friendship

Stop Your Target Practice

I love it when people begin to discover that they are loved by God. I especially love it when they move from understanding how much they matter to God, to seeing that other people really matter too. They matter as treasures God created. They matter to that person who's just discovered God's grace. It's beautiful.

It's disappointing though, when followers of Christ begin to see their friends as walking targets, a bull's eye target to faith-wrestle to their knees, so they can be "saved." People can tell when the friendship is motivated by pure love that is curious, genuinely interested and invested. And, people can tell when the "friendship" is about completing a soul-saving objective. When that happens...

Right Where You Are.

A common mantra in the Church about God’s love goes like this: “God loves you right where you are, but too much to leave you there.” I’ve said it too. It’s true. 

Sometimes I wonder if our mantra risks communicating an unwillingness to love people right where they are. 

I talk to others a lot about accepting people right where they are. It’s at the core of the guest services training I do with churches and organizations. It’s what I teach. And yet, I’m embarrassed that I am still learning...

Chemo Crud. Courage. Community.

It's day six of the final week of chemo crud. That's what my wife, Laura, and I have not-so-affectionately labeled the week following chemo treatments: chemo crud week. It is cruddy.  

In case you missed it - Laura was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer this past July. This past Friday was her final chemo treatment. Chemo crud sets in no later than day two after the treatment and lasts a little longer with each treatment. Hopefully, last night's nausea and subsequent vomiting won't last more than another couple days.  

Everyone sees Laura after chemo crud week. When she's happily engaging conversation at our church building, Starbucks or elsewhere in our community. It's truly remarkable to see her smile. To experience her genuine worship as she leads us with the arts team. To admire her strength and courage.  

I see her as she is now.

Courage. In Spite of.

Courage doesn't always look bigger than life. it often leads us through the valley of the shadow of death. Courage sometimes feels utterly weak as we admit that we cannot ... without God's Spirit.

 My friend, Don Reynolds, has given me the gift of sharing journey and life together for some time now. This past weekend he courageously shared a glimpse of his story

Technology & Human Relationships | Take 2

Last week I wrote briefly about the confusion we create or at least cultivate regarding technology and human relationships. Technology isn't merely about the cool factor of an amazing product, it has the ability to enhance our relational experiences. Or not.  

I asked in last week's article for feedback: Does social media and the technology that makes it possible really improve our relationships or does it distract? I'm about to make the first comment to my own question (I'm not bitter. Not very. A little. Maybe. No, I'm not.).

From my own personal experience over the last couple weeks, my family and I have been blown away by technology and the three little app icons pictured above. 

Two weeks ago my lovely wife, Laura, was diagnosed with breast cancer.

 

A Muddy Christian Worldview: Us vs. Them

I'm still on the west coast enjoying the sight line of palm trees against a blue sky. I could really get used to this. As I've enjoyed the local scene, I've visited a number of churches in the past couple days. Even here in sunny L.A. the teaching in local churches can still be annoying - even damaging.

This past Saturday evening a cool website led me to an apparent relevant, progressive church who happened to give their platform to a guest professor from a nearby, well-known, evangelical college. I think it was a mistake.

Although this church was innovating ways to open dialog in their personal relationships with friends within their culture, this guest speaker managed to present a paradigm that threatened their voice of grace