Refreshing Mercy

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.  There is no single response more confounding to the rational mind as this way of life Jesus describes in the fifth beattitude. There is also nothing quite so refreshing as the action of mercy. It comes as no surprise then, that mercy is so rarely experienced. …

Imagining Freedom

if the son has set you free, you are free indeed. Once freedom has been offered by God himself; once he has our attention, I expect Jesus to spell out, in 5 steps or less, what it might mean to live as a free man. If I’m lucky, maybe all the steps will rhyme, or…

The Road to Freedom Via Gunpoint

Years ago, my friend Brian told me a story about Harriet Tubman, a black woman who escaped to the North at the brink of the Civil War. Tubman is famous for her work in the “Underground Railroad,” which consisted largely of her 19 visits back to the South to free slaves during America’s bloodiest time.…

Fear, Freedom, Covenant and Living Well

I was talking with my new friend Phil over a cup of coffee when he brought up a word I had not thought of since my days as a seminarian- they seem so long ago. Somehow the conversation led to us talking about Dietrich Bonhoeffer, fear, freedom and the God who is for us (That…

Friendship is for Those Who Fear

One little phrase from David sums up this strange relationship we have with the love of God. The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him. Love is only for the frightened. Camaraderie is reserved for those who are willing to be weak. Jesus can only be our homeboy if we are scared…

Don’t Be Afraid! God is not Safe. He is Good.

Lately there has been a lot of talk about God’s wrath. Is it really possible that God could sentence people to hell? Is there a never-ending state of misery, pain, wrath, fire and brimstone? One book, written by Rob Bell, called Love Wins answers this question in the negative. God is not about punishment, goes…

Trust Your Instincts? Good Luck. They Stink.

A man was meant to be doubtful about himself, but undoubting about the truth; this has been exactly reversed.[1] Have you ever met the guy who refuses to either win or lose a debate? The conversation goes something like this, in my experience: The sky is a shade of fuchsia (which also happens to be…

God Wins: Jesus, Hell and Blind Love

The Apostle John starts off his gospel with one simple truth: In Jesus, God takes on flesh.   Jesus defines love by taking up shop with us.   He defines love by joyfully, willingly, knowingly going to the cross for us. He defines love by taking on our punishment.   Life Without God: Real Hell…