There used to be a show on HGTV called Junk Brothers. Steve and Jim Kelley were two men on a mission. Each night they would go out in search of items destined for the trash, but which they believed had the potential to be fixed up, redone and made over into stunning pieces of furniture worthy of a showroom floor. Unbeknownst to the family, the brothers took the curbside castoff, transformed it and returned the piece on the eve of the following garbage day. The families couldn’t believe the transformation. What they once saw as worthless now had purpose and beauty.
"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…
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…
This Sunday I’m preaching on the story of the Prodigal Son (or as I prefer to call it – The Story of the Love-Crazy Father). It was the assigned text for this Sunday and also happens to be my favorite parable told by Jesus. For most of my life, I focused predominately on the prodigal son. Because I get him. I am him. Most of my faith journey with God has consisted of me sneaking back to the pig pen to stay the night because I feel like that is where I deserve to sleep and exist. I felt so…
The youth in my youth family teach me a lot of things. There are the very useful things like how to master the Wii, how to SMS bomb someone, how to have fun, how to fart on demand (okay, I already had that mastered.) They remind me that you can make a difference and that it is never to late to start. They remind me that you can have fun regardless of the task at hand. They remind me to relax and that to be present in someone’s life is more important than designing a stellar program or event. They teach me that selfishness is pervasive…
Hanging with Condemned Men
When I was in Uganda in 2009, I spent some time with several men on death row at the Luzira Maximum Security Prison inKampala, Uganda. The inmates are referred to as “condemned men”. As we went through all the security points and the long walks through various hallways and doors, we finally arrived to the waiting room outside the courtyard. Through the bars we could see the men – all dressed in white uniforms of shirts, shorts, and sandals. The all-white uniforms stood in stark contrast to brown skin. They spotted us easily and were curious as to why five…
Interruptions. What do you think of when you hear the word “interruption”? Did your blood pressure just rise a little? Did you picture an annoying coworker who pops in your office like a prairie dog after six cups of coffee? Did you picture your toddler who thinks you must hate to be alone when you poop so she makes sure to join you? “Imma let you finish, Mommy, but ….” To be honest, when I think of an “interruption” it is always in the negative. Like some evil invasion in my life set to destroy my productivity and peace of mind. As if they are…