Posts

You Have Today

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In just a few days, I'll be attending a concert that was supposed to have taken place in the summer of 2020, but then got postponed at least three times before now.   Before you get all judge-y on me... I'm fully vaccinated, the concert is outside in an amphitheater, the number of tickets available was reduced and I'll be wearing a mask the whole time. But, I keep checking my emails and the concert website for updates half expecting it to be canceled or postponed again. I've gotten used to disappointment when it comes to these kinds of things.   In case you were wondering, I'm going to see the aging (but still fun) rock band KISS, who are on what feels like their twelfth "final" tour.  I'll be accompanied by my middle son Jackson who I took to see the band about 8 years ago.   Hey man, if it's too loud... you're too old, am I right? 😉 Seriously, though...  If the past eighteen months have taught us anything, they have taught us to hold our pla

You Can't Run From Your Problems

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One of the many things I'm not very good at is being able to reflect on what a particular challenge or obstacle in my life is trying to teach me...  at the moment   that it's happening.  To be fair to me, I have gotten much better over time at being able to gather insight and learning after I've had to face a challenge. And there are also rare moments when I'm able to be non-anxious and open to learning in the face of difficulty.   But, like a lot of us, when I'm dealing with something trying and troublesome, I mostly just want it to go away.  Or I take it upon myself to solve the problem by going away on my own----which looks a lot like checking out, leaving, running, or hiding.   I was reading from Pema Chodron's excellent book entitled When Things Fall Apart , and I came across this bit of wisdom:  Maybe the only enemy is that we don't like the way reality is now and therefore wish it would go away fast.  But what we find as practitioners is that nothing

Spaces In Your Togetherness

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I'm an Enneagram 3, which may not mean that much to some of you, but suffice to say that because I am an Enneagram 3, I love being a hero, or at least  appearing  to be a hero.   Let me explain this a bit...  The Enneagram is a model of the human psyche which is principally understood and taught as a typology of nine interconnected personality types.  I identify as a 3 on the Enneagram--the type that is commonly known as "The Performer."  Here's how this plays out in practical terms.   One of the many things that I've learned about myself in the past many months is that I have a tendency to take on the anxieties and concerns of others---mistakenly thinking that I can fix them all.  I don't believe that I am the only one who can fix them, mind you, but I want  to be the only one that does.   To be fair, most of the Enneagram types have a dark side to them that tends toward co-dependence in relationships.  But the Enneagram 3 tends to make an absolute art form o

Seeing By Believing

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The other day, while I was reading Steven Charleston's excellent collection of inspiration and wisdom entitled  Ladder to the Light , I was struck by a phrase that he used to describe faith:  Seeing by believing.    I have been thinking about Charleston's words for several days, and how they seem to fly in the face of how most of us Christian-types live and move in the world.   You see, most of us who claim to be Christian tend to ascribe to the notion that   Seeing is believing  when it comes to living out our faith.  We look for evidence, we wait for signs and symbols on our own terms, and we will do whatever it takes to bend Scripture to do our bidding, and prove our points.  We do this despite what Jesus taught, and the New Testament writers affirmed over and again---that it is "belief" (or more accurately trust ) in Jesus and the power of the Resurrection that opens our eyes to see.   The belief/trust that the writers of the New Testament espoused involves surre

A Conduit of What You Received

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  This past weekend was the first full-on weekend of football season in our house.  On Friday we were in the stands at my middlest boy's high school football game (he's in the band), watching him and his fellow bandmates do their thing.  On Saturday, my youngest son had his first tackle football game after over a month of practices.  He got to play more than I thought he would, and he did pretty darn well, I might add.   Then, later that day we watched my college football team lay an egg and get beaten in the last second of the game in devastating fashion.  I won't talk any more about that... it's still too soon.  Yesterday, my beloved Denver Broncos won their season opener in a pretty convincing fashion.  We busted out our Broncos jerseys, hats, lucky shirts, and both of my older boys and my daughter-in-law donned game gear.   I even hung my enormous Broncos flag on the front of my house for good measure.   I realized something in the midst of it all---my wife and I ha

Generous - Week 2: Generosity Is Never Reluctant

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Today we're going to continue our sermon series for the month of September---a series entitled: Generous--The Beauty in Giving.   There’s a good reason why so many people are jaded and suspicious when preachers talk about money.  But did you know that Jesus talked about money more than any other subject other than the kingdom of God?  Jesus knew that if his followers didn’t learn to live generously, materialism could very well choke the life out of their faith. Generosity in its purest, simplest, most loving form is a beautiful thing.   This sermon series will explore how the beauty of Generosity can change your life, and maybe even your world.   Today we're going to be talking about how Generosity--true Generosity--is never reluctant.   Let me ask you a question...  When is Generosity--- not generous?   How do we know when what seems like generosity on the surface really isn't generosity at all?   When it's more about the giver---it is selfish.  This looks like someo

Look To Yourself First

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One of the more frustrating things that we experience as humans being during these challenging times is when we discover that some of the people we care about have notions, beliefs, ideas, and opinions that run absolutely counter to our own.  Because we've spent more time online these past many months, we are often confronted with this fact more than we would have been in the past.   Social media isn't a great breeding ground for trust and confidence in our fellow humans anyway, but it can be downright disorienting when the offensive posts and comments we're reading are from friends and loved ones.  I've had a few low moments during the past year as I realized some of my close friends were so far apart from me on most of the big issues that matter.   It also created some serious cognitive dissonance because what they were proclaiming online wasn't congruent with the person I thought I knew.  It was painful to try and reconcile their seemingly newfound opinions with