KINGDOM: the Gospel of the Kingdom – it’s not about Heaven

JustWrite copyI talk about the Kingdom of God a lot. I’m there so often because I’m still unpacking it for myself, but also because it is often a missing – and central – component to Jesus’ message of Good News. When we forget that the Gospel is also the Gospel of the Kingdom, what we’re left with is what we’ve all heard a thousand times: you’re a sinner; Jesus died on the cross for your sins, & rose again from the dead, & if you only pray to receive Him into your heart – voila – you’ll go to Heaven when you die! Sounds almost trite, once you hear it often enough – “pie in the sky, by & by”. Is that the whole Good News? Simply that someday, when you die, you won’t go to Hell? What about till then? What about NOW? [Read more…]

Waging War on our Poison Tongues

PoisonTongue
I once had an acquaintance state an observation they’d made about me that seemed out of the ordinary (they could take their pick, I suppose – “ordinary” is NOT something I’m often called). They said, You are almost completely without sarcasm, and that’s refreshing.

Oh how the mighty have fallen. [Read more…]

You are NOT Ordinary

ExcuseLike many young boys I knew, I grew up wishing I were a superhero. Unlike those other boys, my imagination was far more detailed and all-consuming.

My penchant for daydreaming earned me the nickname of “Martian” in elementary school – even the teachers called me that – because I was “always in outer space.”  My fantasy of choice was that a huge storm was bearing down on our school. I would imagine the teacher in front of me, but in my mind – as she was attempting to teach – waters rose up around her ankles, her waist, her shoulder – somehow unaware of the danger that was overtaking her.  I – in my minds eye – would then begin swimming each of the students in my class to safety, one-by-one, until the teacher – in real life – would call on me, and I would be at an absolute loss as to what she had been talking about.  “In outer-space again, Martian?”, and the whole class would giggle.  Even to this day, my favorite movies are Captain America, the Avengers, & Lord of the Rings – give me a hero with special abilities and an incredible call on his or her life and I am IN!

However, life feels so normal – so average – so day-to-day, pushing against the crowd, trying to make something happen.  Is there anything special about that? [Read more…]

God with Skin On (Christmas is REAL)

ChristmasBlogHow do you cope with the end of your world, & the beginning of another? As strange – & devastating – as that may sounds, that’s what Christmas is, and some of us even feel it.

God with skin on – the creator of the universe, putting on frailty. It’s like packaging an earthquake in a test-tube, or pouring all the world’s oceans into a coke can. It’s something profound – almost absurd – and if true, it changes – quite literally – EVERYTHING.  [Read more…]

Call me Blessed

This is GOOD NEWS!  This isn’t a new set of rules to obey, but freedom to be EXPERIENCED.

Not long ago a blog post entitled “The One Thing Christians should stop Saying” went so viral that it was picked up & re-published by the Huffington Post.  In it, Presbyterian missionary Scott Dannemiller states that Christians should stop saying we’re “blessed.”  Read the blog to see his point.

He makes one.  Personally, I’m not sure – even as he’s using the word “blessed” – that I agree with it… I see his heart, but Matthew 5:45 states that God makes “…the rain fall on the just and the unjust“… [Read more…]