Questions About Change

November 15, 2013

OK- my plans to pick up writing here again have not materialized as quickly as I planned. Life gets so busy sometimes. But I do have plans to remedy this situation and actually have a pretty good strategy to start writing again. Thanks for the patience and those of you who connected with me to let me know you had missed me. It means a lot to hear that and makes me want to write another post!


I got to connect with a dear friend this morning. This is a friend I have known now for years. We met in our summer intensive Greek class with the world’s worst Greek teacher and suffered through the hours upon hours of eating, drinking, and dreaming in Greek. I’m pretty sure that kind of suffering induces a bond that few others would understand. Adam and I have remained friends through the years of seminary and beyond, through ministries and ministry changes, through challenges and triumphs, through long distances and long silences. He’s the type of person where we can pick where we left off. And I still smile at the memory of him walking into the lounge at the seminary after class, and flipping over chairs re-enacting Jesus in the temple flipping tables, as Adam protested the current state of the Church and it’s disregard for the passions of God. Adam then sat in the middle of the room hunched over and mad until our other friend, Paul, and I coaxed him to join us. It’s been tremendous to watch God take Adam’s passion for the poor and hungry and turn it into a breathtaking vocation that has traveled the world and interacted with many cultures and people. In some ways, I’m pretty sure Adam has had a pretty rockstar vocation- only not in the way so many Christians view “rockstar pastors.” Adam’s work has had a depth of meaning that I confess I am sometimes jealous of.

And now Adam is planting a church. And I couldn’t be more excited for him. And more scared.  Read the rest of this entry »

Getting to the Source

August 27, 2013

When I was very sick, I wanted to know why. I also wanted to know how to get well. Quickly. A few years ago, I had a form of cancer along with pancreatitis. So I asked these questions to whatever doctor I could talk to about my condition, trying to get to the bottom of it. I, fortunately, found a doctor who could not only help answer my questions, but also give me ways to live a healthier life, and while that never fully cured my health concerns, I can say that with his advice and support, I made significant lifestyle changes that have added quality to my life, halted some disease in its tracks, and helped me to live as healthy as possible even with the after effects of that traumatic medical emergency.

It sounds so easy when I re-read that paragraph above. But it wasn’t. Not only did I struggle with the anxiety of the illness, but I also worried that I might never be healthy again, or that they might uncover something more in the healing process. Those struggles are hard enough, but when you add in the reality that changing the way you live, think, exercise and eat, it gets REALLY HARD. We seem to be hard-wired to do some things some ways and sometimes, those hard-wired things are very destructive. Habits are hard to break and carving new disciplines in life is challenging work.

But I wanted to be healthy. Really, really healthy. And that kept me going, with lots of prayers and lots of tears.  I look back on that time now and see just how unhealthy my body, my heart, and my thoughts were. But that perspective has only come after getting through the difficulties. Read the rest of this entry »

Holy Discontent

December 4, 2012

At a gathering of pastors the other day, we had a deep discussion on what we termed “holy discontent.” As pastors around the table struggle with the reality that their small churches could close if they lost only a couple more people, the question came up: What do we do to turn these churches around? These inward, hurting, hurtful, congregations that these pastors deeply love. Read the rest of this entry »