Category: Life & Learning

The Jesus centered wheel needs an alignment…

“How does Jesus pointing people to God the Father line up with the emphasis on Jesus in preaching?” I asked during a conference. “It seems with our emphasis on Jesus in the Scriptures we are forgetting God the Father, who Jesus pointed to, submitted…

Our arrogance of judging history

A professor of mine would often quip “May you live in interesting times.” For sure we live in such an occasion. Regardless of viewpoint, people sense something is off. Words such as division and polarization abound, and everyone is a Nazi or bigot in…

Sabbatical: On the flip side

It is weird to be on the other side of the sabbatical. Loads of planning and coordination to pull the venture off, the actual sabbatical, and now back to grind and figuring out what a new normal will be. Here are some random thoughts,…

Sabbatical planning: Why go?

Planning for a sabbatical is interesting. Also interesting are the discussions surrounding it. Some pastors, desperately needing one, wishfully happy, and others who believe in it give a holy thumbs up. There is also the ‘what-about, I didn’t, yada yada’ statements. Here is the…

Restoring the childhood we stole from kids

As a society we are pontificating about how to stop school violence. The focus is on shootings at the moment, but there are other forms of harm that are rampant in our schools. In these ‘debates’ the question is often given, “What are your…

What an NRA rifle range instructor taught me

The slander of the NRA bothers me greatly for a number of reasons. The biggest is the false motives assigned to them. The summer camp I attended had NRA certified instructors man the rifle range. As a boy I loved guns and all things…

The illusion of control

You cannot control outcomes, you can only control how you respond to them. In various types of crises I see people trying to control outcomes. This is futile. You don’t have that much power. If we try to control things we can actually make…

Book Review: The Emotionally Secure Couple by Joe Martino

Change is possible. One of the biggest changes we need is the courage to engage in conflict rather than run from it, only to have an explosion. In the entirety of my ministry, conflict resolution, or peacemaking, is the most often used skill set…

Moving forward

One of the biggest things that holds us back is ourselves. We often get stuck because of our own thinking and attitudes. We also think with an “I’ve arrived” mentality than a “joy in the journey” one. Each situation and aspect of life calls…

Human depravity is a real thing

Nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes. Both those statements are frequently said by all. When the church says that people are broken, depraved, sinners, etc. people seem to become unglued. There is a flurry of criticism on churches for being abusive because they…

Entitlement is our prison

Many different things in our society seem to have a common thread: Entitlement. This is a far cry from mere rights or exercising one’s rights. It even moves beyond can vs should into the realm of demand. Entitlement is the superhero of selfishness. It…

Neo-asceticism: Why we cringe at being blessed

We tend to react or repeat things rather than respond to things. Many level headed Christians have grave concerns with the “prosperity Gospel.” This teaches that being in Jesus gets you massive Earthly blessings. Living it up is seen as being godly. This is…