Sometimes Success Isn't

Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen… 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horsemen… the king made made silver as common in Jerusalem as stone (1 Kings 10:26–27). You’d think the narrator is describing a successful king. But he’s not. He’s describing a failure. How do we know? God’s earlier law: The king must not acquire many horses for … More Sometimes Success Isn't

Six Reasons to Listen to Sermons That Aren't About You

How do you listen to a sermon that’s not about you? How can I benefit from a talk on anxiety if I’m not worried, marriage if I’m not married, or depression if I’m not down? I’m currently preaching through 1 Peter, and coming across some passages with specific target audiences—like Christian wives, many with non-Christian … More Six Reasons to Listen to Sermons That Aren't About You

Guided Where I Go

Father, I know that all my life is portioned out for me; The changes that are sure to come, I do not fear to see; I ask thee for a present mind intent on pleasing thee. I would not have the restless will that hurries to and fro, Seeking for some great thing to do … More Guided Where I Go

Four Ways to Drop the Mic

American culture is obsessed with dropping the mic. YouTube is overrun with videos of Shapiro or Colbert or Peterson “destroying” or “embarrassing” or “shutting down” some allegedly outwitted opponent. We love the idea of leaving an adversary speechless, their intellectual sails in tatters, the foundations of their confidence shaken and (we like to think) irrecoverable. If … More Four Ways to Drop the Mic

A Time Such as This: MLK and the Future of the Church

Fifty years ago today, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. Fifty years later, the church in America is still grappling with the systemic aftereffects of multigenerational racism. The things I’ve seen and heard and experienced as a husband and father in a multiracial … More A Time Such as This: MLK and the Future of the Church

Don’t Give Up

I don’t know what day it will be for you. No one does. But there’s coming a day—it might even be today—when you’ll feel like giving up. I’m not talking about a momentary feeling, a hazy sense of discouragement, a wisp of doubt and trepidation. I’m talking about full-blown disillusion—the wholesale evaporation of hope. I … More Don’t Give Up

Look to the East: 10 Christian Responses to Opposition

Outrage. Fear. Confusion. Anger. Nostalgia. Withdrawal. Many of the ways we Christians respond to opposition are far from ideal. Peter knew what it was like to face opposition, to lash out in anger or draw back in fear, to be restored in love, and then to step out boldly with gospel courage. It took him years to learn, … More Look to the East: 10 Christian Responses to Opposition

The Calling

The safest place to be is at the center of God’s calling, no matter how difficult or dangerous. The most dangerous place to be? Anywhere else. When God calls a man to a vocation, God is not primarily concerned with the things the man himself was concerned about before receiving that call. God is concerned with … More The Calling

Carry Us to Sabbath

Carry us, O sabbath Lord, when sabbath days are awful few. O help us rest, and rest assured, in sabbath’s story, long and true. That seventh day, from heaven’s throne, you looked upon a world made. Your restful satisfaction shone o’er heav’n and earth, in joy surveyed. From Sinai’s thundering mount you gave a law … More Carry Us to Sabbath

The Resurrection and the Life: Lazarus, Harvey, and the Love of Jesus

I am the resurrection and the life. —Jesus of Nazareth From all appearances, Jesus arrived too late. Far too late. And not fashionably, stylishly late, but wrongfully, neglectfully late. His friend Lazarus had been sick—critical condition—and Jesus waited. He didn’t rush to Bethany, like a real friend would’ve done. He didn’t come right away, like … More The Resurrection and the Life: Lazarus, Harvey, and the Love of Jesus

Let Words Be Few

The words we threw around today, the curses and the blessings both, Were not a verbal game to play— a trifled breath, an empty oath. Instead, life’s current carries now the poisons we released so free; The fire careless words allow, consuming us from sea to sea. We know not how the cost will rise, … More Let Words Be Few