Gospel and Social Justice…is it one or the other? – Ezekiel 21-23, Part 1

When my wife Michelle was running Imagine Goods, she made about 30 trips to Cambodia, primarily to work with women who were survivors of trafficking, helping them have employment as seamstresses, thus lifting them out of the precarious economic and cultural situation that initially made them vulnerable to being trafficked. Every now and then whenContinue reading “Gospel and Social Justice…is it one or the other? – Ezekiel 21-23, Part 1”

When you cry out to God, and he doesn’t seem to answer – Ezekiel 19, Part 2

Jesus lamented. He was hurting deeply, and he expressed that hurt to God. We don’t normally think about Jesus like that, complaining to God. Yet arguably the most famous example of spoken lament comes from Psalm 22, where the psalmist, David, writes, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”  It’s famous because JesusContinue reading “When you cry out to God, and he doesn’t seem to answer – Ezekiel 19, Part 2”

How to fulfill your calling – Colossians 4:7-18, Part 3

Editor’s Note: This week I welcome David Hundert on the blog. David is an MDiv student and member of Faith Church. He preaches for me 3-4 times each year when I am away, and this past week I was my denomination’s national conference. Thank you, David! Do you ever feel frustrated about how your lifeContinue reading “How to fulfill your calling – Colossians 4:7-18, Part 3”

How to show hospitality – Colossians 4:7-18, Part 2

Editor’s Note: This week I welcome David Hundert on the blog. David is an MDiv student and member of Faith Church. He preaches for me 3-4 times each year when I am away, and this past week I was my denomination’s national conference. Thank you, David! Is hospitality just for hotels, restaurants, spas…or hospitals? CanContinue reading “How to show hospitality – Colossians 4:7-18, Part 2”

How to encourage one another – Colossians 4:7-18, Part 1

Editor’s Note: This week I welcome David Hundert on the blog. David is an MDiv student and member of Faith Church. He preaches for me 3-4 times each year when I am away, and this past week I was my denomination’s national conference. Thank you, David! There is a story of a young man whoContinue reading “How to encourage one another – Colossians 4:7-18, Part 1”

How to speak graciously [even when you don’t want to] – Colossians 4:2-6, Part 5

I recently heard a story from a Mennonite pastor in my local ministerium.  Nearly 25 years ago, his wife tragically passed away.  One year before she passed away, she made the decision to discontinue wearing the traditional Mennonite head covering for women.  After she died, he got lots of support, but he also got twoContinue reading “How to speak graciously [even when you don’t want to] – Colossians 4:2-6, Part 5”

What to pray for yourself and others – Colossians 4:2-6, Part 4

Think about the content of your prayer requests. Often the prayer requests in my church family are health-related.  There’s nothing wrong with asking God to heal us.  But I do get concerned when it seems we have a fixation on health.  While it is okay to pray for health-related concerns, that should not be ourContinue reading “What to pray for yourself and others – Colossians 4:2-6, Part 4”

The transforming power of gratitude – Colossians 4:2-6, Part 3

Do you ever feel like, as a parent, you are running your own private family Uber? The kids call or text, and you pick them up from practice. You drive them to events, to their friends’ houses, and all over. Or did you ever get a call like this: “Dad, practice finished early, so canContinue reading “The transforming power of gratitude – Colossians 4:2-6, Part 3”

How to hear from God (aka Practicing Watchful Prayer) – Colossians 4:2-6, Part 2

I once had a friend who talked a lot. I don’t know if it was because the person looked at me as a pastor, and thus assumed, wrongly, that it was my job to just listen to them express their struggles all the time. We would meet, sometimes for an hour or an hour andContinue reading “How to hear from God (aka Practicing Watchful Prayer) – Colossians 4:2-6, Part 2”

Two Marks of a Healthy Church – Colossians 4:2-6, Part 1

What is a healthy church?  What is a dead church?  What is a failing church?  How do we measure the success of a church?  As we continue our series studying the New Testament letter, Colossians, Paul shares two practices that mark a healthy church.  Turn to Colossians 4:2.  We are reading verses 2-6.  Pause thisContinue reading “Two Marks of a Healthy Church – Colossians 4:2-6, Part 1”