Five years ago today, I got dropped off on Biola University’s campus to catch a ride with a stranger to the Bay Area for Spring Break. My dear friend Sarah and her parents had graciously invited me to spend the week at...
  • Gracious Light

    It can all come to feel so mundane. Established. Foreseeable. So taken for granted. It’s a given. The daily commute. The workday. The repetition. All the hours, and things that we will do in them and see in them mapped out. We come to feel a certain predictability in...
  • 01-08

    Are We God’s Pawns?

    A pastor once told me that God’s people are simply pawns in his ultimate plan to glorify himself. Seriously. He said “pawns.” That would be a great metaphor if chess players actually loved their pawns, but they don’t. The world’s greatest chess player never loved his pawns, much less...
  • God in the Mosh-Pit

    I’m not sure what I thought I would find when I stepped inside the gymnasium the last Saturday night in March. I know that I was hoping to find my sister and enjoy the show–but I considered neither of those very likely given the crowd of people crammed inside...
  • Balloons

    Birthday Resolutions

    Today is my birthday. I’ve always considered it my own personal New Year. Billions of people celebrate new beginnings on January 1st, but on June 20th that number drops to mere millions. (Two worth noting: fellow blogger Caleb Johnson and my dad.) So, in honor of another year, here...
  • Smile on a stick

    I’m Happy for You (Really!)

    One night a few years ago, I was reading through Romans and stumbled upon an extraordinary command from Paul’s pen: Rejoice with those who rejoice (Romans 12:15). I’d read it before, even quoted it, but something stood out this time. Struck by its simplicity and its strangeness, I considered...
  • Letter to Myself 2

    Letter to Myself at 15

    Dear Bryan, You’re probably at the piano, writing songs about things you know nothing about, like love and loss. Or doing vocal warm-ups so you can audition for that blasted show choir. (Don’t bother. You won’t make it until your senior year, and when you do, you’ll become a...
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