• On Christian Life

    Pentecost pt 2

    As I’ve gotten older, I’ve had to grow more comfortable with God’s time table in place of my own. I want things now! Don’t you? I don’t want to wait. Ain’t nobody got time for that! But when you look behind you it’s so neat to see God’s timing. It can feel like a clever plot is unfolding or like a heavenly joke that you’re just being let in on. God used the festivals of the Jewish people to point to Jesus. He used Jesus’s death as a symbol of Passover as the sacrificial lamb, and then he used the coming of the Holy Spirit as a symbol of Pentecost.…

  • On Christian Life

    Pentecost pt 1

    I am an unapologetic Marvel nerd. I won’t claim to be the biggest fan, but I have definitely put enough money and time into superheroes to make the pragmatist in me blush. Every movie in the MCU (or Marvel Cinematic Universe for those of you living under a rock) sells an opening weekend ticket to me. I own comics, clothes and dishes, and I support my son’s habit by buying him Legos and toys. I love superhero stories. One of the things I like most about superhero stories is their origins. Whether it’s nerdy little Peter Parker getting bitten by a radio-active, genetically engineered spider and becoming Spider-Man, Bruce Banner…

  • On Christian Life

    Why is discipleship important?

    One of the greatest influences in my life is my friend Mac. If I weren’t a Christian I would say our meeting was coincidence, maybe even serendipity. But I know better than that. I had just heard him lead worship for our church in Urbana, and I was really impressed. He managed to pull an oldie out that I have loved for years and hadn’t sung recently. I was shocked because later that week he came bouncing out of the garage at my mechanic’s shop. “Is this your Vineyard mug?” It had been sitting in my cup holder, and when he was working on my car he had seen it.…

  • On Christian Life

    Mother’s Day Suffering

    My mom died suddenly when I was 23. Even as I sit in my kitchen typing these words, I’m struggling to begin the story that started nearly 13 years ago now. I’m trying to remember her voice, but mostly what comes to me are her idiosyncrasies like the way she sneezed (loudly) or her catch phrases (“I’ll leave a size 9 on your backside” or “ruh roh”). It seems like I’ve been cheated out of a lifetime of learning from her and having her around to spoil my kids. If I could have even a small consolation, remembering the sound of her voice seems easy enough, but it’s not. It’s…

  • On Christian Life

    How Does God Reveal Himself?

    It’s amazing to me how many Christians go through life with an incomplete view of who God is through the Holy Spirit. That’s not to say that I have somehow achieved a full view. The opposite is true: the more I learn about God, the more there is I have yet to discover. I don’t know the extent of my ignorance toward God until I begin to experience him. That begs the question, how do we experience God? To truly get a view of who God is we must use every tool that is available to us, tools that God himself gave us in order to look at him. It’s…