Featured Blog

We all bow

We all bow

Often, when I hear God, I look at my life and allow his Holy Spirit to search me, then bring confession and repentance to him. I have to say lately, God has been speaking to me on the issue of worship. And I know why. My people, he says, have made me different from I...
The emperor moth

The emperor moth

L.B. Cowman was a missionary to China in the early 1900s. Her missionary service was cut short when her husband became very ill, causing them to return to the United States. She cared for him for more than six years before he died. In her devotional book, Streams in...
Hurt or harm

Hurt or harm

Jesus likened the relationship of those who follow him to that of a relationship between a branch and a vine. Branches do not live independently of the vine. An organic union exists whereby the vine nurtures, supports and facilitates the growth of the branch....
Ink marks and crimson stains

Ink marks and crimson stains

The telephone rang at 7:00 a.m. and the staff hurried to Mamie Eisenhower’s bedroom. When they knocked and entered, they discovered big black spots all over the sheets, covers, pink dust-ruffle, headboard, everything. To be exact, they were “dabs and blotches and...
Why “walking” with God?

Why “walking” with God?

You have probably heard or read this somewhere before now: “walk with God,” or “walking with/in the Spirit.” There are plenty of resources that thoroughly describe what this means. Even more, there is an abundance of voices that list steps on how to do this in your...
One great distinction between managers and leaders

One great distinction between managers and leaders

All great leaders are good managers, but not all great managers are good leaders. This is not an article that lifts up leaders and devalues managers. Management is an essential function, and managers are highly valued members of the team. There are differences,...
Where is God leading me to change?

Where is God leading me to change?

Where is God leading me to change? If we don’t know the answer to this, then it’s difficult to move forward towards wholeness in the discipleship journey. In his book, Failing Forward, John Maxwell provides a helpful insight into the reasons why people change. People...
Living in the “what is”

Living in the “what is”

I couldn’t stop pacing the floor of my son’s hospital room. It was Sunday night and Andrew, age four, hadn’t eaten since Friday. Everything he put in his mouth, including ice chips, came right back up. At this point, he had nothing left in his...
Resurrection relationships

Resurrection relationships

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the great hinge of history. The risen Christ is nothing short of the way Christians understand the entire universe God is bringing toward restoration. It is hard to overstate the scope or importance of the resurrection with lofty...
Kirche or ekklesia?

Kirche or ekklesia?

In his book Deep and Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend, Andy Stanley reminds us that the original word for church is ekklesia. Ekklesia means a gathering of people united by common identity and purpose. Men and women meeting at the union hall of...
Freeze!

Freeze!

I took this picture two weeks ago while on a walk with my dog, Rollie, where we often see rabbits running through the brush and the grass. When we happen upon them, they usually freeze, waiting to see if we notice them and trying to decide where the closest escape...
What is a true Wesleyan?

What is a true Wesleyan?

To be a true Wesleyan is to understand and “recover” the personal faith of John and Charles Wesley. Wesleyans are Methodists, or as originally quipped, method-ists. John Wesley was an ardent believer in the Scripture: “Let all things be done decently and in order”...
Socks, shoes and a lot of love

Socks, shoes and a lot of love

A friend told this story some time ago. It seems a little boy about ten years old was standing before a shoe store on Broadway, barefoot, peering through the window, and shivering with cold. A lady approached the boy and said, “Say, little fellow, why are you looking...
How I overcame perfectionism

How I overcame perfectionism

Do you ever have that “stuck” feeling? You know that feeling you have when you have plenty of things you need to do and decide, but you don’t know where to start. Ugh, I hate that feeling. I would describe myself as a “recovering perfectionist.” It was (and still is...
How to “make time” for the people in your life

How to “make time” for the people in your life

More people in your life than time to see them is a fortunate tension. The tension is a blessed one because we’re fortunate to be loved, needed, wanted or candidly, have anyone seek us out and want some time. That’s not overly self-deprecating, it’s a healthy...
A new story for a new year

A new story for a new year

It’s been more than three years of battling anxiety over health problems for our precious boy. Andrew was born 10 weeks early in 2014 with an unconnected esophagus and spent 13 weeks in the NICU. While he is doing well today and has a fully connected esophagus (thank...
Without incarnation there is no Christmas

Without incarnation there is no Christmas

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made … The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us (John 1:1-3, 14)....
Out of the darkness

Out of the darkness

I used to love this time of year. To celebrate the wonder of Christmas as a child and then as an adult, through the eyes of my children, was a joyous delight. I’d have to say that it really changed 17 years ago when my mom died in December. I knew that without her...
Water is life

Water is life

All over Africa, the phase “water is life” is commonly heard. Even the least educated know this first-hand, because fetching water is a daily task for many. It is normal to walk a far distance to bring back this necessity of life. Unfortunately, the only source of...
Problem of pain

Problem of pain

It feels heartless to justify suffering, to try to find a reason behind the “whys” of life when the subjects of abuse and injustice are often the most vulnerable of all. In January, while living in Poland, I visited former concentration camps, Auschwitz and Birkenau....
Is Humor an Organizational Value?

Is Humor an Organizational Value?

“Make it Fun” has been a practice of the 12Stone staff for many years. Humor and laughter have always been only a few steps down the hall or a few minutes away (even in our sermons). But I confess that I haven’t always been a fan of frivolity in the workplace....
Missional Churches: a ZIP Code Strategy

Missional Churches: a ZIP Code Strategy

I was in the sixth grade when the United States Postal System introduced ZIP codes. ZIP codes came into existence the same year John Kennedy, Jr., was assassinated, in 1963. The father of the ZIP code was a postal worker, Robert Moon, who originally came up with the...
Messengers of Grace

Messengers of Grace

We have a neighbor who is the strangest person I’ve ever met. He is intelligent and well-read, but physically very ill which leads to some very odd behaviors. The other neighbors want nothing to do with him. He is an outcast. To add fuel to the fire there were three...