Wordless Sermon: Lessons learned from climbing with my son

"First of all a good alpinist should be a good man and this is a really difficult goal to achieve, often a whole life is not enough." - H. BarmasseWith ten days left before his wedding, my son and I took two days out of our busy lives and climbed together.  It was supposed to be a whole family affair, but things happen and in the end it was the two of us, tied together on a rope, making our way up a few faces in the Icicle canyon of Leavenworth.Outside is what we do, what we've always … [Read more...]

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...]

“The Demise of Guys” – a book review that’s going places”

Philip Zimbardo and Nikita Duncan have written a marvelous little book called "The Demise of Guys".  In reality it's little more than an expanded version of this TED talk, and is far more diagnostic than prescriptive.  Still, the first step in fixing anything is determining the extent to which it's broken, and what some of the causes of that brokenness might be.  If exposing dysfunction and it's underlying causes is important, these two shine bright, relentless sunshine on the state of men, and w … [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...]

Hope for the New Year: Let’s get beyond “NO”

If history tells us one thing, it's that humans are good at saying NO to systems that don't work.  If our species were a single body, we'd have an excellent immune system.  When oppressive regimes arise, it's only a matter of time until they collapse.  The weight of their own corruption weakens them until an uprising from the masses leads to regime change.  The toppling of empires is nearly always welcomed with fanfare.  We like burning flags, and effigies, and toppling statues.  There's usually … [Read more...]

Getting stuff done… 3 tools for a more productive/creative 2012

"Most of us have two lives.  The life we live, and the unlived life within us." Steven PressfieldThe words of Jesus percolate down into the soil of my heart:  "to whom much is given, much is required".  I take stock of my health, education, access to clean water, abundance of shelter, opportunities for travel and global worldview, healthy marriage, great children, and material wealth.  "Yes" I say to myself, "that's me".  I'm part of the group of which much will be required because I've been … [Read more...]

The Covert Gnostics among us…and how to repent

People who read blogs like this one are often people like me.  I like to live inside my head, so much so that there are days, (especially when I'm writing a book), that I never leave my chair.  On such days, when my imagination is running wild, and I'm using the building blocks of letters, words, phrases, to create something, I don't even notice my inactivity.  "It's good to think!" I tell myself, as I move from desk to kitchen, back to desk, back to kitchen, before finally, late at night, ma … [Read more...]

“Individual Morality” = Oxymoronic Half Truth

A recent NY Times editorial exposes the reality that emerging generations have almost no sense of ethic and morality because, as they've been taught by our culture, "morality is a personal, individual matter."  It appears that, aside from the most obvious moral issues, such as the wrongness of rape and murder, 18-23 year olds have no consensus on issues like cheating on a test, driving drunk, or cheating on one's partner.When asked about the rightness or wrongness of situations that, in other … [Read more...]