Why You Matter

Why You Matter

He sat there staring at the white board with a blank expression bordering on rage. His eyes were unblinking and slightly moist. He slowly moved the dry erase marker back and forth between his fingers. A deep sigh and then a sense of resignation as he capped the marker and leaned back in his chair. She stood there with anger in her eyes. Arms folded and a stance that was begging for a fight. When she looked at you there was an emptiness in her gaze that cut through you and left you feeling heartbroken. The hurt, the pain, and the anguish were almost tangible. She never made it to the table. The two boys sat at the table with the now all too common look of confusion. They had no idea what to write. They didn't matter. Nobody would care if they were gone and never to return, so they thought. These scenes were played out over and over again as student...
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What is Repentance?

What is Repentance?

"Turn around young man! You get yourself back over here! RIGHT NOW!" That phrase has been uttered by the parents of boys from ages past and will be uttered for ages to come. There is just something about little boys and their desire to run. The first time I said these words my son was about two. He had discovered the joy of running and the game of running away from Mom and Dad. The three of us were at Panera having a little lunch date and as were packing up my boy smiled up at me took off! I tried the words, not too loudly and not with too much authority because we were in Panera. They didn't work. Those little legs rushed him around the corner. At that moment, my wife and I had a decision to make. How do we wrangle this little guy? We went with divide and conquer. She went one way, I went the other. The...
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Welcome to the Idol Factory!

Welcome to the Idol Factory!

“…this is American Idol!” The music is bumping and the lights are shining. The singers take the stage and belt out an amazing performance. The crowd is screaming and clapping. “…and now our next President!” The music is bumping and the lights are shining. The politician takes the stage and the crowd is screaming and clapping. “…your 2018 Sports Team!” The music is bumping and the lights are shining. The team takes the stage and the crowd is screaming and clapping. As I read through the Bible it continues to strike me that the people of God are easily attracted to idols. Every other page, it seems, there they go worshiping the Baals and the Asherah poles. It’s a never ending cycle. Round and round they go. For a moment they are worshiping the God who saved them from oppression and slavery only to find themselves drawn again to the Baals and Asherah poles. I think that we often look at these stories with disbelief. We think...
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You’re Enough

You’re Enough

I opened up my Twitter one day and saw the critique of white pastors, “You speak privately, but not publicly.” I opened up my Twitter one day and saw the critique of men, “I’m disappointed in the men who said nice things about your moms, wives, and daughters because that wasn’t the point of International Women’s Day.” I opened up my Twitter one day and saw the critique of evangelicals, “You don’t challenge the Christians who are doing horrible things loud enough.” I opened up my Twitter one day and saw the critique… Some of us seek to speak for the oppressed and the marginalized. We are coming to recognize what is obvious to everyone around us, that we have tremendous power. As a result, there is a need to leverage that power for those whom we have set aside and created a system to oppress. Many of us, don’t want kudos. We don’t need an “atta boy” for doing things that are right and...
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It’s Not About Me

It’s Not About Me

Do you think that revolutionary moments in our thoughts happen like a lightning strike or like the turning of the Titanic? I don’t know for sure but I think the answer might be, “yes.” I remember hearing an interview with someone who was an “over night success.” This person said that they hated that phrase because their success was built on years of work. Yet, to the watching world it appeared as though they came out of “nowhere.” I recently had one of those moments about Jesus. Yes, a pastor can still have revolutionary realizations about Jesus. I think of myself as someone who thinks well and thinks with theological clarity. Yet, this past year has been a time of wandering and wondering for me. I have had many questions that I was struggling to find answers for. In particular, I was struggling with the reality that my faithfulness was, in some dark moments, less than ideal. Was I still a Christian...
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