Showing posts from August, 2018

Iwo Jima and Personal Sacrifice

I stood on the yellow footprints at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego in June 1995 for the express purpose of fulfilling my desire to be a part of something bigger than myself. This evening I stood beneath the Marine Corps War Memorial in Washington D.C. in awe of The Lord's allowance of a life of service for me and my family. Nothing refreshes me more than a trip to D.C. to places like this and Arlington to remember the virtue yet present in the hope of the people of this land and the real priviledge it is to serve.

Few people are less politically motivated than me. Few people get less life from political banter and games than me. Sacrifice. Service. Honorable commitment to virtues bigger than oneself or circumstances. These things move me. They hint at the beauty of redemptive suffering and life giving sacrifice found in Christ. Human love and life and death and hope rising against tyranny. Men surging, struggling, suffering together in the high cause of freedom and the immed…

Don't Take Jesus Seriously!

[originally published at Energion Discussion Network April 2016]

The most dangerous thing you can ever do is take Jesus seriously. If you like your life the way it is, then don’t do it. If you are comfortable and want things to stay the same, take Jesus teaching as mere metaphors and nice ideas, but don’t ever, ever, take Him seriously.
Was it a figure of speech when Jesus told the rich young ruler to sell everything he owned, give it to the poor, and only then he could be His disciple? (Mark 10:21) I’ve taught it that way. I’ve heard others teach it that way. Truth is, we were both wrong. Jesus simply told that man, “Hey, sell your stuff, give it to the poor, and then you can be my disciple. Oh, and by the way, you’ll be trading wealth in this passing, fleeting world for wealth in Heaven that can never pass away.” He said what He said. That’s what He said and that’s all He said!
We cling so tightly to the stuff of this life that we seldom experience the rich, deeper beauty that is av…

Life that is really Life

"As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life." (I Timothy 6:17-19 ESV)

The Command to Compassion

(originally published May 16, 2016 @ Energion Discussion Network) 

Central Idea: To preach Christ is to be Christ to those who need Christ. 

Jesus is compassionate. While walking the roads of Galilee, Jesus was above all things compassionate.  It is God’s immeasurable compassion that saves us. Were it not for compassion borne of genuine love for His creation surely God would have left us alone in our sin or simply eradicated humanity as an imperfect sinful blight on creation. But He didn’t because God is compassionate and Jesus is that very compassion for man incarnate.
In the King James Version of the Bible, in the Gospels, the word compassion is found fourteen times. In nearly every instance it speaks directly of the character of Jesus as He shows concern and kindness to individuals, crowds, and multitudes.  Here are three examples from Matthew’s gospel. 
They give us specific insight into how we can mimic the compassion of Christ in our lives as we shine the light of the Gospel thro…

The Word of God lasts forever!

"The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever." (Isaiah 40:8 ESV)

Judgmentalism, Tribalism, and the Cross.


Learning to Lament

(originally published May 20, 2016 @ Energion Discussion Network)

Central Idea: "We must actively grieve before the Lord because it is a necessary part of the process of connecting personal pain to the divine plan and the will of God for us."

We’ve forgotten how to grieve. In our efforts to sterilize and glamorize our lives we have ostracized anguish. It isn’t allowed in our smoke filled light show worship services because it’s frankly a downer. It’s not welcomed in our mass marketed DVD Bible Studies because it doesn’t draw crowds.

Today we want to happy and in the process we’ve forgotten that God is usually found most easily in our pain. We usually move too quickly through pain and grief. We treat it like a hindrance to spiritual growth rather than the beautiful opportunity for spiritual growth that it is.
In fact, grief is a necessary part of connecting human pain to divine healing and God’s purposes in it.  “Christians grieve, just like all other human beings.  But the ma…