The Cost of Joy: “But We Rejoice in Our Sufferings…”

Joy is not the absence of pain; it’s the presence of meaning and intimacy [regardless of pain or sufferings presence]. Suffering, far too many times, I think, is the result of inaction; that is, doing nothing in face of pain or unexpected hardships.  It’s when we can’t find or don’t have a reason to push forward that we tend to give up and allow hardship to win. Taking this on from a different perspective: Joy is a constant choice in which we repeatedly make, day in and day out until it becomes … [Read more...]

“But We Rejoice in Our Sufferings…”

Just keepin' it real, but, the past two years, life has just completely and utterly beat shit out of me. It was like being trapped underneath a seemingly never ending set of waves; one bad thing after another; feeling a sense of panic from the uncertainty that you’re going to make it. But, in the same way you don’t try and stop the waves from coming, it’s fruitless to exert your energy on any attempts at stopping this series of unfortunate events; while it’s even more foolish to become angry dur … [Read more...]

Church Marketing Sucks: What the U.S. Church Can Learn from Kendall Jenner and Pepsico’s Blunder

Quick Question (answer without stopping to think): Who’s thought to be the most influential Christian today? N.T. Wright, Chris Tomlin, Joel Osteen…? While I don’t have the research to prove it’s any one person, I can say with confidence that it’s none of the guys listed above. What I can say with confidence is that it can be whittled down to being either Kanye West, Justin Bieber, or one of the Kardashians.“We consider accolades across numerous fields, global impact through social media … [Read more...]

Biblical Prophecy Unequivocally Proven to be False

But, as time as gone by, I’ve randomly thought of various questions I’ve had in the past, yet have never taken the time to dig into… One of which is in regards to biblical prophecies.  And, before I go on, I want to make it clear that I am all about the bible. This isn’t one of those, “anti-bible/I’m turning atheist” posts (that’s next week… only kidding). I greatly value the bible; I think within our context we should all value these texts; as they’ve absolutely shaped our politics, relationshi … [Read more...]

Costly Grace as a Survival Tactic: Finding Happiness Despite the Pain and Suffering

Forgiveness is such a little B****. I mean, saying it more eloquently, forgiveness, it’s a double edged sword. If you forgive, then you feel as if they win; if you choose not to forgive, you then feel and find the truth within the platitude saying, “Not forgiving is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”Many times as a pastor, I'd be constantly asked by congregants "How do you forgive…?" And I'd tell them, "The same way you get over your ex: you sleep with as many p … [Read more...]

Megalomaniactic Pastors: What if Your Pastor’s a Functional Psychopath?

I meet up with a ton of pastors for lunch or coffee. It’s not a means of “networking” as it’s mostly just a means of connecting with like-minded men and women. These groups of people consist of mega-church leaders, musicians, youth pastors, lay-leaders, and everyone else in between. But, the other day I met up with a pastor of a larger Church, as he was guest speaking/preaching here in Philadelphia. Never thinking about it before, today really, I realized that most of us within pastoral ministr … [Read more...]

The Evangelical Delusion: “We Are the Persecuted Minority”

Growing up in the white evangelical church I always found there to be a disconnect. No matter how hard I tried to fit in I couldn't seem to find any connection with my surroundings. I didn't understand and neither could I fully comprehend why. I grew up in the same neighborhood(s), wore the same clothes, and there were more than enough kids that were my age, shoot, my parents were even white (I'm adopted). So then what was it? Experience. It wasn't until later on in life that I figured out, … [Read more...]

For Lent I Gave Up Going to Church

We’re more than half way through Lent and I’m just starting it today. But, here's the thing, I want to admit upfront that Lent, Ash Wednesday, Easter, this entire season, is by far my least favorite of them all. They don’t remind me of  rebirth, redemption, or sacrifice, but instead they always come with a stale stench of death. As if it's that time of year in which we annually reopen a casket with nothing but dead dry bones in it. It leaves me with this overwhelming sense of emptiness. Not bec … [Read more...]

Failing Forward: A Lesson Learned From Repeatedly Learning Nothing

This morning I felt as if I was Tom Hanks character from the Cast Away the morning after being rescued. Obviously, I haven’t been stranded on a remote island bordering dementia while using a bloodstained volleyball for emotional connection. But, I did have the "norovirus" (a.k.a. the stomach flu). Which is basically the same thing. Either way, I’ve noticed a trend, a sort of pattern in my life, if you will, in the last 3-5 years or so. Around the same time Spring is swinging around the corner … [Read more...]

A Generation of Biblically Illiterate Followers of Jesus

Have you ever taken a step back and asked the question, “Why do I believe what I believe?”Many of us when asked this question, reply immediately, “Because of the bible.”Growing up in Churches this is just what we’ve been taught in Sunday school and youth group, from child hood on, singing aloud without thinking: “Jesus loves me this I know, for the bible tells me so…” We find ourselves believing and dedicating the entirety of our lives, the basis of our morals, the foundation of our h … [Read more...]