Featured

Nauseating

Posted by on Mar 9, 2015 in Featured | 0 comments

notonOUrcampusI’m sad. I’m angry. And I’m humbled.

I’m sad that some of my dearest friends in this world are demeaned because of their skin color. The men of color that I know are among the finest men that I know.

I’m angry about the persistence of racism in our country despite the profound beauty of diversity and the obvious stupidity associated with ethnic/cultural pride. It’s nauseating. Are any of us so insecure that we must push another down to bolster our own self-worth? We are ALL, “body and soul … marvelously made … sculpted from nothing into something” (Psalm 139:14-16, The Msg).

I’m humbled by the recent incident at Oklahoma University because I was a student there and a member of the Greek system (Lambda Chi Alpha). I have incredible, life-changing memories from those days and grieve how that greenhouse for my spiritual growth has also served as a haven for such hatred. I’m thankful the university is taking such swift action.

It is all a reminder to me that we live in a broken world full of broken people (me included) desperately in need of mending. I know of only one hope … the One who left Heaven, with love for humanity, to endure humiliation like none of us will ever know, in order to save us from ourselves.

His name is Jesus.

#notonOUrcampus

Read More

“Us” & “Them”

Posted by on Dec 2, 2014 in Featured | 0 comments

conflictFor a nation known as The UNITED States, there sure is a lot of division. Listen carefully, everywhere you go … inevitably the conversation turns to “us” and “them.” Seriously, pick a category! We orbit around opposition like the moon around our planet.

Young and Old / Fit and Fat / Powerful and Oppressed / Blue and Red / Rich and Poor / My team and Their team / Black and White / Homeschool, Public School and Private School / Liberal and Conservative / Urban and Rural / Winners and Losers.

The wisest of men once said, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls” (Luke 11:18).

Despite our obsession with differences, we share some jaw-dropping similarities …

Every human being is made in the image of God, i.e. relational, creative and influential (Genesis 1:26-27; James 3:9). This affords ALL of us profound dignity and worth.

Every member of the human race is sinful and “under the power of sin” (Romans 3:9, 23). This means that ALL of us – not some of us – are spiritually broken, regardless of how good we might appear on the outside.

EVERY person – no exceptions – will one day die and then give an account of his/her life before their Creator (Hebrews9:27). That gives the brevity of our lives monumental significance!

ALL people, regardless of any earthly distinction, have a singular path available to them which leads to eternal and abundant life (John 14:6; 10:10; Acts 4:12; 1 John 5:10-12).

EACH of us, without any regard for our past, are guaranteed forgiveness and adoption into the family of God if we genuinely ask for it (Romans 10:11-13; Acts 2:21).

The things we have in common truly are the things that matter most in this life and the next. The more clearly we have our shared human condition in view, the better able we are to navigate our differences.

When it comes right down to it, there is ultimately only one “us” and “them” scenario … those who believe the above, and those who don’t. We’re all free to believe what we want, but we’re not free to escape the consequences of our beliefs. Truth answers to no one, but invites all to find refuge within its reality.

Those who do believe the biblical narrative have no room for pride, no reason for hostility; only great reasons for gratitude. Their highest aim in this broken world is to lovingly help all the “thems” they know, who have yet to believe, to find their way by grace through faith into the community of “us.” After all, someone did that very thing for us when we were a “them.”

Read More

A little of my story

Posted by on Nov 16, 2014 in Blog, Featured | 0 comments

I know what it’s like to feel alone. Some of my earliest memories are saturated with fear and sadness around not fitting in. I longed to be known and loved, but wondered if that was truly possible. When it came to God, I assumed things were no different. I believed God existed, but figured He knew what a misfit I was (not to mention a host of sinful shortcomings), and probably didn’t want much to do with me.

With childlike simplicity and deep resolve I determined to show God and everyone else that I did belong. Performance was my strategy, achievement my friend. The world rewarded winners with attention and acceptance, so I set out to be the best at whatever I did. I devoted myself to excellence believing that eventually, if I was good enough, loneliness would become a thing of the past.

While I experienced some success along the way, my deepest longing to be known and loved wasn’t satisfied. The attention I gained with each accomplishment was short-lived and I was left to prove myself all over again. Performance became a ruthless master, dangling hope in front of me of the intimacy I craved, but never delivering.

During high school I was told the greatest news I’ve ever heard even to this day. I had gotten it all wrong with God. He did know how short I fell, but that had nothing to do with how He felt about me (and everyone else for that matter). I learned that He loved me not for how well I performed, but for who I was. The mere fact that I existed, that I was created by Him with His imprint on my life, was reason enough for Him to feel great affection for me. What an awesome surprise!

I found that belonging was ultimately about asking God to do for me what I could never do for myself. So I did. In the mountains of Colorado, I asked God to be my father, to forgive me of all my sin and to make me into the man He intended me to be … a lifelong overhaul from the inside out. My assurance of acceptance was rooted in the fact that He had sent His son, Jesus Christ, to suffer the consequences of my sin so that I could be brought forever into His family.

That moment set me on a journey throughout the endless territory of God’s unconditional love. The terrain has been challenging but the path has led me to places of breathtaking beauty and genuine joy. Old habits die hard and I’ve reverted to seasons of performance and self-reli- ance along the way. But my heavenly Father has repeatedly taken me back to the reality of His grace (unmerited favor) and the refuge of belonging found only in Him.

Read More