The quandary of shepherding groups

We recently visited a church of twenty people. They invited us to stay for lunch, and by the end we knew names. A week earlier we’d attended a much larger gathering. Two or three people greeted us, but mostly it was like sitting in a movie theater — hundreds of people watching the stage. This … Continue reading The quandary of shepherding groups

Training in reality

What Christians believe can be viewed as quaint. Eugene Peterson refers to this in his book, The Contemplative Pastor, and he doesn't like it. When some business person shakes his hand after church and says, “This was wonderful, Pastor, but now we have to get back to the real world,” Peterson bristles. He isn’t taking … Continue reading Training in reality

Prayer is the work

In his book Deepening Your Conversation with God, Ben Patterson observes: prayer is the work and ministry is the fruit. He’s right. Praying for others is the heavy lifting of wielding influence — especially when your advocacy involves searching Scripture and using God’s revealed will and reputation to make your case. As R. A. Torrey … Continue reading Prayer is the work

Seven things I’ve learned about biking to work

When we moved to the city I tried commuting by car, bus, and train. They're all OK — driving is quick, you can read on the bus, and the train laughs at weather and traffic. But the best option, if you're not fussy about ironed shirts, is biking. After two years of it, here's what I've learned. … Continue reading Seven things I’ve learned about biking to work

Following Jesus • 44 / A question of kingdoms

Read This: John 3:1-8 Nicodemus: We know that you have come from God. Jesus: Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Like all devout Jews, Nicodemus was seeking the kingdom of God. Scripture pointed to a God-anointed leader, like David, restoring the kingdom to Israel. Since God was with Jesus, … Continue reading Following Jesus • 44 / A question of kingdoms

Seven Things I’ve Learned About Starting to Exercise

(1) It doesn’t fit my lifestyle. I like to eat and I’m too busy. (2) It’s worse than boring. It’s uncomfortable. There’s nothing to think about except how awful you feel. (3) It’s necessary. Eating cake and French fries makes you feel lousy. So does wearing tight pants. Plus, if climbing stairs is exhausting, there’s … Continue reading Seven Things I’ve Learned About Starting to Exercise

Seven things I learned from The Giver, by Lois Lowry

1. Choice creates risk. With choice come wrong choices, and wrong choices bring harm. Given the harm, it’s tempting to eliminate choice. But choice brings joy and maturity. Better to equip the chooser to choose than to remove the choice. 2. Pain is something we avoid. Superficial avoidance is easy — simply find something to take your … Continue reading Seven things I learned from The Giver, by Lois Lowry