Just getting on with it…

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This week I'm in the stunningly green English countryside with friends from around the globe who gather every four years general conference of Torchbearers.  It's difficult to accurately portray the power of what happens when 200 leaders from 27 Bible centers around the world gather in one room to pray, worship, study the scriptures together, and do business as they seek, each on their own unique setting, to make God's good reign visible through the power of the resurrected Jesus.Every day … [Read more...]

Taking Light Seriously… Living Light Loudly

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We took an evening church history tour in Edinburgh Scotland this week.  It reminded me of the deplorable reputation the church has earned by its wars, lust for power, territorialism, and torture.  You don’t need to know all the details of the history to understand why one friend said, “All the ‘isms’ of our world have, on the whole, done more harm than good - and that’s why I’m not interested in Christianity”  Indeed, one can see a proportional relationship between the rise of Christianity's pow … [Read more...]

Words for Advent: Life

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I come down off the slopes, having spent a day skiing in Austria with some friends after a very full week of teaching students, meeting staff here, and doing church work at home.  The day couldn't have been better, and the upcoming night was perhaps, for me, the highest privilege of all.  I was the speaker for graduation this evening.  I love young adults, and at the end of spending a week with them, to be granted the privilege of offering final words before they sail from the shelter of these mo … [Read more...]

Words for Advent: Suffering and Shalom

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There are moments of perfection in life, moments you wish could be frozen forever.  Such was the hour this past Sunday as I walked with my daughter and her boyfriend on a now familiar path through the countryside on the southern border of Germany.  Everything about the walk was perfect.  It had been snowing all morning, but stopped just prior to our walk leaving the landscape and architecture blanketed in snow white.  The light was sensual, the conversation perfectly appropriate. The land its … [Read more...]

A Word for Advent: “Do not be afraid”

You can't go anywhere in the world these days without a reason to be afraid staring you in the face.   Here in Germany, people are worried about all the money they're giving to other parts of Europe as an attempt to hold the economic EU together.  This is taking it's toll here in a similar way that the fears of the fiscal cliff are taking their toll in America, especially as the clock ticks and we hear nothing other than how some elements of our political system are so entrenched in their id … [Read more...]

10 things for which I’m praying during Advent…

10 things I’m praying for this Advent… Posted on November 10, 2010Advent season is here, and I offer this re-print from an earlier year.  I'll share later this week, from Germany where I'm teaching this week.A favorite listen for this season comes from Sara Grove’s Live Prison tour music, –  I listen to Sara sing, “Star of Wonder, star of light, star of royal beauty bright…guide us…o guide us…o guide us.”With Sara, I call out in prayer to our Lord this Christmas season – guide us – … [Read more...]

“Freud’s Last Session” and the Art of Civility

In the span of a few short days, I had two experiences which, together, served to expose a serious crack in the edifice of American culture.  First, I attended a conference in New York where I listened to Os Guinness speak briefly about the serious shortage of civility in the public square.  This was part of a larger conference on science of faith, but the polarization of American culture extends far beyond conversations between young earth creationists, intelligent design advocates, and t … [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...]


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