With Ev’ry Grace Endued

There is only one kind of Christian life. Every Christian shares the same calling as every other Christian because we all share one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all (Eph 4.1-6). God calls each of us into a particular sort of life — the Trinitarian life of humility, gentleness, patience, forbearance, unity, and peace. In a word, the Trinitarian […]

Juneteenth in Graceland

Today is Juneteenth (a.k.a. June 19th). Texas introduced me to Juneteenth during a pastoral stretch in the Republic.  I am thankful to reflect on its significance today especially living in one of the more racist regions of the country.  A region that has done its fair share of infecting my own heart as well. Abraham Lincoln declared the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862.  He ordered the freedom of all […]

A Father’s Day Tribute to the Men of Adult 7

“Wisdom is with aged men, with long life is understanding” (Job 12.12). Father’s Day in 2013 meant church with Dad.  Church with Dad meant a morning spent with the men of Adult 7.  (For all you hipster pub types, that’s how churches named Sunday School classes before there were small groups, cell groups, community  groups, life groups, and missional communities).  I thought I was doing Dad a solid by flanking him in […]

From Ghoul to Yule (We’re Just Not Halloween People)

In the 21st century the holiday season begins when summer ends. Stores capitalize on the Halloween-Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Year’s Eve sales boon.  The summer landscape transforms into a graveyard that quickchanges into the North Pole.  Spider webs give way to icicles.  Zombies concede the lawn to reindeer.  Strobe lights dim into candles.  Tombstones become nativities.  Ghostly shrills quiet into carols.  Candy corn is replaced by walnuts and cheap suckers by candy canes.  The slide from ghoul […]

The Masculine Gospel: All Girls Allowed

“Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God” (Gal 4.7). The gospel of Jesus Christ is decidedly masculine but it is neither discriminatory nor chauvinist.  In fact, the glory of the gospel is wrapped up in its masculinity rightly understood.  Given the context of Scripture and the people among which the gospel spread, we want a masculine gospel. God […]

Talking Jesus in a Texting World

Jesus walked.  He walked a lot. Always headed somewhere for someone, but never in a hurry.  Always busy but never rushing.  He wandered and meandered (like a pilgrim), prayed and taught (like a Master).  Son of Man, Son of God.  Roving and loving. The Way stopped along the way because no one was ever in the way.  He doubled back and backtracked but was never sidetracked.  He passed by and […]

Eternal Lessons After Seven Days in Indonesia

In November 2016 I tagged along with a Catalyst Missions team to Kupang, Indonesia (across the Timor Sea from Australia). Indonesia is as beautiful as it is Muslim.  In fact, at 200 million adherents it’s the largest Muslim populated country on earth. It was my first ever international trip, much less international missions trip.  I was like a newborn discovering for the first time details that soon become familiar.  It wasn’t just an […]

New Year Resolution: Better “Out Loud Time”

It’s that time of year again.  Resolutions.  The New Year welcomes full gyms and empty bank accounts. For many Christians it also brings more attention to Bible-reading/devotional plans and “quiet time” discipline. I certainly hope to be more diligent in that respect. The “quiet time” has become stock language for Christians. By it we mean that dedicated time/space where we are alone with God in Scripture and prayer. Drawing from […]

You’ve Elected Trump, Now Start Fostering & Adopting

I didn’t vote for Donald Trump.  We live in a “red” state where the Republican candidate could’ve spared 650,000 third-party votes without affecting the outcome.  We could’ve helped loosen the media’s stranglehold on the two-party system.   And we could’ve helped to field more promising candidates in 2020.  In reality, a vote for Trump in Tennessee was 2/3 wasted instead of 100% useful for electing a good president. But, that’s not my […]

Take Up Your Cross, and Stay There

“In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking him and saying, ‘He saved others;  he cannot save Himself.  He is the King of Israel;  let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe in Him.  HE TRUSTS IN GOD; LET GOD RESCUE him now, IF HE DELIGHTS IN HIM;  for He said, “I am the Son of God.”‘” (Mt 27.41–43) Tell me if […]