You never built anything on your own…

It’s a long busy day, after a long busy weekend, and by the middle of the afternoon my blood sugar is lagging.  I know when that happens and the brain fog sets in, I’m prone to bouts of self-pity, whereby my ambitions to do nothing rise up and mock my calendar of obligations, my to-do lists, my roles and goals, and my possessions demanding my care.  At my worst I’m prone to over-react when I feel this way and romanticize… Read more

Two mountains, one choice. Choose Wisely

“…I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse.  So choose life in order that you may life, you and your descendants, by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him…”  Moses On labor day I went for a stroll with my wife and youngest daughter up in the Cascades.  We were on the famous Pacific Crest Trail for a few miles (and met a wonderful man who had… Read more

Strength, Weakness, and the Strength of Weakness

I spent part of the spring and early summer doing a little physical therapy because lately my elbows and right shoulder have been bothering me when I climb.  So once every two weeks I’d make my way to see a man who I consider to be a genius when it comes to helping people heal and maximize the capacity of the their body.  It turns out that his assistant attends the church I lead, and so we ended up having… Read more

Camp China – reminders of what really matters…

It had been years since I’d thought about Tienanmen Square until last night.  Like the rest of the world, I thought about it when it happened, and then I thought about again a few years later when I was speaking at a retreat of international students.  I was sitting with some of the students and each of them were sharing in turn why they did or didn’t believe in God.  I remember this man from China, then studying Physics at… Read more

What are you wearing today?

Warning:  No chicken sandwiches were eaten, or boycotted, in the production of this blog post.  I love this little bit in Colossians 3, which reads: “put on (or ‘drape yourself with’) a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”  The author goes on to declare that a community clothed in these will be quick to forgive and also won’t be inclined to pick at each other over every little thing (which is the meaning of ‘bearing with one another’). … Read more

Imagine: The Importance of Envisioning a Different World….

The authors of “Colossians Remixed” write:  If with Christ you died in your baptism to the principles of autonomous consumerism that still hold the world captive, then why do you live in a way that suggests that you are still in the iron grip of its ideological vision?  Why do you submit yourself to its regulations to consume as if there were no tomorrow, to live as if community were an impediment to personal fulfillment, to live as if everything… Read more

the danger of saying: “I just do what the Bible says…”

” I just follow the Bible” is a potentially ridiculous and dangerous thing to say.  If you’ve heard of the crusades, the travesties of colonization and land theft, the unholy wedding of violence and the name of Christ, you’ll know why. Take, for example, Ezra 7:26 where King Artaxerxes says: “Whoever will not observe the law of your God and the law of the king, let judgment be executed upon him strictly, whether for death or for banishment or for… Read more

Stories… and why we sometimes miss them

“Do you see this woman?” – Jesus the Christ, Luke 7:44 Camp is marvelous.  This is my second week speaking at camp this summer, having just completed a week at Sandy Cove on the east coast.  I love that there are families who invest their precious vacation weeks in gathering at a place where, as a family, they gain revelation from the scriptures, enjoy recreation, have all the meals provided, and sit amidst creation for a little time of breathing… Read more

The Prophets: Clues into “The Common Good”

There’s always a lens.  Your eye’s a lens, and if it gets tired, or old, or damaged, it can’t see what’s really there.  When that happens you get another lens.  Glasses bend the light and the distortion enables you to see clearly.  When I read through the prophets, I sometimes think that their way of communicating is a sort “light bending distortion” that’s intended to help people see more clearly.  Jeremiah after all, wears the same underwear for a multi-day… Read more

Daniel: The importance of being relevant and subversive

Theology should be done with the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other – Karl Barth My “coffee with God” times are taking me through the book of Daniel these days, and I’ve been refreshed by finding a model for what it actually means to live right in the thick of culture without allowing oneself to be taken captive by culture.  Daniel had some food limitations that were presumably related to his Jewish faith, and held to… Read more