Category "Popular"

Things I Dislike About Ministry Pt. 3

“Work it, make it, do it—makes us harder, better, faster, stronger.”            —Kanye West, Stronger

I really do wish ministry was always “Work it, make it, do it—makes us harder, better, faster, stronger,” but the truth is, sometimes it’s also, “Work it, make it, do it—and we still end up with little or no progress at all.”

What I mean is this: the smallness of our actual impact is a discouraging reality.

It’s not always bigger, better, breakthroughs, and bomb-diggityness. Despite our hard work and urgency, we haven’t healed the world (or ourselves, or the individuals in our churches). The actual impact of our efforts is smaller than we’d like. And slower too… Read More

I Want To Be Alone

The “North Pond Hermit” was arrested this year. He is Christopher Knight, a 47 year old man who went into the central Maine wilderness 27 years ago to live a solitary life.

He was arrested for stealing. Over the past 27 years, he committed more than 1,000 burglaries – breaking into camps and retreat centers during the night for food and supplies.

In 27 years, he only spoke once to another person… Read More

I Feel Alone

This post is a confession of sorts.

If you read my confession, it’s quite possible you’ll just think I’m strange and need help—and you wouldn’t be wrong.

Even if that is your reaction, I still I hope you’ll read the whole thing. Why? Because maybe it will stir up some compassion in your heart for strange and needy people like me.

But it’s also possible you might actually relate to what I’m saying—like, “Oh my gosh! I feel like that too!” If that’s your reaction… you’re why I’m writing this.

Have you heard that 1990 Michael W. Smith song “Place In This World?” OK, I know, it’s totally corny and he has a wicked mullet. The thing is, this song has always resonated with me… Read More

Maybe Disappointment Is OK After All

- - Life With God, Popular

I wish things in my life had been different.

By different, I guess I mean easier and less disappointing.

I wish my one set of grandparents hadn’t rejected my family when I was in elementary school. I wish my other grandmother, the good one, wouldn’t have died so early from lung cancer. And I wish I wasn’t the one to find my good grandfather, hours after his heart attack, dead on the floor in his house.

I wish my younger brother wouldn’t have left home when he did. I wish we had a better relationship.

I wish my sister’s husband wouldn’t have cheated on her. I wish he would have been a good husband and father. And I wish they could have made it work.

I wish Shari and I could have had more children.

I wish the friends who I thought “really got me” would still be part of my life instead of leaving me.

I wish the ministry leaders I’ve admired for so long would have been proud of me, or at least noticed me.

I wish my mom didn’t have cancer.

There’s more too, but I won’t bore you with the details.

We all have “I wish things in my life had been different” lists. They contain painful memories, disappointments, personal hurt, broken relationships, reversals of fortune, unmet expectations, and loss.

Although I have plenty of things that I wish had been different in my life, I cannot go back and change them…

And they have made me who I am today—scars and all… Read More

When God Disappoints

- - Life With God, Popular

Life is disappointing.

Things don’t work out the way we dreamed they would. Hopes are crushed; expectations go unmet.

And we press on. Disappointed? Yes. Out of the game? Not today.

I am well-versed in disappointment.

In my own experience, the most difficult kind is when God disappoints.

Can we talk about this?

Unanswered prayers

Apparent absence

Unprotected from terrible pain

Simple Bible verse formulas that don’t work – for me anyway

Blessings going to the undeserving while I get nothing for all my efforts

My guess: I’m not alone. You’ve felt this too… Read More

Life Is Disappointing

- - Life With God, Popular

Life is disappointing. There, I said it.

I don’t mean, in the final analysis when everything is added up, that the score card of life is saturated with disappointment to the point where nothing else is detectable.

But I think it’d be a cover-up to say that disappointment isn’t there. It is there. And I know it well.

Life isn’t all disappointment. It is deeply disappointing, and it is also richly rewarding. It is full of success and sorrow, victories and defeats, progress and set-backs…

Perhaps my experience is unique. Maybe everyone else is living disappointment-free.

That last line was sarcasm.

Life is disappointing… Read More

Re-Tweeting Myself

- - Fun / Humor, Popular

retweet icon


I spent some time looking through my 2013 tweets, and wow, I really crack myself up. Also, I was kinda embarrassed over how many of my tweets were about food. Thought I’d share a few of my favorites with ya. Here goes re-tweeting myself…

Going to the dentist where they will ask me if I’ve been flossing regularly & I will say yes. Then they will floss my teeth & make me bleed.

My daughter’s face, when singing along to some Adele, is terrifying.

Hey guys—just so you know, Ke$ha gets another dollar every time you say “liberry.”

It’s so annoying when everyone… Read More

“Blessings” That Amount To A Load Of Crap

- - Popular, Uncategorized


I’ve noticed something that we Americans, especially American Christians, do frequently:

When being asked something that feels too “personal” and invades our private sensibilities, we shift into giving sweeping generalizations, philosophical ramblings, and ambiguous blessings.

Here are some examples:

Q. Do you give money to beggars?

A. That’s a tough one. I’ve heard that some of these guys actually make more money in a day standing at an intersection holding a sign than they would if they went out and got a legitimate job… Read More

Shine Bright Like A Diamond

Not every song gets stuck in my head. Certain ones do…

Like Rihanna’s “Diamonds.”

If I hear it, I’m probably going to be humming, whistling, or singing it all day.

Shine bright like a diamond. Shine bright like a diamond. Shine bright like a diamond. We’re beautiful, like diamonds in the sky.

Rihanna didn’t write the song—Australian recording artist Sia Furler did. I doubt Sia was thinking of Philippians 2.15 when she wrote Diamonds.

But honestly, Philippians 2.15 is what I think of every time I hear the song.

Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.

I can almost hear the Apostle Paul… Read More

Strength For Plan B -vs- Athletes w/ Phil 4:13 Tattoos

- - Popular, Uncategorized

One of the most common “Christian” athlete tattoos…

Philippians 4.13

(I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me).

Inspiring, huh?

UFC light heavy weight champion Jon “Bones” Jones has it tattooed on his chest.

And we see it a lot because, you know, UFC guys have their shirts off all the time.

Tim Tebow wrote it on his face for an entire season (kinda like a temporary tattoo, right?)… Read More