Showing posts from August, 2017

The Transformative Work of Time

Today marks the one year anniversary of Adia becoming part of our family. Twelve months ago we finally got to hold the baby we had been praying for and she was fully ours. I vividly remember sweating as we waited in the children's center's main hall when one worker brought in this two-year-old with a shaved head and a fear of the unknown. This child was like a noodle, incapable of holding up her head, crawling or really sitting without assistance. Her skin was extremely fragile. Her little body so hungry and emaciated. Eventually, we got her to eat. Eventually, her eyes began to brighten. Eventually, we made it home to Escondido, to brother and sister, to her family. A lot has changed for Adia since August of 2016. One friend shared that when she met her in China she was afraid Adia wouldn't survive. Instead, she has learned to thrive. She is strong, smart and determined. She has the flair of a three-year-old and a laugh that can brighten your day. Of course, there have bee

The Rock and Nothing Else

This post first appeared on the Reservoir Church website as my pastoral reflection . As a new associate pastor, I was prayerfully preparing my first sermon for a Sunday morning, the weekend of Thanksgiving, a perfect time to let rookies preach I guess. As I finalized my outline and main points of the sermon I was granted the high honor of meeting with the revered Senior Pastor so he could review my material and guide me to the better way. I don't remember everything from the conversation, I know I spent a few minutes trying to convince my audience of one that yes you could, in fact, preach about Jesus from the Psalms (I was preaching that Jesus was our ultimate comfort from Psalm 119). But the key memory I have of that meeting was that pastor's bottom line advice: "You have to give them something concrete, something they can hold onto." I totally agreed, even though we defined what was concrete differently. For the pastor, he meant (and I know because I asked him) th

The Church is More than a Restaurant

Listening to a sermon on the identity of the church from Art Azurdia at Trinity Church in Portland. You can hear the whole sermon on 1 Peter 2:9-10 here . This clip speaks to how we see the church and how we claim it as our own. Wise, biblical counsel here. [soundcloud url="" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /]

What they will see

"Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. GOD, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer's; he makes me tread on my high places." Habakkuk 3:17-19 (ESV) We might present all the glitz and glamor we can muster. We might drum up stories of success and wealth. We may insist there be smoke and lights with our music. We may dream up a million strategies... to win people to Christ. But this is what they will see that will make Jesus desirable. In fact, it is why he is desirable and worth your life to follow. Because he is our strength. He is our joy. When life happens. When nothing goes "right." When all our strategies have come up short. When we don't know exactly how things will unfold. We can still take joy, grasp joy