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…

Jesus’ Radical Leadership (Pete Scazzero)

From Pete Scazzero: Leading people in the name of Jesus is complex, demanding great wisdom and discernment. I have dedicated my adult life to the study of leadership. I have written books on leadership, read innumerable books on the topic, and attended more than my share of leadership conferences. But for the last 18 months,…

ESSAY: Rabbi Jesus & the Embodiment of Torah

For that one strange person out there who may be interested, I’m posting a small portion of my first doctoral research essay exploring Jesus and Rabbi-pupil dynamics in the ancient world. Warning: Academic essays tend to be more technical and boring. ——————————— There’s no denying the fact that at the center of Jesus’ earthly ministry…

Naked & Embodied Words

In our digital age, many (if not most) the messages we receive throughout the week come stark naked — i.e., disembodied.  I’m finishing up my first doctoral thesis paper today, and exploring the power of and need for “embodied teaching” in the church and “embodied words” in our lives as a whole. We get sprinkled with text…

Social Media & The Sermon on the Mount

WWJT? “What would Jesus Tweet?”  I’ve been asking this question this week as I watch people wax bombastic on their Facebook pages or Twitter feeds. There’s a lot of shouting past one another and very little listening (not to mention loving). Strong opinions abound while grace and civility are in short supply. So, how might…

Fowl Prayers: Silliness Before the Throne

During bedtime prayers this week, something incredibly silly and irreverent happened. Complete hilarity ensued before the throne of the Almighty as toddler humor took over our prayers. I didn’t know whether to scold and lecture my kids about making light of prayer, or burst out laughing along with my 4 and 6 year old. What…

Me & Jesus Cruise the AM Dial

It all began when I turned my knob from FM to AM on my radio dial. I was about 19 years old and had discovered the new world of talk radio. It began with non-stop sermons on a Christian station nurturing my new hunger for Bible teaching. Before long I was also drinking in my daily dose of conservative political talk as well. I was hooked. But then Jesus came along …

Immigration Reform & the Tower of Babel

I wrote this piece 10 years ago! In light of the latest DACA decision and ongoing conversation, I want to repost this today. As a pastor I do not believe its my place to tell folks how to vote on complex political issues, but I am called to help folks think biblically about such matters….