Posts Tagged: "love"

Lent Day 33… If I Cannot Find The Face Of Jesus

Far from being the pious injunction of a utopian dreamer, this command to love our enemies is an absolute necessity for the survival of our civilization. Yes, it is love that will save our world and civilization, love even for enemies. —Martin Luther King Jr. (sermon at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, November 17, 1957)

Jim Forest, in his book Loving Our Enemies: Reflections on the Hardest Commandment says…

If I cannot find the face of Jesus in… Read More

Lent Day 31… Love Is Little, Love Is Low

In a world so torn apart by rivalry, anger, and hatred, we have the privileged vocation to be living signs of a love that can bridge all divisions and heal all wounds. —Henri Nouwen

Last night I attended my daughter’s school choir concert. The opening song was a Shaker Hymn called “Love Is Little.” The lyrics stuck with me…


Love is little, love is low

Love will make our spirits grow

Grow in peace, grow in light

Love will do the thing that’s right


Love is tender, love is… Read More

Lent Day 27… When It’s Uncool And Embarrassing

Pictured above: Joyelle, one of our super-cool youth leaders, making an uncool and embarrassing face. On Wednesday during our youth service, she led the prayer time… and shared about her own struggle with depression.

*     *     *     *

To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA) is a non-profit organization created to give hope to anyone struggling with addiction, depression, self-injury, or thoughts of suicide—and seeks to help connect people to treatment centers, support groups, and other resources. It was founded in 2006 by Jamie Tworkowski.

Recently, Jamie wrote… Read More

Lent Day 13… The Road To Heaven Does Not Run From The World

The road to Heaven does not run from the world, but through it.

—Robert Farrar Capon

Yesterday we spent our afternoon on Skid Row. We’re here in Los Angeles for a week with a team from NWLife to serve at the Dream Center.

This is my 12th or 13th trip to the Dream Center. I started coming with teams of students in the late ’90′s because I wanted to expose my people to ministry that goes beyond having church services on Sundays and Wednesdays. I wanted to be influenced by a ministry that didn’t tuck itself away from the world, but rather went right through the world—as the hands of Jesus bringing love, compassion, service, food, and whatever is needed.

“Find a need and meet it, find a hurt and heal it” is the famous mantra of Tommy Barnett – the grandfather of this kind of ministry in America.

So yesterday we were in Skid Row handing out bags filled with hotdogs and chips. After the food was all given away, we… Read More

We heard through the wall a kid’s voice yelling “You effin…”

While out on the trail for a walk, Shari told me this story from her day at work (as a school counselor). She said:

I was doing a presentation in a classroom today. We heard through the wall a kid’s voice yelling, “You effin…” The teacher quickly opened the door and went into the hallway. I figured she was going to stop the boy and give him a detention or send him to the office or something like that. But instead, she went up to him and… Read More

Celebrate The Victory And Embrace The Burden

My church celebrates MLK Day each year. Yesterday, our friend Tiffany Bluhm spoke in all three services. She’s an immigrant – adopted from an orphanage in Delhi, India and raised by a white family in an all-white community (for the first 10 years of her life). Tiffany and her husband Derek adopted their son Jericho from Uganda in 2013. She’s passionate about the subjects of race, reconciliation, and justice.

tiffany for post

In the morning service, while talking about the Martin Luther King holiday, she said:

I hope you don’t just binge-watch HGTV tomorrow on MLK day. Celebrate the victory… and embrace the burden.

After nodding my head and saying amen, I took my bulletin and wrote down a short list of suggestions – other things to… Read More

Thinking About That Time When I Was Enough

Recently some friends of ours showed up at church. It was a happy surprise—I wasn’t expecting to see them. They don’t exactly live in the Renton/Kent area, and I haven’t seen them in years… decades.

Who are they? Pastor Lou and Sandra—the ones who took a chance on me. My very first ministry position was at their church. I was young, inexperienced, and not yet finished with college. But they believed in me, loved me, and wanted me to be their youth pastor.

After their surprise visit at our church (where we had a few minutes to say hi, Pastor Lou gave me a “Pentecostal handshake,” and we posed together for a picture), Shari said something about them that left me reflecting for days…… Read More

The Final Word Is Love

*pictured above: my friend Reggie who was over-the-moon happy to come help get the church ready for our Sunday services.

Some powerful thoughts from Dorothy Day…

The final word is love.

The older I get, the more I meet people, the more convinced I am that we must only work on ourselves, to grow in grace.

The only thing we can do about people is to love them.

I only love God as much as I love the person I love the least.

We cannot love God unless we… Read More

Schools of the Heart

*pictured above: some of my favorite ladies at church hanging out and catching up with each other

Today’s word from Jean Vanier…

True unity cannot be achieved in a family or community which denies difference, and behaves as if everyone should be the same and think in the same way.

Unity is achieved when each member of the body is different and contributes a different gift, but all are united around the same goal by mutual love.

There are schools and institutions which develop our minds, but communities and families are the schools of… Read More

A Tiny Sign That Love Is Possible

When the world seems particularly chaotic, crazy, paranoid, hateful, fearful, or just too noisy, I need the gentle voice of a great-great-grandfather-type. My go-to in these times is Jean Vanier.

In his book Community & Growth, Vanier says…

We have to remind ourselves constantly that we are not saviors.

We are simply a tiny sign, among thousands of others, that love is possible, that the world is not condemned to a struggle between oppressors and oppressed, that class and racial warfare is not inevitable.

We are a sign that there is hope, because we… Read More