Rejoicing About or Rejoicing In?

Feb 05, 2020

When I was a young Christian attending a Baptist church that was about 20 minutes away from the home I grew up in, I decided I wanted to make good use of that regular drive. (I was on youth staff, so I ended up at the church multiple times a week). 

I decided to memorize the book of Philippians. This was the early 1980s, so I wrote out the whole book onto a series of 3x5 cards. I would rehearse those lines card by card until they became familiar and repeatable. Once I’d got to the...

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Meeting God in the Morning

Jan 29, 2020

In my early years as a new Christian, the virtues of a morning quiet time were often emphasized by my pastors and spiritual leaders. It became a very meaningful practice for me. Recently, I’ve often heard people reacting to this practice, feeling that it’s a rote activity without much depth.

As I sat to write this week’s post, I had a few ideas about what has been meaningful for me in my morning meeting with God these days. (And meeting with God midday, evening or midnight...

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Love People

Jan 22, 2020

As I’ve been leaning into the new year, one of the themes that has emerged for me is love. Specifically, love people

For insight and wisdom into love, what better passage to turn to than 1 Corinthians 13? Last week, I took some time in my journal to type up the simple phrases from verses 4-7. We’ll get to that in a minute. But first…

In Peterson’s Message version of verses 1-3, it says that without love we are:

  • The creaking of a rusty gate.
  • Nothing.
  • Bankrupt.
  • ...
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Love Displaces Fear

Jan 15, 2020

A new year has begun. A new decade is here. I’ll turn 59 this year. Part of me still feels thirty-something inside, but my body reminds me more and more often that I really am in my late fifties. 

Aging sometimes makes me nervous, even fearful. There’s a far better chance that I’m in two-thirds life rather than midlife at this point. (There’s always the thin chance that I’ll end up breaking the world record for longevity!).

But you know what the good news is...

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Book Review: The Soul of Wine

Jan 10, 2020

Forty years ago, in my early years as a new Christian, I found myself in a Christian tradition that preached the virtues of avoiding drinking alcohol in any form—wine, beer and certainly strong spirits. The usual reasons were given: the dangers of addiction, the desire to avoid tempting those among us who may have had a leaning towards addiction, and such.

Today, I find myself an Anglican priest who is honored to occasionally preside over the Lord’s Table in which we use real wine...

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The Process of Construction

Jan 08, 2020

 

In early December, Alan and I spent a week in Avila Beach, CA planning content for the first quarter of 2020.  It's very helpful to get away and focus on that kind of thinking.

While we were there I noticed the same apartment complex down the street that has been under construction for at least a year, maybe two. And each time we visit, it doesn’t look like much is being done. Did they run out of money? Do they not have a plan? Is it just not at the top of their to-do list?...

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A Day Full of New

Jan 01, 2020

Today is a new day, a new year, and a new decade all at once. So much “new.” The kingdom of God is like that. So much new--renewal, restoration, refreshment, new life. 

One of the ways I’ve been feeling this lately is in the spirit of Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians: 

“Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day (4:16).” 

Wasting away seems like pretty strong language for the realities of aging, but I have...

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Merry Christmas

Dec 25, 2019

No long blog from us today. We simply wanted to say Merry Christmas to you. 

We know that this day may hold all kinds of emotions and dynamics for you. For some this day is pure joy, and for others this day carries the weight of grief.

No matter your situation, we do pray that you will experience the reality of “God with us” in the birth of Jesus.

“Jesus is here” is real. A mom and a dad, shepherds, angels and wise men unveil the story.

Simply and humbly, Jesus...

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The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry

Dec 18, 2019

I still remember reading the counsel that Dallas Willard gave John Ortberg after he’d moved to Chicago to join the staff of a large church there. (John writes about this the chapter titled “An Unhurried Life” in The Life You’ve Always Wanted. He doesn’t mention Dallas by name there, but instead talks about a “wise friend.”) What was John’s question? 

“What do I need to do to be spiritually healthy?” 

After a long pause,...

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Good and Hard

Dec 11, 2019

Rick Warren once said that life is like the parallel rails of a train track. Just like the two tracks, the good and the hard parts of life often occur at the same time. 

Around the same time as the release of Rick’s Purpose Driven Life, his wife, Kay, was diagnosed with cancer. Two rails in action: the exploding popularity of a book alongside a devastating diagnosis.

You’ve probably noticed this over the course of your own life--the disorientation of incredible grace...

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