Reflections on Suffering

The great Apostle Peter once wrote, “Therefore, let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good” (1 Peter 4:19). Clearly Peter understood two very important things: when we do the will of God suffering may come (contrary to the whole health and wealth narrative), and God is faithful in the midst […]

Reflections on the American Church and Global Ministry

At a global ministry conference in Beirut, Lebanon, I was asked to share my reflections on the state of the American church and the implications of my observations for global ministry. Here is a survey of what I shared: First, evangelicalism, which is a rich theological construct, has been co-opted by American politics and is now perceived as a political […]

Five Reflections from the Story of Ruth

New Hope Church has enjoyed a rich season tracking through the Old Testament book called “Ruth.” It is the beautiful, dramatic, and yet simple story of two widows seeking to find their way past hopelessness, despair, and grief. If you have not done so, let me urge you to read the Book of Ruth, and listen to the eight messages […]

Maria, Mexico, and Pain that Overwhelms

For a couple of days I have watched, admittedly from the comfortable confines of my home, the unfolding drama in Mexico because of the earthquake, and the unfolding events in Puerto Rico because of Hurricane Maria. Of course, both of these horrid disasters come on the heels of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Harvey; and all of these events are just […]

Life in the Lowlands

Mountain-top experiences may be exhilarating, but most of life is lived in the lowlands. Certainly that is made clear in the historical accounting of a father and his demonized son, and the various people that are connected with their drama. Read through Mark 9:14 and following for the details: And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great […]

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 […]