Where There is Shouting, Let me Whisper Truth

megaphone-50092_640If I can shout louder than you can, does that make me right?

Does the volume of the outcry justify the stand?

If there are many us, thousands, in fact, and we all shout at once, does that mean that now we own the truth?

When people shout at us, we’re tempted to shout back. Shouting feels powerful and we want to match our opposition power to power. Which would be fine if our call was to wage war as the world does.

But, it’s not. Continue Reading →

The Thing We’ve Forgotten – and It’s Killing Us

pencils-157972_640Confused. We’ve confused the calling on our lives and it’s killing us.

You would think, if you spend any time on social media or Christian media in general, that there is a gospel command for every Christian to:

try to get as famous as we absolutely can,

have an opinion about every topic discussed in the marketplace,

ultimately make contact with hundreds of thousands of people with the gospel

and that anything less than this is a secondary calling. So that the believing singer who wins a showcase on American Idol is greater than the woman who faithfully sings alto for the choir in a small country church for forty years. Continue Reading →

Samwise Gamgee Can Get Us Through These Days

new-zealand-563759_640I terrified myself this week. Truly experienced long moments of icy panic.

It had been a full day of meeting with families for my day job. After leaving one family’s home, I mentally mapped my route back to my office to pick up some gift cards and then to my next appointment on the other side of the state. (It’s Rhode Island so we’re not talking longer than a 45-minute drive.) I swung my car onto route 1 and shifted my mind into automatic for the trip to my office.

Fifteen minutes into the drive, I didn’t recognize where I was. I knew I should recognize it. I drive route 1 almost every day. I know every inch of route 1. I told myself I was being silly as I searched the landscape for a mental handhold. Nothing. Continue Reading →

Faith as Blood Sport

sword-1078968_640If your father gave you a sword, the first thing he would teach you is to handle it with care.

Swords are sharp, he’d say, with a serious scowl. They’re sharp for a purpose and you’ll learn to use it for that purpose but you must respect the blade. Always respect the blade. Especially because it’s double-edged. Fail to respect the blade and you’re likely to hurt someone else with a swipe and yourself on the back swing.

As a child, you may defy him in a weak moment. Children always have to test the limits and you’d be tempted to see just how sharp the blade is. What can it cut? How much will it hurt? But most children learn quickly. One cut and you’d show proper caution going forward. Continue Reading →

Annoyed by People of Every Hue

I have been annoyed by people of every skin color.

That’s what I was thinking, sitting in a room full of Christians I call family.

One unspoken discomfort we quietly endure in the family of God is open sharing time at public gatherings. It can be a joy. Or, it can be a form of spiritual waterboarding.

While some Christians are gifted with brevity, with awareness of their audiences’ interest level, and with the ability to edit unnecessary details,  other Christians are not. But, because we’re accustomed to sacrifice in the family of God, both kinds of Christians are invited to “share.”

Hence, the annoyance factor. Continue Reading →

This Ain’t That Kind of Blog Post

thermometer-833085_640I wanted there to be a pill that would make everything better.

Instead, a line from a movie keeps running through my mind. In a modern takeoff on old James Bond, gentleman spy-type flicks, the main character and villain reference those old movies. At one point, the villain says that if they were in one of those films, this is when a certain thing would happen but “this ain’t that kind of movie.” Then, he does the unexpected.

So, when it turned out that a pill won’t solve my current problems, I felt a little like that line. In the commercials and on TV shows, even in some Christian movies, when the problems of the main character reach a crisis point, there is a “pill,” or prescriptive prayer or decision she can make and suddenly everything turns around. The problems resolve, Jesus is glorified, and the main character goes on with the life for which she was originally hoping.

This ain’t that kind of movie. Continue Reading →

White Feather Fretting on a Week Day

We think we can be prepare for everything.

We can. Just, not the way we think.

Soldiers in boot camp ask veterans to tell them what it’s like to be at war. They never get enough of battle stories but old soldiers give their stories up sparingly. In boot camp, we think knowing what’s ahead will make us ready. Veterans know that being there is what makes you ready. All you can do in boot camp is practice the moves and learn to take an order without asking why. Readiness shows up on the frontline.

I live my life in boot camp. Rise with gratitude and praise. Put on the armor of the Lord. Make my confession, my petition, my intercession, and my amen. Serve the Lord through the day. Retire with gratitude, confession, praise, intercession, petition, amen. Continue Reading →

I Want People to Stop Yelling at Me

megaphone-50092_640Passion inspires me. I respect passion. I find it contagious.

I’m also a fan of enthusiasm and zeal.

What does not float my boat is strident harping, badgering, fear-mongering, chicken-littling, and dramatic pronouncements disguised as prophetic utterances. I dislike rumor, innuendo, gossip, slander, boasting, and lies. In other words, presidential election years do not take me to my happy place. How about you?

Worse, yet. There’s huge pressure on Christians to determine God’s choice to lead the free world.

Like I know. Continue Reading →

The “Have a Good Day” Heresy

smiley-163510_640How can pursuing a good day possibly be evil?

During a prospective employee assessment for a job policing aliens in Men in Black, Will Smith is handed a gun and presented with a simulation of a dangerous situation. It’s a dark city street. Late at night. The street swarms with vicious looking aliens and one sweet looking schoolgirl, Tiffany, carrying an armload of textbooks. Continue Reading →

What Light in this Present Darkness?

flash-1043778_640Are you finally angry enough to invest energy in fighting the true enemy?

I sat beside a lovely professional woman this week. I like this girl. She’s snarky, intelligent, and strong. We don’t know one another well but we get along. So, I was shocked to hear her make this pronouncement as she scrolled through her Facebook feed:

“Ha! Josh Duggar. What a mess! I’m SO happy he’s been exposed as a fraud. I only wish it had been even more lurid like pictures of him with men or something.”

“Wow,” I responded. “Why would you hope that the details were even more lurid?” Continue Reading →