Monthly Archives: June 2013

The “Meanings” of Christianity: Righteousness

Righteousness. What a confusing and misunderstood word. We use it and use it over and over again without much critical thought as to what it means. Thanks to our traditional focus on personal piety, this word has taken on overtones of a personal experience. One is righteous if they are upright, pure, above reproach in their personal morality. Clearly that is part of what makes someone righteous, but it ignores a whole side of the word that is of utmost importance, perhaps of even more importance than this personal side of the word.  Continue reading

Categories: Theological Reflections | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

We Need Worlds to Collide

Recently, here in Arica, we were blessed to host a couple Cuban pastors. They shared of their churches, their experiences, and their reality. It was a wonderful time. Hearing this one pastor speak in our church, sharing about their outreach to the community, offering food to those who had none, showing their community the full love of Jesus challenged us all, especially given their context. To be honest, however, something else impacted me even more than his words. It happened during the time of praise and worship.  Continue reading

Categories: Cultural Reflections, Theological Reflections | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Hurting Fathers on Father’s Day

I really don’t want to go to church this Sunday. That may sound extreme to some, especially since I’m a pastor, but with Father’s Day on the way I find myself a mix of emotions. Part of me screams for people to recognize that I am a father; that my son not being here doesn’t negate his existence. Another part of me just wants this day to vanish. I want to crawl into a hole and to emerge on Monday as if nothing had ever happened.

As I struggle with these emotions I feel very alone. I know I have a loving wife and family who are there for me, who love me, and who support me. I know that when Father’s Day comes, they will accompany me however I need them to. Even so, I feel alone…and I’ll tell you why. Continue reading

Categories: Cultural Reflections | Tags: , , | 25 Comments

The “Meanings” of Christianity: Faith

Another frequently used word in our vocabulary is the word ‘faith’. “Do you have faith in Jesus?” we ask. He’s struggling with his faith. She has told me that she has doubts that challenge her faith daily. Faith can mean belief, trust, religion, or a plethora of other things. In this way, faith is a word that we need to figure out. What does this word mean? What does it have to do with following Jesus?  Continue reading

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Love that’s Worth the Pain

Why is it that we hurt so bad when we have to say goodbye? Why do we allow ourselves to become so attached to someone that separation from them results in actual physical symptoms? What is it about love that makes us enter into it in spite of our having full knowledge that it will invariably cause us pain at some point in our life? Whether it’s the sting of puppy-love gone awry or the deep sadness that comes with the  pain of death, our falling in love, our cultivating love, will lead to sorrow, heartache, and pain.

Yet we choose to love anyway.

Continue reading

Categories: Theological Reflections | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

The Church as Christ

I’m teaching 1 Corinthians in Sunday School, and I’m constantly being challenged and enlightened by this wonderful letter. Paul is worried by a church dividing, and in love he confronts, teaches, and encourages unity. He teaches tolerance, bearing with one another. He tells us to care for those who are weaker, deferring our freedom for the good of others. All of this with the goal that the church be healthy in it’s inner relationships as well as in it’s testimony to those outside of its walls. Continue reading

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