Every story is filled with meaningful conflict. If there’s no conflict, there’s no story. And there’s really no getting around this. The very structure of a story requires that the protagonist(s) experience significant conflict that challenges their character and pushes them to grow. Stories begin with the protagonist in an established, familiar world, the place … Continue reading Life With Meaning, Life With Conflict
I’ve written a few blogs that I hope to post over the course of the next couple of months. I wrote most of them just before lockdown and have waited to share them until things calmed down a bit (laughs to self). Here’s the first, an introduction to my dear friend, Fleenor. He’ll make several … Continue reading Not Alone
Something incredible has happened in my neighborhood over the past few years: It has gotten better. I don’t have any statistics to back that up, but I’m here every day and I see it and feel it. The local churches are actively ministering to the poor on a relational level. The city has invested in … Continue reading The Good News of God’s Faithfulness in My Neighborhood
I read this passage in the book of James the other day and, naturally, it scared the hell out of me: “Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will … Continue reading Five Simple Ways to Help the Poor in 2018
Matt and I walked to a popular spot on Vincennes street – a stoop that sits in front of an empty lot. An abandoned house once stood on the lot before homeless squatters burned it down. They were trying to stay warm in the winter. Several of our homeless friends still hang out at the … Continue reading An Odd, Yet Hopeful, Prayer Meeting
I’ve invited more homeless people to church than I can count. On a few occasions, the person I invited showed up. Most often, however, the person gladly accepted the invitation and later apologized for not making it. There were also a couple of times when the person showed up an hour and half late, as … Continue reading What Does “Homeless Church” Look Like?
Last year, I attended a Verge Regional conference in Chicago. When Alan Hirsch took the stage, one of my friends put away his notebook and whispered to me, “I think I’ll just sit back and listen during this session.” By the end of Alan’s talk, my friend had retrieved his notebook, filled several pages with … Continue reading 5Q and the Future of the Church
In the last two posts, I’ve been pondering the meaning of suffering in the Christian life – just reflecting on some stories and personal experiences, and allowing scripture to speak into those events. In Part One, I wrote about vicarious trauma and the ways in which Christian workers should engage the inevitable suffering in this … Continue reading Why Suffering Matters – Pt. 3
The mission of God makes me angry. Every time I read a book by a missional author or sit down and chat with a missionary, I get angry. I’m really excited at first, but the lingering emotion is almost always anger. Let me explain. I know a family who spent three years living in a … Continue reading Why I Get Angry
I’ve had one of those weeks where God has shown me something and I have to do something about it. A friend of mine recommended the book The Bondage Breaker by Neil T. Anderson, an older book about spiritual warfare. It’s not silly or over the top. It doesn’t encourage exorcisms or power encounters. Instead, the … Continue reading Are We Wrestling With Flesh and Blood?