Sermon: Growing in Wisdom

They found him…sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions…And Jesus grew in wisdom.” (Luke 2:46, 52) Jesus was a middle schooler once. Can you imagine that? Popping pimples. Voice cracking. Surging hormones. Changing body. Our stained glass images of a stoic Jesus the Son of God and second person of the…

Life’s the Curriculum, You’re the Assignment

A good reminder for a New Year. A repost from about 9 years ago. -JB Somewhere along the way, largely in the wake of the Enlightenment’s enthronement of human reason, Christianity morphed into a rational quest for right knowledge and head beliefs. Discipleship naturally became a classroom exercise with teachers, Bible curriculum and eager (and…

EPHESIANS 14: God’s Masterpiece (2:10)

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (Ephesians 2:10). If I were called to the hospital bedside of a person who just attempted but failed to take their own life, I think I would bring this…

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…

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…

10 Spiritual Legacy Conversations

In Paul’s letter to Timothy, his young apprentice and “son in the faith,” Paul mentions 10 important things that Timothy knows full well about Paul’s own life and faith journey. So, I’m very excited to share a guide to help others have 10 spiritual legacy conversations based on 2 Timothy 1:5, 3:10, 14 (see below). How…

The Dark Side of Personal Application

A repost from 2009. -JB This is a thought experiment. Please be gracious and try to understand my line of thinking and let me know if there’s some validity to it. Please also hear what I am NOT saying. I have long been bothered by a common critique or complaint people have after listening to a…