Voices

White Christians and multiethnic ministry

White Christians and multiethnic ministry

 Learn more About Voices Blogs  The theme of racial reconciliation in the church has perhaps never been more popular than it is today. I am grateful for the many pastors who use the pulpit to decry racism and call for the unity of God’s people of every ethnicity....
Children of light

Children of light

 Learn more About Voices Blogs  Let me begin by saying I’m grossly unqualified to start this discussion, but it’s still my responsibility. I sat with fellow church staff questioning how seven teens from the same school could attempt suicide, one of them succeeding. We...
Border Stories: When I was hungry, you fed me

Border Stories: When I was hungry, you fed me

Our team pulls in to the gated parking lot of what looks like a repurposed restaurant: flat red roof, stucco walls, absent sign. In the distance, the Franklin Mountain Range creases the middle of El Paso, separating east and west. We are on the eastern side, and the...
Border Stories: The kingdom in our midst

Border Stories: The kingdom in our midst

We met him on a dry, dusty Tuesday in Juarez, Mexico. I will call him Leon,* a man God used to show us the kingdom. He was a resident at Casa del Migrante, a temporary home and refuge for migrants. Leon, his wife and their two children had recently made the 2,000-mile...
Border Stories: What about “those” people

Border Stories: What about “those” people

I am not a newcomer to the discussion of immigration in the United States. Since 2006, I have spoken in many places, including congressional hearings and press conferences. I have met with multiple senators and Congress people, and even President Obama in the Oval...
Generously selfish

Generously selfish

 Learn more About Voices Blogs  I have realized that I can be generously selfish. In other words, I am generous with doing what I want to do and not doing what I don’t want to do. I would rather read than vacuum. I would rather play soccer with my son than wash...
Sunday best

Sunday best

 Learn more About Voices Blogs  I grew up in a church where we put on our Sunday best. Pristine shoes click-clacked up a concrete walkway lined with azalea bushes. Casseroles were carried, friendly glances exchanged and everyone had an assigned seat. My assigned seat...
What is your spiritual love language?

What is your spiritual love language?

 Learn more About Voices Blogs  I recently asked my students, “What do good Christians do? What behaviors should be expected of them? What practices are prioritized in their lives?” They wrote their answers on the board: go to church, tithe, read the Bible, pray....
Shifting worship in the West

Shifting worship in the West

 Learn more About Voices Blogs  The missional frontier has shifted, and we are the new missionaries. The church no longer holds the position as the chaplain of society in our late modern or postmodern world. We no longer live in a culture that is looking for...
How love and pro-life ministry mix

How love and pro-life ministry mix

 Learn more About Voices Blogs  A decade ago, my wife and I found ourselves on an abortion clinic sidewalk for the first time. In college, one of our high school classmates had left a life of partying and pills to follow Jesus. He had become a street preacher. John...
Trusting God’s trajectory

Trusting God’s trajectory

 Learn more About Voices Blogs  “The Eagle has landed.” Those words changed humanity forever. This coming July the world will celebrate the 50th anniversary of humanity landing on the moon. July 22 will mark the anniversary of when Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and...
Holding on for dear life

Holding on for dear life

 Learn more About Voices Blogs  The hospital gown wasn’t doing me any favors, as my bottom was still exposed. The nurse pulled me into a hug position, squeezed my elbows, and told me that I was “doing great.” It felt like bee stings as the needle entered my spine. My...
The power of Scripture in daily life

The power of Scripture in daily life

 Learn more About Voices Blogs  A friend told me about a conversation she had with her adult son. He never darkens the door of a church and resists the idea of church attendance any time she mentions it, but he amazed her with his knowledge of Scripture. Apparently,...
Prophet or punk (pt. 3) 

Prophet or punk (pt. 3) 

 Learn more About Voices Blogs  In the last two posts (here and here), I’ve examined a question that’s been nagging at me.  What separates prophetic boldness from dogmatic shrillness?   How does one tell a prophet from a punk? While there are many answers, last time I...
Maybe it’s time to binge

Maybe it’s time to binge

 Learn more About Voices Blogs  In 2013, Netflix began releasing episodes of programming simultaneously and the phrase “binge-watching” entered our collective vocabulary. Today, binge-watching is nothing less than a cultural phenomenon. With the rise of streaming...
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...
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....
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...
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...
Why God can say “Praise me!”

Why God can say “Praise me!”

Why God is the only being who can say, “Everyone praise me!” and it’s gloriously good for all. One of the most common complaints I get against Christianity focuses on the seemingly needy God of the Bible. No, he doesn’t need food or money, but God is over and over...
Replacing filters

Replacing filters

I’m a fixer. When things break, I want them fixed. I move into assessment and action quickly. I’ll sometimes try tackling a fix for things I have no business touching. Plumbing, roofing and electrical, to name a few. This winter, my furnace wasn’t heating the house. I...