Sorry, I thought this was a funny and appropriate title for this post. Maybe not.
I am doing the world a huge favor because I know that no one has heard about the brouhaha that transpired this past Saturday over some dude named Rob Bell or rather, a book he’s written that is yet to be released and Gospel Coalition, John Piper, and the legions of “new-Calvinists” that see it as their convictions to defend and contend for orthodox Christianity. [Read Part 2, The Most Important Thing.]
“When deep injury is done to us, we never recover until we forgive… Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.” ~ Mary Karen Read (her last entry on her journal before she was killed in the Virginia Tech shootings)
In teaching the past couple weeks about “our” relationship with our parents, the stories keep flooding in including this one that I shared last week of a young girl that tried to take her life. They are painful, brutal, disheartening, and everything within – stories of various abuses, neglect, rejection, etc. In fairness, this is amidst the landscape of many healthy relationships but nevertheless, they are difficult.
The question – in various forms – that I am being asked is,
I saw this photo somewhere (not sure where) of Jesus, a rifle, and a Nazi (Hitler?) and couldn’t stop staring and reflecting upon it. I’m sharing it here as I’d love to hear your thoughts:
What do you see? How would you interpret this picture? Does it confirm or challenge?
The image perplexed me for so many reasons. It made me recall a conversation I had during my seminary years. During one lecture, we were discussing Dietrich Bonhoeffer – who was a Lutheran pastor and a pacifist faced with the dilemma of Hitler and the Nazi regime: Continue reading “what do you see?”
Eights years ago, I endured through one of the most difficult seasons of my life. I left my (then) current pastorate in hopes of planting a church called Quest but everything I had envisioned didn’t immediately come to pass. Instead of planting a church, I was working as a custodian scrubbing toilets, vaccuuming and struggling to provide for my (then) one child and pregnant wife. I still remember bitterly sobbing in my room one night and saying a few choice words to God:
I am so angry at you. I feel like I lost control of my life.
(the PG version)
I learned through that experience that (again) I don’t have ultimate control over my life and prayed I would never go through anything like that again…
Well, I guess life has its seasons of unexpected turns. Nearly two weeks ago, I had to make one of the most difficult decisions of my life. It was a painful decision but consulted with my wife, and then informed our kids that because of some financial situations (and investment with One Day’s Wages), Dad & Mom had chosen to sublet our furnished home for couple months to some strangers and within 72 hours, we’d have to pack up some stuff and stay with some friends.
Talk about a string of bad press! In addition to a write up in the Christian Science Monitor [The Coming Evangelical Collapse], a cover article of the Newsweek Magazine entitled “The End of Christian America,” a more readable and short article popped up last week on ABC News entitled, “Young America Losing Their Religion.”
We are people with the gift of hope and the capacity to dream. The minute we stop dreaming is the moment we begin the process of death. So share your answer to this question:
What is one of your dreams you want to pursue in your life?
I’m 38. Married over 12 years. 3 children. Planted two churches. Currently pastoring my dream church. Love the cafe and music venue. I’ve taken plenty of “risks” in my life but “the fear” never gets old. I feel like I constantly wrestle with ‘fear.’ In fact, I think this thing called “the fear” is actually growing in my life. It’s getting worse.
Maybe, it’s because I feel like I have so much more to lose. When I was single and roaming around the country all alone in my VW Bug or Toyota Camry, taking risks was really no big deal. But now, I’ve got stuff, mortgages, car payments, kids, a wife, a staff, a $5000 espresso machine, responsibilities, hair products Continue reading “do not be afraid: dream, pursue, and jump”