A couple years ago, after a small church gathering, a volunteer approached me and said, “I’m afraid my wife and I won’t be helping at the gathering anymore.” “Sorry to hear that,” I replied. He continued, “It’s just that so many of those who attend have no reverence for the church. Especially Bill. He’s always … Continue reading The Grit of the Kingdom
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
Shortly after I became a Christian, I invited a gay friend of mine to youth group. To my surprise, he seemed interested. He asked about the location and starting time and I promised to meet him at the door when he arrived. Then he asked an odd question, “Will they make me sit in the … Continue reading The Circle of Judgment – How the Church Keeps Outsiders Out
Last week, I shared that mine and Rachel's bikes and tools were stolen from our garage. A couple hours after posting that blog, a brother and sister in Christ generously gave us their very nice bikes. As Rachel road her new bike around the block she said, “This is the best bike I’ve ever ridden.” On … Continue reading How to Become Fabulously Rich
Mark stormed into our office. He was breathing heavily and smelled like alcohol. “What’s the problem, Mark?” Jeff asked. “You call the housing authority and tell them to forget it,” Mark replied in anger. “I’m tired of being on the streets. Tired of waiting. If they’re going to be this way about it, I don’t … Continue reading Why Friendship Matters
Everyone knows it – on a global scale, 2016 was a trying year. At the personal level: same. I left my job of over five years, began the process of adopting children, helped my wife manage a growing small business, and started a new ministry. And really, that’s just the visible stuff. Leaving jobs and … Continue reading How Will You Start the New Year?
Paul’s letter to the Galatians is one of the most important theological texts in history. He writes the letter to confront the Galatians for believing the legalistic lie that to follow Christ, they must also be circumcised. The letter is important because it clarifies that Christians are saved by faith rather than works of the … Continue reading Is the Church Eager to Remember the Poor?
For over a decade now, I’ve had the joy of interacting with men and women who are said to be on the “margins of society.” The word margin simply means “the edge or border of something.” When describing people, the word typically references those who don’t fit into the normal social structure of a community. … Continue reading Black Hole Jesus
You can read Pt. 1 in this series here. There’s really no way around it — ministry to the poor is heart-wrenching. My friend Mike Spencer was making strides. He had repented of his sins and decided to follow Jesus with his whole life. But Mike was still homeless and had no clear path to … Continue reading Mike Spencer — Pt. 2
Jesus’ first teaching was “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” I picture Jesus spending the first thirty years of his life deciding what he would say first, and this was it. I grew up thinking this phrase meant, “Be sorry, because God is coming to get you — and soon!” It scared … Continue reading Close Enough to Touch