November 6, 2018

In preparation for an upcoming online debate about PSA [Penal Substitutionary Atonement] Theory, I started wondering whether or not Jesus, or any of the Gospel authors, specifically communicated the Gospel as being about Jesus dying on the cross for our sins, or to appease the wrath of God, etc.   In the process of exploring this question, I started with John 3:16 because, growing up, I had always equated it with the crucifixion. However, I realized that this entire conversation… Read more

November 2, 2018

Tribalism is human nature. We tend to gather with those who are most like us. Whether that’s people who love the same music, or the same sports team, or share the same values, or beliefs, or sense of humor. Jesus understood this. He didn’t tell us to stop being tribal. But, he did try to show us another way to think of who was in, our outside, of our tribe. When he told the Parable of the Good Samaritan, for… Read more

October 31, 2018

  When God established rules for who could – and who could not – enter into or serve within the Tabernacle, and later the Temple of God, He made a curious prohibition against those who were castrated, or who “had their testicles crushed”. [See Lev. 21:20] These people are more commonly referred to in the Scriptures as “eunuchs”. Later, through the prophet Isaiah, God made these eunuchs a promise: “Let not the eunuch say, “Behold, I am a dry tree.”… Read more

October 30, 2018

Christians, we have a huge problem. Instead of following the teachings of Jesus, we’re mostly waiting around for Jesus to come back and fix everything. For example, we live in a violent world. War, genocide, murder, hate crimes, mass shootings, and riots are commonplace in our world. Instead of seeing this as proof that we have more work to do, we tend to throw our hands in the air and say something like, “this is just the way things are”… Read more

October 26, 2018

  Nearly every Saturday morning I used to drive my two teenage boys up to a collectibles warehouse in Diamond Bar, California for the morning. It’s one of the main things the three of us loved to do together on a regular basis, and I loved spending that time with them as often as possible. One weekend, as we drove underneath an overpass my oldest son pointed out a hand-drawn sign that someone had fastened to the outside of the… Read more

October 24, 2018

In spite of how often we hear that immigrants are a drain on our economy and we need to build a fence after we deport all of them, the truth is quite the opposite. According to the Wall Street Journal, which recently surveyed 46 economists, immigration has been very good for the U.S. economy.  Here’s why: “Immigrants fill in the gaps of our labor market, at both the high and low ends of the skill spectrum.” In other words, “America’s… Read more

October 24, 2018

  My wife and I recently celebrated our 29th wedding anniversary. On the card she made for me was a heart-shaped labyrinth and on the inside she wrote: “I found out that labyrinth’s aren’t supposed to be difficult or confusing, but simply about the journey to the center. This spoke to me as far as our relationship together and with God. We are travelling to the center, or the heart, and that alone is a blessing. What a sweet gift… Read more

October 19, 2018

In preparation for an upcoming debate about the doctrine of Penal Substitutionary Atonement, my adversary asked me if it was necessary for Jesus to die before we could enter the Kingdom of God. This is a great question! First of all, let’s establish what the Gospel is, and then we can answer that question. The Gospel – the “Good News” – that Jesus came to proclaim was simply this: “Repent! The Kingdom of God is at hand.” We find Jesus… Read more

October 18, 2018

We talk a lot in the house church movement about “Being the Church” versus “Going to Church” but what does that really mean? What does it look like in practical terms to “be the Church”? I can only speak for myself and share what we’ve experienced in our own house church family regardign this idea. A few years ago, when my wife Wendy and I started a house church out of our home called “The Mission,” part of our rationale… Read more

October 16, 2018

“And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken the child in his arms, he said, “Whoever receives a child like this in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not only me, but also the Father who sent me.” [Mark 9:33-37] Such a simple, yet profound illustration here by Jesus. I fear it is often overlooked for its simplicity, sadly. So, I’d like to take a moment to… Read more

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