Nick Highland


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: […]

The Problem With Being “Only Human”


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.  […]

Abracadabra, Community!


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 turn […]

The Hum of Angels: A Review







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.’ Heal […]

Shake the Dust Off Your Feet


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.  I […]

Death Sentence




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, […]

Review: NIV Journal the Word Bible


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, while […]

Review: The Story Devotional









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.”  The […]

Review: The Very Good Gospel




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 leaning […]

Truth and Lies



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 You […]

Radical Gratitude, Radical Trust



  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 felt […]

Love is a Decision


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 might […]

Ministry and the Conflict of the Gospel


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. […]

Technology, Idolatry and the Worship of Self









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Who is Jesus without God and the Holy Spirit? Who is the Holy Spirit without Jesus or God? Who is God without Jesus or the Holy Spirit? Without all three, the picture is incomplete.  We do not understand God without Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Unless we understand God in […]

Community – Trinity and Identity