• Church Ministry,  Faith Reflections

    A Sent Church

    I don’t know if I can honestly say I’ve ever been more proud to be a member of the family of First Baptist Church, Jefferson City, then I was this past Sunday. That is saying a lot because I’ve had many moments where I’ve been humbled and proud of FBCJC. Like any of the multitude of mission trips we take to go support our partners and to visit our “extended family” in the Dominican Republic, Kenya, Belarus and South Dakota. I’m been touched when I’ve walked into a hospital waiting room only to find an entire Sunday School class already present and ministering to their friends. I’ve been overwhelmed with…

  • My Life

    Morning Light

    My weekend took a serious nose dive on Friday due to a pain in the butt. Some of you had the same thing happen on Friday but you are thinking of a co-worker or boss or date or family member. But I mean a literal pain in the butt. Long story very short: I’m suffering from a dislocated/sprained tailbone. And by suffering I mean SUFFERING. And by short story I mean I have no idea how it happened. But it did. It has been a long, emotional weekend. Despite what you might think, that is actually different than most of my weekends. I’m tired from constant pain. I’m angry about missing…

  • My Life

    Get Back Up

    Since Monday afternoon at 2:45 pm, a steady stream of pictures, videos, and stories have poured out of Boston in the aftermath of two explosions that rocked our world. Some pictures are horrific. Some videos are chaotic. Some stories are false. But … Some pictures are inspirational. Some videos are courageous. Some stories are true. The odds are good that you’ve seen the video or this iconic image of 78-yr-old marathoner, Bill Iffrig, who is a few feet away from completing his third Boston Marathon. With the finish line in view, Iffrig is rocked by the first explosion. His legs buckle and he crumples to the ground. The chaos begins and…

  • Faith Reflections

    "Abba, I Belong to You."

    If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook or read this blog regularly, you know that I often quote Brennan Manning. Apart from my parents, no one has had more impact on my life as a follower of Jesus Christ than Brennan. I will forever be grateful for his transparency and his passionate witness to God’s crazy, reckless and extravagant love for all of us ragamuffins. I actually started this blog post last Thursday and Brennan went home to Jesus on Friday. It seems fitting to post it today as a thank you to Brennan but more importantly, as a testimony to our Loving Abba. In the same manner in…

  • Faith Reflections,  My Life

    Scooting on Your Backside

    Missouri is known for caves. Seriously. We are best known as the “Show-Me State” but we are also known as “The Cave State”. There are over 6,400 known caves in MO and we have a Missouri Cave Association. There is also this beautiful six-page brochure. You are welcome. Caves are buried treasures. Underneath the earth are these huge caverns of beauty and life. You can walk over a hill and never know that underneath is a natural room grander than any cathedral. I love that. Caves are like the introverts of nature. There is a ton of depth and beauty under the surface. It is worth exploring. Both caves and introverts.…

  • Faith Reflections

    Never Alone

    In the wake of the suicide of mega church pastor Rick Warren’s son there have been a lot of ignorant and mean comments made. Heartless words and cruel judgements from people who don’t understand and from people who have agendas. I pray Rick and Kay never read them. Suicide is painful enough without the added violence of callous words and harsh disregard for the painful journey of those left behind. One of the greatest hurts in my life is the suicide of a friend. In my life, this is my ultimate failure to date and it grieves me like nothing else. The deep pain I feel when I think about her is a…

  • Faith Reflections,  My Life

    Stubborn Love

    I attended East Elementary School growing up. Go, EAGLES!  Around my sixth grade year they built this amazing jungle gym structure.  The base was 10 ft high and you climbed up a chain wall to the first level. There was a fireman’s pole and monkey bars and all of it was surrounded by a giant moat of little rock pebbles. During my sixth grade year, I was dared by some guys in my class to jump off the top. I may not come off as stubborn or fiercly independent when you first meet me but if you get to know me, you’ll learn that I am very stubborn. And very…

  • Church Ministry

    If Church was like an AA Meeting

    From The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning: On a sweltering summer night in New Orleans, sixteen recovering alcoholics and drug addicts gather for their weekly AA meeting.  Although several members attend other meetings during the week, this is their home group. They have been meeting on Tuesday nights for several years and know each other well.  Some talk to each other daily on the telephone; others socialize outside the meetings.  The personal investment in one another’s sobriety is sizable. Nobody fools anybody else. Everyone is there because he or she made a slobbering mess of his or her life and is trying to put the pieces back together. Each meeting is marked…

  • My Life

    Love Me Tender

    I’m not comfortable talking about myself. I like to keep things light and close to the surface when it comes to me. I’ve always joked that one of the reasons I do well with youth ministry is that I never have to worry about personal questions. Teenagers are at the stage of life where they are naturally egocentric. It is what it is and I love it as far as our relationship goes (I want them to be more thoughtful of others, of course, but it works perfectly for me.) It is incredibly rare for one of my youth to ask me how I am doing and if they do,…