Crossroads: Jesus Gives Us Hope

When I was in the sixth grade, it felt like my life was falling apart. I didn’t have any friends, there was a lot of bad stuff happening at my church, and my mom and my stepdad were getting a divorce.

Formations 05.29.2022: Lavish Liturgy

Think about how John describes worship in Revelation 4–5. The worshipers wear special clothing. They play musical instruments. They burn incense, symbolic of the prayers of the saints.

Connections 05.29.2022: What We Mean by Freedom

It’s hard to write on days (weeks, months, years) like this, when the heaviness of current events makes any attempt at meaningful words feel futile. I know it’s hard to teach and to preach at times like this, to offer both condolence and challenge where each is needed.

Getting It All Together

Jesus’ boat lands on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee—no longer in Jewish territory. This is like landing in Cuba. Along the edge of the lake, tombs are cut into the mountain. The village graveyard is this land’s version of a mental institution.

Who Blesses Whom

Isaac was a unique, funny, lovable guy, albeit frustrating at times. He had a way of wiggling his endearing, stubborn soul into your heart like I imagine a little brother would. He was a man of few words, but he could always communicate what he wanted in any given moment.

Crossroads: The Command that Jesus Gave

Every year, our church has a service day called Beyond Our Walls. On this day, more than 300 people go out into the community to serve. Some of our families and children spend time with senior adults at assisted living facilities.

Formations 05.22.2022: Our Adoption

A solid foundation of trust and security is essential to healthy child development. Research indicates that the first three years of life are the most fertile for building this foundation.

Connections 05.22.2022: Embracing the Moment

Quite a while ago I saved a quotation from Thomas Merton and added it to the slideshow of photos that make up the screensaver on my laptop. It is a reminder that proves helpful again and again in my military family’s life.

A Prayer for When Exhilaration Gives Way to Routine

We live on the highs, don’t we, Lord? At least you may have noticed that we try. Of course, this isn’t realistic. But that never keeps us from striving. We become accustomed to the thrill. Addicted to the high of achievement and feedback. We get used to accomplishment and growth.

Jesus’ Use of the Psalms

For ordinary Christians who experience opposition and negative feelings, we are invited to bring the full breadth of these experiences into the realm of God.

Crossroads: God’s Sheep

Last week I got to see some sheep up close and personal, and I learned a few things. Sheep will “baa” at you when they think you’ve got something to eat. It doesn’t matter if they have just eaten; they will still complain.

Formations 05.15.2022: Doing Our Part

Nearly 200 years ago, Danish theologian Søren Kierkegaard famously suggested that the institutional church has misunderstood what happens during worship. On the analogy of the theater, he says, we assume that the clergy on the platform are the performers.