Glory and Love

My husband and I have started to teach our two year old the basics about God.  We have catechism questions that we are slowly working through as he begins to understand the world around him.  The first question we worked on was: Who created you?  The second one was: What else did He make?  The next one we will start on is: Why did He create you?  The answer is simple: For his glory.  Isaiah 43:7 says, “Everyone who is called by my name, and whom I have created for my glory…”  This is the purpose of our existence — to glorify God.  Everything we do is to glorify God.

I don’t have a problem with Mathias learning this truth this early, but I looked ahead to see when the catechism covered the fact that God loves him.  I felt that knowing that God loves him is paramount to understanding his value as a person. Read more →

Accidental Pharisee

That’s me. Well, a pharisee is what I’ve been acting like for quite some time now. No sooner than me throwing in the towel, quitting my performance of Christianity, did this reality hit me.

One day, visibly frustrated, my friend expressed her displeasure with our constant debates. Of course I defended myself, but I realized in doing so I was only digging a deeper hole. So, for a moment, I stopped thinking of how unfair her sentiments seemed to be, and considered the worst. What if I am prideful? What if I do always think I’m right, so my opinions are really facts I believe other people just haven’t been exposed to yet? What if I’ve come up with my own rules of what holiness looks like? What if I really do look at people who don’t have my “convictions” as less righteous than me? What if what I’ve thought was a pure desire to be holy and honor God has really been a drive to gain righteousness, because I didn’t believe righteousness could truly be given to me without my works earning it for me? What if my view of God has been pretty low, especially in the unconditional love department? What if…I’m a pharisee? Read more →

My 90-day Plan

Last week, I made a commitment to do something you’d think I do all the time as a pastor. I’ve had the desire, like many of us do, but I needed the discipline…

Just Do it.

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 →

Why not?

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 →

Forgive me for asking

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 →

Homosexuality and other loaded words

It’s hard to have a fruitful conversation about faith & homosexuality these days unless you’re having them with people that already think like you on the topic.  Hopefully, what follows will lead all of us (whatever side you’re on) to having conversations about these topics that actually lead somewhere.

Homosexuality is such a loaded word.  Because it’s so loaded, it really makes it tough to have a conversation about it.  Two people can use the word ‘homosexuality’ and have two completely different things in mind.  (It’s kind of like using the word “trunk”. It could refer to a part of an elephant, a storage container, the base of a tree, the rear of a car, etc.  There are so many uses of that word that it has to be defined further before any intelligent conversation can be had.)  So, it’s no surprise that when Chris Broussard was baited into a question about homosexuality and Christianity, and he answered with grace and precision, an entire community of people were enraged. Read more →

Not Enough

I don’t talk about Jesus enough.  You probably don’t either.  Does that come off harsh?  Judgmental? Insensitive?  It probably does, and those things may be turn-offs to the gospel.  But the truth is that however it came off, it actually came off.  Do you know what perhaps is a bigger turn off to the gospel?  Silence.  And many of us are silent because we are scared of conflict.  We are scared of people thinking the wrong things about us (which is a valid concern).  What’s an even more valid concern is that although our slience ensures that people don’t think the wrong thing about us, it almost definitely ensures that people continue to think the wrong thing about Jesus. Read more →

(Ordinary)Gospel.(Automatic)Family.(Latent)Mission.

Last night, our college ministry had the semester’s first large-scale gathering of students and others in the college-age range at what we call The Brook. I had the opportunity to co-host the event with a dear friend of mine, and we’d spent the past weeks planning, creating and losing sleep. [Pause] Think about the arrangement of that sentence. I said I had the opportunity to co-host. But what about the planning, creating and losing sleep? Were those opportunities too? Considering that when we think about an opportunity, we usually follow it up with some noteworthy action, a platform, some dream come true or some profitable endeavor, I’d say no. The fact that God would let me stand on a stage was the opportunity. Isn’t that what we all want in some arena or another? To be seen and heard.

Read more →

Different But Equal (Part 2)

2: ROLE of RESPECT: You have the power to breath life or death.

The best way we can help is to breath life into our husbands.

How do you breath life?

God created man with such a uniqueness from women.  I wish someone had TOLD ME SOONER!   As a woman, I don’t need the same things a man does; they don’t need the same things we do.  I see this in my sons and daughters already. Trinity, Jade, and Briaiah need to be protected, pursued, told they are beautiful, affirmed, hugged; their hearts need to be shepherded.  Dhati, Brayden and Nathaniel need to conquer, they need to be the strongest, they need to know that their lives count for something and they naturally protect.

Read more →

Different but Equal

I am a mom of six, and I take this parenting thing very seriously. When I am asked to share about marriage and women’s roles in marriage, I ask myself, “If I could have had only two concepts shared with me or two concepts I could share with my daughters, what would they be?” Read more →

Why Did I get Married?

I have thought about this often over the past few months as my wife and I have endured extreme highs and lows.  The following list is in no particular order, I just categorized these things as they came to my mind and wanted to answer as honestly as I know how. Read more →

A Shared Meal

She did not arrive as I had prepared myself for; [she isthe woman the world tells me to hate and my sisters in Christ warn to love only from a distance. I imagined her arriving airy, fresh, and bright; the face I’d clicked on thousands of times the last year and a half of my knowing. She arrived fearful, unsure, and shaken. We’d spoken on the phone a few times, sent Facebook messages, comments, likes and texts, but this would be the first time our eyes would meet.

Read more →

Let’s talk about sex…kids

There is an expression that you hear in Christian circles—”more is caught than taught.” This simply means that in many cases people learn more effectively by personal experience than by being taught or spoken to about a certain subject. What I have learned is that talking about sex to your kids is definitely NOT one of those subjects!

Read more →