Pruning

The pruning knife rested on the defenseless plant. “Surely not that one!” I cried as the gardener skillfully cut away another branch. She looked at me and smiled: “Don’t worry my friend. It’s for the good of the plant.” Watching …

On Simplicity, Complexity, & Mystery

Well, September 19th would have been my dad’s 74th birthday. For some reason, it hit me harder this year. Dad and I were very close and I cannot express how deeply I miss our daily talks. But grief is unpredictable. …

My Atheist Dad, Moses, & Jesus On Leadership

Dipping his Oreos in ice-cold whole milk, Dad’s brown eyes would dance as he asked, “So how’s the daughter?” Those smiling eyes would never leave me while we talked into the night. All the thoughts within me—my perceptions and objections, …

Big Brother Bookkeeping

(From thoughts that began collecting in my 1995 journal.) In Luke 15:2, the Pharisees register a complaint against Jesus: “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Included in Jesus’ response to the leaders’ disapproval is the beloved parable of the …

Liberty, Lawlessness, & Control

Seven Woes, part 7 Woe to those who prefer the spirit of control over the spirit of liberty. Will we expend the energy to pursue interior holiness? For years I have been thinking about a disturbing and distinct division among followers …

Slow down & face the ugly

Seven Woes, part 6 Woe to us when we attempt to outrun addictions. Will we slow down and seek help? Addictions simply can’t be outrun. They will not be silenced by noise, exhausted by activity, or intimidated by sacrifice. Slow …

When you think God is wasting your time

Seven Woes, part 5 Woe to us when we squander today straining toward tomorrow. Will we savor this gift called time? [Note: These thoughts will be familiar to readers of Anonymous: Jesus’ Hidden Years and Yours.] We may not say …

Always grazing, never committing

Seven Woes, part 4 Woe to us when we justify unfaithfulness to the Church. Will we commit to the gathered people of God? This is not about taking prayerful time to find a spiritual home in a new city or a …

The spiritualization of ambition

Seven Woes, part 3 Woe to us when we crave fame. Do we possess the strength to be nothing?   May we speak honestly about the spiritualization of ambition in the church? We daydream of greatness and call it being visionary.   …

The abuse of mercy

Seven Woes, part 2 Woe to us when we protect wolves. Will we fight to discern between mercy and deception? This is a merciful generation: one that hears the silent wounded and is willing to make sacrifices toward their healing. Yet …