Intentional Living

Here’s a video we shot for TheIntentionalLife.com about our experience as foster parents.

"Save us from these comforts. Break us of our need for the familiar. Spare us any joy that’s not of You, and we will worship You."

18th Century Puritan Prayer

The Story Comes Full Circle

We are going through The Story at Central right now and this past weekend we covered Joshua and the city of Jericho. I had a few people ask me about how we reconcile God’s command for the Israelites to wipe everyone out. That includes women and children. Stop for a moment and actually imagine God asking you to carry out that order. Sound horrific? Hopefully it does. This leads us to a problem that any critical thinker who ponders this story has to wrestle with. What do we do with this story in light of what we see in Jesus?

We have a few obvious answers to this question:

  1. It is literal history and we must accept it as is.
  2. It is an allegory and is not to be taken literally in any way (as the early theologian Origen does)
  3. Something else is going on with this narrative that requires deeper interpretation.

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The Gift of Bad Leaders

I’ve arrived at a leadership axiom after a couple different observations collided together in my head.

Example #1: Recently I watched as one of the people on my team had to navigate a difficult situation. To top it off, he was fixing a problem from someone else. On one hand, it wasn’t fair he had to do this. But that comes with the territory when you lead well. It was precisely because of his great leadership he was given the task of fixing another person’s problem.

Example #2: This coincided with a story I was reading about Moses. As Moses is receiving the “big ten,” his brother Aaron is busy enabling the Israelites to start making their own gods and essentially forgetting everything God had just done for them. When Moses confronts his brother, Aaron gives a typical—yet awesomely moronic—defense of his poor leadership:

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Love Your Enemy… Just Kidding!

Love Your Enemy… Just Kidding!

There are a lot of verses in the Bible that leave much to interpretation. Is it meant to be literal, or a metaphor, or a story, or poetry, or prophecy, or a handful of other writing styles?

And then there are the other verses that are shockingly simple. Yet those don’t tend to be any easier for us to understand or apply. Consider the words of Jesus from the Gospel of Matthew.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…” Matthew 5:43-44

That’s about as straightforward as it gets. But like another guy who heard Jesus teach about our neighbors (Luke 10:29), we tend to wonder which of our enemies he’s referring to? Sure, I’ll love my theoretical enemy, but surely this has limits right? The typical Christian in America today might have this list of exclusions to Jesus’ enemy policy:

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3 Things I Learned from a Rock Concert

3 Things I Learned from a Rock Concert

My favorite band used to be a group called Underoath. I say “used to be” because they are no longer a band. I still love their music and cherish the handful of times I was able to see them play live over the years. Even though Underoath no longer exists, I was excited to see that the frontman for the group started his own new band named Sleepwave. When you’ve found a person you musically connect with you want to follow them on all of their projects. This new group is a perfect example of this. While Sleepwave’s album is a bit more mellow than an Underoath album it shares much of the same feel and obviously Spencer’s (the lead singer in both) sound.

Last night I had the chance to see Sleepwave in concert. This was also the day their new album officially released. I preordered the album weeks ago and was eagerly awaiting the show. To begin with, it was at a venue in Phoenix that I’ve never been to. This meant I didn’t really have an idea of what to expect in the size of the event. When my friend Steve and I got there we instantly realized this would be a very small show. Sleepwave was headlining and there was a handful of local bands before them. One in particular was exceptionally awful. By the time Sleepwave got on stage there were about thirty people in front of them (literally… I counted).

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