October 2, 2015

Feeling grateful today for the simple things, like rice and beans. I was chowing down on some earlier this evening, leftovers from Tuesday when I cooked a large pot of it. Not joking, this was probably the 150th time I’ve done this in the past few years. Due to budget constraints, I have eaten this meal on many occasions and am amazed at how I have not gotten tired of it, though that might be because I have learned to season this entree (a little... Read more

September 29, 2015

I will spare you the details as to why I have not yet upgraded my cell phone, but I am among the small minority of Americans who have not made the switch to a Smartphone. Make no mistake, I’d like one, but in some ways I am glad that I do not have such a device just yet. Here’s the phone I currently use. Aging gracefully, isn’t it? I know I’ll sound like an old fuddy-duddy here, but I do find so much of modern... Read more

September 25, 2015

A few days ago I published this photo on my Facebook page. Within an hour it received over 100 likes. A full 24 hours after I posted it, the picture had been liked over 350 times (most ever on anything I’ve posted) and at last count 61 people had commented, most expressing their delight and amazement. I knew Francis was popular and, although I am not Roman Catholic, I have great respect for him. But even as I have read the... Read more

September 23, 2015

Suppose you take a flight to Paris and as you traipse through Charles de Gaulle airport you notice several groups of people speaking in different languages. It is a likely scenario in such an international setting. Might you point at those people and say “Hey, look at that bunch of drunks over there.” You would not? How interesting. As far as I can tell, that is the scene in Jerusalem during Shavuot in Acts 2. For those of you who follow the church calendar, we... Read more

September 18, 2015

When I was kid my family worked with a local refugee resettlement agency and helped some Vietnamese immigrants integrate into American life. During college I interned at that same agency and got to meet and know some precious families who had been granted asylum here in the US, mostly Cubans and Turks. You will not know until you do it how much a little kindness means to refugees who are stranded, or to families who have risked everything to escape their politically troubled or war-torn countries... Read more

September 15, 2015

Hopeless, powerless Christianity is utterly inexcusable. Period. For when a Christian receives the Holy Spirit, he or she is filled with the faith and power to believe and do that which is impossible, and that assignment starts in the here and now. Yet what exactly does that look like and how does that work, especially when too many believers in Jesus are not all that conscious of the Person in whom they live and are largely ignorant of the anointing and callings they carry?... Read more

September 11, 2015

Fourteen years ago I was a junior in high school sitting at my desk in Mrs. Funkhouser’s Math Analysis/Pre-Calculus class learning the difference between sine, cosine, and tangent when the principal came on the PA to inform us of the terrorist attacks in New York City. It is hard to believe that pivotal event in world history now lies near the midpoint of my life; I have been alive almost as many years since it happened as I have been alive before it... Read more

September 9, 2015

When Jesus gets attached to systemic injustices and religious abuse, the damage done to the gospel’s witness can certainly last a while. When those injuries are especially severe, people bristle at the mere mention of his name. This was a lesson I learned pretty quickly during my junior year of college. Ten years ago this week I began a four month long semester exchange at the University of Barcelona in Barcelona, Spain. It was my first time outside the United States, and making the transition from... Read more

September 4, 2015

I am currently working on a blog post on the manifestations of the Holy Spirit where I will explore in greater depth some of the stranger phenomena in Scripture, of which there is no shortage. But today I saw this great article from Trevin Wax over at the Gospel Coalition. Here’s a portion: In order to keep controversy from breaking out in a church, the members keep quiet about the Spirit altogether. They think that affirming the basic truths about the Spirit... Read more

September 1, 2015

Fascinating recent article in the Economist that explores close male friendships, or what are now commonly referred to as “bromances.” When is the last time you heard someone call a guy who dresses well and puts gel in his hair a “metrosexual”? According to the New York Times, use of that term peaked just over ten years ago and you rarely hear it anymore. Indeed, it does appear that we keep inventing new words and phrases to re-categorize people, relationships, and sex, but those labels prove futile insofar as what they seek... Read more

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