I am unapologetically a book guy, I always have been. For me books were a refuge and a comfort during a childhood that although happy wasn’t always peaches and cream. As a young adult, a city kid who moved to the mountain West, I learned a lot of the skills of that turned me into a competent outdoorsman from reading and as a new Christian in my late 20’s who had no Christian friends or relatives, along with being discipled by faithful men, I learned a lot about how to live as a Christian by reading. As I began pastoral ministry, while also leaning on mentors, I also read, especially collections of letters, to build my skill set as a shepherd.… Continue reading
On April 25, 2018, I was arrested. I was led away from the church in handcuffs. I was booked and charged with 3 counts of larceny and 2 counts of defacing a monument. I know, really shocking stuff. But what is even more shocking than a pastor being arrested, is what precipitated my arrest. I removed political signs that were posted on church property without permission. And because so many have asked me what happened, I thought I should take this opportunity to relate the events, and also a few of the lessons I learned.
I want to be clear and open.… Continue reading
Last week one of my fellow PS23 contributors sent me one of those annoying Facebook challenges, in this case it was to post a picture of a book that influenced my life, with no explanation, for 5 days. And while, as a rule, I find things like this annoying, and ignore them, in this case I was intrigued to think through the five books that impacted my life. I’m a book guy, I always have been (even as a hard partying unbeliever and even as a child) so it was an interesting exercise to think through the 5 books that really affected my life.… Continue reading
Life can be straight up overwhelming at times. Can I get an “Amen”? If you’ve lived more than 15 minutes in this world, you surely know what I’m talking about. Though I’ve heard it said, “God will never give you more than you can handle,” and though the words themselves sound very similar to the words of Scripture (1 Corinthians 10:13), whoever first used those words to suggest that the Lord is too nice to allow too much pain into your life – was dead wrong. Overwhelming situations are like storms. And Jesus has been known to lead his people through storms. … Continue reading
Why did God create man with the ability to sin? I suspect this is a question that you have asked at some point in your life. I know I have. It is a variation of the age-old “problem of evil.” Is there an answer to this question? And how might it apply to other kinds of God-ward questions beginning with “why”?
In his Institutes of the Christian Religion, John Calvin gives a very good two-part answer to the question of why God made man with the ability to sin. I thought I’d pass it on to you in this post, as I have found it helpful, and I believe it is relevant to the other why questions of life.… Continue reading