Today, our nation celebrates Independence Day, the day where we commemorate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, the sure sign of our nations freedom from the oppression that was being experienced under the monarch of the United Kingdom. On this day, 241 years ago, the founders of our nation shed the labels of the British Empire and declared that they were the United States of America, a new nation where religious freedom, freedom of press, and freedom of expression… Read more

In early June, 2018, I went on my first pilgrimage to the Holy Land. As a Christian pastor, I had been yearning to take this pilgrimage for my entire life- to be in the land where the stories of scripture occurred, to follow in the footsteps and set my gaze on the very stones that Jesus himself would have seen was an experience that I believed would bolster my faith and renew my spirit in ways I could never imagine…. Read more

Growing up, I was taught that God desired me to basically be perfect. If I thought any so-called “lustful thoughts”, if I considered any idea that was contrary to what scripture was said to think, if I was told that I had committed a “sin”. But that wasn’t even the disturbing part. I was told that the power of sin was that it could separate me from God. That if I thought, acted, or believed in any way that was… Read more

We are living in an era where claiming to be a Christian is becoming less and less appealing. Those who most publicly tout their adherence to this faith that claims to center on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth are often those whose lives have little to no resemblance to this first century Rabbi who shunned power, privilege, and wealth in favor of reclining at the table of the outcast and marginalized. This is why I was so… Read more

“Truth—is as old as God— His Twin identity And will endure as long as He A Co-Eternity— And perish on the Day Himself is borne away From Mansion of the Universe A lifeless Deity.” Emily Dickinson   What are we talking about when we talk about “truth”? On one hand, the answer to this question seems pretty obvious. On the other hand, especially in our current age, understanding exactly what we mean when we say “truth” is pretty elusive. After… Read more

In our current cultural climate, there has been a lot of talk about “Privilege.” A lot of folks have been forced to examine the ways that our society has been built to favor a certain type of people at the expense of others. We often hear talk about “White Privilege”- it’s the reality that Western Culture was designed by white, European, straight, men, in order to function on their behalf, make their lives easier and better, and give them advantages… Read more

This sermon was originally preached at Missiongathering Christian Church in San Diego, CA. Following the intertestamental period, in the first century, the Jewish world was becoming gradually Hellenized, which means it was adapting to and adopting Greek and Roman culture and worldview because the Greeks and Romans ruled over the province of Israel. During this period, a large number of Jewish Rabbis were rising up claiming to be “Messiahs” which was a word that simply means “anointed one”, and is a… Read more

This sermon was originally preached at Missiongathering Christian Church in San Diego, CA.  Today, we’re going to specifically look at the Hebrew Bible or Jewish Scriptures, commonly called by Christians “The Old Testament”. And to begin, the first note I want to make this morning is this: did you realize that it’s actually quite disrespectful to refer to the Hebrew Scriptures as “The Old Testament”? When we do that, we’re actually proclaiming some sort of Christian superiority that our Scriptures, the… Read more

The following is a sermon that was delivered at Missiongathering Christian Church in San Diego, CA.  I really love, and really dislike the Bible. On one hand, there has been no book that has shaped my life more than the Bible. Since I was twelve, I’ve read the Bible daily, I have a degree in the Bible, and I quote the Bible frequently. I’ve traveled the world, seeking to walk in the footsteps of the Bible’s authors, and have relied… Read more

This is the final post in a series of blog posts outlining principles of inner-reformation taken from the life of St. Francis and Martin Luther. This series was prepared as a series of talks for the Order of Lutheran Franciscans 2017 Retreat.  Conclusion: A New Reformation Era As we approach the edge of a new era of spirituality and a new reformation of spirit, it is important that we as spiritual seekers and leaders find rhythms in which we can live our… Read more

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