Blessed Are Those Who Mourn 2017

If you’ve paid close attention, the last few posts here have been related to lament. That’s mostly because I gave a seminar (earlier today) on that topic at our Cru Winter Conference in Denver. Another reason—for the recent posts and my interest in giving the seminar—is that much of this past year was lamentable for us. Our family lost much. Of course, with loss comes unique opportunity for gain. And we have gained. But make no mistake, the losses are real. And they hurt. As I type this, I’m sitting on the fourth floor of the Hyatt Regency in downtown Denver. Fifteenth … Continue reading Blessed Are Those Who Mourn 2017

Wilderness Worship

“Wilderness is still the place of worship.”  – Michael Card, A Sacred Sorrow Everything Jeremiah knows and loves is gone. The enemy has come into his city—God’s city–to steal, kill, and destroy. To him, the world is ending. He mourns the destruction of his nation in the Old Testament book of Lamentations. There, he uses horrific word-pictures to articulate what he sees and to express what he feels. We, particularly North Americans, aren’t used to these graphic laments. They are shocking—God is like a bear lying in wait. Upsetting—God points his arrows at his own people. Even gross—mothers resort to boiling … Continue reading Wilderness Worship

We Don’t Just “Do Missions”

This has been a season of lasts for Carly and me. Tonight was our last congregational meeting on missions at Grace Chapel. We came so that I could serve as a pastor. We will be sent out as missionaries one month from today. To begin our meeting tonight, I set the context with three key biblical texts that are always bouncing around my mind. These texts show that we don’t just “do missions.” Missions is not one program of the church or something that a few people have a heart for. Mission is our main task. How do we know? For the earth will … Continue reading We Don’t Just “Do Missions”

Day 11: God of the Impossible

“For nothing will be impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37) You are probably familiar with the spy thriller film series, Mission: Impossible. To date, there have been six films in which Ethan Hunt, the main character, goes on a different mission. Take a moment to ponder that. Mission: Impossible. Six different missions. The missions don’t seem to be impossible after all! The way God entered the world and prepared the way for his arrival, on the other hand, was impossible. At least it seemed to be. God promised he would send one final messenger, before Messiah. The fact that there would … Continue reading Day 11: God of the Impossible

Shower Heads, Formula, and Radiators: A Story of God’s Grace

Last year, we bought a new shower head. A nice one. A big one. A powerful one. It was a Groupon special. It was a “deal,” meaning we got what we paid for. It started to crack after six months. I don’t know if you know anything about shower heads, but that shouldn’t happen. I started looking for a new one. They aren’t cheap. Makes sense—we do shower everyday. While I didn’t want to fork out $100, we had the money. it wasn’t a problem. I just had to pick one out. About this same time, we got a letter and package from National Grid—our … Continue reading Shower Heads, Formula, and Radiators: A Story of God’s Grace

Jesus: Redeemer and Unfaithful Bride

Humans are naturally bent toward works righteousness. We think that if we do good, God will think we are good. When it comes to Bible reading, we often moralize passages of Scripture, asking, “What does this passage have to do to me?” and “What is God requiring of me in this passage?” Those questions aren’t irrelevant, they just aren’t the most relevant. Instead, we should ask, “How does this passage point me to the person and work of Jesus Christ?” and “How does that truth draw me to love, worship, and desire him above all else?” Christians are not ignorant … Continue reading Jesus: Redeemer and Unfaithful Bride