Sermon: ‘Faces Downcast’ to ‘Eyes Opened’

Sitting around that table the hidden face of God suddenly becomes visible. The stranger becomes a dear friend. The empty hole in our heart is suddenly filled. The darkness is vanquished by piercing light. Hope is resurrected to dance a jig on the corpse of Despair. At that table the lump in our throat is replaced by an irresistible burning in our heart.

The Most Powerful Force of All

“I always tell my kids that while most people in the world just want to kill and get rid of the bad guys, Jesus wants to change bad guys into good guys. While guns have the power to kill bad guys, only love moves us toward an enemy with the compassion and hope for transformation. A gun or nuclear warhead can destroy our enemy, but only love has the potential to transform an enemy into a friend.”

Going Green 5: Thorns and Thistles

Keri and I were out in the yard doing some spring raking a while back. Keri had made some piles of leaves and weeds, and I was coming around behind her to bag them up. I was in for a painful surprise when I grabbed a pile of leaves with my bare hands only to…

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…

ESSAY: A Theology of Suffering (2001)

This essay was my first attempt in college at grappling with the issues related to Theodicy, that is, the problem of reconciling the existence of an all-powerful, all-good God with the presence of evil and suffering in the world.  Like many, my first exposure to this issue led me to the more traditional view influenced…

Mourning Story

I want to share an incredibly powerful and innovative new ministry vision. Meet my friend and former colleague, Mike Lotzer, and his thoughtful new ministry venture Mourning Story. I encourage especially pastors who are ministering to people nearing the end of life to consider this powerful way to share the gospel at your next funeral. Can you…

Honest Reflections on Grief and Loss (by Sheryl Sandberg)

Dave Goldberg died tragically about a month ago on vacation with family. His wife, Sheryl Sandberg, is the COO of Facebook and a very thoughtful soul who bravely shared the following personally heart-wrenching thoughts on her grieving process. There is wisdom and humanity in these words. Read, reflect and hug your loved ones a little longer…

A Hymn for the Suffering by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Dietrich Bonhoeffer is one of my heroes. He was a brilliant and gentle follower of Jesus. He formed an underground seminary in Nazi Germany and taught people the loving Way of Jesus. He stood fast and resisted the pressure to go along with the churches that were under the influence of Hitler’s regime. (I tried…