Can Jesus Redeem Facebook?

Can Jesus Redeem Facebook?

I have a love/hate relationship with social media. I suspect many people share this sentiment.

One multiple occasions after having negative interactions or experiences, I have considered not only removing the apps from my phone for facebook, twitter and instagram, but deleting my account altogether.

Maybe you have considered this as well. When I start feeling overwhelmed by this feelings, I can often wonder whether Jesus can use facebook for any real good in our world.

Here's Why Disengagement Is A Bad Idea

Here's Why Disengagement Is A Bad Idea

If we are worried about unhealthy relationships, proposing a solution of having NO relationships is lazy, foolish and ultimately harmful. We must be willing to seek how Jesus points us to having healthier relationships.

Jesus always wants us to have a better, healthier, fuller life than what we would choose for ourselves. 

When dealing with dysfunctional situations, I think the answer for a Christian should never to be turning a blind eye or a deaf ear.

Hope vs. Expectations

Hope vs. Expectations

I was talking with a good friend recently and he asked me a good question: What's the difference between having hope in God during a difficult time and simply putting our own expectations on God?

Hope is clearly supposed to be an important part of a life of faith. According to Paul, it's one of the three most important things in life, but expectations can be a killer.

So what's the difference between hope and just making a list that I want God to complete?

Jesus and the Politics of Gender Identity

Jesus and the Politics of Gender Identity

Recently, the conversation around gender identification and gender fluidity (the concept that a person may identify their gender as male, female, neutrois, or any other non-binary identity, or some combination of identities at any given time) has come into the public spotlight.

As some facilities in our society (specifically bathrooms, locker rooms, etc) are locked into the binary, either-or genders of our physical bodies, a person who does not necessarily identify their gender with their physical body is faced with a question of how to respond to this social construct. Do I go into the women's restroom when I identify as a woman, regardless of my gender?

Now, as a follower of Jesus, what am I to do with this?

Am I Doing The Whole Christianity Thing Right?

Am I Doing The Whole Christianity Thing Right?

So, what is the point of Christianity? I reject the answer that it's about 'getting to heaven'. To steal a line from N.T. Wright, the scriptures are pretty clear that God's purposes aren't about getting us into heaven, but rather getting heaven into us.

There's talk of us having the fullest possible life. There's the part of the Lord's Prayer asking for God's kingdom and will to be present on earth. In John 17, Jesus prays for everyone who will ever believe in him (v.20) and he specifically says, "I’m not asking you to take them out of the world..." (v.15).

No, our goal isn't to escape this world. It is to be part of God's restoration of this world. To prepare the way for God's justice and redemption by seeking those things in the areas of our life where we have the opportunity to make a difference.

So then, back to the question at hand. How do I know if I'm doing this correctly?

How To Trust God

How To Trust God

God has a habit of not doing what I want, when I want, how I want.

That's probably a good thing seeing as how God is way smarter than I am and way more loving than I am.

Seriously. God loves me, my family, and the whole world; and he promises that he'll make everything come together for a good result.

If I really believe that last sentence, I'm never going to worry about a thing. Turns out sometimes I have a hard time believing that last sentence, because I wrestle with worry pretty often.

Are People Going To Spend Eternity In Hell?

Are People Going To Spend Eternity In Hell?

I seem to have two choices: get on board with the reality of a place of eternal torment or ignore the whole thing as best I can.

I'm not the kind to ignore stuff, and I can't get happy about the first option, so here are some perspectives I apply to the concept of hell as I try to put it into proper perspective in my life of faith:

Healthy Engagement with Politics

Healthy Engagement with Politics

Breaking News: we have a presidential election occurring here in the US later this year.

You may have missed it, or perhaps you noticed a web article about it.

Or newspaper article. Or magazine article. Or a TV commercial. Or news coverage. Or trending twitter topics. Or one of the debates. Or a billboard. Or a robo-call to your phone. Or unending posts about it on your Facebook feed.

It’s hard to miss, is what I’m getting at here. 

My question is this: in the midst of often 'spirited' debates, how can Christians debate and discuss who to vote for and retain our identity as the Body of Christ?

How To Deal with Imperfect People

How To Deal with Imperfect People

"You're scum"

That's what religious leaders in Jesus' day called the people who were at a party with him one evening.

It was hard for me to realize that I was more like those religious leaders than I was like Jesus, and I knew I needed a big change in my life.

How Fasting Helps Our Faith

How Fasting Helps Our Faith


In the year 325 AD, the council at Nicea decreed that the 40 days leading up to Easter would be a time for fasting (not including Sundays, which means Lent technically lasts 46 days).

For me, lent is a time to set my living personal faith upon the shoulders of brothers and sisters in the faith who came before me. Inviting tradition into my faith as a guide which lends strength and guidance.

Engaging in a traditional faith observation like Lent is a frame in which your faith can stretch out and grow as you pray and consider scripture over 40 days.


