Following Jesus: It’s Not Just Believing

What does it mean to be a follower of Jesus? Maybe you grew up in the church and for you that meant believing a certain list of doctrines or behaving in a certain way. Maybe it was the religion of your family and you just followed along. Perhaps at a concert or camp someone got […]

Mary DeMuth & Sexual Abuse: An Untold Story Never Heals

Someone in your life was sexually abused as a child. Some studies suggest that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men were victimized. (Statistics vary widely due to poor reporting.  This is one summary.) It’s a terrible fact. Most of these people live around you, carrying on their lives, and you do not […]

Why being Christian embarrasses me

I have an ambivalent relationship with my religion.  Maybe you do, too? I’m a follower of Jesus.  Like it or not, I’m part of the tribe called Christian. Many days I don’t like it much at all. Don’t misunderstand me. I love Jesus and the people of Jesus. I even love the church. Most days… […]

4 ways not to wreck your life (Life lessons from a motorcycle)

I’ve been working on my motorcycle endorsement. In Oregon it’s no longer just a matter of heading on down to the DMV, taking a little ride test, and smiling for the camera. Now you have to take the Basic Rider Training course, which includes classroom teaching as well as coaching on the range. For some […]

4 reasons why being a novice is better than being an expert

When was the last time you learned something new? I mean something completely new, where you started as a novice? If you’re like most Americans, the last time was when you were in school. Have you noticed that we expect children to learn and grow? We enroll them in sports because they need to learn […]

Warning: Changing your circumstances won’t give you peace.

I just got off the phone with a man struggling deeply in an unhappy marriage. He feels cut out and unappreciated. His heart is aching. Earlier I had a conversation with a family sinking in enormous debt. They couldn’t make ends meet last month. They are afraid. A friend has wrestled with addiction for more […]

Evict fear by shining a light on it.

Ugh. That’s all I can say. No, that’s not true. I’m writing a blog post, so I must have more to say. But, seriously. Ugh. I’m in a battle, fighting hard. A project of mine is at a crucial juncture. This past week, though, creeping doubt has been stalking me. If I don’t deal with […]

Unclear about your direction? Pick a Fight.

When our life is in the balance, or we have to protect someone we love, our adrenaline pumps and we put up our fists. We won’t go down without a fight. But what about when there’s no threat? When it’s just day-after-day of normal life? What then? Are you living without a fight? If you […]

How Can You Change Your Attitude?

Your attitude shapes the course of your life more than almost anything. That means that attitude is an incredibly important part of personal and spiritual growth. (We talked about that in the last episode.) So what happens if you find that a negative attitude is getting in the way of your growth?   Do attitudes […]

Why you need both broccoli and cheesecake worship

Is worship a natural expression that flows from our hearts? Or is it a discipline that requires effort? Is it spontaneous or practiced? Another way to look at it might be this: Which do you like better broccoli or cheesecake? Which one is better for you? An expression is something that just happens. We love […]

Write Your Own Psalm

Intentional spiritual living is about more than just thinking new thoughts. It comes to life in actions, practices and habits. Because my goal is to help you have a more intentional spiritual life, I am making some changes in how I blog. First, you’ll notice that at the end of most every post there’s a […]

A Little Blog Self-Reflection & my Top Ten Posts

July marks the two-year mark for this blog. I was posting random things for maybe 18 months before that, but I had no idea what I was doing. I had no focus at all. Don’t bother digging back to see those posts; they are not worth your time. But in July of 2011 I began […]

Stop saying, “I’m Fine” when it isn’t true

I asked, “How are you?” They responded, “I’m Fine.” Only I knew that wasn’t true. It’s happened more times than I can remember. The woman whose husband is leaving her. The family whose new baby is in intensive care. The twelve-stepper who is in the middle of a really painful fourth step. The man who […]

Good news! You don’t have to earn access to God.

Want God to answer your prayers? Want a sense of intimacy with God? Then you have to show you’re serious in your commitment. You need to be doing all the right things and avoiding all the wrong ones. Try harder, believe more, really mean it this time. Not everyone believes this, but a lot of […]

In which a perfectionist admits that perfectionism is his problem.

That particular Sunday was terrible, but it was also wonderful. When a nice motorcycle instructor named Kandice asked me, “Do you have test anxiety?” she had no idea that she was touching on a central spiritual issue for me. For more than a year I had been slowly working on getting my motorcycle endorsement. So, […]