• Engage

    What’s Left When Our Props Are Removed?

    My husband and I were talking this week about our American culture’s emphasis on financial security. We determined that financial security is not a biblical concept. Most of the world barely survives a day or a week. There is likely not even an opportunity to save for the future to feel financially secure. Biblically, we are to look at God as our provider through our work and other means He supplies. But, at any moment, that which we depend upon to make us feel secure, such as money in the bank, can be taken away. Such an event will certainly show us if we are depending on these props to…

  • The character of Father God, The God you can know and love
    Engage

    The God You Can Know

    His name is Jason. He’s in his early 20s, lives daily with physical difficulties so that he can barely walk. His father helps him walk to his seat at church and holds Jason up so he can help take the offering during the service. What captured my attention is the look of deep, deep love on the father’s face as he interacts with Jason, a son who will never be the star quarterback or ace pitcher or do any of those other “great” things a father might expect from his son. Jason’s father doesn’t look at him with disgust or annoyance because he squirms a lot and needs help to…

  • Engage

    Why Our Work Matters to God

                  “The Christian shoemaker does his duty, not by putting little crosses on the shoes, but by making good shoes, because God is interested in good craftsmanship.” — Martin Luther Work. It greets us at the dawn of each new day. Whether you serve in a church or para-church organization, business community, or at home, much of our life is consumed with work. It causes us to rise early and stay late. It compels us to do more, get better, grow stronger.   Occasionally, we sense the glory of work as God intended it. We feel as Eric Liddell did during his Olympic training when…

  • Impact

    Character Counts!

    In 1980, a critically acclaimed movie titled The Elephant Man hit the theaters. It told the story of John Merrick, a severely deformed person living in Victorian-era England.   Due to Merrick’s disfigurement, he spent much of his childhood on display in circus sideshows. And in his adult life, he was both a medical curiosity and an object of ridicule. To nearly everyone, his notoriety was due to his horrible appearance.   Then Merrick met a surgeon named Frederick Treves. Despite his interest in Merrick’s condition, Treves was also able to recognize the person beneath the misshapen features.   The surgeon discovered that Merrick was a highly intelligent and creative…

  • Engage

    Emancipation from Reputation

    “Character is like a tree and reputation its shadow,” says Abraham Lincoln. “The shadow is what we think it is and the tree is the real thing.” This truth journeys across generations to reach a global culture fixated on shadows. God's character, described in Scripture as chesed, or “sacrificial mercy," never shifts like shadows (Jam 1.17). In the Old Testament God expresses his chesed through creation, each covenant, the Mosaic Law, and his prophets. He then commands his people to display sacrificial mercy so that the world may know him. Boaz sacrifices the sides of his fields to the poor (Ruth 2.1-3; Lev 23.22). Ruth sacrifices the security of her…

  • Impact

    Blessed are the Bankrupt

      Leadership is broken because leaders are unbroken Blessed are the poor in spirit . . . (Mt. 5:3) What stunning, shocking words! What king announces his rule by calling the poor in spirit to him, the bankrupt, those with no resources who bring nothing to him? Only one. The King who is lowly in heart, who offers a light burden because He is not bent down by the weight of pride. Amazingly these are the first recorded words of discipleship Jesus uttered. Jesus requires bankruptcy to enter His kingdom… That’s what it means to be poor in spirit: spiritual bankruptcy, a total lack of resources to do what ultimately…

  • Impact

    Last Things First

      Leadership is broken because leaders are unbroken The Great Commission was the last words Jesus said, but it was among the first thoughts in His mind as He began His ministry. Why was it that one of the first actions He took was to choose disciples (Mt. 4:18-22) if He did not have a purpose in mind for them? He certainly did not intend to spend the better part of three years preparing followers for nothing… And why did He persevere so relentlessly with them when they rejected His message and thought like Satan (Mark 8:33) or created more confusion than clarity when a father sought their help for…

  • Engage

    Life the Movie: One Big Cultural Reason for Trump’s Success and What it Means for Our Future

      There’s this scene at the end of the movie of The Truman Show where Jim Carrey, who plays the unwitting star of a reality show about his life, finally figures out that none of it is real. Like the voice of God speaking out of the “sky,” The Truman Show producer tries to persuade him to stay, “You were real,”…that’s what made you so good to watch.”   Truman/Carrey pauses at the foot of a stair case leading up and out of the giant dome of his set, then takes his final bow and makes his exit. The millions who have watched him since he was a toddler explode…

  • Impact

    Start With the End in View

      Leadership is broken because leaders are unbroken Jesus started with the end in view. From the first day of His earthly ministry to the last, He had His two-fold purpose before Him: redemption and preparation, the cross and the commission. He came to provide redemption for dying men and women. But what good would His redemptive death be if there were no one to tell others what it means? How could He establish a redemptive movement if He had no one to start it? That’s why He declared to His Father before the cross that He had accomplished His will by making the Father known to those He had…

  • Impact

    The Beatitudes Attitude: Introduction

      Leadership is broken because leaders are unbroken Today we start a new series drawn from the Beatitudes which describe the abounding blessings of Christ in us. We start with the introduction this week, go to a preview with our next entry, and then we will look at each of the Beatitudes to see what these blessings mean to us as we seek to grow in the Beatitudes Attitude. Blessed are . . . (Matthew 5:1-12) The first recorded words of Jesus to His future disciples were words of blessing, and what blessings they are! These blessings are the essence of life that have endured through the ages and define…