This past Sunday our preaching series at our church through the Book of Revelation focused on Jesus' letter to the church at Ephesus. If you are at all familiar with these seven letters from the book's opening chapters, the phrase "you have abandoned your first love" probably popped into your mind when you heard the... Continue Reading →
Back in August I wrote an article based on a question that my good friend asked me recently: "What is the state of your soul this week?" You can read that article here. As I have continued to reflect on the importance of that question, I have considered the danger of assumptions. I believe that... Continue Reading →
Following Christ often calls us to swim against the powerful current of our culture. We need to see how this is the case even in the private way we engage one another, and not just in the big showy ways we typically attribute to that idea.
The lessons I teach my children are important. Taking time to teach them the Scriptures and to discuss how the gospel applies to our lives is vital. But my life will ultimately aim their hearts toward what I deem to be of greatest worth by the investment of my time, talent, and treasure.
Philosopher James K. A. Smith has a lot to say about the power of liturgies in shaping or forming our hearts. They do this by focusing our hearts on a telos (end), or a vision of the good life, through repetition or habit. I agree with him that whatever we have as that vision—that end... Continue Reading →
When anything other than Jesus becomes our hope (or our wealth, security, sufficiency, completeness, joy, safety, etc...), whatever we have replaced him with has become an idol. And when we place anything on that throne, we will defend it. We will justify it. We will protect it. We will cease to allow the gospel to confront it. We will hang a Do Not Disturb sign on it. As Gerald said on Sunday, "Our idols will always make demands of us."
It has been interesting to see the effects of social media on our culture over the past several years. One aspect that I find particularly interesting is the way that many people perceive what they believe to be a new or different identity online. So many seem to struggle with the ethical guidelines of this new... Continue Reading →
Our family had the awesome opportunity to see Rend Collective in concert this past Friday night. I have wanted to see them live for some time, so this was a real treat for me! If you are not familiar with Rend, they are a worship band from Ireland; although, on Friday night they actually referred to... Continue Reading →
As a covenant community, the members of my church, Westwood, intentionally seeks 'meaningful membership.' I love that we are a church that takes our covenant seriously, but I will admit that the contents of that covenant I have made can sometimes be out of sight, out of mind. How can we keep that from happening?... Continue Reading →
God's rebuke of his priests in Malachi offers a sobering picture of the reality of marginal giving for the Church today. To understand this, we must fully understand the context of this heavy passage in light of the entire biblical narrative. In his indictment, God accuses the Priests of "offering polluted food upon my altar"... Continue Reading →