David Johnson: 38 Years of Divine Electricity

The bleachers squeaked like crazy. It smelled like a locker room. It got hot and stuffy on Saturday nights in the summer. We were packed in like sardines as upbeat guitars and the 90s choruses of “Trading My Sorrows” and “Shout to the Lord” echoed throughout the Robbinsdale High School gymnasium. As the last song…

Prayers & Tears at the Poll

I went to the polls on Election Day to cast votes, and ended up casting non-partisan prayers for all the candidates. As I stood over that ballot with pen in hand, looking at all the names and offices, tears dropped down indiscriminately on the ovals below. I turned that little space into a prayer closet…

The FULL Serenity Prayer

My pastoral counselor prescribed for me the daily practice of praying the famous Serenity Prayer for the next couple weeks. I’m not struggling with addiction or substance abuse, and I haven’t joined an AA group, but this prayer has much broader application for many other personal afflictions. I discovered two new things as I accepted…

Why, God, Why? Suffering & God’s Glory

When bad things happen in this world, and unjust suffering befalls the innocent, we often jump to the ‘Why’ question first.  The disciples lived in a world where it was popular to believe that disease, birth defects, and other forms of suffering were punishment for sin — either the person suffering or his parents. We…

The Emotionally Real Pastor

Here’s a portion of my latest doctoral essay exploring the power of “Embodied Wisdom.” This section looks at the role of emotional vulnerability in a pastor’s leadership and example. A popular phrase I’m hearing these days is “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” I’m a guy who…

QUOTABLES: John Wooden on Integrity

“Being true to ourselves doesn’t make us people of integrity. Charles Manson was true to himself, and as a result, he rightly is spending the rest of his life in prison. Ultimately, being true to our Creator gives us the purest form of integrity.” -JOHN WOODEN  

Five Cultural Narratives

“Do not be conformed to the culture around you…” –Romans 12:2 In a recent sermon, we explored the way Paul’s poem in Colossians 1:15-20 served, in part at least, to subvert and reshape the imaginations of the believers in Colossae who were immersed in the cultural narrative(s) and values of the Roman Empire, i.e., the Pax Romana. …

QUOTABLES: View From The Pulpit

Eugene Peterson captures the thought of preachers as they look out on the congregation each Sunday: “Every Sunday I look across this congregation and wonder, prayerfully, what is going on. I know most of you pretty well. But there is a lot I don’t know. I am here every week with the conviction that this…