Unstoppable

It’s super powers. The attitude of gratitude smooths the way. The hope within overcomes all obstacles in sight. Nothing can stop us from breaking loose from the chains of adversity. “That’s why we live with such good cheer. You won’t see us drooping our heads or dragging our feet! Cramped conditions here don’t get us […]

Never Old

The face app shows us what we’ll look like when we’re older. I’m not interested. Some spend everything on a house, cars, clothes, and facelifts to make their latter years better. Pardon me, but even a flawless beaches or sandals existence can’t cut it. While praying for His kingdom to come, my heart’s been spoiled. […]

Details

I was jammed up, confused by details, lost in my own dark tomb. Then Jesus flooded my secret shame with light. Every detail clean and clear. Nothing hidden. Details are what make the difference. So, why shouldn’t I invite everybody to this party of freedom? “We’re not keeping this quiet, not on your life. Just […]

Not Much

Even our best moments, our most awesome adventures and snappiest selfies can’t compare. Even the best photographers can’t catch the real story hidden behind the smiles. There’s more to you, the real you God made. And as soon as you know God deposited his Spirit in you, the contrast between the outside and the bright […]

Snapshot

There’s no-one behind a curtain. No hidden agenda. Not with God. Don’t be distracted by the noise, critical comments from the cynical class. They’ll promise the world, but there’s no vision of God with them. You can’t see God if you’re looking away. Look. He’s shown Himself. Jesus Christ is the exact representation of God. […]

Arena

President Theodore Roosevelt gave a famous speech, citizenship in a Republic, at the University of Paris in 1910. Here’s an excerpt: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the […]

Turn

It’s in the turning. Owning my story, my failures, disappointments, and shame. It’s really true; I can’t save myself. But when I turn full face looking into the eyes of the One who sees, there’s no space between us. I’m changed; bright and holy. “Whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God […]

Pardon

Not just off the hook; the guilt is gone. Not on parole, you’re on parade spreading the never-fading good news. “If the Government of Condemnation was impressive, how about this Government of Affirmation? Bright as that old government was, it would look downright dull alongside this new one. If that makeshift arrangement impressed us, how […]

Light

Fashions fade. Moments pass. Events end. Moses hid behind a veil as he represented what God did and wants to do. The law cannot reveal the heart of the Law-Giver; it sucks the life out of even well intentioned followers. Have you seen the permanent light in the face of our living Lord? “The Government […]

Plan

It’s people, not projects. It’s family, not a function. It’s a community, not a corporation. Follow His plan. “We couldn’t be more sure of ourselves in this—that you, written by Christ himself for God, are our letter of recommendation. We wouldn’t think of writing this kind of letter about ourselves. Only God can write such […]

Publish

It’s not titles, positions, or diplomas that matter in the end. It’s relationships, the kind that matter. The friendships that leave a tattoo on the heart are better than gravestone poetry. This is what is so good about the good news. “Does it sound like we’re patting ourselves on the back, insisting on our credentials, […]

Face

Like when your first child is born, there’s no way you can humanly handle what it means. It’s impossible. You might as well be given responsibility for another universe. And that’s the point. Our children look at our faces to find their identity, security, and hope. That’s what God wants. Look up child. “This is […]

Whiff

Oh, the Places You’ll Go! Dr. Seuss paints with pastel colors the exciting life ahead of you. Holy Spirit agrees and He adds fragrances dripping with life, hope, joy. Imagine that! So how can such a delicious aroma be a stench to others? A farmer looking out over his fields where he spread manure understands. […]

Doors

When the door opens without any effort, and when the opportunity to tell the story of Jesus’ complete work of salvation is more than welcomed – when it’s sought, that’s when you have relaxed confidence that God is doing something really big. “When I arrived in Troas to proclaim the Message of the Messiah, I […]

Responsible

“The focus of my letter wasn’t on punishing the offender but on getting you to take responsibility for the health of the church. So if you forgive him, I forgive him. Don’t think I’m carrying around a list of personal grudges. The fact is that I’m joining in with your forgiveness, as Christ is with […]

Pain

Everyone has a story. Sometimes painful memories cause tears to well up. Will the hurt go away? To avoid causing pain, I understand why Paul would rather stay away. Sometimes I wonder how God feels about a broken friendship. He longs to restore. He’s already paid the ultimate price. But if it causes you pain […]

Point to Jesus

The simple price for learning is to pay attention. Leaders make mistakes and later share what they learned. We don’t need to repeat the mistakes. But when we do, we can tell others the valuable lesson. Spiritual Leadership is not manipulative. Spiritual leaders will always point you and release you to Jesus. “Now, are you […]

Forest for Trees

I’m rereading Paul’s second letter to the believers in Corinth because there is something that should be plainly seen. “Now that the worst is over, we’re pleased we can report that we’ve come out of this with conscience and faith intact, and can face the world—and even more importantly, face you with our heads held […]

Step Back – Look Again

We’ve all heard it, “You can’t see the forest for the trees.” No matter how deeply you look at anything, it’s important to step back from it in order to see it more clearly. I just read a post by Seth Godin, Roads or Buildings? Godin explains that in the past 150 years, virtually every […]

