I had intended to talk to you about spiritual influencers in our lives. There have been many in my life, and I know my story would not be the same without them.
Like John Parlow. A pastor radically committed to understanding culture and reaching a community. A man whose sermons made a 16-year-old me want to come to church, even when my mom couldn’t make it.
Or Daniel Deutschlander. A professor who turned freshmen into budding theologians. A Christian whose... Read More
“It’s a good life.” That’s how a friend of mine who is a pastor describes his career.
Isn’t that awesome?
At the same time, a survey of pastors found that while many pastors enjoy their calling, they still face real stressors:
84 percent say they’re on call 24 hours a day.
54 percent find the role of pastor frequently overwhelming.
48 percent often feel the demands of ministry are more than they can handle.
For the past month, people across the... Read More
Are you a godparent? Having sponsors at a baptism isn’t as common today as it used to be. And the Bible doesn’t tell us that everyone has to have godparents. So if your kids didn’t have a godfather and a godmother chosen for them at their baptisms, that’s okay.
But you can call me the Godfather. (Because I actually have a goddaughter. I also do a pretty decent Marlon Brando impersonation, but we’ll save that for another time.)
I love... Read More
Oprah. Michael Phelps. Harrison Ford. Lady Gaga. Jim Carrey. Terry Bradshaw. Ellen DeGeneres. Serena Williams. Robin Williams.
Each of these celebrities (and more!) has battled depression and has been willing to share his or her story. Scientists have studied the phenomena that show that as celebrities are willing to talk about their own mental health challenges, other people find the courage to do so too. According to the World Health Organization, depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, which... Read More
I have a number of friends who love fall. They love sweaters and bonfires and pumpkins. I struggle with dread this time of year, and after overdosing on pumpkin coffee a few years back and a long winter ahead, I have little to look forward to.
I have the same struggle with Christmas. I know some of you love walking into stores now that they’re decorating for Christmas. I can barely do Christmas music in December, and I don’t have... Read More
I thought I was just being a good Samaritan.
It was a brutally cold winter night in Wisconsin, and I was pulling out of the parking lot of a Mexican restaurant when I saw a woman shuffling down the sidewalk, hunched over and freezing.
I rolled down the window of my toasty Saturn SL2 and asked, “You okay?”
“No,” her teeth chattered. “My car broke down at that gas station.”
“Can I give you a ride home?” I offered.
“That... Read More
Every day you . . .
go to work
go to sleep
wake up . . . repeat
There has to be more to life than this, right?
You might be surprised to find out the Christian life is a call to action, a call to adventure.
Being a Christian is not just about believing the right stuff or going to the right church.
It’s a call to... Read More
At St. Luke’s Hospital in Meridian, Idaho, every organ donor receives a walk of respect. (The video is only two minutes long. I highly encourage you to watch this quiet, respectful moment.) Every available hospital employee stands quietly in the hallway from the ICU to the elevator as the doctors and family escort the patient who is making a final sacrifice. It is the hospital’s way of showing support and gratitude to a family who is suffering and saying their... Read More
One of my true passions for the church is transparency.
I wish we church people would stop faking it. I wish we would be so real that no one, either inside our church or in our community, would falsely assume that Christianity is about self-declared good people getting a little bit better, instead of sinful people getting saved from their worst by Jesus.
I wish people who battle addiction or deal with depression or question their gender didn’t have to... Read More
A few years ago, my pastor preached a sermon on marriage. He gave us a prayer he thought we might find helpful as we pray for our spouses.
It goes like this: “Jesus, please give my spouse a more Jesus-centered spouse.”
I was really hoping for a different prayer. How about, “Jesus, please make my spouse more centered on me.” You get what I mean, right? We all want our spouses to act the way we want them to, to... Read More