Risk It

Risk It

I was walking along the sidewalk wrestling with my future and verbally processing, which is often the case. My friend Matt, the strong silent type, was walking alongside me. I rambled on and on about ideas for going to seminary and maybe becoming a pastor. He listened and asked questions. After weeks of this he finally let out a sigh and asked one final question, "Bro, what are you afraid of? You keep talking about this stuff but that's all you've been doing, talking. What are you afraid of? What are you afraid of happening if you go to seminary?" I don't really remember what I said in that moment. I do remember the feeling though. It was that feeling of someone seeing right through you. When you are called out so clearly and with such intensity that you can't help but come up short. My "wrestling with God" was more about my desire to avoid pain than it was about seeking...
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Let Them Tell Their Story

Let Them Tell Their Story

This week I had the privilege of sitting down with an amazing teacher. She had just taught in a morning gathering I lead called, Merge. We were meeting for me to provide feedback so that she could continue to grow and improve in her skills as a teacher and communicator. As we talked she said, "You know, I think in narrative." I think in narrative. That really struck me. Don't we all love stories? A good story can capture your attention and make you see the world differently. I think that's part of the reason that Jesus told parables, he knew that a good story could flip the world on its head. Storytelling is an art. Some people are great storytellers, others not so much. Yet, we all tell stories. In my neighborhood there's a group of folks that gather around fire pits in the summer for "Fireball Fridays." Yes, you guessed it Fireball whiskey is ever present (some of us bring good beverages)...
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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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