A Christmas Post: Mary’s Message

I love thinking about the Christmas story from Mary’s vantage point. Everyone remembers being a teenager… you’re figuring out your gifts and beginning to envision the future. Imagine teenage Mary and her prospects for the future as a poor, obscure Jew. Suddenly, she is visited by an angel and endowed with a mandate like no other in history! “In the Sixth Month God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her […]

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10 Biblical Truths Gen Z Needs Right Now

It is sad to hear that we have lost a great hero of the faith in Eugene Peterson. [The beloved Presbyterian minister authored more than 30 books and devotionals, including “The Message,” a paraphrase of the Bible that sold more than 16 million copies worldwide.] We will miss him for now, but will still look to the words he left behind. As the next generation attempts to navigate a loud, chaotic, and increasingly post-truth world, where culture is both pervasive and persuasive, we’d do well to point them in the direction of timeless truth for wise counsel from a respected […]

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The Changing Face of Education in the US and How It’s Impacting the Faith of Children

“Our kids learn within a system of education devised for a world that increasingly does not exist.”[1] Technology has permeated the education system with American public schools providing at least one computer for every five students and $3+ billion per year for digital content. [2] One computer to five kids Tablets and smart boards don’t magically make pupils smarter unless teachers know how to use the devices properly and in a way that fosters engagement and encourages learning.[3] The old way consisted of “learn” then “do.” However, with ubiquitous access to information and 24/7 connectivity, learning and doing have become […]

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Praying with My Eyes Open

I started 2018 with fasting and prayer. During an early prayer time, I felt God calling me to intercede like never before for my community. He asked me to grant these people, with whom I share proximity, a higher level of priority. I struggled with how to pray for my neighbors and their needs beyond a general covering thinking, “There’s gotta be an app for that.” An app for praying Not finding a “pray for your neighbors” app, I downloaded the Nextdoor app and began praying through daily posts. As I read each post, I brought my neighbors’ names and […]

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Grandparents Taking on The Role of Parents

You know when you get a new car, all of a sudden you start to see the same make and model everywhere? Well, that is happening to me with all things grandparent as I look forward to becoming a granddad this summer. A segment from the NBC news special, “One Nation Overdosed” caught my attention as it focused on grandparents faced with the reality of raising their grandchildren. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2012, there were 2.7 million grandparents who had the primary responsibility to care for their grandchildren who lived with them. The number of grandparent-headed households […]

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Rewrite the Ending

Lost too soon This month was painful as we mourn the loss of two exceptionally creative artisans in Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. The public is honoring Kate Spade by posting remembrances of their first Kate Spade purse. Personally, Kate Spade is the first designer outfit and bag I bought for my girls as they stepped into adulthood. As a foodie, Bourdain was one of my all-time favorites. I identified so closely with him in his love of culture and the foods that define them and fuse us together as humans. I’ve always said that if ministry weren’t my calling, […]

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The “Black Panther” Quote No One Is Talking About

The blockbuster Marvel superhero movie “Black Panther” is breaking all kinds of records. Rife with deeply thoughtful writing and powerfully inspiring quotes, my favorite record-breaker is that “Black Panther” is now the most Tweeted about movie of all-time[1]. There are many popular quotes covering a range of topics:   Unity “In times of crisis, the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another as if we were one single tribe.”   Wisdom “You are a good man, with a good heart. And it’s hard for a good man to be […]

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How Screens Are Killing Teens

Not only am I fascinated by trends, I believe they hold predictive indicators. When studied, these trends allow us foresight into coming areas of need and potential for ministry opportunities. I recently read a report with compelling evidence showing a strong correlation between increased amounts of screen time among teens and increases in depression and suicidal ideation and attempts.[1] Suicide in teens This trend is particularly alarming because the new “normal” is actually quite abnormal. It’s become natural for this generation of digital natives to spend an average 7.5 hours[1] on screens daily just for purposes of entertainment–not including school […]

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Billy Graham’s Incredible Legacy

God draws the most beautiful circles. [On February 20th] we had the honor of publicly dedicating Billy Graham’s great great grandson to the Lord. This baby’s mother prayed, “Lord, You give me a son, and I’ll give him back to You.”   “O love that will not let me go, I cast my weary soul on thee. I give thee back the life I owe…” This prayer of utter selflessness carries unimaginable consecration and devotion to the purposes of the Lord. What a beautiful testament to the legacy of a man and his family who lived out, “My home is […]

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Leading Through Change

Once your organization has been “steady” or has experienced growth and momentum in any area, it’s time to mature and grow into the next iteration of becoming who God wants you to be. It’s the job of the leaders to work together to co-create the next evolution of the organization’s culture. Bob Goff asks himself, “What does the next best version of myself look like?” He then challenges himself to become that guy. “The only things that evolve by themselves in an organization are disorder, friction, malperformance,” said Peter Drucker. While from the outside much appears to remain the same, […]

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