Can you be Christian without going to Church? Think about this before you decide.

How do you answer this question? A friend of mine, Kelly Bean, is in the critical last mile of having her book published. She wasn’t sure if her publisher was going to like her idea for a title. I can understand why. It’s a Christian publisher offering a book for Christians. Her title idea? “How […]

It’s time you got demoted! (Be a Steward, not the CEO.)

My seven year-old daughter’s face was a mash-up of horror and sorrow. Her body tensed with anger and she shrieked like a siren, “But…  it’s miiiiiiiine!”  I had picked up a pencil on the table and handed it to her brother. We were doing homework and he needed a pencil. There  was one on the […]

Weekend Wisdom / A Gospel Jerk

Here’s the video of the presentation that developed from my last blog post, “Have I ever told you about the time the Gospel made me an intolerant jerk?”  If you want to see me say in 3000 words and 38 minutes, what I was able to say in 900 words on the blog, here’s your […]

How the Gospel made me an intolerant jerk

If the Gospel doesn’t change how you see others, you don’t really get it. Religion is great. Except when it comes to how we relate to other people. Every worldview has this problem.  Capitalism works perfectly, except for “those people” who take advantage of the system.  Socialism works perfectly, except for “those people” who won’t […]

Relieve stress with an Inside-Out Attitude

Stress, pressure, constantly feeling overwhelmed. As our lives have filled up with expectations and commitment, this seems to be our natural state. At any moment there is some obligation that we are not living up to, and we feel it acutely. Are we good parents? We try, but we probably let our kids watch too […]

The role of attitude in spiritual growth

On Monday, I tried something new.  Using the cool new Google Hang-Out technology, I recorded a conversation with 3 friends.  My thought was this:  Wouldn’t it be cool to sit in on a conversation about intentional spiritual growth with some interesting people who have something relevant to say?  So, this is the first one.  There […]

OK, I admit it. I hate forgiveness too.

When my children turned 5 and 6, I started re-living my own elementary school experiences. Apparently comebacks haven’t changed much in 35 years. Call someone a name and you’ll hear, “I know you are, but what am I?” Mention that odor wafting in, someone will chime, “Whoever smelt it, dealt it!” Blame someone for something, […]

Does the church hate forgiveness? (Like Jonah)

We know who’s in. We know who’s out. There’s a sickness in Christianity today. Pastors publicly denouncing other pastors. Bloggers parsing the words of Christian writers, dissecting and weighing their theology to determine if they are orthodox. Christians waving protest signs declaring exactly who God hates. We’ve got an epidemic of the Jonah Syndrome.  As […]

4 Lessons about intentional growth from an unexpected vacation.

Learning a few things on Vacation School budget cuts led to an unexpected vacation for my family and I.  Since I’ve started paying attention to my journey in an intentional way, it wasn’t just fun.  I also learned a few things about growing. In Oregon we have this great strategy for dealing with budget shortfalls. […]

The Real Purpose of Reading the Bible (And How You Might Have Missed It)

I have only known Marc less than a year. We live in the same part of the country, but have never met face-to-face. (Hoping to change that sometime soon.) But I love this guy. I love his heartbeat. I love his passion. In fact, we share the same passion. Helping people live out their faith […]

Brennan Manning: The ragamuffin who taught me Jesus’ heart

On this day in 2013 Brennan Manning passed. This was the message on Facebook: “It is with mixed emotions that we must tell you that on Friday April 12, 2013, our Brother Brennan passed away.  While he will be greatly missed we should all take comfort in the fact that he is resting in the […]

My Easter gift to you: The Story Your Heart is Desperate to Hear

For some of you Easter is a fun springtime holiday.  For others of you, it’s the celebration of the most important moment in history. I want to offer you another possibility:  Easter is an entire world-view, and one I suggest that you are desperate for, whether you know it or not. Today’s post is long. […]

Is the Pope a kidnapper? That Question is a Trap.

So, is the Pope a kidnapper? On March 13th the white smoke billowed and the world was introduced to the new leader of the Catholic faith.  Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio went into the conclave and came out Francis the 1st. The news was first celebratory.  The first pope from the Americas!  A Latin American pope!  A […]

Keeping feelings and faith separate can kill you!

Is Christianity killing you? It nearly killed me. Faith is supposed to give life, abundant life. That’s what Jesus said. Instead this amazing community of faith that has so deeply shaped me, has often given just the opposite. It’s happening because one of the implicit teachings of the modern church is this: Don’t Feel. There’s […]

Need to Get Unstuck? Start Again.

I’m in a big fight with myself right now.  Writing this very post, these words, is a volley in the fight. There’s a part of me that’s too tired, too disappointed, too frustrated to start.  Again this happens!  That part of me would rather eat ice cream, or play a video game, or re-organize my […]