Jan. 15th, 2020
The First Day
They were embarrassed at how difficult it was to say good-bye, though they had just met Jesus a few hours ago. They walked out into the dusk.
The excitement they both felt seemed to fill the air around them; they were numb with it and filled with it. And this was only their first day.
Nov. 20th, 2019
"The Character of Creativity"
In most cases an integral part of giftedness from God is not only the mechanical ability to paint or sing or dance but a deeper call. This call can be seen as part of an aesthetic value system, a system that helps determine what is beautiful and what is not.
Oct. 30th, 2019
in the Bible"
There are practical as well as spiritual reasons why creativity flourishes in community. Today's "industrial" approach to music and art by and large goes against this common-sense approach. The best way to view this stark difference is to compare the gifts of community to creativity against industry's denigration of the same gifts.
Oct. 9th, 2019
"The Reluctant Reconciles - Saying 'No" To God"
What an earthquake this caused in Peter's soul! It was a direct assault on one of his most basic beliefs. But Jesus had come to shatter and redefine everything. Certainly it is a shattered Simon who makes his way, for the first time in his life, into the Gentile dwelling. He will find there men and women, like himself, who want nothing less than to eat the true bread of heaven.
August 27th, 2019
"Confusion and Clarity, Poverty and Presence"
That final end-of-the-world state of confusion we read about in Matthew sheds an enormous amount of light upon our present state of confusion. The call of Jesus becomes crystal clear precisely at the meeting of these two states of bewilderment. We are to provide food, drink, clothing, hospitality, and visitations to those in prison, realizing that we will never reach the bottom of the bottomless needs of the world. But in so doing, we can enter redemptively into the suffering of the fallen, confused, and hurting world, there to find...Jesus Himself.
August 8st, 2019
"Isaiah's Unimaginable Image"
The scars were allowed to remain on Jesus' otherwise perfect resurrection body. He would be recognized by them. They were His identifying mark, not His brown eyes or the freckle on His cheek. Jesus was recognized by the scars He had incurred on the cross.
July 17th, 2019
"The Stumbling Block"
A stumbling block. A scandal. Few of us ever think of Jesus in those terms, yet both the Old and New Testaments present him that way. The prophet Isaiah understood, perhaps better than any of the prophets, that when the Messiah would come, he would be an offense, a scandal. That is why he said, in another place, that the Messiah would be despised and rejected, a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering.
April 24th, 2019
"How to Amaze Jesus"
The person who understands the lovingkindness of God is always ready to persistently seek, ask, and knock on the door that opens up to a world they have done nothing to deserve. As we come to understand God's hesed we will have a growing confidence that he is delighted to give us his blessings. Like the centurion, our attitude will become "Just say the word..."
Jan. 8th, 2020
The One who is Life and Light, who was from the beginning, is the One through whom the Father created time and space. The Creator-Christ is also the Re-Creator, the source of new creation as well as the old, the One in whom all creation is sustained and held together.
The purpose of John's sermon is to set the tone for the rest of the Gospel. The Light came to the darkness, but the darkness could not, would not, understand.
Nov. 13th, 2019
"North Star People
But Jesus has always remained there, rooted to the same place in the universe, unmovable. He constantly calls out to us to turn around and behold the dazzling dimness of his light, as it shines in this present world - to find our way to it, and then to find our way by it.
Oct. 24th, 2019
"Singing A New Song"
When God's Spirit moves, he leaves singing in his wake, and in particular he leaves new songs, songs that embody his truth and are an obedient response to his beauty. These songs are a spontaneous and joyful response to the great truth that it is in fact God who is doing something new! He is coming, and his approach is meant to be strewn, like palm branches, with new songs!
Oct. 2nd, 2019
"The Fearless Water Walker"
There is one certain way to know if you've had a brush with that other impossible new world. You will find yourself doing what the disciples did when they got Jesus back into their boat: you will find yourself worshiping him. Worship is the language of our new reality. But we must never forget that it always begins with a cry for help.
Sept. 11th, 2019
"So Much More Than A Nickname"
Not by any virtue of character or accomplishment but solely because of the call of Jesus, Simon will serve as the representative of the Twelve whose head and leader is always unquestionably Jesus.
After Jesus returns to the Father, Simon will be the vital bridge between two disparate worlds: the world of a physically present, perfect Leader and the other world of diverse and decidedly imperfect leaders.
August 1st, 2019
"The Gulf Between Faith and Correctness"
As we struggle in our search for the hidden face of God, lament encourages us to never give up, to never quit the conversation. We may kick and scream if we must, and when we don't have the words, the Bible will provide them. But never, never, never let go of God. Never walk away.
June 19th, 2019
"The Mysteries of God"
Then I heard someone refer to the mystery of Christ, I assumed that Christ was a mystery only to non-believers. I have since learned that the mystery of Christ is reserved for those who do believe. To “know” the mystery of Christ is to realize that it is indeed just that, a mystery.
April 17th, 2019
"I am hesed [hasid]."
The context of Jeremiah specifically and the Prophets in general is one of stubborn disbelief and disobedience among God's people and of his persistent reaching out to them because of his hesed. In light of our inability to keep any of the covenants, God will graciously grant to us a new covenant, based solely on his faithfulness.
Nov. 6th, 2019
"The Singing Stars"
I am continually learning from songs I have written. Sometimes we need to write and sing songs to help us remember important truths we tend to forget with time. Other times, songs enable us to put words to painful feelings, and just by singing them the hurt can be forgotten. So songs help us to forget as well as remember.
Oct. 16th, 2019
"The Path of Sovereign Sorrow"
It was a shadowy path that began outside the garden. It meanders through all our lives, inevitably leading us through the darkest valleys of our fallen experience. But we must never forget that it is a path, that it is going somewhere. There is a final destination somewhere outside the gates of a city. But I'm getting ahead of myself for now.
June 12th, 2019
"Called to Complete"
While the call may be to write books or sermons or poems, the deeper call will always be to give ourselves away to others whom God places within our reach. Besides a few words scribbled in the sand, as far as we know, Jesus never wrote a single line. Instead He wrote the Living Word across the pages of those twelve unlikely men who changed the world.
May 23rd, 2019
"The Discipline of Being Silent Together"
"This is the kind of time He desires with us. Not busy, but slow time. Time not necessarily filled with words, but always with His presence. For those of us who need it, what could possibly be more affirming than to be invited to take a walk with Jesus - not because of our intellect or our ability to ask or answer questions, not because we are pretty or fun to be with - but simply because He desires to be with us?"
April 10th, 2019
"God of my praise, do not be silent."
The significant lesson we learn from David and Psalm 109 is that we do not take our anger and outrage to the streets or to Washington first, but to the One we hope and trust and believe cares more deeply for the poor than we ever will, even as at the same time he cares for our enemies.