The sentence that changed my writing life

About 7 years ago, I attended Karitos, a arts conference for Christians. The conference has workshop tracks in a variety of different disciplines including sound/tech, visual arts, dance, writing, worship leading, theater and the business side of music production. Conferees aren't required to lock into a specific track when they register - they're free to attend whatever workshop they like. Some people lock in on one discipline throughout the conference. Others take the smorgasbord approach, … [Read more...]

From Eternity To Here Q & A

I loved Frank Viola's latest book, From Eternity To Here, so when his ministry team offered readers an opportunity to be a part of a blog tour today, I jumped on the bandwagon. I had the opportunity to ask Frank a couple of questions as well as join the conversation taking place around the blogsphere today about the book. My questions (and Frank's answers) are below, followed by a list of other blogs participating in the tour today.(1) If the pastor and leadership team of an institutional, … [Read more...]

Unmuzzling a revolutionary

I found the post below on Monday Morning Insight, a website targeted at evangelical church leaders, with a strong and uncritical bias towards the big box and multi-site folks. In the midst of all the cheerleading that goes on at MMI for strategic leadership culture, someone will post an occasional gem from an opposing voice. These gems stand out like diamonds set in charcoal.The post below is one of those gems. I tried to find its orginal source on the web, but was unable to do so. I have a … [Read more...]

Behind the locked door

If you look just beyond the crowd of tourists in this picture, you'll see a set of steps and a small door. The door is locked. From a different angle in the room, you can see a small, high window sharing the wall with the door. The shrine in which we were standing was built much later.No one is allowed to access that locked room, the traditional site on Mt. Zion of both Jesus' final Passover meal and then, 50 days later, Pentecost. (Interesting note: the site of King David's tomb is almost … [Read more...]

Memorial Day Q & A

These questions were asked of us today by our 5-year old grandson. How would you answer them?1. What does a soldier do?2. Is Memorial Day for Kasmir Pulaski? (Illinois residents will understand this one.)3. Where is heaven?4. What kind of punishment did Jesus get?5. Why can't I see Him right now?6. Can I have a blue and green bike? … [Read more...]

Peace that passes understanding?

My friend's husband has been gravely ill for months. After a couple of extended hospital stays and multiple surgeries to save his life, he was transferred to a long-term care facility to begin the healing process in earnest. A few days ago, he got sick again - a scary step back into life-threatening illness.Everything has changed for this family, from the mundane (lawn mowing tasks are being handled by someone else this spring) to the once-in-a-lifetime (my friend's oldest daughter is getting … [Read more...]

Book review: The Hole in our Gospel

Saved by faith. Saved for works.Richard Stearns, the president of World Vision, describes the relationship between faith and works in his compelling book The Hole In Our Gospel (Nelson). I expected the president of World Vision to take on the Western church's blindness toward both the practical and spiritual needs of the rest of the world. What I didn't expect from this readable book was the gentle humility with which Stearns writes. He is not a compassion superstar. He is a guy who thinks and … [Read more...]