The World Next Door

Acting on the recommendation of an online friend I grabbed The World Next Door: A short guide to the Christian faith, and found the little book to be a great primer on the Apostle’s Creed.  Written by a pastor and professor both currently in Australia, the accessible book has some cultural references that might be unfamiliar to and American reader but not so much so that it hurts the effort.  Geared for those looking to understand Christianity more, the book begins with an account of demons and lands with forgiveness and resurrection, Christ’s and yours. Of course it is only yours if you believe in him. So the authors, and I, hope you will believe. Originally looking for a book to make available to neighbors in SoCal I don’t think it matches our needs but is still a quality, easy-to-read guide to the Apostle’s Creed.  Find a copy here. 

Who You Serve

Luke recounts the temption of Jesus in chapter four of his Gospel. Jesus’ response to the devil’s temptation to worship him was to quote Deuteronomy 6:13. He hit back with the Word. “And Jesus answered him, “It is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’” All of the kingdoms of the world before him. That’s what he came to rule over anyway right? But he doesn’t budge. Yahweh only. The Father only.  We too still live under this reality. Worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.  The temptation is also a current reality for us. Everyday we face the lure of surrendering worship to lesser things to get ahead. To identities that don’t match truth. To principalities that promise to finally define you. To passions that are fleeting.  In Christ, you are not alone in facing it all. The Spirit is your helper that makes you to stand firm. With his help don’t bow down to the bluster of our day. Worship the Lord alone. Serve only him. It is where

Flying Thoughts

We all have different reasons for the journey. We all have our own stories, our own angles of understanding the world and our experience of it.  These souls that fill the flying cylinder in the air. Rushing to an exotic location with a language not all of us understand.  Some are on sad business. Returning home to bury family or their love. Some are just beginning a life of wedded bliss. Prepared for margaritas, sand between their toes and a week of sex to mark their nuptials. Some finally taking a break from the race of rats. This the answer to “slow down or die.”  All different reasons. Vastly different stories. Most we will never know. My own reason is one of family adventure. Visiting our blood relations who chose wisely where to live. Days of play, empty diaries, and close quarters for three generations.  Our stories will blend with others. We will bump into strangers, meet people that live in the same zip code a thousand miles away. And while we may never mingle

Artisan Disruption

This week while in Phoenix for a couple of stirring days thinking about equipping the church and living into our missional calling together I experienced artisan disruption.  The lads and I were heading to the second day of the gathering and decided to find some local coffee spot to fuel our morning. When the first stop was closed we rounded the corner into another shop that pushed against our attempts at constant efficiency.  Inside a small art gallery (which also had a hair salon) there was a coffee bar, with one barista doing more than just making drinks, he was making art. The guy had form, precision, and and exacting hand as he made each drink.  The line was out the door yet he carried on, unhurried, unhindered by demand. He was the artisan.  At first I felt out of place. After all I am the guy who drinks from carafes at Panera because I have a sip membership. So to be in a bespoke establishment pulled me out of my element to begin with. This is a discomfort I enjoy

The Scandal of Free Turtles

My son has/had a couple of turtles. Red-eared sliders who thankfully resided at my dear Aunt's place in town. In her spoiling of my children, somehow turtles were purchased and nurtured. We saw these turtles every week and they were very well taken care of.  Then my beloved Aunt decides to move to Arizona. The plan had long been that once we bought a house the turtles would reside with us in a pond of some sort on our property. But as the inevitable transition approached we balked and my Aunt set out to find a new home for Fred and Percy.  This brings us to our scandalous story.  My Aunt arranged for the turtles to live in a pond, in a gated community, in the back yard of a local dentist. We set out on Sunday to meet and send off the turtles to their new home. But as we arrived at the gate, the doctor was not answering her phone and we didn't know how to get in.  After some time someone drove in and our cars quickly followed through the open gate. Parking at the house the secon