Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. James 1:2-4 (The Message) This year, as our church prepared for Holy week, I had an opportunity to share something that the Lord has been working in my heart and experience. The end of 2018 and early 2019 was a difficult time for our family, but in it the Lord taught me much about joy and endurance. As [...]
Christian community is something that I love (or at least, I'm growing in my love for it). I think that I can now say that because I've let go of a lot of the idealism that I've held in the past. Growing up in the 90's there was a bit of the Friends (TV show) utopian ideal, with the sitting in coffeeshops, talking about life, and having those who would personify The Rembrandts' lyric of "I'll be there for yooou." But I eventually came to the realization that I didn't love Christian community then. I loved the idea of it - the dream of it. Don't get me wrong, I longed for it - the real [...]
"My deepest awareness of myself is that I am deeply loved by Jesus Christ and I have done nothing to earn or deserve it." Brennan Manning It is once again the end of a year, and as we get ready for the next, there always seems to be the inherent introspection. There may be anticipation, maybe regret, anxiety, or hopefully, gratitude, as many are looking back, as well as forward. At best, there is a sense of hope. One thing I do every November/December is listen for what the Lord might be saying to me as I enter into the New Year. While it is often just a whisper, and often unclear, it's a starting point [...]
"God's love is what we are created for and living lives of compassion are what He invites us to." From my sermon Everyone Gets To Play: Being People of Mercy and Compassion What does it look like to live lives of mercy and compassion? Recently, I shared the following message at my home worship community, during which I looked at: what compassion is, how mercy and compassion is at the heart of God, His invitation to us to us, and how we can cultivate it in our lives.