Jan 04, 2019

For those who have experienced failure

Failure comes in many forms but one of its realities is that in its aftermath, those around us often define us by that failure - some forever. That often contributes to those who have experienced failure to also see themselves as defined by their past. After all, that is how others see them. 

What is particularly interesting is that this often happens among Christians who would be the first to...
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Sep 18, 2018

The rare magnet of grace

We live in a harsh world. It is not just our differences and the polarization of our society but it is the attitudes that accompany our differences. Attitudes of derision, anger, ill will, verbal assaults and relational separation. Such a context makes it all the more remarkable to meet people who practice the grace of Jesus toward others.

Extending grace to those we think don't deserve it is the...
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Jun 22, 2018

Powerful relationships

We all have relationships. For most of us, however, they are relatively shallow and we long for something deeper: someone with whom we can reveal our true selves and the struggles we wrestle with. Friends who knows us fully and yet accepts us totally. That is a powerful relationship.

I am blessed with a few powerful relationships. Other men who know me, love me, accept me, challenge me and want the...
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Oct 25, 2016

Trump, Clinton, truth, Jesus and grace

One cannot read any social media these days without being inundated by information on the upcoming election, the demonization of one candidate or the other, charges, counter charges and some pretty hot feelings about what a Christian should do in the upcoming election.

There are Christ followers who believe they cannot vote for either candidate. There are others who insist that you cannot be an...
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Jun 28, 2016

Showing grace to ourselves

There are many of us, me included, who need to learn how to be more gentle on ourselves where we don't meet our own standards. Obsessing about a meeting or presentation that could have gone better, beating ourselves up for an idea that failed. Or for believers, being willing to forgive ourselves and let it be when God has forgiven us instead of continuing to resaw the sawdust in our own minds...
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Aug 14, 2015

Marks of a gracious church

Church culture can be harsh as many of us have experienced. It can also be very loving and gracious where it is intentionally fostered as what God desires for His family. Healthy churches reflect the character and graciousness of Jesus while unhealthy churches reflect characteristics of our lower natures such as legalism, infighting, unforgiveness, power plays and harsh judgments of others and...
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Apr 11, 2015

Do you attend a rigid, graceless or mean church?

They do exist and the three descriptors of rigid, graceless and mean go together pretty well. They play out in a number of key ways that all contribute to a dysfunctional (church) family system.  Here are some symptoms.

Legalism: There are a lot of rules about what is acceptable and unacceptable which come not from Scripture (or a proper reading of it) but from tradition or someone's strong...
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