• On Christian Life

    Who is Jesus? pt 2

    I’m good at interviews. I don’t say that to sound proud or boastful, but I’ve had a lot of success and coached a lot of people to getting hired. Several years ago I began to understand how interviews work: what employers are looking for, how I come across to others, and what kinds of questions they will ask me. But even as adept as I am at interviews, there are occasionally some questions that stump me. They are usually questions that are deep and require introspection on another level such as: How would your enemies describe you to us? If I asked you to make a box, what would you…

  • On Christian Life

    Dear Dad – A Father’s Day Letter

    Dear Dad, Sorry we haven’t spoken in a while. After you died you made it a little difficult. I’m not blaming you, Dad, but talking is difficult with you dead. Actually, it was difficult the last few years as Alzheimer’s set in. That was really hard to watch. You were a chatty guy, always opinionated, always passionate, and I miss that about you. I miss our talks, and I wonder what we would talk about if you were still alive. Would you be surprised or pleased with the way I’ve turned out as a husband and father? You probably wouldn’t be surprised, except that I haven’t run for president yet.…

  • On Christian Life

    Who Is Jesus? pt 1

    I used to really hate my name. It was hard being named Chip when I was little. I’ve heard it all: Chips Ahoy, Chip ‘n Dale, Chipmunk, Potato Chip, Chipster, Chippie, Chipper, and even Vanilla Chip (my buddy Nate told me I was too white to be Chocolate Chip). The names used to really bother me. It was just more ammo for the bullies. I was already a nerdy kid. Having the name Chip, I might as well have had a bandage on my glasses and worn suspenders. But now I love being named Chip. It’s different, which suits me. I don’t meet many Chips. I occasionally run into someone…

  • On Christian Life

    What is sin?

    When I was six I had a friend in my class die on his way home from school. His name was Andy. He lived just a couple blocks from the school, and we played baseball together during the summer. He was quiet and kind, and I liked him a lot. It was a shock to me when my parents told me he was dead. He was walking home from school that day when a young man was driving by and, in a moment every parent dreads, struck Andy and killed him. My young mind couldn’t really grasp it. I had just said goodbye to him an hour before, and by…

  • 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…

  • On Christian Life

    Putting God in Charge of Your Story

    I’ve done my best as a Christian father. I sang hymns and worship music to my daughter when she was awake in the middle of the night as a baby. I began reading the bible to her when she was an infant, and I’ve continued reading it for 10 years. We do devotions in the morning (albeit not every morning – who has that kind of discipline?) and we play worship music in the car when we drive. Throughout her life I’ve taken time to teach about the Lord Jesus in our every-day lives – what he thinks about politics, what he thinks about generosity, what he thinks about racism.…