Re-Born Identity: “Kingdom Exchange Principle”

The Christian life is filled with counterintuitive paradoxical truths.  One of my favorites is Jesus’ strange warning that “Whoever seeks to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it” (Luke 17:33).  On the surface this is ludicrous.  I mean the last time I lost $10 I was poorer and…

When Darkness Wins a Battle, We Still Win the War

Suicide is an all too common thing these days — especially among adolescents and younger adults. I thought I’d repost an older piece for a Christian perspective on such tragedies. Some of these words also give perspective on the evil of recent events. -JB The forces of darkness are always around us.  Most of the time, if we’re fortunate, the…

Just 33 Years

A repost from 2014. I completely broke down during worship recently. I was overcome with emotion — kind of out of the blue. I was speaking and just lost it and could not compose myself.  If you were there, you know how long I wept up front… (Aaaaaawkward.) When I finally pulled myself together I…

So Heavenly-minded, No Earthly Good?

“Don’t Be So Heavenly Minded That You’re of no Earthly Good.” Has this ever been said of you?  What do people usually mean by such a statement?  Can someone ever become too heavenly minded? I would submit that such a statement is based upon an inaccurate understanding of “heavenly” and “earthly”. This old, platonic dualistic view…

Are We Running in Vain?

The greatest tragedy is not to die but to have lived a long life with no real sense of purpose. Twenty-first century life in the West boasts of more freedoms, opportunities, modern comforts, and vocational choices than ever before.  Yet, we are also more depressed than ever before. We go-go-go nonstop, working longer hours and involving…

Faith Over Feelings

Theology matters.  And we all “do theology” — whether we’re aware of it or not. Theology is “thinking about God.” The question is not whether we do theology but whether we do good or bad theology. This is why my one of my biggest passions as a pastor is trying to help people begin to think critically…

“Behold, Electricity is at Hand!”

I pulled the little chain and nothing. My little green lamp didn’t turn on. I checked the bulb to see if it was dead or not screwed in tight. The bulb was fine. Pull the chain—nothing. Hmmm? My favorite green lamp simply wouldn’t work. Just as I was beginning to grow frustrated and ready to…

Lucky: The Tale of Eutychus

Enjoy an imaginative first person narrative sermon I wrote about the strange story of Eutychus in Acts 20:7-12. I remember it was early spring and unseasonably warm. It was just after Passover. I can still smell the warm, salted breeze coming off the Aegean sea, and hear the squalk of seagulls circling above. We stood on the…