Showing posts from December, 2012

Living what you value

This is one of the most difficult questions that I face as both a parent and a pastor: How do I ensure that I am living what I say that I value? My life is flooded with countless decisions that need to be made on a daily basis. Some of these decisions have a direct impact on what I say my values are, while others are only indirectly related to my value system. The tension that I experience is with regards to consistency or balance in living from this value system. No, this post isn't going to turn into a broad spectrum confessional time, but I will share some thoughts about how this is beginning to reshape my thoughts around what it means to value something.

As a parent and a pastor, my hope and desire is that my own kids and those whom I lead become critical thinkers as they grow into adulthood. More specifically, I desire to see them develop great character...Christ-like character, that will allow them to become who they were created to be. Now the development of character isn&#…

When Tragedy Strikes

Over the last 48 hours our world has experienced tragic events. Some of them occurred further from my home (China), others were somewhat close (Connecticut) and even others have occurred around our own city. These events are a humble reminder of how broken, hurt and distressed the world we live in really is. 
I'm reminded of the example of Christian brothers and sisters who responded to the outbreak of the black plague in England in the 1300s. Panic, fear and desperation motivated many English residents to flee from infected areas leaving the sick and dying to fend for themselves. A few brave souls, God-fearing, Jesus radicals, responding to the tragic invitation this pandemic inflicted upon their country by choosing to care for those who were in need. These individuals chose to "sit in the ashes" alongside of their hurting peers similar to the initial way Job's friends responding to his pain in the biblical account bearing his name.
Our world is different today tha…

Form or Function

Today I had the privilege of beginning a year long journey with a group of individuals who are as crazy as I am...people who appreciate, care about and genuinely love teenagers. As you may be able to imagine, whenever like-minded folks get together, much of the conversation is focused on what we are doing and how we are doing it. I'm not sure if this is a systemic issue, or a preoccupation that is a societal trend, but we as humans seem to be fascinated with form. 
Think about it for a moment. We celebrate (and even idolize) the human form in a variety of ways: athletic achievements, intellectual pursuits, spiritual habits and physical changes and/or developments. Somehow we seem to believe that the form is the pinacle of excellence...but perhaps the opposite might be true?
When I think of function, I think of purpose. I make a lot of different choices based on this principle. I use certain technology because of its' functionality. I wear certain clothing, not because of how i…

Being There

Lately it seems as though I'm learning more about sacrificial love. Perhaps it has something to do with being a father of 3 young kids, or a pastor of youth and families in a society where family is a polarizing and often negative term, but I find myself drawn into a journey of rediscovery of what it means to love.
I'm learning that I love selfishly...yep, you read that typo! It's true. I often extend love to others because I expect a pay-off; I expect something in return for my "freely" given affection. And as I've dug into this mentality a little further, I've discovered that in so many ways I've allowed my meager definition of love to be disillusioned and influenced by societal driven values instead of the deeply rooted values that I long for.
These moments of introspection have led me to what I hope will be a profound conclusion on a personal level: What if I simply focused on being there?
When we love selfishly, we "love"…