Featured Blog

Opportunity and obstacles

Opportunity and obstacles

I’ve been thinking lately about the connection between opportunity and obstacles. Years ago I read that the Chinese word for “crisis” is composed of two characters, one meaning “danger” and the other meaning “opportunity.” Sounds about right. It seems like anytime you...
Forsake the phone

Forsake the phone

I read recently about a study that showed 71 percent of Americans go to bed with their smartphone and 25 percent admitted to falling asleep at least once with the phone still in their hands. Researchers asked more than 90,000 participants to wear a wrist-work...
What mutual submission looks like in practice

What mutual submission looks like in practice

Many Christians, certainly most egalitarians, are familiar with Ephesians 5:21, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (NIV). But as well-known as this passage is, it’s still common to wonder what mutual submission actually looks like in practice. Here’s...
Do you have to believe in Jesus to be saved?

Do you have to believe in Jesus to be saved?

“Pastor Mike … ” He paused for a moment with tears welling up. “I grew up in the church and lately I am having a hard time believing that all this could be true. Don’t hear me wrong, I want to believe! I just can’t. It all seems too good to be true. I feel like I am...
God honors your NO

God honors your NO

I’ve learned in my journey with God that every single time I say no to something that would interfere with what I believe God’s call in my life is, he honors that “no” with taking care of my needs. I want to share about my most recent ministry transition from...
Suicide in America

Suicide in America

Several years ago, there was a mediocre movie made by M. Night Shyamalan, called The Happening. It was a horror-thriller sort of film, involving hundreds of senseless murders. Yet the twist in The Happening was that the linked-together killings were committed not by a...
Come fill me again

Come fill me again

I opened the door to a familiar place. Although it’s dark, I know it so well I make my way to the windows instinctively. Pulling back the curtains, the sun streams into the room highlighting a million dancing dust particles taking flight. I grab the sheets covering...
Bearing witness

Bearing witness

Have you ever felt paralyzed by the injustice of this world? I have. There are days when I just want to stand up and scream with the inequality all around me. As I listen to people sharing their struggles, I often feel powerless to make a difference. It sometimes...
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...