Our Addiction to Adventure

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the repetitive nature of the Christian life. Yeah, I know, this isn’t exactly an “amen” worthy point. It is true though.

Eat this bread. Drink this cup. Do it again. And again.

I mean, when will we have read our Bibles enough?

Is it possible to have fulfilled the command to “Love your neighbor as yourself” so we never have to do it again? Can someone say, “Oh, I already did that, so I don’t have to love neighbors anymore.”

And what if the church isn’t teaching us anything NEW? Y’know… stuff we haven’t heard before? Where’s all the next level stuff? Gimme some of that!

What about giving? Can ya hit a certain level and just be done with it already? You know, kind of like that High Striker carnival game with the heavy sledge hammer and the bell thingy?

high striker carnival game

Ding ding ding ding ding! Congratulations. You’ve hit the level. You’ve arrived. You never have to give again!

And what about forgiveness? How many times do we really have to forgive the same… Read More

To Remember That Stooping & Serving Is Beautiful

I remember when I first heard about a pastor who had his own personal chef, chauffeur, and tailor. My mind was blown. Wow! Holy cow! So…. THIS is success. THIS is what arriving looks like. THIS is a thing of beauty and I want to get there some day too.

I thought: I need to build my platform so that I can be somebody important – someone others will serve.

Around that same time, I had read books like “Under Cover” and “God’s Armor Bearer” – books that emphasized how important it is to serve the “man of God” (the pastor or leader or top dog in your organization). The message was clear: we should aspire to carry his briefcase, his Bible, wash his car, mow his lawn, run his errands… you know, really serve the big guy.

There was another message too, and it was a motivating one. It went something like this… Read More

Homeless People Matter?

- - Life With God, Video

I have a confession to make: I don’t know much about homelessness.

The truth is, I can tell you a lot more about suburban, middle-class life – based on my own personal experience… things like where the closest Trader Joe’s is and how annoying Comcast is (did you hear the latest from Apple – how they’re going to offer web TV service this Fall?).

Do you need to know where to find an honest, reasonably-priced mechanic for your car? I can tell you about that.

Do you want an opinion on MOD Pizza? I definitely have one to share with you.

But when it comes to homelessness, I only “know” what I’ve heard… and that’s pretty much all a bunch of second-hand, questionable information. For example, I’ve heard about the guy who walked around the corner from the intersection where he’d been holding up a cardboard sign – and unlocked his Mercedes and drove off. And I’ve heard about how much money panhandlers make – “more than if they held down a real job.”

This second-hand information is sticky and makes an impression, but I wonder if it’s any more reliable than Anthony Crispino’s reporting on Saturday Night Live.

anthony crispino picture for post

Anthony Crispino is… Read More

The Skyway 7-11 & A Samaritan Well (People Matter Period)

 

People matter to God. Period.

That’s exactly what the life and death and resurrection of Jesus shows us.

For God so loved. He gave. Who does He love? The world. Everyone. All people.

When I was in 8th grade, I was going through a rough time. I’d started using drugs. I was struggling at school and at home with my family.

There was a youth leader at my church named Troy Jones. He went out of his way for me. Once a week, he picked me and my friend Pat up from school.
He bought us Big Gulps at the 7-11 in Skyway. Then we went to the… Read More

A Lesson From Single-Lane Scottish Roads & Stanley Hauerwas On Community

note: pictured above – a single-lane road on the Isle of Mull

Two of my favorite authors – Jean Vanier and Stanley Hauerwas – collaborated on a book together: Living Gently in a Violent World—The Prophetic Witness of Weakness. While talking about the need for community, Hauerwas says…

I love the Isle of Mull in Scotland—for one, it is beautiful. But I also love the roads on Mull. They are all… Read More

Stone Catchers

Bryan Stevenson is a human rights lawyer and author – his book Just Mercy is a NY Times Bestseller. The following is from a 2012 interview with Chris Hedges for Smithsonian Magazine:

bryan stevenson post

Stevenson turns frequently to the Bible. He quotes to me from the Gospel of John, where Jesus says of the woman who committed adultery: “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”

He tells me an elderly black woman once called him a “stone catcher.”

“There is no such thing as being a Christian and… Read More