clothes are not bodies – church is not faith

The most memorable gift I've ever received is a used fleece jacket previously owned by climbing legend Fred Becky.  Fred is to climbing the Cascade mountains what Babe Ruth is to hitting baseballs,  or LeBron James "is" (hahaha) to basketball - Fred's a legend, one who's mastered his craft utterly.  At ninety years old, he's still seen in the Patagonia store in Seattle, and roaming the Cascade mountains.  When I opened the gift and heard the name of the previous owner, the garment took on new mea … [Read more...]

Powers and World Forces: Sugar, Salt, Fat, Coke, Kellogs, Kraft, Coke.

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness...." Ephesians 6:12This story on NPR caught my attention yesterday because it came just as I was doing something I rarely do anymore:  stuffing my face with chicken McNuggets from McDonalds while I was driving home from a study day in the mountains.  It wasn't the best of days.  Forgetting the computer cord meant was I done studying (or at least writing my sermon) earlier than I … [Read more...]

The gift of a stone in your shoe (or, “How to build a better life”)

I'm running to the library on a Saturday afternoon because there's a book waiting for me there about the Grand Canyon.  The run will be 3.4 miles, and somewhere between the first and second miles a tiny stone found it's way into my minimalist shoe.  It's smaller than a rice-krispy, but the level of annoyance is out of proportion to the stone's size.  Even so, I ran on, feeling a mild pinch underfoot with each step, hoping it will go away on its own.I arrive at the library, procure my book an … [Read more...]

It’s my body, and I’ll do what I want to – the myth of private sexual ethics

"We're two consenting adults.  What we do behind a closed door is nobody's business."  There, in those two sentences, you find the prevailing, public, sexual ethic of western civilization.  By "Public Ethic" I mean to say that this is what, collectively, we believe.  There are sexual ethics to the left of this that we reject as a culture (pedophilia, rape, abuse) and to the right ("sexual practice should be confined to expression between a man and woman who are married"), but both sides are out … [Read more...]

The Covert Gnostics among us…and how to repent

People who read blogs like this one are often people like me.  I like to live inside my head, so much so that there are days, (especially when I'm writing a book), that I never leave my chair.  On such days, when my imagination is running wild, and I'm using the building blocks of letters, words, phrases, to create something, I don't even notice my inactivity.  "It's good to think!" I tell myself, as I move from desk to kitchen, back to desk, back to kitchen, before finally, late at night, ma … [Read more...]

Imperfections…the soil for intimacy

When I was in high school, I went to a conference where I received a red notebook which contained important and life-changing information about self-image.  It was there I learned the powerful truth of Psalm 139, that I am "fearfully and wonderfully made" and that I could wake up and look at in the mirror every morning believing that God had made me "just the way I am."  I tried, but could never quite get there because in my most honest moments, I knew that there were things about me that I'd w … [Read more...]

On pins and needles: faith and acupuncture

If you visit this blog regularly, you know that I believe in the authority of the Bible as the final voice regarding what God has to say about our world, where it came from, what's wrong with it, where history is headed, and how humankind can be restored to God.  You know, too, that I believe in the uniqueness and centrality of Christ, and preach that He is indeed, the door, the way, the truth, and the life - the single door through which all must walk for eternal life.  I agree with my most c … [Read more...]

Grace, generosity, gratitude, God – the real 4G network

There was no way it could happen.  Last Thursday afternoon, I was watching ESPN and happened to see that the "biggest series of the year" was about to happen for the Red Sox, as they met the Yankees at Fenway park in Boston.  Then it dawned on me that, with the red-eye flight out of Seattle Friday night, I'd be IN Boston on Saturday, which meant that, in theory at least, I could go to the Sox/Yankees, in August, with these two teams tied for first, at one of the few remaining ballparks in the c … [Read more...]