Plain Speak about Racism, Hatred, and Followers of Jesus Christ

These are times when it is best for men and women of faith to speak plainly, yes? We must be wise, because the days are evil.

I read an article this week in which scientists were asked to explain how it can be that racism persists in 2017. It contained a lot of theories and quoted studies about lack of education, social constructs, media influence, and cultural norms.

Blah. Blah. Blah.

Racism exists, loved ones, because humanity is sinful. We cannot save ourselves. We can’t educate, counsel, or peace march sin out of our souls. We need to be cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. Period. Continue Reading →

A Time to Speak Up and A Time to Refrain from Facebook

The struggle is real, isn’t it, loved ones?

We live in a divisive age and conflict is unavoidable. It’s not as simple as turning off our televisions, or avoiding social media because tempers flare at the dinner table, sides are drawn at the office coffee bar, and cherished church friends sport bumper stickers and t-shirts proclaiming they’re on “the other side.”

It’s disorienting. Disappointing. Disruptive, disturbing, and depressing on good days.

(Yes, Lori, we agree, but what do we DO? How do we respond? Where do we take our frustration, confusion, anger, and our desire to make a difference? How are we to be light when other Christians accuse us of supporting the dark and vice versa?

What about love? What about unity? When we remain silent, others accuse us of being part of the problem – of agreeing by our lack of response. When we stand up for truth, others accuse us of causing conflict and contributing to division. )

“I am for peace, but when I speak, they are for war!” (Psalm 120:7 ESV)

Yes, the struggle is real. Can I get an amen? Navigating these times isn’t easy, loved ones, but our God has not abandoned us and we aren’t the first believers to live in complicated days. His Word continues to supply ample instruction even in the days of Snapchat and Twitter. Continue Reading →

The Act of Worship We Must Commit to Impact Charlottesville and Beyond

When the news is full of rumors of war, protests in the streets, senseless deaths on bright summer days, and hatred spewing from every corner, hatemongers sometimes even invoking the name of our Lord to falsely justify their actions, it can be hard to hold on.

But, this is exactly the time not to hide. This is precisely the moment for which we were created and why we were assigned to these times, loved ones. He designed us and chose us to live here and now to represent Him, to inhale His truth and exhale His Words, to stand against the tsunami of deception rising up and threatening to swallow those who deny the existence of a holy and loving God who is coming again. Continue Reading →

Once Upon a Time There was a Cow Stuck in the Ice

We live in a rural area of Rhode Island, and during my father’s decades of firefighting, many of his rescues involved wildlife or domestic animals.

One winter at dusk, he responded to a call for a cow stuck in the ice. It was snowing, and the firefighters racing over slick country roads in my dad’s car vowed never to ride with him again!

He and his firefighters set up at the local pond as darkness descended, and donned gear for an ice rescue. The herd milled around moaning on the banks, fretting over the commotion. Continue Reading →

This is How We Kill You Now

You and I can be incredibly efficient killing machines.

Right now, you feel comfortable reading further because you’re confident that I’m only speaking in generalities, or about “others,” the ones with murderous hands. Please keep reading, but don’t expect much comfort. Murderous hearts are the greater concern.

Since Cain killed Abel, humans have found ways to extinguish other lives. We don’t know if Cain used a crude weapon or his bare hands. Doesn’t matter. That first murder was face-to-face, personal, and the template for all murders to come.

Murder isn’t as mysterious as we make it out to be. Continue Reading →

I Am a Sexually-Broken Christian

I am a sexually broken Christian.

This shouldn’t shock anyone reading this blog post. We live in a broken world. Few among us are healthy, whole, and living out our full redemption in the areas of gender, sexuality, and romantic relationships.

Through Christ, I am on a pathway to wholeness, but I, like everyone else, struggle with a measure of brokenness in this world. If I weren’t a Jesus-follower, though, I’d just be sexually broken.

One of the barriers I have in talking with people about LBTGQ concerns is that I don’t understand why our Christian culture insists on categorizing sexual/gender-related sins on a spectrum. Continue Reading →

Theology Made Simple for Summer

Five things that drift –

A vacationer on a tube down a lazy river

A swimmer body-surfing in the sea, inching further down the shore each time

My mid-section

An entire civilization

A soul without a habit of daily realignment with God’s Word, sound doctrine, and mature supports.

Five statements that should not create debate, but do –

The world and humanity are clearly the design and creation of a higher mind.

Human life has value no matter how small, old, diseased, disabled, poor, or far from God. Continue Reading →

Traveling with Jesus Sometimes Leaves Me Seasick

Wow.

I get it now.

Ever have a moment like that?

Just, wow.

 

For years,

more than I care to number,

I encountered wave after wave after relentless wave of trial. Continue Reading →

Once Upon a Time, A Boy Kissed a Girl and She Saw Stars

Maybe you’re living a quiet, simple life and there are moments when you wonder if that’s enough. You don’t feel particularly important, accomplished, or noticed as you care for your family, serve at your church, or show up for your job. Let me tell you, I work daily with people who fail to do these things and you have no idea the value of a simple life, well-lived, until you’ve seen the fallout from the hundreds that fall apart. Be encouraged by this post I first wrote in 2014 about George and Shirley Sherman.

In 1960, a boy kissed a girl in a small town in the smallest state and she saw stars.

One cold Saturday, fifty-four years later, he said good-bye as she took her place among the stars who wait with Jesus for the rest of us.

Seated at the funeral of this woman I didn’t know (there to support my father), was like being privileged to glimpse our future arrival in heaven when all our works will be judged. Continue Reading →

There’s Something Seriously Wrong with My Church

Visitors to the church I attend may not notice it immediately but something’s wrong with my church.

I’m not sure how they can avoid seeing it since it’s so apparent to those of us sitting in the pews every week. Something’s very wrong with us.

Oh, it’s not just one something. It must be many things or some systemic problem because like a twisted version of the blind men and the elephant, each of us describes the brokenness of our little congregation in a slightly different fashion.

It’s the music, the pastor, the prayer, the lack of . . ., the abundance of . . ., the pewsitters, it’s them, it’s her, it’s him, it’s me. Continue Reading →