Kvelling In The Valley Of The Shadow

roller coaster

A couple of years ago, I joined a group of 4-8 women gathered on Monday mornings in an empty conference room in a suburban church to pray for their twenty-something adult children. The first morning we met, we introduced ourselves, briefly shared a bit about what each of our kids was doing post-college, and whether our offspring were still actively following the Jesus we'd each endeavored to share with them during their growing-up years. I jokingly dubbed us Moms In Touch 2.0 after the prayer … [Read more...]

Is God A Mafia Boss Or Is God Good? (Part 3)

Finger of God

Dr. Ingrid Faro has sparked some great discussion here at Pilgrim's Road Trip with her recent posts exploring the character of God in light of the evil that seems to be flourishing all around us. I am grateful for her carefully-crafted thoughts on this topic, as well as the great questions asked by many commenters who've weighed in on her previous two posts. (Click here to read Part 1; click here to read Part 2.)These posts are by no means an exhaustive exploration of the subject, but both … [Read more...]

Is God A Mafia Boss Or Is God Good? (Part 1)

imgres

A couple of years ago, I found myself sitting in a room with a bunch of really bright individuals who were dreaming of putting together a daylong practical theology conference for women to be held on the campus of Trinity International University. I didn't know most of them, but as we met to dream together a little more, then worked and prayed together, the unexpected bonus for me was getting to know the women on the planning committee. There is nothing like working on a project (like a big … [Read more...]

In The Cross-Hairs Of Middle Eastern Current Events

candles

"All's fair in love and war" the old saying goes, but true love is focused on the good of the other and filters itself accordingly. During the past few hundred years, Western civilizations fought their wars in the name of a king or on behalf of a country, with conventions (at least in principle) that were supposed to guide their warfare.Those old boundaries, the kind found on maps, don't matter quite so much anymore. Al Queda and their assorted ideological and spiritual cousins like ISIS, … [Read more...]

The Jewish Roots of Christian Sabbath

Where I come from, Shabbat begins at dusk on Friday nights, and ends when the first three stars become visible on Saturday evening. The twenty-five or so hours from Friday evening through Saturday evening are meant to be a time of restorative rest and reconnection with God, family and faith community, I grew up in a fairly secular Jewish home in a predominately Jewish neighborhood, and understood that the Sabbath was a core part of our Jewish identity, even if few in our neighborhood observed it … [Read more...]

The Collateral Damage From A Youth Pastor’s Sexual Sin

youth group

Last week, Leadership Journal magazine posted an article penned by a youth pastor who groomed, then sexually abused a girl in his youth group. He is now in prison for his crimes. The anonymous article was saturated with a self-pitying tone,  some horrifying reframing of his sin (statutory rape is not an "affair"), and a stunning lack of concern for the young woman upon whom he preyed. It took a couple of very intense days of social media activity by those infuriated by the platform given to a … [Read more...]

Youth group as “discipleship incubator”?

incubator

Parents, if your older teen or young adult child was in a church-based or parachurch youth group during their high school years, I'd value your response to the questions below. If you are a young adult who logged time in your youth group, I'd like to hear from you, too. (And oh yes - I'd love to hear from past and present youth pastors, too.)Two questions: Did the youth group experience help or hinder the process of "owning" your/your child's faith? Why do you say so? Yes, I know there … [Read more...]


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