Good News For Those who Face-plant

Every Christian face-plants. It doesn’t matter how long we’ve been saved by grace, we still face-plant. It doesn’t matter if we have a diligent prayer life and are faithful in our scripture meditation, we still face-plant. Our mind wanders in some illicit direction. We lose our temper in a moment of unjust anger. Our selfishness comes out and hurts those around us that we love. Our heart, which acts more like a stomach, draws us in one direction or another and we find ourselves dumpster diving to feed on something we aren’t… Read More

The Grace-Laced Lord’s Prayer

Last Christmas, Susan and I had the opportunity to attend a concert with an extremely talented jazz trio. The proficiency of the musicians was astounding. The trio began each carol with it’s own unique arrangement, but maintained the traditional, familiar melody line. After they got you singing the familiar tune in your head, they deviated into phenomenal, awe inspiring instrumental riffs. Shortly after our jaws had fallen into our laps, the trio returned to the well known melody line and ended the carol. While they were operating with impressive artistic freedom, they were at the… Read More

We’re all toddlers.

When our son Nijel was just a little guy he’d say “I’m hungry” whenever he got over-tired. We’d take him to bed – sometimes kicking and screaming. Without fail, he’d be sleeping in no time. While sending an over-tired child to bed is just good common sense, reasoning with a toddler is nearly impossible. No amount of explaining our actions ever resulted in Nijel wiping the tears from his eyes and saying, “Well alright then, there you have it. Thanks for caring for me in such a wise and loving way.” Never happened. Children are so… Read More

The power & the pattern for the paradox of marriage

Back in 1973, Pulitzer prize winning author Ernest Becker used the term ‘apocalyptic romance’ to describe what we observed the culture was growing to expect from sex, romance and marriage. In his book entitled “The Denial of Death” he gives us some striking arguments for why romance in the 70’s was growing more and more ‘apocalyptic’. He asserted that at one time, a person would look for meaning, identity and ultimate hope in the idea of God and the afterlife, but if one wasn’t sure that those things existed, their love interest was forced to… Read More

The Clumping Church

Imagine you walk into a room and a conversation has been going for some time. You listen to a sentence, maybe two, and then you interject your thoughts on the matter. The odds of you saying something out of context is extremely high. It’s not that hard for me to imagine because I have this nasty habit of making assumptions and I’ve done that more often than I’d care to admit. For much of my Christian life, Ephesians 5:1 was a verse gave rise to feelings of guilt and inadequacy. Reading the words “Therefore be imitators of… Read More

Thanks, Jesus … I got this.

In my early years as a preacher, I rarely touched the first three chapters of Ephesians. There isn’t one single thing in those chapters that I’m supposed to do. Those chapters are all about what God does. I skipped over Jesus, patted grace on the head and “of course’d” the gospel so I get could onto really important bit about Christian activity that seemed to begin in chapter 4. If you read Ephesians in one sitting, it will take you about 20 minutes. Before planting KW Redeemer, I did this with our launch team… Read More

What does a prayer “of faith” sound like?

We can’t relate to when Jesus obeyed God’s law perfectly, or healed miraculously – but we can relate to how it feels to be overwhelmed, depressed and have deep unrest in our souls – which is what He felt in the Garden of Gethsemane. He sweat great drops of blood in intense anxiety as He pondered the horrifying suffering that He would endure on a Roman cross – for us. In that dark and lonely place, Jesus prayed a prayer of faith. What did Jesus’ prayer of faith sound like? [Matthew 26:30-46] Jesus 1st prayer was “If it… Read More

Livin’ on a prayer

In 1986, Bon Jovi’s Living on A Prayer was a #1 single on the charts and sold over 8 million copies worldwide. In the twitterless 80’s world, that generated some decent hype. Many of us who pirated music back then patiently sat by our ghetto blasters with one finger on pause, hoping the DJ wouldn’t talk through the intro or the outtro of the song and ruin our ‘Awesome Mix’ tape. Here’s a dose of 80’s nostalgia … The hairspray use of 80’s rockers may have contributed significantly to the demise of the ozone. Anyhoo …. speaking… Read More

Identity & Reinvention

white belts

A number of years ago, I took a karate class with my kids for fun. One day my class was sparring and the sensei walked onto the mat in between matches. Since we were on a break, one of the instructors shouted jokingly, “Who wants to spar sensei?” I volunteered. I figured it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to attempt to land a punch on a black belt who was morally obligated not to kill me. I thought it would be a great experience. Well, it was an experience alright. I… Read More