Can Gratitude Save Your Life?

Thanksgiving happened not too long ago. We only just finished all the leftovers in the ‘fridge. Maybe, at your house, too. Perhaps at your gathering, people went around the table sharing something they were thankful for. If you went to church that week, undoubtedly the sermon was about gratitude. But then Black Friday came and […]

A Low-Stress Guide to Finding God’s Will

I grew up in a church community where God’s will was a tangible thing. God’s hand rested heavy on the world in our view of things, and we had our part to play in God’s mission. So, discovering God’s will for our lives was crucial. What a waste it would be, we worried, to live […]

Worried your prayer requests aren’t big enough? Pray anyway.

Some years back I was at a large Christian event. One speaker started off by thanking everyone who prayed for him earlier that day. Apparently, that morning he’d lost his keys. During an earlier session, he’d asked the group to pray for God to help him find them. Now he was thrilled to report that, […]

Ten Ideas that Connected (2018 Top Ten Posts)

Intentional spiritual growth. That’s what lights my fire. I love the idea that we can learn and grow, and that it can happen without fear, or condemnation. We aren’t striving to prove anything or earn anything or impress God or anyone. We are receiving our life as a gift, and out of gratitude, learning how […]

Are we growing in faith, hope and love?

My son is a fruit appraiser. Grapes, blueberries, strawberries, bananas, apples. Before he consents to put one in his mouth, he will carefully evaluate it. Look at it from every angle. Smell it. Check for squishy parts. Only after determining that it rises to his standards, will he eat it. Bananas are acceptable for about […]

A Blanket for Rachel

From time to time, I share with you a guest post, when I find one that’s particularly helpful. This short story, from Richard Spillman, is such an encouragement. So often we get discouraged because the small good we do in Jesus’ name can seem to not make much of a difference. Ever feel that way? […]

Do you need a little daily pastor? A Review of The Listening Day, by Paul. J. Pastor

I bet you eat food every single day. You do, right? Why? Because your body needs it. Through the miracle of digestion, your body breaks that food down into the nutrients that sustain you, heal you, rebuild and energize you. You probably don’t spent much time thinking about giving up eating altogether. It’s just too […]

Your To-Do List is Numinous

Think for a moment about the last significant spiritual experience you had, that last moment when it seemed the claustrophobic haze of everyday life burned off briefly, and you sensed God. When was that? What was happening? Was it worship service where the music transported you? Or maybe you were on a hike. The trail […]

The Limits You Hate May Be Good For You

I love this season of the year here in Portland. Blue sky sunshine days begin to break through the winter veil of wet greyness we’ve lived beneath for months on end. When those days happen… man, they are glorious! With those days of sun and the change in temperature, all the living things in our […]

One easy way you can help other people grow.

There’s a very simple way to help others grow spiritually. I’m going to tell you how after a quick story. Recently my phone buzzed with a notification, and I found this message: “Hey man, I’m just about 45 pages into your book, but I am convinced this is a God-given piece of provision for me […]

Is it possible to grow spiritually in the middle of a busy life?

Busyness is the enemy of spiritual growth. Busyness is a trap, mindset, a wall of self-defense, an addiction. Busyness is about lack of focus and confused priorities. At least that’s what they say. Surely there’s something true about all of that. But what about those times when life is just full, full of commitments and […]

Is it time to practice the spiritual discipline of minding your own business?

So, I’ve got a book out in the world. (Yes… I’m mentioning the book, but this post is about character growth. Hang with me.) You may not know this, but Amazon gives authors a dashboard showing your book’s progress. At one point on launch day, my book was 32 in the top 100 for its […]

The 4 Biggest Emotional Myths You May Have Learned in Church

Much of what we think we know about emotions we learned from parents, teachers, pastors, and other influencers in our lives. These lessons have formed maps that guide out thoughts and choices as we grow up. But sometimes those maps are wrong. Today I am honored to have a guest post over at Crosswalk.com. Crosswalk.com […]