Historical Context Matters

These two quotes aptly describe the nature and goal of my doctoral studies in New Testament Context. “The ideal interpreter would be one who has entered into that strange first-century world, has felt its whole strangeness, has sojourned in it until he has lived himself into it, thinking and feeling as one of those to…

A Desert Prayer

I need to drown again in the regenerating waters of my baptism. I’m drowning on the world’s air and gasping for water this week. I preached about abiding in the Christ on Sunday, and have spent the entire week making sand castles in a God-forsaken desert.

The Me God Made Me to Be

I wrote an end of the year reflection in December, doing some introspection. Its the final chapter in my Soul Artisan book. I thought I’d risk sharing some of it here.  -JB Planting the church almost killed me. There are parts of me that still haven’t recovered 6 years later. I think I’ve been burned out since…

A Steady Guide in an Unsteady World

It was an evening back in early September 2002. The weather was perfect, as usual. It was San Diego. I had left everything familiar behind and moved west for my first semester of seminary at Bethel West. I was lonely. I was scared. I was adrift without a clue of what the future held. That’s…

Wisdom Shouts & Roller Gardens

I just sent off to the printer my latest collection of writings shared here over the past 4 months. I’ve titled it Wisdom Shouts: Private Thoughts in the Public Square (302 pages). I wanted to share part of my ‘preface’ to this volume. You can see my other 12 or so volumes here.    Now a word about…

Tossed by the Waves (Eph 4:14)

On the one hand, we have a loveless Truth wrapped in verbal explosives running around blowing things up and worsening the divide. On the other hand, we have a soft, squishy inoffensive Love parading herself around as the best way forward for society, but she forgot to pack the Truth when she set out on her journey. 

Taking A Knee for Black History Month

In honor of Black History month, I want to share a piece I wrote last fall in the midst of all the NFL players taking a knee, but did not publish out of fear of ruffing some feathers. But sometimes feathers need to be gently ruffled. Sometimes we need to have our eyes opened and…

Me & Billy G – Evangelistic & Ecumenical

One of the highlights of my ministry in my hometown is also one of the most painful experiences. In the summer of 2012, the City of Mound celebrated its 100th birthday during our annual City Days festival in July. A group of pastors I met with regularly began to coordinate with city leaders to organize…