10 Great Quotes on Thanksgiving and Gratitude

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” ― G.K Chesterton “Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in [Read More…]

Sneak Peek at the Missional Leadership & Discipleship Course Next Semester at NTS

The mission of God is unmanageable. This is where the conversation about missional leadership begins. When it comes to the kingdom of God, we cannot control outcomes with even the most ingenious models, techniques, and strategies. God is going to do what God is going to do with the church, and God can never be controlled or [Read More…]

Performance Riders, Doomsday Preppers, & Advent: Isaiah 40:1-11 (Advent 2B)

In the entertainment business there’s this thing called a performance rider, a written list of the artist’s demands. The promoter agrees to prepare the venue exactly the way the artist likes it. The instructions for this are all in the rider. Given the prevalence of artistic eccentricity, some of the demands can be absurd. Beyonce’s Rider asks [Read More…]

Saint Brennan Manning: A Ragamuffin to the End

This was originally a sermon preached at Redemption Church on 11 NOV 2014. If you are a pastor, please feel free to copy and steal. One of the important aspects of our discipleship, often overlooked, involves the understanding that our relationship with God didn’t just appear out of thin air. Our faith has a history [Read More…]

What We Do With Our Pain: Barbara Brown Taylor & Spiritual Bypassing

We talked about idols last week at Redemption Church. It felt like a hard sermon to give, because I think the idolatry of the church over the past few centuries has caused a lot of pain. So many people have fallen in love with a small “g” god, that promised them the world and couldn’t deliver. [Read More…]

The Hidden Kingdom: How We Get There is Where We Are Going

This was originally drafted as a sermon for Redemption Church on July 27, 2014. I rely heavily on a chapter from the book What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell, Reshaping National Intelligence for an Age of Information by Gregory Treverton, and The Seeds of Heaven by Barbara Brown Taylor (who is savant-like at sermon [Read More…]

Easter 7A – The Ascension of Christ: Acts 1:6-14

This is the sermon I preached last week at Redemption Church. I borrowed heavily from a great sermon Barbara Brown Taylor wrote and published in her book Home By Another Way – which is essential for any pastor who preaches through the lectionary. If you are a pastor, feel free to copy and steal everything. 2014.06.01 [Read More…]

The Limits of Wisdom and the Wisdom of Limits: A Reflection at the Beginning of A New Year

As I’ve been reflecting upon my year in 2013 there’s no doubt in my mind that it was the most difficult and the most painful year of my life. I’ve said more funeral liturgies, dealt with more personal challenges, experienced more wounding from relationships, faced more demanding professional circumstances, delved into new territory in terms [Read More…]

Monday Morning Confessional

I confess that I am getting really tired of being sick! The flu turned into pneumonia and has totally slammed me. I lost ten pounds last week, can you believe that? … not a weight loss plan I would recommend. Anyway, Dr. Scott gave me some sort of nuclear-powered antibiotics and I’m finally starting to [Read More…]

The Lost Art of Reverence: Finding Holy Ground In a World Where Nothing is Sacred

I’m reading and preaching through Barbara Brown Taylor’s book An Altar in the World right now. This book is full of rich imagery and beautiful writing – profound and earthy. Last Sunday we considered the chapter on reverence. I had not previously considered how far out of the mainstream reverence is. Reverence isn’t hip anymore, irreverence [Read More…]


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