If Trees Could Speak… learning Faithfulness from the Redwoods

Esther Dahlstrom: third from the left, 2nd row, staff pic from 1967

A parable...sort of.After unpacking our things I'm eager to show my wife and oldest daughter the sacred ground that is my grandma's house at Mt. Hermon.  It's a very short walk down to Park Way, and hers is the first house we see.  I stand in the dusty gravel parking space and inhale.  The convergence of space, warmth of California redwood sap in the air, and flowers in the garden along the path to the door.  It's all still there, the same.I show my family, explain to them how this place … [Read more...]

Shin Dong-hyuk: Lessons about radical gospel freedom, from Camp 14

 Shin Dong-hyuk is the only person known to have escaped from Camp 14, a horrific concentration camp in North Korea where the prisoners are incarcerated, not as individuals, but as families;  parents, grandparents, siblings, and children, are all arrested in an attempt to wipe out the scourge of rebellion.  They will work long hours on starvation rations and, if they're obedient, generally die by the age of 45.  Children are born inside the camp and live their entire lives there.  No … [Read more...]

Keeping on…because life is like snow; and rain

it was there, but I haven't seen it since November

You're in a relationship with a particularly annoying family member or coworker.  You're doing your job at work, but nobody seems to appreciate or notice, even when you go the extra mile.  You're trying to feast on Christ (like I speak of here), as you seeking to develop some habits of Bible reading or prayer, but most of these meetings your mind is elsewhere, because the Bible is, let's face it, hard to understand.   You're exercising and eating right, and have been at it now for, let's say, tw … [Read more...]

The gift of a stone in your shoe (or, “How to build a better life”)

I'm running to the library on a Saturday afternoon because there's a book waiting for me there about the Grand Canyon.  The run will be 3.4 miles, and somewhere between the first and second miles a tiny stone found it's way into my minimalist shoe.  It's smaller than a rice-krispy, but the level of annoyance is out of proportion to the stone's size.  Even so, I ran on, feeling a mild pinch underfoot with each step, hoping it will go away on its own.I arrive at the library, procure my book an … [Read more...]

Keeping Sexual Issues in Proportion: This isn’t baseball – it’s faith!

Baseball was in the news last week and the lesson it offers us has everything to do with how the church and many within it view sexuality.  We desperately need to learn that being the people of God is a higher calling than being a sportswriter.  Unfortunately, it seems that much of the evangelical world doesn't yet know that, and as a result, there are lots of Christ followers on the bench, or worse, on the streets because they've been judged guilty of high crimes along the lines of John 8, with … [Read more...]

Words for Advent: Anticipation

P1060308

It's Wednesday night.  I'll be teaching this evening, and then again tomorrow for several sessions.  Then there's graduation on Friday night, where I'll be privileged to share for a few minutes before the students celebrate the completion of their time here at Tauernhoff.It's always around this point in my "two weeks and change" trip to Europe that I begin to long for home.  This trip will be extended for a few wonderful days of fun with my daughter who teaches in Germany, as she visits me he … [Read more...]

The Keymaker – and the keys to peace and joy

The Keymaker who drove 50 miles

I needed a locksmith, and couldn't find one in the closest town who'd be willing to drive up to our place in the mountains.  We rent the place to guests, believing and hoping that time spent out of the city and away from television will provide an environment where people can encounter God, perhaps hear God's voice with greater clarity.  A key had gone missing, and we needed to change some locks, but nobody was willing to drive 20 miles to visit us.50 miles though, is another story.  I ca … [Read more...]

Are we there yet? How to live outside of sexual (or any other) Nirvana

Because I'm going to be preaching and teaching on the subject of sexual ethics and relationships this winter, I'm reading and talking about sex a lot these days.  I've recently read this, received this in the mail from someone, and just finished this on a recent flight.  This last book was terribly powerful; well written, transparent, as he shared his joy in what I call "shalom moments" while swimming in a sea of unfulfilled desires. His struggle is profound and near the surface because Wesley s … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X