Foster Video Pt.2

Michelle and I had previously filmed a video, originally used in our church, to begin to document our journey with foster care. It’s an overlooked issue for many people and an overwhelming process for everyone who takes the time to get involved. Our goal has been to tell the highs and the lows of the process and to encourage more people to get involved in one way or another. When you consider that there are around 15,000 orphans in the Arizona foster care system alone it is quite disturbing.

Here is our second video that we showed this weekend that updates our process after all of the training but before our first placement.

Should Christians Avoid Halloween?

People Afraid

We have a bizarre obsession with fear. This photo is from the Nightmares Fear Factory Haunted House.

This post includes two conclusions I’ve drawn about culture and spirituality. One of them might be more liberal than you are comfortable with and the other might be more conservative than you are comfortable with. Maybe I can provide at least something for everyone to disagree with.

It’s Halloween again. Which means dressing up in ridiculous costumes, kids looking adorable, kids hopped up on crazy amounts of sugar, and questions about whether a Christian can have any part of this. I just wrote a reply to an email I received from someone in our church and it got me thinking about how my family handles this holiday. Hopefully my conclusions can help you figure out your family’s stance.

(more…)

Top 10 Theology Books

I was recently asked to provide a list for someone who wanted to build their theological foundation up a bit. In response I recommended the following ten books. These are not the deepest theological books you’ll ever find, or even books you are likely to find in a Bible college setting. Instead, these ten books serve as great examples of practical theology that is approachable enough for anyone to understand (as is not the case with most theology books). As such, I’d highly recommend this list to anyone looking to deepen their understanding of Scripture and how God interacts with His people. Upon those we can properly build an understanding of how to fully treat others as God intended.

While I can’t promise that you’ll agree with all that you read on this list (I don’t myself), I can promise you that they will cause you to ask new questions, to think new thoughts, and to walk away with a stronger grasp of your faith.

(more…)

Authority Struggle

Take Your Piety Elsewhere

From my position at Central, overseeing the weekend worship services and our online presence, in addition to writing this blog for the better part of a decade, I have had experience after experience in being surprised by things people say. Honestly, I shouldn’t be surprised anymore. I’ve heard a wide spectrum of people’s opinions about just about everything. Yet every now and then I’ll hear something else that will cause me to pause and reflect.

Consider a comment I got on my blog this week on a post I wrote back in 2010:

“Take your piety elsewhere.”

That was all it said. I had to laugh at the brevity and bluntness. Granted, I don’t think this guy is a regular reader of my blog and I’m not sure how he stumbled onto that post from years ago. Regardless, he felt the need to leave his opinionated response.

Now piety simply means reverence or devotion to God in its basic sense, but can also be used to represent spiritual arrogance (which I’m guessing my commenter was implying).

I had a number of reactions to his comment:

(more…)

Dad is Fat

Dad Is Fat - Jim GaffiganI’ve always loved studying stand up comedians since they are the closest profession to share the challenges of preaching. Engaging a crowd’s attention with one person speaking on stage for forty plus minutes is no easy task. While I often study great stand up routines I was eager to read comedian Jim Gaffigan’s book Dad is Fat. As the title suggests, this is a funny book about parenting. Specifically, a comedian’s insight into parenting five children. As a guy who is working on a big family myself I enjoyed his perspective. While the book is unabashedly funny, you can sense the conviction and determination that Jim brings to his role as a dad.

Failing and laughing at your own shortcomings are the hallmarks of a sane parent.

I was born with a heart that was two sizes too small, but when I saw my baby, it was like the Grinch discovering the true meaning of Christmas.

(more…)