Blog

Holy math!

Holy math!

Math was my favorite subject in high school. I remember how excited I was to be in class and run to the board every time the teacher asked who knew the answer to an equation. I was terrible at history and geography, but numbers have been a passion since I was a kid....
Remember when?

Remember when?

“Whatever became of …?” Or “remember when …?” These were frequent questions over the course of a recent “mini reunion” of my parents and siblings in Barbados. As we gathered, made final preparations and celebrated our parents’ 50th wedding anniversary, outbursts of...
Grace before grace

Grace before grace

It was an overcast, drizzly day in November when I sat in a local restaurant in Pristina, Kosovo, listening with increasing interest to a new, yet familiar, story. Entering the smoke-filled, pub-like restaurant, mostly made up of men sitting around small round tables,...
Where is God when I’m scared?

Where is God when I’m scared?

As a pastor’s kid who grew up during the 1990s, VeggieTales was a staple in our house and in kids’ church services. I remember one episode in particular. In this episode, Junior, the child asparagus, had watched the veggie equivalent of Frankenstein even though his...
Thoughts about God’s economy  

Thoughts about God’s economy  

Global equity markets have recently experienced volatility. When this happens, people take note. Pondering the economic implications once again, two lessons I have learned, and their correlation with God’s truth, came to mind. Lesson ONE – There is always...
Front stage, backstage

Front stage, backstage

Editor’s note: Kansas District Superintendent Ed Rotz speaks below to the balance all Christians, especially those in leadership, seek. Nearly 2,000 pastors and spouses will attend The Gathering this week. Pray for all attendees— that the Holy Spirit would encourage,...
10 personal questions to start 2019 well

10 personal questions to start 2019 well

Reflection is good for the soul. Personal reflection is even better if you act on it. You may not be an “end of the year – take a two-day retreat in the mountains” kind of person. I’m not either. I can think through and process these questions in the time it would...
What Christmas is all about

What Christmas is all about

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, 14a)....
In the fullness of time: it’s that time again

In the fullness of time: it’s that time again

Four hundred years ago. That’s how long it’s been since the first slaves were brought to America. In August 1619, “20 and odd” enslaved Africans were brought to the British colony of Jamestown, Virginia. “Four hundred years” turns my thoughts to Scripture. My...
Multiplying leaders in a distracted world

Multiplying leaders in a distracted world

Nehemiah is a favorite historical leader. He mobilized a discouraged and disappointed people to achieve a perceived impossible goal. The perceived impossibility was the rebuilding of the wall that surrounded the city of Jerusalem. The wall lay in ruins. And there was...
Mentoring across the gender gap for the sake of mission

Mentoring across the gender gap for the sake of mission

I have a friend who, somewhat unexpectedly, found herself as the senior pastor of a large, growing church. During her first year, having never been a lead pastor before, she knew she needed help navigating the exciting (and sometimes not so exciting) challenges of...
Little red dots

Little red dots

I’m beginning to wonder if I have adult onset of ADD — attention deficit disorder. My vulnerability to distraction seems to increase substantially. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve been working on the laptop and need to find a document or double check an...
I didn’t expect this

I didn’t expect this

When God called me to lead a church plant in a poverty stricken, urban part of our community, I was eager to be a part of an intentionally multiethnic church. But I didn’t realize the extent of the ethnic diversity in our city: about 180 different languages spoken in...
A dark place and a big God

A dark place and a big God

One of my oldest friends, Mike, recently lost his 25-year-old son. Mike was my very first best friend. We went to swimming lessons together, played superheroes together, went to “Herbie the Love Bug” movies together and for much of our young lives went to church...
Moving when God speaks

Moving when God speaks

It is so frustrating to speak and have no one move! Typically, my children respond by yelling “we hear you mom” while comfortably sitting carrying on with whatever they were doing. Hearing without action is incomplete. My response to God is usually incomplete when his...
Becoming less

Becoming less

“He must become greater; I must become less” (John 3:30). As I was pondering the above statement from John the Baptist, it brought back a memory of a day when God used one of my sons to humble me just a bit and remind me of who is important and who isn’t. I was...
Biblical illiteracy isn’t funny, it’s scary

Biblical illiteracy isn’t funny, it’s scary

Last week biblical illiteracy in the news media was put on display like never before. First, the Wall Street Journal misquoted Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu as saying that “Moses brought water from Iraq.” What the prime minister actually said was that...
Send well

Send well

Then He said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest” (Matthew 9:37-38).  Every day FedEx sends over four million packages to valued customers. FedEx’s delivery...
God’s gifts to us

God’s gifts to us

Don’t you love candlelight services? I especially enjoy those in which the leader lights the candles of a few, who then light other candles until the room is filled with light. It’s beautifully symbolic. Jesus is the light who enlightens us to share with others. In a...
A new chapter begins

A new chapter begins

There are people you encounter in life whose presence you just want to be in. They’re people who are excited, passionate and informed and they want you to jump in and be excited too. Keith Drury and Robert Black are these kinds of people. I recently had the...
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...