December 30, 2017

I’ve always been a fan of New Year’s. I’m not necessarily talking about the big events like they do in Times Square (although I do like to watch the ball drop on TV!). No, for me it’s all about the ‘new’ – the possibilities that it brings. A new year is a chance to make changes, to do something different, to be different. 

So, as you might imagine, I have made a few resolutions over the years. As I’ve started to consider...

December 1, 2017

The yellow light blinked slowly, alerting me that there was a problem. I asked Alexa for help, and she told me plainly, “I’m having problems connecting to the internet.” So I called the help desk to get the wireless router back online, but when the technician told me to cycle the power on the modem, the call dropped unexpectedly—I had forgotten that the phone also required an internet connection!

Since you’re reading this, yo...

October 31, 2017

I spent the first 10 years of my career in the U.S. Navy. Since that time, on several occasions after telling someone about my history, someone would say, “Thank you for your service.” I was always honored to hear it, and humbled too.

As I’ve reflected on this, it strikes me how little I thank people for something. For example, when I check out at the grocery store, I may exchange “Thank you’s” with the person behind the coun...

August 25, 2017

Over the course of my life, I’ve had a few occasions where God has ‘redeployed’ me to a new frontline – in fact, since I began my career in the Navy, many of these were actual redeployments! Sometimes we welcome these changes. For example, I was really excited when I was heading off to college and about to embark on that new adventure. Other redeployments are not as welcome. Several years ago, when I learned that my team was g...

July 31, 2017

As I was waiting in line to buy something a few weeks back, I asked myself, “What does it mean to worship God here?” I’m not sure about you, but there are few places I find less worshipful than standing in line waiting to check out. Instead, I just want to get through the line as quickly as possible, and get to the next item on my to-do list!

But the reality is that the checkout line is just as much a part of God’s sovereign...

June 30, 2017

If your church is typical, you’ll have at least one person who is designated as a ‘worship leader.'  While the responsibilities of this individual vary from church to church, it often includes welcoming the congregation, offering prayers, and inviting everyone to sing songs in adoration to Jesus.

As one of the lay leaders in my congregation, over the past year I've had the privilege and responsibility to do this.  It has been...

Our church has been blessed by God with the arrival of a refugee family into our congregation. It wasn’t something we planned or prepared for, but in God’s unique and perfect way, they were added to our number.

In many ways it is clear that we were not prepared for them. We had no idea the connections and resources that they need to resettle here in our community. We were and remain confused by the process and the regulations...

April 4, 2017

When we talk about ‘whole-life discipleship’, often what we are referring to is every aspect of our lives – our work, play, volunteering, etc.  In other words, how can we live for Christ every day of the week.  But it also means every phase of our lives.  For example, living as a whole-life disciple will look very different for a freshman in college, as compared to someone in mid-life, or someone who’s recently retired....

February 1, 2017

A pastor in our most recent Imagine Learning Community wanted to ensure that the last message his congregation heard before they left the building on Sunday morning was that they were being sent back into the world to be a blessing to their frontlines. To do this, he employed a benediction that was inspired by the former chaplain to the U.S. Senate, Richard Halverson:
 
You go nowhere by accident.
Wherever you go,
God is...

December 31, 2016

I was having lunch recently with a pastor named Dave who had participated in our most recent Imagine Learning Community. He shared with me a catchy phrase that his wife likes to say:
 
“Curiosity is the new humility.”  

It’s a great line, for sure. What I really appreciated, however, was that it’s not just a slogan for Dave. Rather, he is actively seeking to live out this principle in his pastoral ministry. For example,...

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