Quote – Struggle with God

Far too many Christians find themselves in a dark and difficult place because they believe that doubt is the opposite of faith. If they are not certain, they question their spiritual journey. This is balderdash. This observation crystallizes the matter: “The struggle with God is not a lack of faith. It is faith!” – Andre’ […]

No Answers? Jesus Blesses You.

Easter has passed. For a few days my Facebook and Twitter feeds were a cascade of happy, enthusiastic pictures. Choirs with arms raised high. Pastors declaring the end of death and offer of salvation. I saw just about all the stock pictures of tombs with the stone rolled away that there are. I’m not faulting […]

Quote – Doubt is not the opposite of faith.

Philip Yancey has been quite an influence on me. Think about the importance of this thought: “The opposite of faith is not doubt, but fear.” Wow. It’s easy to think, while feeling doubt, that my faith is weak. Not necessarily so. It just means I’m having doubts. Doubt is a normal part of a life […]

Quote – Justice is a Theological Necessity

Ken Wytsma is an educator and social justice activist.  He’s the president of Kiln college and the founder of The Justice Conference.  I became familiar with him when I attended the Justice Conference in Portland in 2012. (Some thoughts on that incredible experience here and here.) Consider his words: “When we do justice, there is […]

Quote – Steinbeck on the Gospel

East of Eden by John Steinbeck is one of my favorite books. It’s long, but there were moments in the story that I was moved to tears. It’s a Cain & Abel story, and salvation is at the heart of it.   In one conversation, one of the characters is having a significant realization and […]

Quote – Can’t Wash Feet from a Pedestal

Our American celebrity culture where we are all driven to accomplish and be seen as important runs so deeply counter to the teaching of Jesus. This short sentence captures a vital warning: “It’s difficult to stand on a pedestal and wash the feet of those below.” For a culture that is enthralled with the idea […]

Quote – Returned Transformed

Consider this: “What is given to God is always returned transformed.” What a profound statement on what God does in our lives! Richard Rohr is probably the spiritual thinker from outside my own tradition that has influenced me the most. I grew up in a  church that was very negative about anyone and anything Catholic. […]

The Best Bible for you? (How to find a Good Bible, Part 3)

To be an apprentice of Jesus means to learn from Jesus how to see ourselves, how to see God and how to live. Often our first tool, one one of the most important in that journey is the Bible. (Here’s the 1st post in a series that unpacks the idea of being an Apprentice to […]

Quote – Made in the Image of What You Desire

Think about this. What clarity this provides. “Your life is shaped by the end you live for. You are made in the image of what you desire. – Thomas Merton Some religions suggest that the path to healing, salvation or nirvana is to deny desire. A thorough biblical Christianity sees that desire is a part […]

Untangling Versions. (How to Find a Good Bible, Part 2)

As we learn how to follow Jesus, we explore and experiment. Every spiritual journey is unique, because every one of our lives is unique. Yet, through this varied process we remain tethered to truth by the Bible. The Bible can become a trusted and precious companion in our apprenticeship to Jesus. But simply having a Bible […]

Quote – God’s least expected entrance

Frank Viola and Len Sweet said this in their excellent study of Jesus, “Jesus: A Theography.” “God made His entrance into this earth in the least expected of all places through the least expected of people.” Everything about Jesus’ life is instructive to us about God’s heart and intention. I think that’s what Jesus meant […]

Quote – When you don’t wait

It’s commonly understood that faith is at the center of Christianity. If we take that to mean intellectual assent to a certain slate of ideas, we’re off track. Our faith is not predicated on getting our systematic theology exactly right. The center of Christianity is trust. And, to be clear, this is a relational trust. Josh […]

Quote – To feel is to be human.

Pete Scazzero is the founding pastor of New Life Fellowship Church in Queens, New York. He is also the author of a series of books about emotionally healthy spirituality.  He and his wife Geri are advocates of a more healthy and holistic approach to doing church that accounts for emotional maturity.  More here. One of the things […]

Quote – The Heart of a Religious Person

Found this quote on Twitter.   I have no idea who John Bryson is, and couldn’t find him online.  This statement, however, expresses the attractive heart of legalism and shows the connection between legalism and magic. “The heart of the religious person is to control God.” -John Bryson. Magic is a system where with the […]

Quote – The Privilege to Help

Michael Levy is an inspirational writer. He is right on track here: “Being in a privileged position in life should mean it is our privilege to help other people wherever and whenever we can.” Whatever privilege we find ourselves with is a responsibility.  What will we do with what we have to make a difference […]