“To the Other Side”

One of the most vivid stories in the histories of Jesus is when he and his disciples find their boat tossed to and fro upon the stormy waters Galilee’s sea. Consider their experience as recorded by Mark in the history that bears his name: On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to […]

Weeping for Orlando, and More

The italicized heading tucked into the middle of Romans 12 within my Bible says, “Marks of the True Christian.” And then, just a few words below that heading is the exhortation to “weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15). A cursory reflection on the meaning of the word “weep” suggests weeping as an indication of grief and pain—mourning. Moreover, it […]

Anger Regarding Umpqua

I’m angry. Angry that nine more lives were lost because some deranged man was infatuated with death. Angry that many of these lives were snuffed out because they were believers in Jesus. Angry that too many of the voices of influence in the public square do not seem to care whatsoever about that detail. I cannot help but imagine if these […]

An Urgent Appeal

I have special friends scattered across Lebanon and Iraq and Jordan and so forth, doing ministry in an environment that may be the toughest in the world right now because of ISIS and the parallel efforts of radical Islamonazis. It is probable that those of us in the West cannot comprehend the immense strain the Christian community is under, and […]

The Cost

To be associated with Jesus is costly. There is not a neat and tidy association with him. We see that even among his own family and friends Jesus himself had a hard time (cp. Mark 6:1-6). We see that Jesus, quite aware of the toll following him may take on his disciples, prepares his followers for opposition when he tells […]

The Sower and the Soils

With the turn of the page the reader of Mark’s gospel turns from a captivating introduction to Jesus’ remarkable life, toward a more narrow focus on a ministry that revolutionizes the world, but not easily, not comfortably, and not without serious conflict. Chapter four of Mark’s gospel is an important pivot point, one that begs for our attention. It begins […]