“pray continually…” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) “Pray attention” is a phrase coined by Ross Lockhart in his book Beyond Snakes and Shamrocks.* Ross is the intelligent, energetic, and mission-focused Dean of St. Andrew’s Hall at the Vancouver School of Theology. Plus, he can rock a bowtie like nobody else I know! Here’s how he explains it: … Continue reading Pray attention
“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them…” (Luke 2:8-9) Have you ever wondered, “Why shepherds?” Why did the angel come to them of all people while they were actively watching against thieves and prey? There are probably … Continue reading Full of yourself, or the Spirit?
It’s one of the most famous stories ever told: The birth of Jesus. We’re about to celebrate it in a few days. Shepherds, angels, and hostile Inn-keepers have appeared in thousands of Christmas pageants for hundreds of years. But when we hear something so much, we stop hearing it. Instead of paying more attention, we … Continue reading When we hear it so much we stop hearing it
Last week I visited someone who’s had a lot of challenges in the past year. Let’s call him Jake. Jake was sad because for the first time ever he won’t be able to go to a Christmas Eve service. Physically, he just can’t do it. How many of us can do it—quite easily, actually—and therefore, … Continue reading The privilege to worship the newborn King
Christmas is coming. It’s practically here! Amidst the clatter of Christmas it’s easy to forget why the arrival of Jesus caused such a stir over 2000 years ago. A part of the reason why it was such big news was because he was the long-awaited Jewish “Messiah.” It’s a Hebrew word that means “anointed one.” … Continue reading The math behind Jesus as Messiah
Before I tell you about Evan, let me share Colossians 3:12: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion…” Okay, back to Evan. He was a boy from St. George, Ontario in Canada. He had an inoperable brain tumor. He was so ill that they worried he wouldn’t live long … Continue reading Going out of your way for compassion
#Blessed is a really popular hashtag, especially at this time of year. When posting pics many people—including myself—will say we’re somehow #blessed and that God has been good to us. To be honest, I love seeing it. It's an awareness of God as a loving provider. But get this. In Luke 11:27-28 a woman in … Continue reading #Blessed?
I’d like to suggest something as we approach Advent and Christmas. It’s to make your faith visible. I don’t just mean with words and deeds—although that is very important too. What I mean is including visible faith-based objects in your celebrations. What about a nativity scene? Or an Advent wreath? What about putting up a … Continue reading Standing out and standing firm
Richard Mouw and his wife were visiting Gothic cathedrals in France for their vacation. On one of those visits they noticed a young couple pull up on a motorbike. They were both wearing “punk” clothes and hair, and she had her face covered in black and white paint. Mouw watched as they “swaggered” through the cathedral. … Continue reading She sobbed when she saw Mary
Can you imagine if you had personally heard the powerful preaching of John the Baptist 2000 years ago? I bet it would have been life changing. He told people powerful truth. So they flocked to him and asked how they should live. He said they should “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance” (Luke 3:8). In … Continue reading Changing your life