Like Jesus, every preacher should have a story of being pressed into a corner and seeing fire in the eyes of an offended congregant after a sermon, unless they are in the ear-tickling business.
I love words. I especially love when God stoops down and kisses us through another’s words. The Word becomes flesh again and makes His presence known through a thoughtful card from a friend, or an encouraging chat over coffee, or a personal letter from a pastor.
God’s Word to us doesn’t always have shiny wrapping and a big red bow attached. God’s Word isn’t always warm and fuzzy. God’s Word sometimes needs to hit us like a ton of bricks. When we open our Bibles we stumble into an old library full of stories of holy confrontations and sacred summons.
The average church-goer hears 12 hours of sermons ALL YEAR. Now, who’s discipling who?
Yesterday I began my next doctoral essay. Here’s a sneak peek at the introduction -JB. “If you had sent a letter…there would have been nothing to prevent my seeming to be actually in your company, and enjoying it as though we had been together… But why do you not write?” –St. […]
For some say, “Paul’s letters are demanding and forceful, but in person he is weak, and his speeches are worthless!” (2 Cor 10:10) Have you heard of the 10,000 Hour Rule? Associated with popular writer Malcolm Gladwell and his book Outliers, the principle holds that 10,000 hours of “deliberate practice” […]
I often talk about church as a car repair shop rather than a Sunday trip through a car wash. While the latter may feel nice and give your exterior a little extra shine for a few days, it does not address the ‘engine’ inside that makes us go. […]
Just read a great article by Ellen Davis called “Surprised by Wisdom.” Here’s a taste: Anyone attuned to both the [biblical] text and contemporary culture might pause as early as the second line of the book [of Proverbs], where the purpose of “the proverbs of Solomon” is stated […]
The bleachers squeaked like crazy. It smelled like a locker room. It got hot and stuffy on Saturday nights in the summer. We were packed in like sardines as upbeat guitars and the 90s choruses of “Trading My Sorrows” and “Shout to the Lord” echoed throughout the Robbinsdale […]
“Do not be conformed to the culture around you…” –Romans 12:2 In a recent sermon, we explored the way Paul’s poem in Colossians 1:15-20 served, in part at least, to subvert and reshape the imaginations of the believers in Colossae who were immersed in the cultural narrative(s) and values […]
Eugene Peterson captures the thought of preachers as they look out on the congregation each Sunday: “Every Sunday I look across this congregation and wonder, prayerfully, what is going on. I know most of you pretty well. But there is a lot I don’t know. I am here […]