WORDS

Faith

My Saddest Good Friday in Memory: When Treasured Things are Dead

April 14, 2017

I spent a bit of time yesterday reading pieces I’ve written on Good Friday for the last several years. They all have a different tone, a different perspective, a different sense of the day Jesus saved the world. This year is different yet again. If you’ll permit me grace to…

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The Gate is Open

October 22, 2015

I don’t know if you know this, but chickens are low-hanging fruit. My girlfriend Katie asked me yesterday: “Did you have trouble with animals digging to get to your chickens? Did you have anything around their coop to prevent it?” No, we basically provided a free chicken buffet for neighboring…

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Why Does God Allow Pain and Suffering?

September 17, 2013

A very special and rare collaboration is happening among churches in Austin this fall. Over 350 churches – Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Episcopal, Presbys, Non-denoms – have come together in a citywide sermon series called “Explore God.” Across all these boundaries, we are discussing the same Giant Life Questions in our sanctuaries and…

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A Broken Hallelujah

March 25, 2013

My friend Amy is a hot mess in December. At the slightest mention of the Baby Jesus, she dissolves into weepy, sentimental tears. She hangs red curtains in her house, plays Christmas hymns on an eternal loop, and falls apart every day until December 26th. Do not even make eye…

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An Exclusive Interview with…Celebrity Pastor!!

March 22, 2013

Maybe I’ve been getting this whole thing wrong, good readers. Perhaps while I’ve been pulling my hair out over 4 million dollar fish tanks in church lobbies and the most expensive building campaign in American church history, what I should’ve been doing was listening to solid, reliable, extraordinarily famous and…

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And Then the Conference Uninvited Me to Speak

March 18, 2013

Like most graduating high school classes, mine rewarded our parents and educators by perpetuating Senior Skip Day right before finals. I can only imagine these satisfying gestures are why secondary teachers are able to get out of bed in the morning. In a slightly innocent twist, my class of clowns…

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The Election: Thoughts From a Christian Independent

October 16, 2012

I have a thing for pomp and circumstance. I famously watched all four hours of President Nixon’s funeral. I watch every second of every inauguration. The peaceful transfer of power in America moves me; it’s all so civilized. All the naughty behavior of the election season is brushed under the…

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The Basement Manifesto

August 1, 2012

For my money, Jesus’ use of parable and metaphor was his crowning glory as a teacher. (As long as I live, I will never, ever get over the story of The Prodigal Son. Never.) His parables were beautifully crafted, if not weirdly vague. Folks were constantly scratching their heads, unable…

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In the Basement

July 27, 2012

I lived in Kansas from 8th-12th grade. In that time, I became well acquainted with Mr. Tornado and all his little friends: Siren, Tornado Watch, Basement, and False Alarm. In April of my junior year, our house was hit by a tornado. The end of our street was flattened; we…

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The Easter Conundrum (Confession): Part 2

April 4, 2012

For the last few years, God used Easter to mess me up. I’ve mentioned the Easter I gave my boots away and life was forever altered. The next Easter, we launched Austin New Church and my story divided in half: before ANC and after. The following Easter was our church’s…

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