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    Why Work?

      Cultures flourish and deteriorate based on how they answer these questions: Why do people exist? Is there some greater meaning to life? What’s our purpose in the here and now? Mark Twain said, “The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.” If we’re honest, we all want to know the why. So what if someone told you, “You were born to work.” Seriously? We understand the need to work, at least in terms of providing financial means for individuals and their families. And clearly “born to work” isn’t referring to living in captivity, so there must…

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    Rebellion and Exponential Evil

    “For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but threw them into hell and locked them up in chains in utter darkness, to be kept until the judgment, and if he did not spare the ancient world, but did protect Noah, a herald of righteousness, along with seven others, when God brought a flood on an ungodly world, and if he turned to ashes the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah when he condemned them to destruction, having appointed them to serve as an example to future generations of the ungodly, and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man in anguish over the debauched lifestyle of lawless men, (for while…

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    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…

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    Do Things Happen for a Reason, or By Chance? Brief Answers from Christian, Modern and Postmodern Worldviews

    In The Year of Living Biblically A.J. Jacobs, general editor of Esquire magazine, writes, “Julie [his wife] always told me that things happen for a reason. To which I would reply, Sure, things happen for a reason. Certain chemical reactions take place in people’s brains, and they cause those people to move their mouths and arms. That’s the reason. But, I thought, there’s no greater purpose.” We all long to know where our lives in particular and history in general are going. Does everything happen by chance? Or is God directing the course of human events with purpose? Are our lives part of a larger story (a meta-narrative) that’s going…

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    The Simple Life

    Our American culture makes it quite difficult to live a simple life. Simplifying our lives doesn’t automatically come from living without money. It’s more about living with focus and without so much busyness. We can live on a farm or in poverty and have cluttered lives. What is at the heart of a simple life? Why are we so frazzled and exhausted? Jesus calls us to simplify our lives by seeking first God’s kingdom and his righteousness (Mt. 6:33). We prioritize living out the character and actions of Christ that bring his kingdom light to our world. That focus puts all else into perspective so that we make wise decisions.…

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    The Best Antidote to Summertime Boredom and Distraction

    Summer gives us an opportunity to slow down. “The livin’ is easy; fish are jumpin,’” and all that. Without so many activities on the calendar we have more time to take trips, watch TV or kick back with friends or a good book. We all need seasons of restoration, but the cultural pull towards having fun and lazing around can make room for boredom and distraction to settle in like a fog. In The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair, Aslan draws Jill and Scurbb into Narnia to accomplish a special mission: rescue Prince Rillian, the crown prince of Narnia, now missing for over ten years.The great lion gives Jill…

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    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…

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    Courageous Leadership

    I still remember the first time I slipped out of my chair and stood at the head of a boardroom table. The women before me were leaders, mentors, and trailblazers in my profession. "They don't teach you how to do this in seminary," I thought to myself. I swallowed hard, hobbled through our hour-long agenda, and concluded the meeting. Since that day, I've experienced the same what-am-I-doing-here feeling a hundred times. You too?  As leaders we seldom feel adequate—let alone courageous—as we survey our task. So how do we practice courageous leadership when we feel anything but courageous?  Some of our best instruction can be found in the book of…

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    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…

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    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…