Psalm 139:1-16 (NIV) 1 O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. 2 You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. 3 You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. 4 You […]

Radical Gratitude, Radical Trust


  There is an amazing and overwhelming sensation of love that overcomes a parent when they hold their child for the first time.  I felt it a few weeks ago, for the third time in my life, when I held my new baby girl, Thea Joan.  The love I felt […]

Love is a Decision


Jesus’ ministry led to crucifixion.  His gospel message led others to martyrdom.  His instructions to those who wanted to be his followers was “Take up your cross and follow me.” The Gospel is a divisive, peace-bringing word – not the paradox it seems, but not as straightforward, perhaps, as we might […]

Ministry and the Conflict of the Gospel



A few brief thoughts from my reading today of Genesis 10-18: The people of the earth acquired a new technology:  the brick.  The technology of the brick empowered them to do things they previously could not do.  They could build predictable and uniform structures, and they could do it quickly. […]

Technology, Idolatry and the Worship of Self


A few years ago, while working as a bi-vocational church planter, I formed a friendship in my secular employment with a Muslim.  He knew I was a Christian pastor, and I understood that he was a committed Muslim, and we enjoyed many conversations comparing various aspects of our faith.  He […]

A Christian Minister, Working through the Qur’an


If the lies we told left a taste in our mouth, and if the rumors we spread left stench on our breath, it would be the horrible taste and putrid smell of the death we are speaking. It would reek of decay. We would be unable to speak without fighting […]

If our eyes could see our hearts…



It is normal (and good) to wonder what good a church can do in the world.  Sometimes, though, when you are a part of a small church, it can be common to doubt that the church can do any good.  “We don’t have the resources,” we say.  “We lack the […]

What difference can the small church make? 


I remember the first time I read a Brian McLaren book.  “A Generous Orthodoxy” was something like an exotic trip in a forbidden land.  It was like McLaren was giving voice to all the dark corners of my mind, expressing the thoughts that I (thought I) was forbidden from expressing myself.  […]

Review: Brian McLaren’s “The Great Spiritual Migration”


Lectionary preachers have the sometimes daunting challenge of exploring and discovering thematic consistency if they plan to preach in series.  While there are fantastic resources online, such as my personal favorite, CatchyLecty, there are times when even our favorite resources leave us wanting.  That’s part of the reason I’m excited […]

Resource Review: A Preacher’s Guide to Lectionary Sermon Series: ...