In Matthew 12, Jesus said something that has always mystified me. After healing a whole bunch of people he “ordered them not to make him known.” (12:13) This wasn’t the first time he told people to keep his ministry on the down-low, and every time I read this particular instruction (which almost no one ever obeyed, by the way) I wonder why on earth Jesus gave it. But in this instance, Matthew explained:
There is a very distinct line in my life: a line between searching and turmoil and peace and hope. Notice I said peace, not ease! I was raised in a religious family that went to church every Sunday but not a family filled with God’s truth. I was raised a Christian Scientist. I know that I had a God-sized whole in my heart, because I spent years searching and filling that hole with things of the world. I had a very good time, was very social, and that led to some very bad decisions. After getting a divorce at the age of 35, I started dating and eventually married a man who was abusive. He went to church every Sunday, read his Bible and pressured me to do the same. I wanted to please him, so I began attending church.
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So, I spent last week going to an area of town called Little Five Points with the aspiration of talking about Jesus to a few people every day. Now, understand, I’m a strategist. I’m a guy that has a strategy and a plan for everything. When I’m invited to play a new board game with friends, I’ll sit out the first round and try to come up with a strategy before I dive in. That’s just who I am. So, as we were driving to Little Five last Monday & Tuesday, I thought about how I could ensure that I actually got to have a conversation about Jesus that wouldn’t get cut off by somebody having something to do. That’s when it came to me.
I’ll try to engage someone that doesn’t have anything else to do!
Who doesn’t have anything else to do? The homeless people that are overlooked by everyone else. Read more →
I once heard a quote from a pretty famous atheist that has forever changed the way that I viewed the idea of talking to other people about my experience with Jesus. He writes:
…I’ve always said, you know, that I don’t respect people who don’t proselytize. I don’t respect that at all. If you believe that there’s a heaven and hell, and people could be going to hell, or not getting eternal life or whatever, and you think that, well, it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward…HOW MUCH DO YOU HAVE TO HATE SOMEBODY to not proselytize? HOW MUCH DO YOU HAVE TO HATE SOMEBODY to believe that everlasting life is possible and not tell them that? I mean, if I believed beyond a shadow of a doubt that a truck was coming at you, and you didn’t believe it, and that truck was bearing down on you, there is a certain point where I tackle you. And this is more important than that… Read more →
The harvest is plentiful. I get it.
But I got it last summer when I was a kounselor at KAA and encountered teenagers in need of the hope of the Gospel. (Yes, we spell kounselor with a ‘k’ there, among other things.) It gripped me. There’s a world full of people who don’t know Jesus. They do not have a relationship with the greatest love of all. They are existing, but they are far from living. I even came back home after that epiphany, which followed a trip to Guatemala where the global need for Christ and the vanities of my life in this country were realized, motivated to live an intentionally missional life. I wanted to share with everyone I could, because I’d realized how many people are in need of the Good News.
But then reality sunk in—the kamp experience is not the real world experience. Read more →
You’ve probably heard about Charles Ramsey. A wonderful citizen who was just minding his own business and through an act of heroism will now undoubtedly appear on countless radio interviews and morning shows. He’ll be referenced on Saturday Night Live and late night talk shows. His YouTube clip will eventually be autotuned and remixed and countless articles will be written as this story starts to unfold. Do you know another thing that is likely to happen? “Regular” and ordinary people will start to feel the burden to be the “next Charles Ramsey.” Read more →
For the past few weeks, hmm maybe months, I’ve been wrestling with something inside. My friends can attest to it, because just about once every week I’m venting to one of them about it. I even read some articles that communicated much of what I was dealing with (Anthony Bradley and Jasmine Baucham), but not exactly. I do feel like an emphasis on discipleship and exposing our comfortable Christianity were necessary books and speeches written and given by David Platt and others, but I don’t think we’ve heard enough of the perhaps less radical messages to give us a healthy tension. So, I feel trapped in the thinking that I have to share Jesus everywhere in everything. I wanted to come to some amazing, John Piper-inspired conclusion about it, but I can’t. I didn’t want to keep questioning God or other people, but I know that God (at least) can handle my questions—even if it means He’ll just respond with even better ones like he did to Job (was that not the finest sarcasm ever?). So, please God, forgive me for asking…
But can I just live a normal life? Read more →
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to sit down with Chris Broussard (Ok, you got me. I sat down at my computer and emailed questions, and he sat down to email his responses.) and discuss what it’s like for him to be a Christian in the media. While he admitted there are nuances, for the most part, he linked his experiences with those that every Christian with a secular job faces. But I’m sure on Monday, the difference was clear. When someone asks us where we stand on a controversial topic, only a few people will be privy to our response. Maybe a thousand or so if we share our stance via social media, and that’s still if half of our friends and followers aren’t just spammers selling fake Jordans! (I digress.)
But when someone asks Chris Broussard what he thinks, on ESPN, just about the whole world will know. Yet, as the smoke clears–in the wake of Chris Broussard’s bold, yet polarizing, commentary regarding Jason Collins’ announcement about his sexuality–amongst the debris are some things I believe deserve further investigation within the hearts of Christians.
What would you have said if ESPN asked you (randomly) for your thoughts? Read more →