What I learned about power and politics in Washington

I was at Washington for Jesus in 1988. That huge gathering on the Washington Mall had all the indicators of a massive movement, including a stage filled with Christian leaders from many denominational and nondenominational streams of the Christian Church. The National Park Service estimated the crowd at 200,000. The 1988 rally also helped set a single day […]

Be Pro-Choice

How does influence grow? John Maxwell writes, “Talent is a gift, but character is a choice.”  We all make bad decisions. But if we refuse to change, those decisions produce bad character. And that bad character influences others around us. Positive Influence So then, influence comes from character, and character comes from choices we repeatedly […]

University Free for All

In recent political debates in the United States, several candidates have called for tuition-free university. Let’s consider history before rushing to adopt that idea. Catherine the Great in late 18th century Russia observed with deep interest the diversity of devout religious groups that went to British North America. She decided to increase the religious diversity […]

Change Your Mind

The gospel of the kingdom begins with one word: REPENT. It doesn’t say, “Accept Jesus in your heart”. It’s not just about going to heaven. It’s about the conscience, a heart that is tender and obedient. That nasty word is difficult to use. Flaky people use the word “repent”. The apostles preached a simple gospel. […]

New Wine

I believe the reformation is still incomplete. The reformers were not simply seeking a replacement of one structure for another. Reformation always moves the church as we know it away from the current structure it has enjoyed to less formal, less structured, and more relational community. Why? Because revival always pours out by the Holy […]

My Faith Statement

Rather than give a Statement of Faith, I am giving some of my story, which is part of God’s story. My story is an outworking of my theology. All theology is to some extent autobiography – theology should not be separated from ministry and God’s mission to every human being in the world and all […]

Go Barefoot

Luke 10:3-4 Go! …Do not take… sandals. Why wear shoes? I love to go barefoot in the summertime. I love sand between my toes. But going shoeless is not just for the pleasures of the beach. We wear shoes to protect our feet. But biblical characters would remove their shoes to demonstrate their willingness to […]

Reformed Theology, Great Commission, and Halloween

In honor of the 500th anniversary of the birth of the Protestant Reformation when Martin Luther nailed 95 theses (list of questions and propositions for debate) to the chapel door/bulletin board at the University of Wittenberg where he was a professor, I offer a “question” about a major theological movement within Protestantism. What does Halloween […]

I didn’t like animals, but that changed

Do you ever stop and consider where your thoughts come from? Don’t you wish you could just take those stray thoughts by the throat and wrestle them to the ground and say, “Where did you come from?” It took a passage from C.S. Lewis’ book, The Great Divorce, for me to realize I had wrong […]

Hero’s Tale – George Washington Carver

You know the hero’s tale. An unlikely and ill-prepared young person is caught up in a wider story, rising out of devastating difficulties only to change history. Do you know anyone like that? One of my heroes is George Washington Carver. George was born an African Slave as the Civil War ended. His father died […]

How to stay unbreakable

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up […]

Stay a while…

Where do you experience the deepest friendships? There’s something about the table, sitting with family, friends, and especially strangers welcomed with a cup of coffee or tea, a shared meal, and a conversation.  It’s easy. Food is more than a necessity. It’s a celebration of life. Mealtimes are opportunities to connect with neighbors. Invite someone […]

When your degree doesn’t matter

Wil Schroter, CEO at Startups.com writes, “Your degree is just the most expensive piece of artwork from your past.” Ouch! Why? He explains it all in this one sentence: “In our time we’ve seen very little correlation or causality between the level of education people have achieved and their ability to excel at their jobs.” […]

13 Reasons

I recently watched 13 Reasons on Netflix. I recoiled at first. I am one of the few who didn’t read the book, so it surprised me. I can’t imagine why someone would document all the reasons for committing suicide. And then name them, the reasons are people in this high school girl’s life. I thought this […]

Tomorrowland

On a flight from Singapore to Tokyo, my conversation with the man sitting next to me took a sad turn. He’s a merchant marine on his way back to sell his condo in Boston and build his new house on 12 acres in Maine. He said, “When the nukes go off in about eight years […]

Fork in the Road

Someone said, “When you come to the fork in the road, take it.” A while back Mary and I were in Switzerland. We drove from the sleepy Swiss village of Burtigny to the bustling city of Lausanne to do some errands. We downloaded the turn by turn instructions to get to our destination. Mary played […]

Overcoming Fear

Have you ever taken a personality test? Have you assessed your spiritual or motivational gifts?  Darrow Miller, the author of Life Work, writes: “We spend 50 to 75% of our waking hours and 60 to 90% of the years of our lives working. Yet many of us never invest even a fraction of that time […]

Holiness is MORE than Intimacy with God

At Easter I wrote about Holiness, that holiness is intimacy with God. (Here’s that post.) I described how Bernard of Clairvaux’s 14th century hymn, O Sacred Head Now Wounded, was a personal and public pre-Reformation plea for intimate relationship with Christ. I return to this subject because I did not adequately describe the beauty and […]

Going barefoot, the journey begins!

Questions about theology, community, and life after the walls of Modernity are fallen will be front and center on this little blog. This will be a journey and I’ll be going barefoot, unprotected, unguarded. I don’t know where this journey will take me. I’m not going out to get a tatoo or a body piercing, […]