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….

Jesus on the Ancient School Bus

Tomorrow morning we send off our firstborn, Peter, to his first day of kindergarten. And he wants to ride the bus. [Cue the tears.] So, as we all behold those yellow buses on the move, shuttling precious loads of anxious, squirmy, hyperactive, pimple-faced, (hopefully!) potty-trained rug rats, let us pause and ponder their place in our…

Jesus As LifeCoach

“Anyone who listens to my teaching and puts it into practice is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.” Matthew 7:24 Dallas Willard wrote relentlessly urging Christians to place real, rugged apprenticeship to Jesus back at the center of Christian faith and the church’s task.  The problem, Willard says, is that “The…

Teaching & Interpersonal Relationships

Matt Friedeman’s book The Master Plan of Teaching (1990) examines Jesus’ teaching style and suggests the following formula emphasizing that content alone is not enough, but the teacher-student relationship is a central ingredient: COMMUNICATION = CONTENT + RELATIONSHIP He then offers some steps toward effective interpersonal relationships in the graph below. Pastors and teachers who want to…