April 30, 2013
Just today I was looking at Tweets from students I lovingly try to disciple and there was one overwhelmingly common thread: These students were all incredibly angry. Not just a bit upset. There were curse words aimed at life, aimed at people, aimed at the sky. Blame was being hurled, frustration was being spewed, and trash-talking was present too. It was too much to take in without commenting on. And so I like to think that this is my chance to write back in more than 140 characters to each of these students to ask an important question about their venting: “Is it working?” (more…)
April 18, 2013
The other day I had to have a difficult discussion. In fact, that probably is a bit of an understatement, because it even got to the point of affecting me physically as I wrestled with how to take care of something that had come to my attention. It was clear that I needed to step in as both a pastor as well as a loving Christian and deal with this situation.
This presents a pretty difficult dilemma for us believers to deal with. On one side of the issue we hear our world telling us that we have no room to say anything or we’re being judgmental. And then, of course, that’s all the church is to some people – a bunch of judgmental people looking at other’s faults and failures. (more…)
April 16, 2013
As the news was breaking yesterday about the bombings in the Boston marathon I happened to be with some of the great people I work with. We all were discussing it, looking it up, stopping to pray, looking for more information. Like you, I’m sure, we wanted to know what had happened.
But among all the questions that were racing through our minds as we followed the story, there was one that particularly stood out. It’s the one that I imagine you’ve wondered too. In fact, it’s the question that pretty much all of America seems to be asking in the wake of this tragedy just like we do in all major tragedies like this: Why? (more…)
April 9, 2013
It was at that point that I pulled over and Will and I began to investigate the situation. Getting out of the car, we could tell that this was a dog that had somehow gotten “out” of wherever “in” was and was now running all over the neighborhood marking his territory wherever he could. As we began our attempts at grabbing the dog we realized this was not going to be as easy as we’d hoped.
With every step the dog would huff and then step back. If we were lucky enough to circle around it and come in undetected for a few steps, it was only a matter of time before he realized and then barreled away. After about 10 minutes of continued failed attempts with this strategy, we’d had enough. Because we lack any semblance of pride and it just seemed like the best way at that point, we just started jogging after the dog without stopping. The dog moved closer to a busier road where cars were going by without realizing what was going on or having much time to stop if our little furry friend were to dart out in front of them. (more…)
April 6, 2013
Last night was the book release party for my new book, “It All Starts Here.” And what a good time it was! A number of friends came out to be a part of this exciting event. Even some family of mine traveled down from Harrisburg to help out and be a part of it. And so I wanted to just share a bit of a recap of what the night looked like and why it mattered. (more…)
April 3, 2013
In the last 6 months I’ve taken on the task of leading the musical part of our worship services for our church’s contemporary service. It’s been quite the adventure with all the other things I’ve been doing. And if you’ve ever worked with musicians then you know it’s something to do carefully. I should know, I’m one! But my greatest challenges haven’t been with team members, it’s been with the “audience.”
I intentionally used that loaded word there because I think it leads well into the challenge I want to bring up. There is a very tricky balance that the worship leader needs to strike if they’re going to use music and the arts to lead people into awe and wonder of God. (more…)
April 1, 2013
It’s April Fools Day. A day where we celebrate making fools of other people by playing practical jokes, telling little lies, and other forms of trickery. It can be pretty amusing messing around with these family and friends and making them look a bit foolish. No doubt about that! But it’s not nearly as fun when, in real life, we do something that makes ourselves look like the fool.
I’ve decided to be pretty open and honest and a bit vulnerable today as I write. I felt compelled to share about one of the most foolish things I’ve ever done. And now years later I have the advantage of hindsight to see what exactly I was doing that was so completely wrong. (more…)
March 29, 2013
On this day in the church world we celebrate Jesus’ death on the cross to pay for our sins. He who had never sinned actually became sin for us so that we could become righteous (2 Cor. 5:21). It was the great exchange. Our deserved death penalty for His eternal life. Our sins for His righteousness. Our shame for His freedom. This is why we call it the understated: Good Friday.
But buried within this whole story lies a bit of a mystery. It’s the mystery of the gospel. But, as we’ll see, this mystery has some logic to it. Logic that God has actually placed throughout life’s experience which shows us quite the amazing and intricate story here! (more…)
March 22, 2013
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.
Ephesians 3:20-21, New Living Translation
Ephesians has been speaking volumes to me lately. It’s one of Paul’s most encouraging letters that he wrote. He wasn’t correcting an issue or a misunderstanding of theology in this book. He was simply wanting to tell the people of Ephesus about how great the Father’s love is for us and what’s He’s made available to us. And those are things that we need to realize. (more…)
March 21, 2013
Nearly everyone I know is too busy. Ask someone how they’re doing and it seems like 9 out of 10 times they’ll say good or bad and then add on, “I’m just really busy, ya know?” And I do know, because I feel pretty busy at times too. It just seems like there is always so much to do. And while we can complain right and left about how we are stressed and tired out by our busyness, I think if we really investigated the situation what we would actually find out is that most of us, in fact, have a love for busyness. (more…)