Beyond Black, Beyond Blue, What Really Matters.

I was too young to remember the 60’s. As a toddler I only cared about nap time, snacks and my Tonka trucks. I was innocent while the world around me exploded with violence, riots, racial tension and war.I remember my father later telling me about the times, what he felt when Kennedy was assassinated and then Martin Luther King. It wasn’t black. It wasn’t white. It was just wrong and he felt it.That’s how I feel today.With just a few minutes of network news and I’m longing again fo … [Read more...]

My Life Lessons, Retold in Punctuation Marks

There was a point in my life when a question mark hung over my head.You see, I didn't know the future, and it scared me. I couldn't figure out tomorrow, next year or the future. I was paralyzed by the thought of just not knowing. Uncertainty led to stupidity as I tried to order the future around my pride. I eventually found a relationship with God, a place to turn the question mark into a period. But the story wasn't over.Then for a while my quest was for knowledge about the deeper t … [Read more...]

When Christians don’t pledge allegiance: Bronco takes a knee

Another NFL football player, Denver Bronco Linebacker Brandon Marshall has decided to not stand during the traditional playing of the National Anthem. He is using his proclaimed Christian faith as the reason for taking a knee.“Honestly, I’m a man of faith so I prayed about it long and hard, and I feel like it was the right thing to do,” he told a local news station.This isn’t the first time Marshall has stood up for the faith in the public eye. He debated ESPN’s Stephen Smith live on the … [Read more...]

Not Like Me: 70 years of hardship, but she refuses to break

Sexual abuse. Alcoholism. Racism. Handicapped. Depression. Imprisonment. Abandonment. All of these are things 70 year-old Suzanne Kiser has encountered in her life. She’s not like me. I’ve never encountered any of those things. Not one of them. But together, we are talking.Suzanne Kiser is one of those people who has seen it all. The 70 years of her life has been marked by pain, suffering, and indignity.  Not many of her woes have been self-induced. In a word, life has been unfa … [Read more...]

Not Like Me: A millennial who lost his faith in God

This is part of an exploratory series where I'm "expanding my table" and inviting other voices into my world. "Not Like Me" is an honest attempt to reach across traditional and perceptual divides to try to understand and perhaps gain a little insight. Are you not like me? I invite you to send a note. Today, let me introduce you to Chris – a deeply engaging, interesting young man who isn’t like me. He has rejected his Christian upbringing. Perhaps you know someone like this or have a family me … [Read more...]

3 Words That Will Set You Free: “I Don’t Know”

I remember standing behind the lectern, laser pointer in hand. Teaching, leading, I imparted knowledge and inspired action. But to be honest, I was no expert. I just learned how to study and how to relay the finer points.Hundreds of times I looked at eager eyes from the chairs pulled into a circle. Opening the book, pointing out history and theology and imagery, everyone said how great it was.  I really didn't know anything more than anyone else.A long time ago I took a position behind th … [Read more...]

Not Like Me: A Series on Finding Commonality through Difference              

Next week I’ll begin a new season-long series here at Red Letter Believers called, “Not Like Me.”I will be specifically seeking out people who are different than me and then we will have a conversation. I want to know what makes them tick, what motivates them and what the hopes and dreams they carry with them.It’s my hope that through this series I can learn about “others” and that you’ll come along for the ride.We live so much of our lives through assumption, stereotypes and putting … [Read more...]

“What were you thinking?” Overcoming the pains of regret

My brother rode over the home-built jump at the end of the road over and again, circling around to get just a little more air or turn the handlebar in a circle before landing.My pant leg was full of grease from getting caught in the bicycle chain, but there was no stopping until the darkness pushed us grudgingly indoors.The next day, we started all over again. I found a matchbook in the middle of street and flipped open the cover to see five matches were still unused.This was our l … [Read more...]

Finding Purpose: Will Retirement Be My Social Insecurity?

When I was in college, I remember having a conversation with a few friends about one of our classmates who was 30 at the time. We called him “the old man.”As young men, we talked about aging in dire terms, framing it in the context of our parents and grandparents. We decided that the 40th birthday indicated a point of no return. And 50? That was one-foot-in-the-grave territory.Eventually I turned 30. And then 40. And now I’m past 50. I blew past all of those supposed stop signs on my life and now … [Read more...]

The Broad Brush: Why must we stereotype?

He’s in a union? Certainly he’s a Democrat!“Don’t Tread on Me” bumper sticker? Yup, libertarian.Subaru driver?  She’s feeling the Bern.Sandals, beard, sunglasses and a Jesus sticker? Megachurch goer.<Add your own stereotype here ___________>It seems that we are too quick to take sides these days, categorizing people like bins in a hardware store. The screws go in this bin. The nuts in this. The washers over here.It’s like we an obsessive compulsive societal condition … [Read more...]