All New “Life Chapters” require these 5 perspectives:

Summers are always times of great transition for some subset of the population.  On the young end of the scale, people are graduating, moving, getting married.  On the older end, children are leaving home, or it's a time of career change, or retirement.  Life is fluid enough that it seems new chapters come along with astonishing regularity, so that the only thing that remains constant in our lives is the reality that they're changing.Since that's just the way it is, I was pondering whether th … [Read more...]

“Where’s this headed?” The importance of trajectory

I was on a morning walk recently with some friends in the mountains, and met someone on the walk who was visiting one of our neighbors.  We had a delightful conversation about the different things we'd done with our lives.  I told him that prior to living in Seattle I ran an outdoor program that was a blend of "Outward Bound" and "Bible Teaching".  (For those interested in such a program today, the best one I know of is in Austria, and you can learn of it here).  Then, right there, with the sun b … [Read more...]

Learning to Lead: Lamb-style

It's early - 5:30 or so, when I hear the first birds of morning as light and sound bid me to wake and join the living.  I lay in bed and ponder what Wednesday must have been like for Jesus during that week between the height of popularity and the unified chorus of "crucify him!" spewed from the lips of the jealous, and the angry, and the fearful.  The all knowing Jesus knew of his own impending death.  We know, too, that this was to be the moment in his life when his own will crossed that of the … [Read more...]

Raw Gospel – Convicting and Challenging

In a book filled with stunning events, one that surely must rank near the top of the list is found, almost in passing, in John 13, where Jesus, just hours prior to his arrest and execution, washes his disciples feet.  That the maker of the universe would stoop so low is, itself, a shocker.  People of rank aren't prone to embrace the towel and basin, not even in the best of times.  But on this night we're given clues into Jesus mindset as he enters this evening, and it's these "behind the cu … [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...]

Cultivation – Freeing ourselves from “the latest and greatest”

I normally teach in Germany at the end of November, when the harvest has just come in and the farmers are taking a break.  This year, though, I'm privileged to be in this agrarian region of southern Germany (wine, apples, honey, plus much more) at the end of winter and the farms are anything but sleepy.  The vines are being trimmed.  The soil is being tilled, as I encounter numerous tractors on my morning run.  Folks are in their yard gardens, prepping, planting, trimming, cleaning, turning the s … [Read more...]

Ready, Set, Lent. Why it matters – more than ever.

"And early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there." Mark 1:35I'm ready for Lent.Because Lent is a time of "retreating into the wilderness with Jesus", I say bring it on.I'm embarrassed by what Christianity is becoming in the west:Individualism is touted, at the expense of deeply committed community, through rap and poetry about love for Jesus, but hatred for religion, failing to mention that … [Read more...]

Obama, God, and Wrong Conversations

Obama failed to give thanks to God in his online Thanksgiving address.  He thanked God in his written address.  He thanked God last year.  He closes speeches, as every president ever has, with "May God bless the United States of America".  None of this matters though to Fox News, who obsessed over his Bush like omission (Bush also failed to mention God in his final Thanksgiving address).  The failure was offensive enough that one paper wrote  his comments are "just what we would expect from a Mar … [Read more...]