What’s In The Stack?

Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life. -- Mark TwainEven as I've been in book release mode these last weeks, excited to launch my own book into the world, I've been savoring the words of others. During the last few weeks, I've been spending time with the books pictured at right, as well as a couple of more works of fiction not in the shot. Here's a quick review of each:Saints: A Year in Faith and Art by Rosa Giorgi (Abrams 2005) - This gorgeous volume o … [Read more...]

Living Eternity Everyday

From my recent e-newsletter - read to the bottom and check out the contest: When you think of Jesus’ call to go and make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20), what practices come to mind? Evangelism? Prayer? Service? Study?We speak of the importance of everyday discipleship mostly in terms of making sure we slot time for individual spiritual disciplines like worship, Bible reading, and fellowship. But have you ever considered the way in which our calendar shapes our days or informs our di … [Read more...]

Church Leaders: Distrust And Obey?

There are some very good reasons for church leaders not to trust a congregant. Some are obstructionists, determined to resist all change. Others engage in politicking and clique-forming. Still others enter the church with agendas, addictions, or abusive tendencies.There is wisdom in maintaining good boundaries with a member possessing toxic tendencies that must be balanced with the call to shepherd even the balky or difficult sheep, not just the lovable ones.But sometimes distrust … [Read more...]

Why I’m Not A World Changer

Recently, a friend of mine named Katie confessed her deep discouragement over her “failed” quest to turn the world upside down for God. She’d pursued a ministry degree from a Christian college and after graduation, secured what she believed was a world-changer job at a world-changing church. But then her vision collided with longstanding, intractable politics that had turned the congregation inward on itself. Three years later, mired in student loan debt and disillusioned by her experience, she l … [Read more...]

9360 Home Circle

It was the first house I remember, but I still wonder if it was ever really home. And yet nowhere else I’ve lived has ever fully been my home either.The duplex was a cookie-cutter match for the dozens of other houses in the neighborhood. My parents were the first owners of the house, built in 1963. My sister was nearly two and I was four when we moved out to what was then the edge of civilization. Cheap housing sprung up in a cornfield near a brand-new mall just beyond the commuter suburbs ri … [Read more...]

Discipled By Calendar

Once upon a time – and for most of Judeo-Christian history following – there were no Sunday School classes or parachurch youth programs that focused on transmitting faith from one generation to the next. There was simply the kind of lifestyle God prescribed in Deuteronomy 6:4-9.Certainly other forms of apprenticeship, and eventually, more formalized forms of theological education, emerged over time. But those were built on the Hebrew foundation of practicing faith with family, in community. F … [Read more...]

In 99 days…

In 99 days, this painful, divisive election will be history. Who will we as followers of Jesus be after November 8th?As of this writing, I have a number of believing friends and acquaintances who are supporting Donald Trump. I have a number of believing friends and acquaintances who are supporting Hillary Clinton. And some who are planning to vote Libertarian, Green, or Constitution. Others are planning to write in a name, or abstain from voting entirely. After November 8th, at least half t … [Read more...]