“It’s Good to See You!”

I wanted to share one other encounter in the nursing home chapel this past week. As I went around shaking hands, I tried to make eye contact and said things like, “God bless you!” or “Have a Merry Christmas!” One gentlemen sat expressionless in his wheel chair, waiting for his turn to be pushed back…

Deliver Me From Indifference

When God’s Word is unleashed in a room with passion and fervor, let people drop to their knees with conviction, rise up with cheers of excitement, or form an angry mob and try to throw me off a cliff; just deliver me from the spiritual wet blanket of indifference.

Breaking News: Man Caught Being Faithful (#MeToo)

The focus of this new season of Advent is to beg God to intervene (“come down”) in our sin-stained world and rescue us from the filthy mess we’ve made of this world and our own lives. One huge mess being paraded past us in the headlines daily is the flurry of sexual harassment allegations against very public figures.

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.

Ekklesia: A Radical Social Experiment

My heart breaks for our country and world today. Racial inequality, deep seated mistrust, increasing violence and boiling hatred fill our headlines daily. I write this in the aftermath of the horrific white nationalist rally and car crash in Charlottesville. Followers of Jesus must denounce such evils clearly and in the strongest terms. (Read  statement from…

Imagine a World: Grateful Stewards (Matt 21:33-40)

Jesus’ parables, in the words of my teacher Scot McKnight, invite hearers to “imagine a world like this…” Like a good novel or film, you get swept up into another world for a moment and when its over you’re dropped back into our world pondering what you just saw, heard, experienced or imagined. Jesus’ parables fire…

Move the Stone, Come Out & Be Unwrapped

I’ve been studying the raising of Lazarus recently. I love how a closer examination of a very familiar passage can reveal new spiritual truths. Here are a few little insights I’ve gleaned. First, this story is full of deep emotions and coated with tears, grief, loss and longing. Just think of the last funeral visitation you…

Leadership Axioms for Healthy Congregations

Here are some foundational leadership principles passed on to me related to ongoing congregational health and mission. How have these manifested themselves in your personal ministry? In your lay leaders? In your congregation? Leadership definition:  “Leadership is the process by which a man or a woman, guided by the Holy Spirit, influences a group of…