In my last post, we looked at the Hebrews as they stood outside of the Promised Land and saw (real or imaginary) giants who threatened their entry.  In this post, I want to take a look at two times when Israel faced giants, and make a few observations about howContinue Reading

This isn't photoshopped - it's a photography trick called "forced perspective," using foreground and background objects to trick the eye.

I recently photographed my youngest daughter taking some of her first steps.  My first pictures were from my perspective – her dad, standing four feet taller than her and looking down at her.  I also took a few pictures from her eye-level, capturing the pride on her face as sheContinue Reading

16 A man approached Jesus and said, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to have eternal life?” 17 Jesus said, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There’s only one who is good. If you want to enter eternal life, keep the commandments.” 18 The man said, “Which ones?” Then JesusContinue Reading

I have to admit – I was a bit nervous about picking up a children’s book by Matthew Paul Turner.  I associate MPT with deep cynicism and, at times, unkind words.  But I was pleasantly surprised with this children’s book.  With clever rhymes and an uplifting message, this book isContinue Reading

If you are in ministry, you probably have at least a casual familiarity with the Logos Bible company, which was recently rebranded as Faithlife.  As a long-time Logos user, I was intrigued by the development and release of the Faithlife Study Bible. If you’ve used Logos, you’ll probably find some familiarContinue Reading

Brennan Manning is a bit of a controversial author.  A former Catholic priest, Manning’s alcoholism ultimately led to his death.  He was a well-studied man with a deeply rooted understanding of the love and grace of God, but also a man who was plagued by (and never fully delivered from)Continue Reading

I cringe when I hear those words: “We’re only human, after all.” I understand the sentiment that motivates these words most of the time.  It is a way to extend forgiveness to others by sharing in their fallenness.  Of course, the phrase takes a different turn when applied to ourselves:Continue Reading

Life is better in community. Life is wonderful and messy and joyous and painful and dangerous and delicate, and all of it is beautiful.  And it is intended to be shared. It was created to be shared.  We were created to live in community. Community is more than simply a collection of people. Continue Reading

It’s difficult to describe the overall feeling I have about this book.  I was extremely excited to see a new book from an author who I have really enjoyed.  McKnight’s “King Jesus Gospel” was inspired, compelling, and wonderful.  I have found McKnight to be reliable and insightful at every turnContinue Reading

One of the best things you can do for your child is to ignite a curiosity about scripture.  When your daughter or son develops an interest in knowing more about the stories they learn in Sunday School, equipping them to explore scripture and find answers for themselves can create a hungerContinue Reading

If there was ever a title to grab a person’s attention, it’s “The Way of the Dragon, or the Way of the Lamb.”  Without a doubt, the book is timely, at times provocative, and kingdom-focused.  The authors speak confessionally, pointedly, and at times directly to the heart of pastors inContinue Reading

One of the most fun things that I occasionally have the opportunity to do is review Bibles.  There are some that I love and have recommended to many people.  Others don’t fare as well.  I have mixed feelings about the one I am reviewing today – but much of thatContinue Reading

We read in Matthew 10 that as Jesus was preparing his disciples, there came a time when he commissioned them to proclaim and enact the good news of his kingdom.  So he sent them into Jewish villages with this instruction:  “make this announcement: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ HealContinue Reading

This is a short story that I wrote a few years ago.  It’s a bit rough in a few places, but I think it still accomplishes what I was trying to accomplish. Death Sentence It might seem strange if I told you that I vividly remember the night I died.  IContinue Reading

It occurred to me recently that I cannot think of a time when I have heard the concept of sanctification linked to a kingdom eschatology.  The concepts fit together so neatly that it is baffling that we don’t talk about the two ideas together. I have spent the last fewContinue Reading

In recent weeks, I have felt a desire to change my Bible study habits to include personal reflections.  One of the challenges of reading scripture for a pastor is that we’re constantly thinking about how the passage will preach, as well as things like historical and cultural context, theological perspectives,Continue Reading

I have written reviews of devotionals in the past – and one of my frequent criticisms is that they often take one or two verses, often out of context, and write a lengthy, often fluffy devotional rather than actually wrestling with the message and story of scripture.  The Story Devotional, whileContinue Reading

I picked up The One Year Book of Healing, by Dr. Reggie Anderson, as an Advanced Review Copy from Tyndale.  I was excited to open it, but disappointed by what I found within.  This is set up as far too many devotionals are set up – by focusing on niceContinue Reading

Depending on what you’re expecting, you’ll love it or hate it. If you purchase it with the intention of teaching your child to read, you’ll be disappointed.  On the other hand, if you purchase it with the intention of an interactive Bible experience, in which the child is able toContinue Reading

Every year I purchase Bibles for high school and college graduates, and each year I am excited to explore the new study Bibles that are available.  In the past, I have purchased and recommended CEB and NRSV Wesley Study Bible (CEB is a great, accessible translation, and NRSV is myContinue Reading

I am now reading the same Bible to my kids that my parents read to me.  What a joy!  By now, the Beginner’s Bible is a classic.  We recognize the words, the illustrations, and if you’ve read it before – the eyes! (You know what I mean!  Those eyeballs areContinue Reading

Lisa Sharon Harper’s “The Very Good Gospel” is witty, humorous, and on point.  Harper makes a case for the Kingdom of God, arguing for the restoration to the created order rather than a vision of a disembodied heaven.  The good news isn’t for someday.  It isn’t for “after death.”  TheContinue Reading

Thomas Nelson publishers recently released their new NKJV Word Study Bible.  I was presented with an early copy in exchange for this review. First, the positives:  The binding is good, the cover is attractive, and it’s scripture.  Unfortunately, that about sums it up. My first thought, as I flipped throughContinue Reading

Psalm 62:1-8 (NIV) 1 Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him. 2 Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. 3 How long will you assault me? Would all of you throw me down— this leaningContinue Reading

N.T. Wright’s upcoming book, The Day the Revolution Began, is an exploration of atonement.   It comes out on October 11 of this year, and I was privileged with the opportunity to obtain a pre-release copy to review. Wright has a unique talent for making complex theological perspectives easily accessible forContinue Reading

Psalm 139:1-16 (NIV) 1 O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. 2 You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. 3 You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. 4 YouContinue Reading

  There is an amazing and overwhelming sensation of love that overcomes a parent when they hold their child for the first time.  I felt it a few weeks ago, for the third time in my life, when I held my new baby girl, Thea Joan.  The love I feltContinue Reading

Jesus’ ministry led to crucifixion.  His gospel message led others to martyrdom.  His instructions to those who wanted to be his followers was “Take up your cross and follow me.” The Gospel is a divisive, peace-bringing word – not the paradox it seems, but not as straightforward, perhaps, as we mightContinue Reading

A few brief thoughts from my reading today of Genesis 10-18: The people of the earth acquired a new technology:  the brick.  The technology of the brick empowered them to do things they previously could not do.  They could build predictable and uniform structures, and they could do it quickly.Continue Reading