An Ode to Suffering

The truth is we all suffer. Suffering is a large part of life. As the Dread Pirate Roberts told Princess Buttercup. “Life is pain highness, anyone who says differently is selling something.” (Princess Bride 1987). I sometimes lament at how often Christian music is so victim sounding–everything is terrible, everything is wrong, I almost gave up–but…

A Paradigm of Preaching

Why do pastors just stand up front and talk at us? Don’t they understand lectures are boring? Often we wonder where the all the gifts and power of God are. We might ask why doesn’t our witness have these obvious powerful events that simply draw audiences? Wouldn’t more people fall on their faces and repent…

Rage (Yad Vashem)

When I was in Israel part of our tour was visiting Yad Vashem. We toured the holocaust museum, and the term rage seemed appropriate at first, but then it matured into sorrow for me. I pray it does for all visitors, at least hopefully it will with a little bit of perspective and wisdom. It…

Florida shooting and a broke church van

A couple weeks ago at camp with the Youth Group we had four flat tires. I could definitely say this was the weekend retreat from hell. It just seemed liked challenge after challenge. I did the usual thing, check the air levels in the tires, checked the oil, drove it around to see how it…

A Mission from God

Another year another time to refocus. Truthfully every single day is another chance to turn it all around, but a new year is sometimes a helpful reminder and push. It is easy to look around at America and lament what was or what could have been last year. It is too easy to look around…

Gnats and Camels

Jesus rebukes the Pharisees for focusing on the smaller details of the laws while ignoring much larger issues of justice and mercy and faithfulness. Jesus says that all sin is something to be concerned over which is why he says “these you should have done while not ignoring the weightier parts of the law.” (Matthew…

Oh Lord please don’t let Us be Misunderstood

The Gospel. Getting it across well is a tenuous thing. For the first instance it is the good news of God. It is John 3:16 for God so loved the world that he sent his only Son… The idea that God even allows pardon is amazing. Furthermore not only does he allow pardon but he…

A Rock of Offense

If we are going to get involved in local missions work then we should understand something about our message. The gospel is offensive. It either joyfully invites or spitefully reminds us of who we are. Our society is creating and pandering to offense everywhere, so generating more offense is an apt topic. How do we speak…

Wake Up

I was recently reading a book with the simple reminder. We are in a mission field. To the degree that you either understand this or reject this you will have a better understanding of what is going on in our world. America is becoming a place where Christians are despised and rejected. Jesus said this would…

Passionate Digression

Sharing our faith is always a good thing to do, but asking why and how are also good things to do. So…do we love our passion? They are ours to love so yeah I guess so. Is our passion God? How do you speak about God? A good question, maybe it is one I just…

Tradgedy and Compassion

Russel Moore already wrote what I wanted to say. But why not say it again?  I got up to speak on Sunday and someone just happened to mention the shooting in Orlando to me. Like most of us I slept through one of the largest terrorist shootings in our history. I was overwhelmed, to say…

A Balancing Act

In an effort to regain some balance I want to put the other foot down on my communicating about where we are in America now. I feel like we are those who Peter writes to in the dispersion. We have a two-fold mission and I do not want to communicate that while we do not…