But What If Christianity Is Wrong?

But What If Christianity Is Wrong?

Deciding what religion (if any) to adhere to seems like a risky proposition.

I mean, what if you don’t pick the right one? If you pick the wrong one, does everyone else basically get to hear the losing horn from “Price is Right” in the afterlife — if there is one?

I happen to be a follower of Jesus, and I really do believe the things He says about God and the nature of reality. I have found a fullness of life which I simply didn’t have before making the choice to believe in Jesus. I’m never going back.

But if you are not currently a follower of Jesus, I can totally understand why you might hesitate to make a commitment. So allow me to consider what it means if people who take Jesus at His word are just flat out wrong.

Why Was God So Mad In The Old Testament?

Around the New Year, many of us probably jump in on a Bible reading plan. Reading through the Bible in one year is a great goal. Challenging, but not impossible, builds a positive habit, and seems like it will have some good results associate with it. But once the exciting days of Genesis and Exodus are behind you, you find yourself moving into Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy and oh man I don't know if this was such a good idea.

From animal sacrifices to genocide to prophets warning of doom and gloom, you start to wonder if there's any value in reading this content.

How To Let Go Of The Past

I used to have this problem.

I would remember something selfish or stupid I did when I was younger and the memory would hurt. Literally. I don’t know if it was actual physical pain or just pain in my mind, but it would hurt.

I would be eating dinner or taking a shower and I would feel the memory approaching like a tidal wave. There was no way I could stop it. All I could do was brace myself and wait until the memory would go away.

When is violence the answer?

In the aftermath of the Parisian attacks last month, French President Francois Hollande vowed a "merciless" responseagainst ISIS.Within days, France had bombed an ISIS target in Syria and performed numerous raids within France itself, killing and capturing several terror suspects.

We can all understand this response. Terrorist attacks against civilians are horrifying. In an effort to seek justice for the slaughtered and to prevent future attacks, we turn to violence in our response.

As a Christian, should I have a problem with this?

How Relevant Should Christians Be?

On December 9th, a new reality TV show is premiering on Oprah's TV network, Oxygen.The reality show is about a pastoral couple named Rich and DawnCheré Wilkerson called Rich in Faith. The show has gotten some attention because these are the pastors of Kanye West and Kim Kardashian.

I got a chance to hear Rich speak at the Catalyst Next conference in DC recently and it sparked discussion among our own church staff regarding whether what they are doing is appropriate. While he doesn't necessarily have a presentation style that I prefer, Rich and DawnCheré preached boldly about the greatness of Jesus and how much we are loved by our saviour.

One of the things that Rich discussed in an interview after he preached is the fact that God is giving him influence in circles that most of us would never be able to access.

I loved that.

You need access to gain influence, and that's a good thing because you can't influence people who aren't paying attention to you.

Why I Don't Hate Muslims

In the past week, there have been several notable comments about Muslims. Donald Trump made a statement that he believes all Muslims should be blocked from entering the United States.

Additionally, the president of Liberty University - Jerry Falwell Jr. - said that Christians should arm themselves so they can 'end those Muslims'.

I can understand why such comments and dispositions would be taken. Fear makes us want to put big, strong walls around the things we care about.

Is God Mad At Me When I Doubt?

So there’s this story in the bible I like a lot. It’s recorded in the book of Mark if you want to read it for yourself, but here’s the gist:

Jesus has been up on a mountain praying, away from the crowds that follow him everywhere. He comes down the mountain to find a chaotic scene.

A father who has a son with some serious issues has been asking Jesus’ disciples to heal the kid. The disciples have tried and failed.

The father brings the kid over to Jesus and I’m going to let what Mark wrote tell the next couple parts here:

(The Dad says to Jesus)  “Have mercy on us and help us, if you can.”

“What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.”

The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”

Jesus then punched him in the gut and said, ‘Come back when you don’t have any more unbelief, chump.” Then he rolled out with his posse.

In case you aren’t sure, I made that last part up. What actually happens is that Jesus heals the kid who suffered by major seizures and gave him back to his dad.

The father in that story is one of my heroes and I don’t even know his name.

Why Christmas is Unfair

This past Sunday marked the beginning of Advent, the four Sundays leading up to Christmas when we spend time considering the meaning of the birth of Christ in our world. Speaking of this event, the prophet Isaiah wrote: "Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means 'God is with us')." (Isaiah 7:14)

I love that the name 'God is with us' is used. In our world, we deal with many challenges and difficulties, large and small. From personal struggles to global problems like terrorism and refugee crises. I am grateful that God is with us in the midst of these problems.

This year, my church is considering the idea that God has invited us to a gift exchange.

When you are going to visit family or friends for Christmas, you try to make sure that you bring something that will make them happy. It would be terrible to receive a great gift and have something underwhelming to give in return.

Yet, in the original meaning and concept of Christmas, we find ourselves in exactly that situation.