Thinking out loud about theology, ministry, and life with Jesus

Prayer, Miracles and the World We Really Live In

I remember the day it really “clicked” for me. My Greek professor had just finished up his lesson for the day, and, as was his habit, to conclude our time together he asked if there were any prayer requests. A few hands went up. One of the requests went something…

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The God of My Depths

Anyone who knows me well knows that I am an emotionally complex guy. (My wife will be the first to testify.) I can vacillate wildly between hope and despair, joy and sadness, love and seeming apathy. It frustrates me sometimes, because “hope, joy, and love” are where I’d prefer to…

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How to “Pray for Healing”

I sat by the bedside of a dear friend of mine last night. Barely 24 hours removed from a multiple-bypass open heart surgery, he was in excruciating pain. We had spent about an hour together at that point, and during our time I would watch his agony rise in swells….

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Entering the Heart of God in Prayer

One of the saddest things I routinely encounter as a pastor is the reality that most people’s prayer lives hover somewhere between barely-hanging-on and utterly non-existent. That is sad because God desires more for us, and that “more” can and will satisfy us. The prophet Isaiah said that the redeemed…

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On the Life that is Stronger than Death :: Pentecost Sunday

“Son of man,” the Lord asked the prophet Ezekiel, many centuries ago, “Can these bones live?” These bones that represented the waste and devastation that had become Israel; Israel, that once proud people, the glory of the whole earth, the apple of Yahweh’s eye, now pining away in exile, full…

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Resurrection Tedium

The way some people talk about growth in resurrection life, you’d think it all happens in a day. When I was a kid, from time to time, traveling preachers would come to our church to talk about all the amazing things that God was doing through their ministries. The stories…

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Good Friday :: The Unbreakable Music

  “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures…” So said the Apostle Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians. Scholars note that specific word choice used by Paul is technical in nature. “Received”…

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On Transitions, and the Joy of Embracing the Unexpected

I sat at a picnic table in the backyard of my parents’ house last summer on a gorgeous Wisconsin summer morning. It was my birthday (July 26), and I was nearly four weeks into a three month sabbatical that my church had granted me and my family for seven years…

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