Blue Parakeets & the Bible’s Big Story

I’m rereading the great book The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible by my teacher, Scot McKnight. I can’t believe its already been nearly 10 years since I first devoured the book (half of it in the bookstore!), and now am studying with Scot! I’m preparing to preach on the importance of grasping the…

Justifying My Existence

I was alone at the church this Wednesday, preparing a large table for our second “Agape” gathering — a new monthly celebration of the Eucharist. I found my soul anxious and my spirit restless. I was physically tired, but mostly suffering from fear of disappointing others and myself. Whenever I put my hands to some…

Don’t Let Fear Win

“The enemy is fear. We think it is hate; but, it is fear.” -Ghandi “Have a safe trip!” we say as they drive out of the driveway. “Safe travels!” we say as we drop them off at the airport. “HAVE A SAFE SUMMER,” the school sign reads as kids leave for summer break. Such commonplace…

Q&A: What do you believe about Spiritual Warfare?

Here’s a question from a former student of mine.  Great question for Halloween! Q: What do you believe about spiritual warfare and its affects on people, including believers? I know it is pretty open ended question and topic but I am not quite sure what type of answer I am looking for. Any input would…

“A Kind Admonition” by Menno Simons

I have enjoyed reading through many of Menno Simon’s writings this week. A great website has made them available to us at http://www.mennosimons.net. Here’s an excerpt from a letter called “A Kind Admonition” that spotlight’s a key focus of Menno’s teachings: the new birth that results in a new life shaped by the example of…

Praying a Psalm with Menno Simons

This week I’m introducing Menno Simons and the Anabaptist movement to our congregation in our final week of Reformation profiles. I struggle in my own prayer life as my mind so easily wanders off. I have found it helpful to pray through scriptures. I often suggest others experiment with this as well. If you want a…

Becoming Doctors of the Church

I feel extremely blessed to be doing further studies at Northern Seminary under Dr. Scot McKnight. For friends, family and members of my church, I’m excited to share some glimpses along the way into what I’m learning. I’m part of a new, one-of-a-kind Doctor of Ministry (DMin) program with a historical focus on the Jewish…

Jesus, Rabbinic Judaism & Personality-Driven Ministry Today

This is the concluding section of a research paper on “Rabbi Jesus & the Embodiment of Torah” exploring the Rabbi-Pupil relationships and dynamics in the ancient world — especially the role of charisma and personality in church teaching.  At First Church, Pastor Stern had the difficult task of succeeding the long-tenured and beloved Pastor Slick who…