On Thanking Vets & Martyrs

This Sunday is the Feast of Christ the King, when the church celebrates Christ’s universal lordship and anticipates the coming reign of the Prince of Peace. I share the following reflection as a gentle reminder of where our ultimate citizenship lies. -JB The tread on my tires had run low, so I was sitting at…

Political Discipleship in the Christian Colony

This is an excerpt from a much longer essay I wrote called “Royal Scribes in the King’s Court: Ancient Education & Christian Discipleship.” Enjoy! I hail from good Lutheran stock from the Midwest (Minnesota) where we shared potlucks (with an endless variety of “hot dishes”) in the church basement, and Bible studies in the Fireside…

When the Waters Stir

I love the story in the Gospel of John (chapter 5) where tired and sick people used to sit at the pool in the Temple, waiting for an angel to come down and “stir the waters” to bring healing qualities to the water. Sadly, in the story, a man who had been invalid for 38…

Discipleship Through the Seasons of Life

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven” (Eccl. 3:1). When we answer the call to follow Jesus and get swept up into the new life of the Kingdom, we should surrender all to God. Jesus wants all of us, not just a small, convenient corner of our life….

Everything IN the Lord

“I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you. I have no one else like him, who takes a genuine interest in your welfare…. I hope, therefore, to send him as soon as I see how things go with me….

It’s a Long Slow Process

“Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you. But we must hold on to the progress we have already made” (Phil 3:16). Paul is first and foremost a pastor.  Every pastor must grasp one simple but crucial truth of…

Disciples as Scribes in the Royal Court

Here’s a snapshot of my current research project I’m finishing up this week. I’m exploring ancient pedagogy and fresh angles on the task of discipleship in the church today.  POTLUCKS & POLITICS I hail from good Lutheran stock from the Midwest (Minnesota) where we shared potlucks (with an endless variety of “hot dishes”) in the…

SERMON: The V-Shaped Life

SERMON 3.25.18 – The Prayer of Jesus & the V-Shaped Life This is an example of the kinds of sermons I’m preaching these days. They are thick, juicy but too long! There’s at least 3 different sermons packed into this one. Don’t tell my congregants, but I really am setting a goal to shorten them…