When Violence Pierces Places Of Hope

My eyes were fixed upon the news screen as police officers & tactical agents converged upon the Tree Of Life Synagogue. I didn’t really weep. I felt numb as I witnessed yet another story of a gunman entering a sanctuary, a place of hope, & committing senseless violence. It would be not even a week later & another gunman would enter a Californian nightclub & take the lives of twelve more innocent people.

What are we to do when violence pierces our society’s stories & place’s of hope? How are we suppose to respond to the events like the shootings at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs Texas, the Tree Of Life Synagogue, or a Californian nightclub? With Christmas fast approaching, these were some of the questions I found myself pondering.

Has Christmas Lost Its Meaning?

They have no interest in even putting up a Nativity scene,” he exclaimed, “on stage or even in the atrium.” The comment was made as part of an email sent to me with what felt like an expectation that I was to feel as though Christmas had lost all its meaning. “Our church has a big stage and the words ‘love, joy, peace’ in 1’ letters at the front, plus an Advent candle. They also are having only coffee with cookies and games next Sunday instead of a regular service. Xmas eve is just going to be the lighting of the advent candle and singing.”

I honestly was not sure how to respond.

Stumbling In The Darkness

They say that the night is always darkest right before the dawn. I think the idea comes from the thought that the silver reflections of light from the moon disappear as it slips below the skyline & yet, as it is still too early for the sun to rise, the earth finds itself cast in its darkest hours. Figuratively, I think we can all find these moments of time in our live’s & without a doubt, the last few months have been some of my darkest.

Wrestling with a deep sense of failure, I had stopped pretty much everything I was participating in. After more than…

Absence & The Upside Down Life Of Renovations

I need to write something. No seriously, I need to write something! No agenda, nothing specific... I just thought, I should really put something out there as it seems like forever. Will anyone read this? I don’t know but...

The past several months our house has been turned upside down as we pilled our furniture up into the dinning room & front living room, moved all the storage into a small corner of the basement, while dismantling the gym set & cramming it into the same corner. We were renovating & painting the house.

I really didn’t think it was going to be a big deal but, with no desk or office space to work in, it seemed as though all my writing & creative spaces for expression had disappeared. I was at a stand still, waiting for my life to return to a spacial plain of normality!

Is Christianity Too Narrow?

"Is Christianity to narrow?" I hesitate in writing a response as I think we sometimes hear this question & automatically start out on the defensive. The problem with this position is that we first need to address what it is we are defending before taking a defensive stand. So while it seems we would like to jump right in with an answer to the question, I'd like to propose we parallel it with a reflective counter question, "Is Jesus too narrow?"

Seeing these two questions side by side, I think we can begin to look at some of the definitions we create around them & address the polarizing issues that come up between them. By the end of the post, we will hopefully see that while finding an answer to our question, we are left with a million more, but the freeing experience to explore them anew.

3 Important Questions For A Masterpiece In Life

"Some people might call you a piece of work. God calls you a piece of art." Those were Les Bon-Bernard's words last night to a crowd of us. The beautiful thing about art is it is relationally saturated in interpretational opportunity. Art is both the constructed canvas of oil paint, brush strokes, elemental materials, captured images, & reflections of multiple actions. But it is also an improve of those who are in view of it; those who are interacting with it on a social & relationally critical examination of where they find meaning & significance with it.

If each one of us is a masterpiece in the working, we have to ask ourselve's the questions that reveal who relationally is the artist's behind our sense of understanding & purpose? Who is creating "us" & the meaning for our existence?

Why I Left The Church

It was an interesting evening for sure. A group of us had drove up to the north end of the city after hearing about a public conversation taking place between Bart Campolo & Sean McDowell. Taking different poles between each other in dialogue, Campolo embraced a stated “atheism” or humanist stance while McDowell stood upon a firm belief in the Christian Evangelical Church. While inviting the others, I had enthusiastically given support to “Team I Left”. It became a point of conversation as they wondered how I could support this stance while still being involved with Christian gathering events.

In honesty, I was giving the support in a tongue in cheek way. But, while I do give leniencey to this stance, we need to ask the question of what it means to be in or out of the church.

Black Holes, Making Space For The Other, & The Gospel Of A Social Salvation

A few weeks ago I wrote about The Gravity Of Wonder and how we are all tethered to a relationship with it for the rest of our life. This theme had me pondering upon the way gravity works & the deeper question of what just might be the greatest gravitational force in the universe today. Do you know what it is?

The most substantial gravitational force in creation is surprisingly not the sun. Nor is it the largest planet you can find in a solar system. The most powerful gravitational force actually comes from what is known as a black hole. I found this remarkable as I looked deeper into the workings of gravity and how it functions.

First, the easiest way to understand gravity is...

Lizard Brain & Some Abstract Thoughts

I've been working on a post that I'm hoping will be a good one but won't be releasing it until next week. BUT, I wanted to put something out this week and share some abstract thoughts from some things my imagination has been gleaning from the past few days.

Lately, I've been reading from Matthew Lieberman's book 'Social' as he writes about human psychology and the ways our brains work. It has been a rather fascinating exploration and deeply revealing into humanity's need for community and relationship with others.

I was kind of distracted however, as Lieberman wrote on what psychologists refer to as the "Lizard" brain. This is the part of the brain considered...

The Gravity Of Wonder

You can’t deny gravity. Well, it’s extremely hard to anyways, and even if you are able to escape its grip, it isn’t at all sustainable for any real length of time and it's not long before you come crashing back to the reality that gravity is tethered to you for life.

I remember when my wife & I went to the theatre to see the movie 'Gravity' for the first time. Sitting practically right in front of the screen, with our 3D glasses on, the grand infinity of space opened up to us during the beginning frames. I always love the beauty in these scenes as they bring a sense of...