Not long ago, the president announced an initiative to relieve some of the pressure of escalating student loan costs and predatory practices with a small loan forgiveness program. The response among many Christians has been deeply fascinating. Social media posts on the subject have mile-long threads of replies. Strident articles are being published. People have […]
Quote – The way of Jesus.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a more concise, yet complete, definition of a Christian as this one from Eugene Peterson: “To follow Jesus implies that we enter into a way of life that is given character and shape and direction by the one who calls us.” Here’s the full context: “To follow Jesus implies that […]
Is your purpose really to give God the glory?
If you grew up in church world, you learned that one of the most important things was God’s glory. We were very clearly supposed to give God the glory, like little human spotlights always showing how awesome God is. Over time, I learned what kind of things would do this. There was a clear category: […]
What platform building taught me about following Jesus
I’ve been re-organizing my life so I can spend more time using my best gifts. I’m a teacher, a creator and a writer at heart. It is incredibly life giving to me to create things that help people grow. To that end, I’ve been learning from people online who are thinking about writing, blogging, and […]
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… […]
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 […]
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 […]
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. […]
Why The Church Has To Stop Saying Sexual Sin Is The Most Important Thing.
Somewhere back in time someone decided that sexual sin is the worst kind of sin. In many churches sexual sin is the line over which you may not cross. Sex before marriage is the worst thing a Christian teenager can do. Sleeping around is the worst thing a Christian woman can do. Looking at pornography […]
I Quit the Culture War
(I wrote this in 2012, but the situation has only gotten worse. I feel even more strongly than I did then.) It’s an election year, apparently. I’ve noticed the sprouting yard signs and the increasing emotional urgency in political conversations. The internets buzz with people making their case and stomping their virtual feet. As a […]
Myth #5: Ignore Your Emotions and They Will Just Go Away
And now onto the last myth in this series: Myth #5. Ignore your emotions and they will just go away. This is the myth that does the most damage. The body count is enormous—marriages ended, relationships broken, churches split and destroyed—all because people with influence were unwilling to stop and look at the uncomfortable emotions […]
Myth #4: Emotional Christians are Shallow.
Here’s Part 4. Try something for me. Wherever you are right now—at your computer, or iPad or iPhone—look away from the screen. If there’s a mirror there, all the better. Take stock of how you feel, and then when you’re ready say this sentence: “You seem really reasonable today.” Now, take stock of how you […]
Myth #3: Emotions Aren’t Spiritual
Now, onto Myth #3: Emotions Aren’t Spiritual. There is one particular story in the life of Jesus that was really uncomfortable for the little church I grew up in. It’s found in every one of the Gospels, so it wasn’t possible to ignore. Something about the story was powerful and important, but something else was a […]
If you feel like God, You will do justice.
I attended The Justice Conference in Portland in 2012. This is part 2 of my reflections. You can catch up on part 1 (Love, Justice & the Problem of Indifferent Christians) here. Part 2: If You Feel Like God, You Will Do Justice. As I sat through speaker after speaker at the conference, one question kept surfacing for […]
Love, Justice & the Problem of Indifferent Christians.
Part 1: Digesting the Justice Conference In 2012 I attended the Justice Conference, here in Portland. It was amazing. Like conferences often are, it was a fire hose of information. When I left the conference late Saturday night, I was over-full. I wanted to reflect, to not open my mouth for weeks. The friend I […]