"The world will allow itself to be subdued only by success. It is not ideas or opinions which decide, but deeds. Success alone justifies wrongs done. Success heals the wounds of guilt. There is no sense in reproaching the successful man for his unvirtuous behaviour, for this would be to remain in the past while the successful man strides forward from one deed to the next, conquering the future and securing the irrevocability of what has been done. The successful man presents us with accomplished facts which can never again be reversed. What he destroys cannot be restored. What he constructs will acquire at least a prescriptive right in the next generation. No indictment can make good the guilt which the successful man has left behind him. The indictment falls silent with the passage of time, but the success remains and determines the course of history."

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Ethics

The Sound of Silence

I taught at Central last weekend and in the video above you can see a “music video” we made for a modern version of the song The Sound of Silence. Since many of you have asked, the song is the 1964 version from Simon and Garfunkel but is recently covered by the band Disturbed.

In the message I unpack how our faith grows best in relationship.

Love the Other

Love the Other

I started to ask Google a “why” question when the above options auto-filled for me. The sheer diversity and randomness of the suggestions caused me pause a moment. They range between marriage, Kanye West, and dog feces. There are many “why” questions we ask each day, and these suggestions are but the tip of the iceberg.

I’m not sure what burning “why” question you’re asking in life right now, but most of mine revolve around the ways I’m continually shocked how we treat one another. From politicians sarcastically running for President to people in perpetual war in the Middle East to people stealing from garages in my neighborhood. Why do we do these things to one another?

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Standing on Sacred Carpet

Standing on Sacred Carpet

My name is Jeremy, and I’m an egomaniac.

Let me explain. I spent this week in DC at the National Prayer Breakfast. It actually should be called the International Prayer Breakfast as it’s a gathering of people from all over the world in Jesus’s Name. I’ve had fascinating conversations about Jesus with people from a variety of nations and perspectives and will post some of my reflections on those conversations next week.

First, I want to write about an experience we had in DC before the event. On Tuesday we had the chance to take a tour of Air Force One. Like you, I had developed an idea of the plane from movies and TV shows. Seeing it up close (and of course sitting in President Obama’s chair) provided a surreal experience. There were many parts of the plane that blew me away, like the room set apart with three chairs for three medical professionals. This room can be quickly converted into a surgical room and comes with platelets for President Obama in case something serious happened to him while in air.

There were lots of aspects like this (did you know there are actually two planes?). But the one that stuck with me the most was the carpet. Air Force One has at least three distinct types of carpet on its floors. As you might imagine, this isn’t because they lacked funding to make it consistent. Rather, the carpet communicates the level of importance of that part of the plane. Each person on Air Force One has an assigned carpet level and can only walk on that level and back. Never forward. It starts with blue in the back and moves up to a goldish tan in the front for the President. Everything about this signalled a hierarchy. Prestige and power literally emanated from the ground up.

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The Difference Between Oranges and Bananas

The Difference Between Oranges and Bananas

The picture above may not look like much. Actually, it isn’t much. It’s a picture of three small mandarin oranges. But they were given to me as a very sentimental gift. That’s because they come from a sermon illustration I used back in August of 2014. You can see the tree they come from in this sermon called “The Vine.”

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From Hermes to Murder

From Hermes to Murder

To anyone who has followed Jesus for any amount of time, you’ve likely experienced how differently people react to you. For some, a Christian is viewed as a person who has it all together, who is blessed by God, or who could show them something about truth they’ve been missing. For others, a Christian is viewed as a person who is hypocritical, untrustworthy, and deserving to be ridiculed and avoided (or worse).

We see these extreme reactions all within a matter of verses in the book of Acts. In Acts 14:11-18 the people of Lystra watch Paul heal a man and then conclude he and Barnabas must be gods.

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