Wednesday, May 29, 2013


I don’t believe in a God who makes devoted followers rich or helps them avoid the consequences of their actions or relieves them of life’s messy circumstances. God did not wave a wand and make Jesus’ life all better; at least not in the sense of fixing things. But God does go through life with Jesus and promised that, in the end, Jesus would know more life than he ever imagined. Jesus is alive today. Forever.

God allows some to be rich and encourages them to be generous.

God allows some to make poor choices and encourages them to be forgiving.

God allows some to have trials and encourages them to develop character.

God holds us when the unspeakable and incomprehensible enter our lives.

God does provide for luck, both good and bad, in the Divine Plan. 

And, once in a while, God does whenever suits God and no explanations are offered.

What do you believe?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Google CEO, Larry Page, was featured in a recent blog I read. Eric Dye reported that Page said this.

“We should be building great things that don’t exist.”  

Rather than being right or following the rules, I think this is the primary vocation of a Christian: making something out of nothing.

Right off the bat, Scripture lets us know that God creates. This is her primary business. And God creates out of nothing. Later, God follows up with creating life out of death in the Cross. And we are created in God’s image as it states in the Book of Genesis. We are to do God-stuff. Our entire life’s mission is creating something out of nothing. Not timidly trying to conserve what we have.

Kids inherently understand this vocation. We knock it out of many of them once we deem the “cute” phase has run its course.

So, what will you create today (or at least start on today) that does not exist? To take that risk is to say, “I believe.” To squander that risk is to proclaim, “I don’t.”

I will vouch for you in all your delicious messiness.

Want to keep up with me while I am on Sabbatical?

I will be using social media to log my time for myself. I am glad to share it with you. I will be reading, taking some classes and visiting churches for what I can glean from them.

Tune in if you would like. See links at right.

Thursday, May 23, 2013


This man died for you. You need no more validation than that. 

Most of us are on a tear to accumulate the most money, square footage, cars, sex appeal, status, theological superiority, rightness, trophies, grades, certificates and atta-girls as possible. They will prove our worth!

Guess what? They are all in the trash can one day. We become an entry on someone’s genealogical chart.

Jesus said on a weekend in the spring two millennia ago, “You, my child, have infinite, inherent worth.” “Claim it and experience life as much as you can.” “You have nothing to prove.”

Be an amateur today. Do something “for the love of it” because you are free from doing it to prove your value.

Monday, May 20, 2013


I make a living running a non-profit organization, a church. I also pastor a tremendous group of people. Consequently, I spend a great deal of time trying to match the gifts of people with various ministries. It is an art more than a science. I ask for volunteers a lot. I love when I get a match that allows a person work within her “sweet spot,” ministering using her God-given bent.

God says,

Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 (Amplified Bible)

You may remember it this way.

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 (KJV)

The passage means that we are to learn our children’s (and our own) bent (gifts, talents, inclinations, interests) and leverage it as much as possible, respecting the God-infused identity of each unique person.

How many times to we say, “That’s not my gift,” when turning down a ministry opportunity but really cannot answer what our gift (bent) is? How many of us mold our children to follow in our footsteps (interests) rather than their bent? Will they be as confused as we are?

May you be free to experiments to find your bent and may our children be given the same freedom. This is messy but necessary, holy, work.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Draw Near

They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. “Sir,” they said, “we would like to see Jesus.” John 12:21 (NIV)

and since we have a great priest (Jesus Christ) over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:21-23 (NIV)

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-34 (NIV)

‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:40 (NIV)

Hardly a day goes by where I would not like Jesus sitting across the table. Over coffee, he would love me, challenge me, hold me, explain things to me and rebuke me (get me off my butt) – generally make life better.

If you would like to see Jesus today – suffer. Jesus’ love was in the shape of a Cross. Sacrificially serve someone in need without any expectation or possibility of repayment. If life has dealt you a blow, ask Christ to enter into it. He always does. And wait. He is there. Honest.

From the Book of Common Prayer – Good Friday

O God of unchangeable power and eternal light: Look
favorably on your whole Church, that wonderful and sacred
mystery; by the effectual working of your providence, carry
out in tranquility the plan of salvation; let the whole world
see and know that things which were cast down are being
raised up, and things which had grown old are being made
new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection
by him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus
Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity
of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.