Abundance in a World of Choices

I was sent out on a short-term mission trip to the grocery store. “It won’t take long,” she promised. Her head tilted just so and her eyes firing rapid blinks. “Pick up some apples and I’ll make a pie.” How could I resist?The male double-helix shopping code is to “get in and get out without any complication.” So I thought this was going to be an easy assignment. Like the last time I brought home eggs. A couple were broken. You have to check? And they were brown. Who knew? Or when I bravely fo … [Read more...]

A Letter to My Younger Self

Hi Bob,It’s me. Bob.I know! Right? Freaky that I’d write you from the future!No, I don't have a TARDIS for travelling through time. It's just that the community at The High Calling are writing our younger selves to give you some advice as you grow up.I’m writing you this as I turn 50 years old. Yep. You made it to half a century!But you nearly didn’t.In 2006, you will nearly die. You will have a severe tear of your ascending aorta and you will be rushed to the hospital … [Read more...]

“Daddy, Stay Home and Play!”

I pulled the tie to my neck. It was cinched just like my dad had taught me. He called it the four-in-hand. I just called it "good." I took another look at myself in the full-length mirror. No lint on my shoulder. Shoes polished. Hair combed back.Although I had been in the new position for just a few weeks, it still had that new job smell to it. There was a certain satisfaction to that sensation that I had arrived. I had studied for years. I took the competency test. I did my time in the … [Read more...]

Three Questions You Must Answer Before You Die

Every now and then it's good to take an enormous step back and evaluate where you are in life.My friend Rob did this for me over breakfast the other day.You’d like Rob. He is a smart, successful, energetic, forty-something investment banker. The whole package, you might say. Or, what I once assumed was the whole package, but now I know better.  Anyway, I’ve gotten to know him through some business and professional dealings over the past few years, and we’ve forged a budding friend … [Read more...]

Consumed by Consumerism

I’ve been paying bills and looking at the statements for our credit card purchases for the last month, and I wonder, Have I been wise in what I’ve purchased?Jesus told us,“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-2 … [Read more...]

Trust Does Not Come Easy

“When you find yourself having to choose between depending on somebody else to get an important task done or taking matters into your own hands, which do you prefer?”I asked this question to a group of men and women in one my church’s Sunday school classes. Just about everybody said that they would rather do the task themselves! Why?“By the time I tell somebody how to do it, I could get the job done myself,” said one man, referring to his position at work, where he has authority to delega … [Read more...]

“We Had Fun”: Living into God’s Shalom

It is high-time for us to re-embrace beauty as much as truth and goodness (see Monday's article on this). Beauty is found in the nuance of a painting found in an art museum, the unexpected transition in a musical composition, in a tearful or exhilarating moment in a film.But not only there: beauty is also experienced in a smiles on a bunch of kids’ faces, a gentle breeze against your face, a moment of lying still in the grass.Calvin Seerveld says,“If the aesthetic moment is missing in d … [Read more...]

Anna Karenina and the Reality of Marriage

"Don’t leave your brains at the box-office."They are words that I try live by, hard as it is. Having a lifelong love for movies, all the way back to the Varsity Theater in Davis, CA for Saturday morning matinees when I was a little boy, I have spent hours of my life setting in one more time to a good story, cinematically-told.Along the way I met Donald Drew (author of Images of Man: A Critique of the Contemporary Cinema), who one day brought me with him to see a film, and he took out of h … [Read more...]

3 Resources to Help You Listen

by Marcus GoodyearOriginally posted at TheHighCalling.orgLast week, I messed up at work. Publicly. In a meeting with some colleagues, I became defensive when a conversation wasn’t going the direction I wanted it to go. I took it personally. I got frustrated. And I shut down.The folks in the room weren’t sure what happened.Heck, I wasn’t sure myself, so I spent some time this weekend reflecting. I asked for forgiveness. I sent notes of encouragement to everyone at the meeting. And I … [Read more...]

A New Paradigm for Children’s Ministry

The purpose of a church's children’s ministry should be to partner with parents to encourage children to place their faith in Jesus Christ and to instill in these children a Christian worldview.This philosophy has a number of components; let me break it down:"To partner with parents"The main task is to train and encourage parents to personally live according to a Christian worldview and then to offer practical ways that they can impress this lifestyle of faith onto their children. The chu … [Read more...]