Perhaps it's because I didn't grow up observing Lent that I seem to find it in the oddest places.Like in the bottom of a sinking boat filled with flopping fish.When I think of Lent these days, I think of three thingsself-reflection, repentance, and giving something upand Luke 5:1-11 has all three.Peter finds himself in an awkward situation.A carpenter/rabbi is giving him f...Keep Reading
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When I was a kid, I thought KAOS was simply the name of an international organization of evil with the goal of world domination, make believe from the old TV show Get Smart. I didn’t know as a young child it was a play on the word chaos. Not all children are able to be as blissfully unaware of chaos as I was but all of us in our teen years, if not for sure by adulthood, know the stress and chaos of everyday life. The seasons, long and short, of the complete lack of peace....
The angel said to Mary, “…behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end” (Luke 1:31-33). ...
Sheep wander the lowland darkness, nibbling at the hardwoods that grow among the bogs and the burnt hollows. An impossible ridge separates them from green meadows, azure pools, and the golden throne of God, and the flock knows it not. Wolves also wander there. And we, the sheep, follow in their wolvery....
James 4:1315Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit" yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.""I'm letting all t...Keep Reading
We had just finished an intense stretch of travel, conferences, meetings, and hosting missionaries. With Steve heading out for the next six days, I was looking forward to an empty house and some rest. However, the next day, I received a photoof Hannah C. and a beautiful baby boy in her arms. Wyatt had been born during the night, the son of a Vietnamese International studen...Keep Reading
With this year's vision focus we have been talkingabout kingdom-advancing risks. This is guidingme to a new way to think about my daily interactions, like the one I had with the UPS store notary yesterday.The young store manager was notarizing a few forms for a friendwhen I commented on his sparkly wedding-band-like ring, curiously worn on his right hand. I asked if he was...Keep Reading
Our neighbors, "Kami"and "Pete" are becoming friends. They think very differently than we do on some subjects yet we are learning to listen well and love one another.Last fall "Pete", a Buddhist, brought over a hand towel they selected for us while on vacation. It is well with my soul is embroidered on it. He recognized it as something Christian and thought we'd like it. W...Keep Reading
God is leading TFC toward an exciting vision. In the next twoyears and beyond, the reach of our branches will match the depth of our roots. Jesus calls us to an uncompromising discipleshipwhere building his kingdom often feels uncomfortable and is always out of our control. We've been challenged to take such kingdom-advancing risks to grow deeper in our walk with Christ an...Keep Reading
I'm back and filled with gratitude: for the gift of a sabbatical this summer, to be home with family and church family, and for the obvious ways God has been at work in the body and through the staff and elders.A friend who committed to be in touch with me through the summer started his texts with, "Where's Waldo?" And many have wondered, "Where was Keith, and what was he ...Keep Reading
When my life was fainting away,I remembered the LORD,and my prayer came to you,into your holy temple.- Jonah 2:7So prays the prophet Jonah from the stomach of a fish. As a man known for running from God, Jonah got a lot of things wrong. Rebelling against God's command? Check. Forsaking his calling? Check. Choosing hate over mercy? Check. Despite what may have defined his w...Keep Reading
And he was teaching them and saying to them, "Is it not written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations'?" (Mark 11:17)Having entered Jerusalem toward the end of his earthly ministry,Jesus proceeded to the Temple and began driving out those who were buying and selling there.In this context, Jesus quoted Isaiah 56:7, a prophecy thatthe latter-day te...Keep Reading
"I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. For this reason...Keep Reading