Archive - 2018

1
Summer Defrag
2
What I Learned From Four Countries in Four Weeks
3
God’s Hidden Heroes
4
THE OTHER HOLY LAND
5
How Could God?
6
The Hope for Tomorrow
7
Is Real Change Possible?
8
Here’s to Standing Tall
9
Here’s To Substantive Sermons
10
The First Rule of the First Rule of Life

Summer Defrag

It’s a sign of my spiritual sickness that I rarely take a full Sabbath until I come to the Pend Oreille River. It is a sign of my spiritual health that, when I get away, I take it. How important is this? More important than I realize. In an essential summer read, A.J. Swoboda’s Subversive[…]

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What I Learned From Four Countries in Four Weeks

I knew it would be an ambitious undertaking, but I and eleven others decided to discover what God is doing in the Middle East. It wasn’t a tour. This isn’t some travelogue. Sure we wanted to see some things—the Pyramids, Galilee at sunrise, the Jordanian desert, and the fortress at Byblos. We wanted to experience[…]

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God’s Hidden Heroes

In this part of the world, there are pockets of beauty—beaches on the aqua blue Mediterranean, mountain overlooks that refresh the soul, and green groves of banana plants. The hospitality and food choices are to die for. But there is the darker side to–the Syrian refugee tents and Palestinian camps. Here is a region where[…]

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THE OTHER HOLY LAND

Daria wakes up every morning to a predictable routine. She is wheeled in to a room with some forty others, who are also in wheelchairs. She will sit around a table with four or five others, while time creeps along. There is little conversation. Most have vacant stares. One of the more eventful moments of[…]

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How Could God?

Up here in the wilderness, one can be alone with one’s thoughts, one’s faith and doubts—as well as probe the same in others. I did this last night. I began reading Jack Deere’s Even In Our Darkness. Being a graduate of Dallas Seminary, I knew a little bit about this former instructor, but after reading[…]

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The Hope for Tomorrow

11:00 am this Saturday, another group of future ministry leaders will join in a seminary processional to be inspired, cheered on, prayed over, and sent out. After the pictures, graduates will set aside their gowns and get on with life. Some (hopefully most) will tack their diplomas on a wall and flourish in ministry. There[…]

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Is Real Change Possible?

I regularly see my psychologist. I come to his office and pour out my complaints, discuss my neuroses and my phobias, and sometimes expose my deepest doubts. He is a wonderful therapist. The great thing is that he is free. Norm is a colleague here at Western with his office next to mine. Recently, we[…]

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Here’s to Standing Tall

In Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life, his first rule is: “Stand Up Straight with Your Shoulders Back.” If you are facing resentment, stand up! Feeding on it, he warns, will turn resentment into monsters. And by the way, you don’t have to be a loser. If you present yourself as someone defeated, people will[…]

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Here’s To Substantive Sermons

Monday mornings I sometimes compare notes with others who have survived the terrors of a Sunday pulpit to live another day. I ask how they are faring. A secondary question is whether or not our congregants survived. Did they hear a word from God? Did the Spirit show up? Were they rocked out of their[…]

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The First Rule of the First Rule of Life

Someone once warned, “Be careful what you read. This is what you will write.” Since I am writing a lot, I am giving more careful attention to what is entering my cranium. A current read is Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life. I’m not alone. It is a current bestseller. It is a demanding, thought-provoking, upsetting,[…]

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