Going Green 2: Water the Roots

My boys and I planted some trees a couple summers ago. Each week we went out to water them together. Peter was almost 4 and Isaak was almost 2 years old. I noticed something each time we watered them together. I poured the bucket of water all around the little tree to sink down and…

Cabin 16: The Neighbor’s Well

I’m reposting this in light of recent conversation in our Heaven LifeCourse about the nature of heaven and hell, freedom of choice, being ‘given over’ to the destructive consequences of sin, and how we are daily becoming creatures more fit for heaven and hell. -JB _________ This post is in memory of Robin Williams and a…

Going Green 1: God Has Green Thumbs

God has green thumbs. There’s no doubt about that. You are never closer to the heart and purposes of God than when you’re on you’re on your knees in the garden pulling weeds with sweat running down your brow. Or tilling that rocky soil, pulling up thorns and thistles, or wringing your hands with frustration…

The Perils of Preaching Today

“We come to the Bible, raising questions about its relevance to our present daily lives, only to find that the Bible questions us about our relevance to the way of Christ.” -Will Willimon We’re modern people. We value efficiency and practicality.  We like quick how-to tutorials that immediately get to the point. We’re self-driven, ambitious…

PHILIPPIANS 34: Evening Grace (4:23)

“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit” (Phil 4:23). Paul begins with “grace” (1:2), and ends with “grace.” The gracious love of the Lord Jesus was the joy of his heart. For Paul, grace was the name of his game. Grace was the blood running through his veins. Grace was the…

Announcement: Doctoral Studies with Scot McKnight!

Many of you know that I have always felt a tension and tugging in my soul between my desires and gifts for academic study and writing on the one hand, and my commitment to leading real people to experience the life of the Kingdom in the church today. I am a pastor-scholar at heart. I’m thrilled to…

PHILIPPIANS 33: The Secret (4:10-19)

After pushing ‘pause’ for about 8 years, I finally concluded my reflections on the entire Book of Philippians recently. I’ll share the last few parts in the days ahead. See rest of the series here. “How I praise the Lord that you are concerned about me again. I know you have always been concerned for…

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…