Staying Power

Staying Power

Our history together and our future still ahead depends much on your response to the Jesus whose stories we have been sharing with one another. John, Jesus’ most beloved friend, says that he wrote his gospel stories in order that you and I might, “believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (Jn. 20:31).  Life in Christ—the apostle Paul’s favorite phrase.

Perception is Reality

Perception is Reality

Kingdom is a big idea word. We may talk of building our own kingdoms today, but in truth we own little and control little. We are not queens or kings of much. Kingdom is no small thing. Even an insignificant kingdom—such as Israel for example—would have history, wealth, organization, institutions, hierarchy, celebrations, traditions, military and power. Thus, one kingdom overtaking another kingdom is no small thing either. Such an invasion and overcoming would require spectacular means—whether through cunning, coercion, violence, or stubborn fortitude—kingdom work was glorious and grand.

Ridiculous Faith

Ridiculous Faith

Imagine you are in south Texas, a place with no shortage of people in need. You are there with a well-known and respected physician going about his work of healing and serving his fellow Texans. He is, by all accounts, a servant, sacrificing acclaim and prosperity to serve his neighbors in need. One day a clearly desperate woman enters into his healing tent. She is not a Texan. In fact she is from Mexico and while no one is sure if she is here legally, odds are by her dress and her broken-English that she is not. The woman walks up to the physician and begs his assistance with the plea of someone who is in obvious pain.

What would you expect this respected and servant-hearted man to do? What if he did nothing? Literally. He said nothing and completely ignored the woman without even a glance her way. 

The Compassionate Employer

The Compassionate Employer

We often let our society and our own fears convince us that we live in a world of scarcity, a world that doesn’t have enough of what we need. In doing so, competition, success and money become the lenses by which we see and treat one another. Not only that but we get ourselves caught in what seem like endless cycles of lies, not realizing how absurd it is that we are going around and around, never receiving the joy and fulfillment we think is coming to us. 

Against this world of scarcity, Jesus tells the parable of the Compassionate Employer in Matthew 20:1-26.

A Greater Freedom

A Greater Freedom
“(…) the minute we abandon (God’s) story, we reduce reality to the dimensions of our minds and feelings and experience…” – Eugene Peterson


We have to make decisions about the everyday stuff of life – money, taxes, schools, houses, etc. – but, in Christ, we are now free to make choices based on a much bigger story. We are free to not depend on those things to bring us goodness and wholeness.

Two Builders

Two Builders

Sometimes you run across an expression that captures what you are thinking or feeling in a much more clear and comprehensive way then you ever could. Have you ever read a paragraph that summed up your thoughts on an idea with perfection? Ever heard a stanza in a song or dialogue in a movie that described your exact emotions in that moment? Sure you have, we all have. Well, I ran into one of those expressions a week or so ago in preparation for today.

Living a Better Hope

Living a Better Hope

To skip these stories and simply read the gospels and New Testament letters is like skipping to the final act of a Shakespearian play. While you can certainly understand what happens at the final moments of the story, are able to share with your friends the conclusion of tragedy or comedy, and are even able to make deductions of what has gone on before; you will undoubtedly miss the nuances and details that make the play a thing of beauty.

Taking God Seriously

Taking God Seriously

We find ourselves in the story of our faith tradition at a moment of reprieve. Enough history as God’s people to have stories to reflect on. Enough history of faith to have struggles and successes. In the story, judgement and new life have been declared, and in short order—at least in page numbers—life will be very different. Yet here, in the in-between, we have the time and space necessary to consider, to ponder life with God and one another, what a whole and good life is or could be.

Identity Stripped

Identity Stripped

It is in the pitiless storm when we have nothing else, when we are nothing else, that we discover our true identity. Has your own exile story—we all have them or will—not proved to be discovery through suffering, unearthing your character, your hope through the stripping away of everything—relationships, expectations, dreams, vocations, etc.—which crowd your view of God and yourself. Exposed and helpless you are covered, like Adam and Eve, by the slain lamb, the good shepherd, the servant who gave his life so that you might be called a daughter of God, a son of God, a saint.

Devastated by Sin

Devastated by Sin

We find ourselves in the story of our faith tradition at a moment of reprieve. Enough history as God’s people to have stories to reflect on. Enough history of faith to have struggles and successes. In the story, judgement and new life have been declared, and in short order—at least in page numbers—life will be very different. Yet here, in the in-between, we have the time and space necessary to consider, to ponder life with God and one another, what a whole and good life is or could be.

An Exile Story

An Exile Story

We find ourselves in the story of our faith tradition at a moment of reprieve. Enough history as God’s people to have stories to reflect on. Enough history of faith to have struggles and successes. In the story, judgement and new life have been declared, and in short order—at least in page numbers—life will be very different. Yet here, in the in-between, we have the time and space necessary to consider, to ponder life with God and one another, what a whole and good life is or could be.

Avoiding Foolishness

Avoiding Foolishness

We find ourselves in the story of our faith tradition at a moment of reprieve. Enough history as God’s people to have stories to reflect on. Enough history of faith to have struggles and successes. In the story, judgement and new life have been declared, and in short order—at least in page numbers—life will be very different. Yet here, in the in-between, we have the time and space necessary to consider, to ponder life with God and one another, what a whole and good life is or could be.

Wisdom of Worship

Wisdom of Worship

We find ourselves in the story of our faith tradition at a moment of reprieve. Enough history as God’s people to have stories to reflect on. Enough history of faith to have struggles and successes. In the story, judgement and new life have been declared, and in short order—at least in page numbers—life will be very different. Yet here, in the in-between, we have the time and space necessary to consider, to ponder life with God and one another, what a whole and good life is or could be.

Repenting To Life

Repenting To Life

If I were to summarize the voice of the prophets in our story of faith thus far, it would sound something like this…[3 clashes of cymbals]

Wake up! You are in Babylon and becoming Babylon! That’s the cry of the pre-exile prophets. What this entire section of our faith history in the story of God is trying to get to us to do, to recognize. Comprehend what is going on in you and around you. Grasp what God is doing against you, against all that is in rebellion to his goodness. Appreciate what God is doing for you, and for his good world.