journey

Discipleship as Story: A Shared Journey of What It Is to Be Fully Human

I’ve been to India twice now. On both occasions I took in a trip to Agra to visit the Red Fort and the famed Taj Mahal. I was traveling with my family on the second tour and wanted them to experience all I had in my first Eastern adventure. 

You see, my first tour was with a native travel guide who completely immersed herself in the history and legacy of her country. She told stories about the people and events that had inhabited the sites as though she had experienced them herself. She was connected with the story. She told it as if it was her own. I listened with keen interest, hung on every word. I was invited into her world, her history, her life. I not felt I knew her country and her heritage; I believed I knew her. 

Eager for my wife and daughter to experience the same riveting interaction, we embarked on the two-hour ride to Agra from New Deli. My eagerness waned as…

Honest in Church?

Church is too often the most risky place to be spiritually honest. - Peter Enns

It's a challenging statement. And yet, most of us know exactly what it means. Of course, we are complex beings, thoroughly connected: body, mind, spirit. So being spiritually honest can be as difficult to as revealing our mental illness, our emotional insecurities, our addictions.

How does this risk exist in too many churches? What contributes to our mask-wearing? Perhaps some of the following are true...

  • Do we expect only joy should be expressed in corporate worship?
  • Do we say "how are you?" with any intention of hearing what's true - regardless?
  • Do we believe that Christ-followers should never feel depression, anxiety or suicidal ideation?
  • Do we value closure and convincing over journey and process?
  • Are we afraid our question of faith...

What's So Good about the Dark?

The writer of Hebrews penned a passage that long ago became known as the “faith chapter” or the “hall of faith.” Chapter 11 begins this way: 

Faith is the assurance of what we hope for, the evidence of things not seen.

Put another way: Faith is the “sureness” of what we hope for…to be certain of things we cannot see. 

This verse seems to paint a picture of what it is to walk in the dark. Faith isn’t required in the light of day, when all is visible. Those “things we cannot see” are not merely out of sight, but rather...

I Don't Want to Stay Where I Am

This past week was a staycation during "spring" break. You know what I mean. Don’t spend the money you would on a trip away. Lay low. Sleep in. Get projects done around the yard and house. Watch more TV and movies. Drink more. Coffee.

I did lay low. I didn’t sleep in – at all. I got some chores done, but no projects to speak of. Yes, The Voice is headed into final competition and Designated Survivor still has Keifer Sutherland in the Oval Office. So, I enjoyed my normal TV viewing with my wife, Laura (and relished lunch with her nearly every day). And I absolutely drank more coffee. More coffee in various coffee shops, not just a cup at home. I tried new flavors in new places with the same special people in my life.

But the week wasn’t about being lazy while taking in abundant portions of caffeine.

I’ve read...

The Lens of Awareness

My wife, Laura, and I shared breakfast at "our" Starbucks this past Friday just before I headed for the airport. As I kissed her goodbye, I looked into her stunning eyes and reminded her: "I'm so thankful you're here...that you are alive." She responded with the same heart-felt expression of gratitude about me. 

And we both knew exactly the journey that led to this depth of thankfulness we share...

I Kept Living

This is my view everyday at my office. It has been for years. The picture of my wife, Laura, and our daughter, Olivia, on the right was taken 20 years ago at our home in Tacoma, WA.

I'm not pictured with them, because I was an hour away in Seattle, trying to gain the courage to fight for my life. I'd gotten to the edge of despair enough times for several months prior that...

Broken

I admit it: I am broken.

There was a day I wore my brokenness as a badge. Right below a larger badge that boasted I was aware and in touch with my brokenness. Both of those badges were worn on a coat of "I've dealt with my crap" self-righteousness. I was so proud of my humble condition. Which only further compounded my brokenness.

Eventually, I shed my coat of self-righteousness along with the badges that announced my prideful humility. I put on a different coat. A "normal" coat. An "I'm ok" coat. There were initiatives to lead, objectives to accomplish and, quite frankly, people to impress. More symptoms...