“Homosexuality is a sin and I will tell someone that. I will still love them and treat them the same because that’s what Jesus would do, but I will still tell them it’s a sin.” This statement came from a great friend of mine as we stayed up late one night talking. He followed up by saying that God calls us to do radical things to follow him and because homosexuality is a sin that means the radical response from someone is to leave that lifestyle; even if it means leaving a stable life and family that they have built together. The disciples left families and business to follow Christ, so why would we be expected to do anything less.
I don’t like horror movies. I’ve seen maybe 5 my entire life, the scariest of which was “Event Horizon”. After watching it my brother and I turned on every light in the house before going to bed. Growing up a preacher’s kid my dad told us stories of people he had witnessed opening the door to the Devil through Ouija boards and other devises, only to wind up with their physical lives at risk. While they scared us enough never to touch the things, we were always intrigued enough to ask him to tell the story again.
What is it about being afraid that excites and intrigues us? Is it the adrenaline rush we get when an ax wielding psychopath jumps out of a corn maze at us? Maybe it’s the sudden flash of our life before our eyes as we dodge the scythe of the grim reaper on a haunted hayride. Or maybe it’s the intrigue with death, the afterlife, and the Devil that draws us to it. Continue reading
I recently attended my first graveside burial service. The father of a students in my youth group had passed after a long struggle with cancer. The ripple it sent through every student began the moment I told the first group of students about it. It only took seconds for the tears to come as they put an arm around each other. One student ran and as I caught her, she simply buried her head on my shoulder and sobbed. My own emotions and well-being took a back seat as I not only had a student whose father had passed, but an entire youth group in mourning to care for. No one knew what to do, but they knew they didn’t want to be alone. Continue reading
It was my senior year in college. I was the hall mentor in the freshmen and sophomore dorm. I had a room to myself, but the door was always open unless I was studying so that guys could come by and talk. It was about ten o’clock at night and I heard a knock on the door and outside was a friend of mine I had known for several years. He wasn’t from my floor and didn’t come to any of the worships or Bible studies that I led, but it didn’t matter. He just wanted to talk, so of course I said yes and we sat down on the old couch I had dug out of the trash like any good college student does. We weren’t great friends and didn’t hang out or socialize, but we had been part of a study abroad group together for a year and knew each other more than just study partners. I could tell he was nervous, and after a few minutes of chit chat he just came right out and said “I’m gay”. Continue reading
It’s the same every week. I walk into church with my family, pick up our bulletin from the greeter and find a seat. We partially listen to the sermon while we keep our boys cornered in the pew so they don’t disturb anyone with their matchbox cars. After leading the youth group, I chat with groups of students as they talk about their week and what they’ll be doing that evening. I finally meet up with my wife to corral our boys. We shake hands and say quick hello’s to the people we pass as we head out to the car. I look back over my shoulder at our demographic: the group of 30-something’s with kids, standing and chatting. They’re planning where they’re headed for lunch and whose house they will gather at to play board games that evening. I’m well aware that conversation won’t include me.
This is my church. I’m an elder, member of the board, leader of a ministry. I’ve been there 10 years and everyone knows who I am. But sometimes I can’t help but feel lonely in the midst of the crowd.
There’s a new movie out entitled “The Ledge” which has received quit a bit of publicity over it’s appearance of being anti-Christian. The lead character is an atheist who finds himself at odds with an evangelical neighbor. Now, I haven’t seen the movie so I’m not going to jump into whether it’s good or bad. But watching the preview and reading responses online to it’s supposed anti-Christian message, it made me think about how defensive Christianity has become. Continue reading
I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine about God’s plan and knowing God’s will for your life. We were going back and forth about career decisions and trying to help each other make sense of the frustrations we are experiencing in our lives. She made several recommendations to me along the lines of “maybe God’s trying to tell you something”, to which I responded “I’m sorry this isn’t going to sound Christian, but I’m tired of hearing that. I’ve gone in every direction I think God’s leading me and every time the ‘door God opens’ gets closed. I feel like God’s telling me to go and stay all at the same time and I’m tired of it.” Continue reading