A father left his son, Charlie, in charge of the family businessâ€”a huge strawberry farmâ€”because he was getting older and wanted to travel abroad while his health still permitted. The farm was handed down to him by his father forty years earlier and since then he had invested all of his time, energy and resources into raising the best strawberries in a five-state area. Charlie had never seen anyone work so hard and everyone in the family agreed that his father and mother really deserved some time away.
Raising strawberries is not rocket science but even if it was, the son had been well trained. When the day finally arrived, just as the last berries of the season were being shipped, the older couple set off on their journey, but not without the father’s friendly reminder that the family’s entire future rested on whether Charlie would follow his time-tested but simple strategies of raising strawberries. He knew what was at stake, so he determined to Continue reading →
David Hayward has been journaling for years, even though he admits that blogging has almost replaced that previous discipline. In Wounded and Proud of It! he writes:
Since I started blogging, I’ve had more people pitying me, feeling sorry for me, and being offended by me than ever before. I’m now being labeled wounded, depressed, heretical, not pastor-material, sabbatical-deprived, hedonistic, and more. I get this at least once a day it seems: “David, I’m concerned for you!” Yoohoo! It’s still me. I think every pastor is wounded. Scratch away at the bandages, whether plain or fancy, and you’ll find the wounds. Guaranteed! The difference with me is I’m trying not to wear the bandages. I’m trying to be open and honest about what I’m going through. I’m a very human pastor in a world of unbearable suffering and I’m telling you about it. That’s all.
If the gospel is about the past and the future then church simply needs to be a gathering outside of life that gets you to look backwards to the cross and what it achieved and forwards to future glory. It becomes a moment in the week where we leave life in the town and go up to the hills to look behind us and out in front of us. Sometimes we’ll invite our non Christian friends up to the hill to see the Continue reading →
There's a great story, told in the first person, about a young woman in San Diego who was baptized as a child in the Mormon faith, became an atheist through her college years, and softened to agnosticism. While she was pursuing her interests in evolutionary psychology, she began listening to Dr. Laura Schlessinger on the radio and she was intrigued with the "voice of reason" so much so that she became quite conservative in her views.
God was moving in her life, but she didn't cry out to Him until a serious relationship malfunctioned, leaving her devastated and searching for answers. You can read her story, but basically her boyfriend dropped her when she refused to engage in premarital sex with him. Through her pain Continue reading →
There's been a lot of activity in the comments section under my post regarding Brian McLaren. The word "heretic" has been thrown around quite liberally by someone who believes he is justified in doing so. In light of that, I've been thinking about what is essential and what is non-essential. If I'm a Calvinist (which I am) and you're an Arminian, am I justified in calling you a heretic? If I believe in a literal six-day, twenty-four-hours per day, view of creation (which I do) and you are a theistic evolutionist, can I shout "heretic!" from the rooftops, the newspapers, and my blog? Continue reading →
Think about your response, and then ask yourself a more penetrating question: "Do I really know Brian McLaren as someone who loves Jesus as much as—perhaps more than—I do; or have I simply listened to his many outspoken critics and/or read his books with a prejudiced mind?"
I don't know Brian McLaren. I've never heard him speak or read a book he's written, although I must be the only evangelical left on the planet who can honestly make that claim. But to read his critics, I would be forced to conclude that he's deluded at the very least, heretical in his Continue reading →
It seems that a lot of marginalized people have intersected our lives since we moved to Wales, and in almost every case it’s been a good experience for everyone involved. We met Steve, a 32-year-old heroin addict a couple of years ago who had become a Christian but just couldn’t shake the habit. He lived with us for awhile and we helped him find a residential rehab program in Birmingham, England, with Betel of Britain. Two years later, he’s now on staff and recently relocated to open up a new Betel ministry in Sydney, Australia. These two pictures illustrate the difference love, compassion, and investing time in one young man’s life can make: the image on the left just before Steve entered rehab and the one below taken one year later.
I hope to interview a new friend of mine named Ben sometime next week: we might even do a podcast together and let him share his story of homelessness as a 21-year-old young man estranged from his family in England. I’ll keep you posted on that development, but he told me today that he would be willing to do it.
Until then, I have been doing some internet research and found a couple of homeless bloggers. I spent a couple of hours this evening reading The Homeless Guy blog and I highly recommend it to you. Here’s a brief introduction by the author in his own Continue reading →
Question #10 :: What are the consequences of blogging?
Have you ever gotten in trouble for blogging? For example, a work colleague reads your blog and recognizes a carefully-veiled illustration you have used regarding something that happened on the job. Continue reading →