• May 26, 2015

    A new student, testing his long-boarding skills on the mountainous roads that surrounded our college, had hit the pavement hard without the protection of a helmet. I had yet to meet the young man, but as the college chaplain I rushed to the hospital to join his family. Once inside I was ushered to an upper floor marked by an eerie silence and a sign, which read"Neurological ICU". When I gathered with the family around the boy's bed I had few responses for their anxiety-ridden faces or his unconscious body. Instead, I simply laid my hands on him and prayed...

  • May 26, 2015

    It is hard to count how many summits on poverty I have attended in my 40 years of working in the field of Christian relief, development, and social justice. It is even harder to judge whether or not they have been worthwhile – whether those living in poverty and oppression have ultimately benefitted. It depends on the day you ask me. But the summit I attended in Washington last week was different, and the first clue was its title: Catholic-Evangelical Summit on Overcoming Poverty: The Moral, Policy and Strategic Imperative of ‘and’.

  • May 22, 2015

    It’s a common mistake to think branding is done when your logo is created.  It happens all the time in churches and plenty of other organizations.  But stopping there is an oversimplification of what branding truly is. Yes, a logo is an element of branding, but your brand expands beyond it and is the total experience people have as they get to know your church. They’re forming opinions with every interaction big or small. So when you don’t look beyond the logo, here are some of the pitfalls that could happen...

  • May 22, 2015

    Every parent fears the moment when your young adult child drops a bomb on you. They have made a life choice completely contrary to the standards you have set before them. On top of this blow, they seem to flaunt their decision at every opportunity. You feel hurt and betrayed, and maybe even a little foolish. How would Christ want for you to respond? For whatever reason, it seems common that our children test our reactions to situations. Will we lose our cool? Turn our backs on them?

  • May 22, 2015

    Many frustrated mathematicians can point to the exact time their math “fell of the rails” and became confusing, even dead to them. They got mathematically lost. And never got found again. The same is true for the life of faith. Many folks are introduced to faith at an early age. They go to Sunday school or camp with a friend. They hear a TV prayer and get intrigued. Maybe they attend Christian day school or worship services or youth groups regularly.  They start the life of faith, but at some point “fall off rails.”... 

  • May 19, 2015

    I will be attending the Synod of the Christian Reformed Church this summer. I am looking forward to this event and I hope I will learn a lot about the CRC. If you’re a theological geek like me, you may have read through the agenda for the Synod. It seems there are not many particularly divisive issues being brought up this year, except one that deals with the Christians Reformed Church’s ecumenical relations with the Protestant Church in the Netherlands.