Belayed for life…

4:30 AM. I'm awake, packed, and walk into the guest room where I nudge my son Noah.  "Wake up.  Climbing time!"  Once conscious, he too is up and packed, so that we're on the road, by 5AM, cruising northward for an hour before stopping for breakfast at Denny's.7:00 AM.  We leave the Denny's parking lot just as the sky behind the Cascades to the east is brightening, as we drive together up a road we've driven hundreds of time, only this time is a time unlike any other.  In the past, we were on t … [Read more...]

Hitting the wall and breaking through it

I love the Old Testament, mostly because it provides me with an amazing picture of what it means to walk with God. Israel's journey out of slavery, through the wilderness, and into the land of promise is filled with lessons and examples for us as we move from the slavery of our shame, failures, addictions, and fears, into the heart space of rest, peace, joy, and hope.  One of the things we learn from Israel's journey is that everyone faces barriers, and that getting from the "here" of bondage to … [Read more...]

Obama Faith – The Problem of Two Kingdoms

I will never, if I live to be 100, understand the wedding of a particular political party (left or right) with Christianity.  The "religious right" days of the eighties, or the neo-religious right resurgence of the Tea Party, are both examples of politicians portraying themselves as "God's Party."   It's all reminiscent of the "Essenes," "Zealots," "Pharisees," and "Herodians," four different sects afoot in Israel when Jesus walked on the scene around 30AD (you can hear about them here).His a … [Read more...]

Obama Faith – The Problem of Two Kingdoms

I will never, if I live to be 100, understand the wedding of a particular political party (left or right) with Christianity.  The "religious right" days of the eighties, or the neo-religious right resurgence of the Tea Party, are both examples of politicians portraying themselves as "God's Party."   It's all reminiscent of the "Essenes," "Zealots," "Pharisees," and "Herodians," four different sects afoot in Israel when Jesus walked on the scene around 30AD (you can hear about them here).His a … [Read more...]

Welcome to College – here’s some advice

School's in, and for those of you who read this and are in college, I'd like to offer a word of welcome.  As the pastor of a church with lots of university students in it, one of my favorite Sundays of the year is the one when you arrive, back from your summer experiences, to jump into another formative year of education.  As a pastor, I feel incredibly privileged to share, in a small way, in that formation.  I know that these are some of the most significant years of your life, know that the de … [Read more...]

Welcome to College – here’s some advice

School's in, and for those of you who read this and are in college, I'd like to offer a word of welcome.  As the pastor of a church with lots of university students in it, one of my favorite Sundays of the year is the one when you arrive, back from your summer experiences, to jump into another formative year of education.  As a pastor, I feel incredibly privileged to share, in a small way, in that formation.  I know that these are some of the most significant years of your life, know that the de … [Read more...]

Lessons learned from downed trees…

I came home yesterday in the late afternoon and wondered, as I climbed the steps to my upstairs office, how our backyard redwood tree had managed to grow so rapidly that I could see branches wafting in the breeze through the office window, some 35 feet from the tree!  I looked out and saw the terrible truth that the tree had moved.  Our redwood had three trunks and now has only two, as one of them fell yesterday, across the fence and landing on the the roof of our neighbor.  Ouch!  Landing - on - … [Read more...]

The Divine Invitation: Higher, More Beautiful…

At end of his life, Paul declares that he's not done growing spiritually when he says, "Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.  Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what Lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians … [Read more...]


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