Continuing the discussion on the Age of Design….My friend Joshua Long, while ruminating on the concept of the Age of Design, had 2 contrasting scriptures come to mind: The Tower of Babel and Nehemiah 1 (where Nehemiah prayerfully undertakes the task of restoring ruined Jerusalem)And that made me think of Spaceship Earth. Yes, the ride … Continue reading Spaceship Earth: Is it Babel or Jerusalem?
Ecclesiastes teaches us how to die, but it also teaches us how to live. Our life is a series of continual releases. But our life is also a series of embraces, taking hold of that which is before us. In the Jewish tradition, the feast of Sukkot (going on right now), also known as the feast … Continue reading A Time To Live (Meditation on Ecclesiastes 3:1-15, part 2)
This is part 2 of an interview with Steve McCutchan, pastor and author of the spiritual mystery novel A Star and a Tear. If you missed Part I, you can read it here.Q. On the spectrum of theology, I fall pretty far to the conservative end of things. I'm curious what you hope that your … Continue reading Part 2 of Author Interview with Steve McCutchan
Watch out for those pastors who become authors. Not just me. There are more of us out there. Let me tell you about Steve McCutchan. I knew of Steve while I lived in Winston-Salem; I had heard of his work with the Presbyterian Interracial Dialogue; I knew of his leadership in the Presbytery. When Tammy … Continue reading Author Interview: Steve McCutchan, author of A Star and a Tear
Credit it to the jaded nature of my generation, if you will, for I am somewhat skeptical of organizational mission statements. The idea of the mission statement is that it is to be a pithy and memorable distillation of the purpose of an organization. When well phrased, they can provide direction, clarity, and energy.Sadly many … Continue reading What is Your Church’s Mission Statement?
Within the human heart there exists, though we try to deny it, a longing for permanence. The great poet John Keats wrestles with this longing in his most famous works: “Bright star, Would I Were Steadfast as Thou Art” and “Ode to a Grecian Urn” reveal his yearning to be free from this world of … Continue reading A Time to Die (Meditation on Ecclesiastes 3:1-11, part 1)
Prayer is not optional. Neither is prayer a strategy. Prayer is so much more than the obligatory nod in God’s direction at the beginning of meals, meetings, and events. While God would have us bring our burdens to Him (Psalm 55:22), he would also have our prayers be more than about our burdens. While Jesus … Continue reading A Fresh Look at Prayer
Growing up in the Bible Belt, I would from time to time feel pressure from my well intentioned Christian friends. “You need to be more aggressive in evangelism.” “There are lost souls all about us” “Jesus calls all his disciples to evangelism, it’s a matter of obedience.” Freely, I admit that I resented such pressure. … Continue reading Evangelism is NOT Multilevel Marketing!
Jenny went to see Dr. Daniel Amen, a prominent neuroscientist, with a troubling problem. She had been wanting to become pregnant for two years. Finally, she believed that she had become pregnant. Things progressed as they normally did, with all the attending physical signs of pregnancy. At eight months, she went in for her check … Continue reading Take Control of Your Mind
Providence is best viewed in the rear-view mirror. Case in point: Joseph. God had a clear calling for Joseph, but He revealed this calling through symbolic dreams, cryptic parables hinting that all of Joseph’s family would bow down before him. Joseph thought he had a bright promising future. And then his brothers betrayed him; Joseph … Continue reading God’s Call In Retrospect (Genesis 50:15-21)