Selfie Fun


I am Joe. Born to Texans in Mississippi, I've spent the majority of my life on the Gulf Coast, somewhere between New Orleans and Mobile.

I started blogging in 2004 as a way to document my seminary experience in New Orleans. Now I write about faith, education, politics, and their convergence in our lives. My wife and I are walking through the adoption process, so that’s bound to come up, too.



A chill is in the air. Leaves litter the ground. Night comes sooner, and lights shine brighter. Christmas is coming.

This is my favorite time of the year, as we reflect on the glorious entry of the Christ, Jesus of Nazareth, into the world. Like the story of Genesis, the Apostle John begins in the beginning:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were created through him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. That light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness did not overcome it. [John 1:1-5, CSB]

I can hear a symphony playing when I read John 1; the crescendo hitting just as these next words come into view.

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We observed his glory, the glory as the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. [John 1:14, CSB]

Hallelujah! The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory. Anglican theologian NT Wright, in his book Following Jesus, suggests the reason the story of the transfiguration isn’t in the Gospel of John is because the entire book is the story of Jesus’ transfiguration: it is Christ’s Deity on full display. But it is Jesus’ humanity that truly strikes me.

So God created man
in his own image;
he created him in the image of God;
he created them male and female.

[Genesis 1:27, CSB]

The term imago Dei means “image of God.” Just as God is in community with himself through the Trinity, so we were created to be in community with one another. Just as we are commanded to be fruitful and multiply in Genesis, so Jesus commanded us to make disciples of all nations. Just as God adopted people of Israel through Abraham, and just as Jesus was adopted by Joseph, so those who follow Jesus are adopted as sons and daughters of the God most high.

I appreciate what John Piper writes about adoption:

Galatians 4:4-5 is as central a gospel statement as there is: “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” God did not have to use the concept of adoption to explain how he saved us, or even how we become part of his family. He could have stayed with the language of new birth so that all his children were described as children by nature only (John 1:12-13, “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”). [Adoption: The Heart of the Gospel | Desiring God]

Shelley and I spent several years trying to have kids, and much of 2017-2018 was spent going through infertility treatments. Adoption was never a plan B for us; Shelley and I had discussed the possibility of eventually adopting years before we realized that biological children would be a long shot. My dad was adopted. Her grandmother was adopted. The story of the Gospel is the story of God’s adoption of his children, and we wanted to reflect that story in our own way.

So here we are. Not long ago we began researching adoption agencies. After a lot of prayer and conversations, we settled in with Lifeline Children’s Services, who we believe offer phenomenal care to expectant and birth mothers before, during, and after the adoption process. Their emphasis on family reconciliation and sharing Jesus with expectant mothers really impresses us. I encourage you to read more about them.

In the meantime, please pray with us and send us encouragement as we proceed through the adoption process, and stay tuned for more updates here, on Instagram, and on our GoFundMe page. If you have any questions about the adoption process, we’d love to talk with you more about it.

One Word 265: 2019

One Word 265: 2019