Holy Father, When I ponder the world, the church, and especially my own life, I am astonished at your patience. Your long-suffering is beyond comprehension. We, your church, stand in loving amazement at your united patience as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Loving Father, you patiently chose us, patiently made us, patiently redeemed us, and … More A Prayer for Patience
It happened right after a Saturday night message at a church I was visiting. I had just finished my third message for a youth retreat when a 14-year-old I’ll call “Megan” found me at the back of the auditorium. She had heard me say the night before that I knew serious things were going on … More Drops of Grace: The Limits and Opportunities of Momentary Ministry
If you want to learn, you have to get uncomfortable. And since we don’t often choose to be uncomfortable, if we want to learn, we have to find teachers and mentors and programs and responsibilities and experiences that will make us uncomfortable. The semester has begun at Boyce College, my final semester as a college professor. … More If You Want to Learn…
The Christian tradition has a complicated relationship with justice. In some situations, Christianized systems have been terribly unjust; in other situations, Christians have led the way toward justice. Sometimes Christians have denied that societal justice should be a concern of the faithful; at other times, Christians have decried any model of Christian theology that downplays … More Chains Shall He Break: The Jewish Messiah, the Christian Church, and the Hope of Justice
Yesterday I shared the exciting news that God has called me to serve as Lead Pastor of BridgePoint Bible Church in Houston, Texas beginning this summer. I will teach my final five biblical counseling classes at Boyce College this spring before we launch into a new season of life and ministry. But this transition is … More A Letter to My Students
Have you ever started watching a movie late at night, on a whim, only to have your better reason kick in and exchange the entertainment for a better night’s sleep? Or walked into a theater five minutes late and missed the opening scenes of a film? Or watched only bits and pieces of a documentary … More Reading for the Story: An Invitation to Read Large Portions of Scripture
In the past, I’ve often thought of the new year in terms of tangible goals in specific life categories. But this year I’m thinking a bit differently about the new year. I’m thinking in terms of investments. New year’s goals tend to last only for the year, if they last at all. But the very point … More Investing Well in 2017
Does God ever call us to die? I don’t mean the daily cross-bearing that Christ demands of every Christian. I mean: Does God ever call us to serve in a particular ministry or setting or location that seems to promise our death? A ministry or responsibility or stewardship we know will burden, overwhelm, and press … More When God Calls You to Die
What will it take to convince “evangelical” promoters, defenders, and supporters of Donald Trump that their ongoing support for a wicked, perverse, arrogant, scandalized, Christ-professing man is systematically dismantling their current integrity and their future witness? I almost never blog or tweet about politics or political candidates. But with the candidacy of Donald Trump, far more … More What Will It Take? Donald Trump and His “Evangelical” Supporters
“Should my personality influence my ministry?” A female student recently asked this question in a discussion about counseling, but it applies to any responsibility a person might hold. Whether leading, managing, preaching, organizing, parenting, or discipling, we often wonder how our personalities should affect our Christian responsibilities. The longer we live, the more we see that … More ASKED: Should my personality influence my ministry?
As a college freshman, Scott Burns was my Resident Director. Scott was a 6’5″ man’s man who knew everything about hunting, fishing, poisonous insects, and indigenous bushes. When he walked the halls, guys flocked to him. But above all these things, “Burns” was known for one particular quality. I later heard that he had committed to pray consistently … More What Every Young Man Needs
Each week, it seems, I experience a class session that seems magical — filled with intellectual tension, unbridled curiosity, stimulating questions, rich spontaneity, and seemingly life-shaping learning. I inevitably walk away with my mind racing over fresh terrain and new ideas, rejoicing in my God-given role as lead learner. Of course, growth is mainly measurable over time, … More The Magical and the Mundane
Consider this reflection a heap of stones piled purposefully along the path as a memorial to the faithfulness of God. The email reads: Dear David, We received your follow-up documentation, and we have processed a refund in the amount of $246.46, which we believe represents your reasonable expenses. The check will be mailed via U.S. … More He Always Provides: $246.46 and the Faithfulness of God
ASKED: A New Feature This semester I’m teaching 230 students in four biblical counseling classes at Boyce College, the undergraduate school at Southern Seminary. CN101a: Introduction to Biblical Counseling CN101b: Introduction to Biblical Counseling CN201: Methods of Biblical Counseling CN481: Counseling Skills Development I Depending on time and topic, students ask 10-20 questions per class, and many … More ASKED: Should a younger Christian ever correct an older Christian?
Last night I got some terrible news about a close friend. After the phone call, there was nothing to do but pray. We gathered our kids downstairs, told them what had happened, and did what Christians do when death, sorrow, and pain lacerate the soul: we spoke to God. Three of the kids wanted to … More The Prayers God Loves
Last Saturday I ran my first half-marathon: 13.1 miles through downtown Louisville with 12,234 other sweaty and soaked participants of all ages, genders, shapes, and speeds, some running the full 26.2-mile course and others, like me, taking the easy route. The gun fired at 7:30am, and the sneakered masses flooding the the lettered corrals on Main … More The Long Run: Reflections from a Half-Marathon