Taproot Theatre in Seattle is presently running a play about one of my faith heroes, Sophie Scholl. Along with her brother Hans, these two were German students, members of the “White Rose”, whose mission was to incite German people to resist the reign of Hitler. The play is well-written and well-delivered, consisting primarily of dialogue between Sophie and her interrogator. If you’re in the Seattle area, I hope you don’t miss it (running through the end of April), not onl
I don’t blame them, but I’m angry – because people who are rejecting the faith aren’t rejecting the real Jesus. They’re rejecting an Americanized, Capitalistic, Upwardly Mobile, Anti-Science, Anti-Environmental stewardship Jesus. What angers me is that so many, having rejected this fabricated caricature of Christianity, will never encounter the real Jesus, the one who loves all humanity, blesses enemies, disarms violence by absorbing it, cares for people on the margins, and
Somewhere in between the micro of the atom and macro of the universe, reside the flora and fauna we encounter on a regular basis in our daily living. They comprise our ecosystem and its increasingly clear that our Creator has called us to both feast on creation and care for it. Mark Wallace’s new book, “When God was a Bird” magnifies this invitation with stunning clarity and significant weight. His thesis might be controversial in evangelical circles because of how close i
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. – I Thessalonians 5:23 Authentic Health by Gus Vickery M.D., is just the book for such people. Though there are chapters on nutrition and exercise, they weren’t game changers for me (though the material about intermittent fasting was compelling). My health problems stem more from doing too much than too little, f
My temptation in such times is what sociologists call ‘cocooning’, a tendency to withdraw into the predictability of our homes, close the drapes, and live our private lives. The temptation is real because fighting, even if the pen and words are your tools, and even if your intent is solely to point people toward a greater hope, is hard work, and at times discouraging. Those intent on pointing people to the possibilities of a better world, a lasting hope, encounter an avalan
The show has an adopted child in the family – I’m an adopted child in my family. The sister among the siblings struggles with weight – my sister struggled with her weight. The dad in the story dies during the adopted son’s senior year in high school – my dad died my senior year in high school. The death of the dad overwhelms the mom. The death of my dad overwhelmed my mom. It just goes on and on, so that in last night’s episode, when the son who got accepted to an exclusive
The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy… but I have come that they might have life! – Jesus the Christ Each untimely loss is tragic, but the fame of these two not only creates a breadth of grief, it highlights the untidy reality that suicide rates are on the rise, dramatically. 45,000 take their own lives each year, twice the number as deaths by homicide. It’s the 2nd leading cause of death among the 15-34 demographic. As a pastor I know the devastation it leaves behi
It’s this simple: If you’ve read it, write and post a review of The Map is Not the Journey on either Amazon or Facebook. show me a link to your review in a message on facebook, or a comment here. that’s it – you’re entered in a drawing for two winners that happens on December 3rd. 1st place (random drawing) wins 2 copies of “The Map is not the Journey” and one copy of “The Colors of Hope” (winner of a Christianity Today “Best Book” award in 2011) 2nd place wins one copy of “T
“Life is either a daring adventure or it is nothing at all” is how Helen Keller put it. She’s was onto something, surely. When Dave Matthews mused about the “Ants Marching” in his masterful music some years ago, it seemed to me he was pondering a sort of inevitable decay into a ritual of breakfast, commute, work, commute, supper, exhaustion, repeat. There are surely forces at work in the systems that are western civilization contributing to this dismal picture. However, I
church I lead has collided with my reading of “You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit”. The result has led me to believe that we need to rethink our notions of “sin”, because our wrong understanding has often led to lives of fear rather than confidence, legalism rather liberty, and anxiety rather than joy. Here’s what I mean: I. Our typical notion of sin has do with obvious dark behaviors. Murdering another human is sin. Drinking yourself silly is sin. Hating
Joyful Noise at Taproot Theater is not to be missed. I’ve been to lots of funerals, partly because I’m a pastor and partly because death visited my family on a regular basis from my high school days until now. Only once, though, was there a choir at a funeral I attended and that was at my dad’s funeral which is a bit stunning because we were a decidedly non-musical family. He was baseball and track, so trips to San Francisco were always about Willie Mays, not opera or the s
retrieving our car meant enjoying this view again today! My wife and I recently returned from a beautiful adventure, hiking 50 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail and ending up at our front door! A thousand times, or likely many more than that, we were overwhelmed by the beauty of what we’ve seen. Even more, though, we were profoundly grateful for the rich privilege of being able to do this, for such a trip means we have means, health, access to God’s wilderness, time, and eno
It’s nothing new. And further, it’s nothing new to note that it’s all being done in God’s name by both sides. Giving a soldier a Bible though, or a suicide bomber the Koran doesn’t sanctify the cause, and there’s no better time to be reminded of this than Holy Week because while wounded people are treated in hospitals, while victim’s families mourn, millions will spend time this week pondering the path of Jesus walking to the cross. That cross, and then one who went there, st
If finding our destiny is one of the best things we can do, then reading, “The Art of Work” by Jeff Goins is one of the best books we can read. Jeff’s taken the subject that people of faith typically name “calling” and written a book about it; how to find it, and what it takes to develop it so that it moves from latent talent to an actual life purpose that blesses other people. I love the chronological and linear “preparation”, “action”, and “completion” structure of the boo
You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Embody me. Flare up like a flame
and make big shadows I can move in. Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose me. Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness. Give me your hand. from Rainier Rilke’s “Book of Hours” the church I lead will host a “longest night” service. It’s offered because behind all the
I’m 19 and a good friend had landed the part of Jesus in Godspell, so he invites me to see him on opening night. It’s been two years since my dad has died, and this winter of my 19th year is the winter of my discontent. I’m lonely, because high school’s over and my cadre of friends have scattered. My future’s radically uncertain as I’ve applied for admittance to architecture school, but only one in six students will get in. Since my self confidence is in the toilet, I’m c