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Showing posts from July, 2012

Sleeping in the Rain

Throughout history, the topic of whether or not there is something after this life on earth has been a hot one. Everyone -- from Job to Socrates, from Galileo to Kanye -- have questioned whether this is all there really is. We use the word “forever” a lot – mostly when talking about being in line at the BMV or how long we’re going to love someone. I heard diamonds last forever. But what does forever even mean? Is it a simple phrase to throw around when we think something takes a long time? Or does forever actually exist?

My brother and I used to go camping twice a year: one week in the dog days of summer and one week in the dead of winter. We would always take at least one friend each. Before we would go out, we’d purchase all of our food so we could cook it over the fire (and btw, you can cook anything over a fire). We’d make sure we had more paintball ammunition than we could ever use, a few changes of clothes, a radio that would provide the soundtrack for the week, our sleeping ba…

How Jesus Changed My Life on a Boat

This is my re-telling of the powerful and life changing events that happened in Matthew 8 from the perspective of one of the disciples who was with Jesus– with contributions from Angie Grigaliunas. It helps if you listen to Coldplay’s “swallowed by the sea” while you read. Here we go:

What a long day! It started like most others, but almost immediately I could tell that we were in for some kind of awakening. The events of today would change my life forever. We made our way into a town called Capernaum with Jesus, and we hadn’t been there but an hour when a Roman soldier came running up to Jesus panting, as if he were out of breath (although he didn’t come across as overly anxious).

“Lord, my servant is lying at home; he is paralyzed and in great pain. Please do something!”
Then Jesus nodded slightly and said, “Okay, I will come and heal him.”

“No Jesus,” the man replied, shaking his head quickly, “I am not worthy to have you come to my house. But I know that if you simply say the word, …

Addicts and Slaves (and You)

The bible is ultimately a story about how God interacts with His creation, specifically with a group of people called the Israelites or Jews or Hebrews. As the story of the Exodus goes, the Jews find themselves in the middle of a painful existence: oppressed -- taken advantage of -- undervalued. Their heritage and identity had been stolen away from them. They were now considered foreigners and slaves in a land where they used to belong. They were beaten and a set of overbearing and impossible standards were placed on them. And in the middle of all of this they cry out to God saying, “Save us from this injustice!”

This is one of the most important stories in all of scripture because it so clearly and accurately parallels each of our lives – it’s a picture of the human condition. Some of us can completely relate with this story:

There are those who have felt the pain of injustice in the place you used to belong. Maybe your home is deeply fractured and you have broken relationships with …

Go Home & Love Your Family

I believe in small groups. In fact, I think small groups are one of the most important things a church can do to encourage people to grow in their relationships with God and one another. But this saying is true: God has already organized the church into small groups called “families”. Ever since I became a father in 2009, God has convicted me repeatedly of this truth. As a pastor, I wrestle with these things daily as I reflect on my life. How can I lead others into a deep relationship with God if I am not doing the same thing at home? If I cannot be open, authentic, and genuine with my own wife and children, why am I trying to achieve those things with others? I cannot escape the feeling that I am a fraud when I stand up to teach if I am not having transformative conversations with the people I actually live my life with. The truth is, the opportunity I have to disciple my own children is the highest responsibility I have been given and I must do it well. As Harold Lee said, “The mos…