Numbers are People, Too

I’m sitting in a boardroom a few days ago thinking with my team on how to financially reengineer a large and expensive ministry that we lead. An associate of mine and I determined a course of action that creates a revenue source and serves double the amount of people. In my neoliberal economic way of thinking it was a no brainer. Double the money and double the impact in peoples lives — duh …

Soul Flares: Taking Flight vs. Doing Right

As will happen in moments of what my wife and I call “intense fellowship” (aka relational tension; aka the marital spat) I found myself face-to-face with the love of my life, her countenance marred by the furrowed brow of someone asking, “Lord, who is this man you blessed me with?  Why is he so incredibly obtuse?” Her eyes flashed with …

Two Simple (Profound) Words

“Thank you.” Two words. When spoken to God and the people we encounter, the world changes. “Thank you.” Gratitude. Humility. Healthy dependence on the Lord and interdependence with others. … “Thank you.” Bestowing value and honoring God and others. Let’s learn how to say. “Thank you!” more – to our family members, colleagues, all who serve us and any that …

Stumbling by the Spirit into a LGBTQ Coffee Shop

Lynda and I were Colorado Springs on vacation. We were with our daughter, Kara, son-in-law, David, and grandson, Jax. We had a wonderful time. Lynda had made a hair appointment in downtown Colorado Springs at a place Kara had suggested. When we arrived for her appointment, the salon had put her down on the wrong day and time. So, we …

Summer Reflections

It’s hot in Springfield, Missouri these days! Although we’ve just moved into the official summer months, temperatures are hovering in the low to mid-nineties. That’s about six to ten degrees warmer than normal for late-June. It feels more like late-July or August. So, if it’s this hot now, what will it be like then? Most of my recent conversations have …

Creation Waits with Eager Longing

Creation Waits with Eager Longing[1] On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, killing eleven workers and sinking, two days later, into the Gulf of Mexico. Since then, “the spill has gushed up to 100,000 gallons of oil a day into the Gulf.”[2] As if previous environmental issues were not enough, this spill—what President Obama called “the worst …

Couple-Calling

At the beginning of the first premarital counseling session, the Pastor asked the couple, “Why are you getting married?” their first responses were appropriate and normal: “We love each other…God brought us together…our families approve…we share so much in common…” Sometimes if the couple was focused on “full-time” Christian ministry of some kind (evangelism, pastoral leadership, missionary service), they might …

Guess Who Came to Your Funeral!

Six months ago this week my best friend died suddenly and unexpectedly. Our long-time friend, Byron Klaus, president of the seminary rallied the seminary community and put together a celebration of Andrea’s life that will long be remembered.  Loved ones flew in from the coasts, hundreds watched on live internet feed and dozens personally paid their respects to my beautiful …

To Forgive is Divine

Pastor John lost most of his family in the genocide of the “Killing Fields” in Cambodia in the 1970s. He made his way to California and by the mid-1980s was pastor of a growing Cambodian church. One day he met a man at the altar of the sanctuary after the service. God was working in this man and Pastor John …

Friends in the Kingdom are Like Family

I last saw Peter van den Berg 25 years ago when Reinhard Bonnke asked him to book three of us from South Africa into one of the finest hotels in Europe, the Arabella in Frankfurt, Germany.  I was part of a delegation from the Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM) of South Africa re-establishing our international contacts after years of isolation during …