Safety: Vice or Virtue?

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My friend Christian died in the Austrian Alps this past spring, caught in an avalanche.  Jane Larson was struck by a falling rock in July and is alive and healing, but it could have gone either way.  Spend enough time in the mountains and you'll begin to compile an "in remembrance" list of those who died young.  The rest of us who venture out all have "almost" stories, enough to write a book, because to go high in the moutains is to move to the realm of uncertainty.  You can mitigate the risk to … [Read more...]

The Empire Has No Clothes – raw truth precedes real hope – Part One

The losses and damages characteristic of our present economy cannot be stopped, let alone restored, by “liberal” or “conservative” tweakings of corporate industrialism, against which the ancient imperatives of good care, homemaking, and frugality can have no standing. - Wendell BerryNow that Mitt Romney has effectively vanquished all other contenders, the real election posturing can begin, and we all know it won't be pretty.  More importantly though, we also know it won't be true, or at th … [Read more...]

Women in the Church – Snapshot of censorship and call for repentance

Eldon Epp is the author of a little book entitled Junia:  The First Woman Apostle.  It's a book about a single verse in the bible, Romans 16:7 which reads wildly differently, depending on your translation, because it's fraught (unnecessarily) with controversy.  Since this is a blog post and not a book, I'll summarize Epps conclusions, also offered in Scott McKnights marvelous e-book, Junia is not Alone (about the censure of females voices in Christendom).First the verse, translated without eq … [Read more...]

Loving People, Losing Life – The Gospel made Real

Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone.  But if it dies, it bears much fruit. Jesus the ChristJeremiah Small was a student who attended the Torchbearer Bible Schools, the family of schools where I am privileged to teach on a regular basis.  Jeremiah was teaching in Iraq until last week, when he was killed by one of his students, before turning the gun on himself.  An e-mail I received from one of his friends remembers Jeremiah this way:  He did much more tha … [Read more...]

All Poverty is Relational: What does that mean?

I'm riding my bike to work on a frosty morning this winter when I encounter a couple, dressed in poverty, arguing intensely on a street corner.  Their words do violence to each other until he finally storms away, hurt and raging, while she's left crying, waiting for the light to the change.  Both of them are dressed poorly; tattered sweatshirts (hood up on this cold morning), inadequate shoes, denim.  They have bags, small backpacks.As we go our different ways, I ponder the reality that my ch … [Read more...]

On Bringing Children into the World: Two Views

Is this a good time for children to be born?

“I would not want to bring a child into this world” she said gently, yet emphatically enough to leave no uncertainty about her conviction.  She was a student, travelling from her hometown of Ulm to Ravensberg, where she is studying to be an elementary school teacher.  Her eagerness to practice English, coupled with our mutual curiosity of each other’s cultures created the recipe for a good long conversation.  The train wound it’s way through southern Germany, from east to west, as we spoke of edu … [Read more...]

Following the Light

conversations about the future, as the shelter becomes clear

The latitude here in southern Germany is nearly identical to Seattle, which means that the number of daylight hours this time of year is very short.  Add a layer of fog to the shortness, and the daylight becomes so muted as to barely qualify as light.  The fog hides the sun, mutes the shadows, and makes forward progress challenging because one isn't looking at vistas - one is simply looking for next steps.This was the situation when I, along with my daughters and some friends, set out on a h … [Read more...]

Creation Care: A Modest Manifesto –

fall tree and sky

I'm in the mist of preparing to a preach a sermon this weekend about God's lavish love as revealed in His provision through creations beautiful and abundant gifts.  I'm privileged to see these gifts often because of where I live.  Just today, on a bike ride to and from the grocery store, there was a light show in the sky, painting the already vibrant trees in ever changing of hues of light.  Nearly everywhere I looked, people were taking pictures of the sky and trees. Just a few snowflakes fell, … [Read more...]


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