A Letter to My Fellow Pastors

My fellow-laborers in this kingdom work,

I’m sure that most of you have heard about the tragic loss of one of our brothers who ended his life on this earth this past weekend. He was, by all accounts, a gifted, successful, and fruitful servant of our King. But he was also a man embattled with things that a good many—perhaps even most—of us face in our often lonely lives in full-time ministry.

I didn’t know the man and I am not trying to draw conclusions about his life or his death. But I understand how even a faithful child of God could find themselves at such a desperate place.

My last pastorate ended over eleven years ago soon after a diagnosis of a severe depression. I learned many difficult and painful lessons in that season. I learned that sometimes the intense and overwhelming feelings we can experience are so unbelieveably loud while the foundational truth that we know is very quiet. When what we know and what we feel are so greatly at odds, our whole being is in conflict. It is agonizing at best. Continue reading A Letter to My Fellow Pastors

Of Potty Training And Theology

I don’t claim to be an expert in the potty training of little boys, but I have been involved in a few rounds of this process.

If you’ve never done so, I need you to… well, let’s just call it imagine.

A young parent has this bouncing, rough-and-tumble little tyke that they really feel like is old enough to begin the process. They start at bath time or when changing clothes and such by just placing the little guy on the throne.

You veterans know what is going to happen here.

The mommy says, “Come on, go potty in the big potty for mommy!”

And, despite evidence to the contrary in many ways, the little dude really does want to make mommy happy. He grunts a little—making a genuine effort, mind you. And then mommy sees the pale yellow stream and is stricken with the horrible realization that there is a trajectory problem here. He’s doing what was asked in a heart of joyful obedience.

But he’s peeing right through the gap under the toilet seat.

Continue reading Of Potty Training And Theology

Not From the Paved Road

We seem to have found a new thing we love to do.

We went hiking.

I’m not the most “outdoorsy” guy. I like being outside, but I’ve never been one to spend a great deal of time beyond the paved road. But I learned something important. There are just some incredible sights you cannot see from the paved road.

Here’s an example. The picture here was taken from the gravel parking area where the hiking trail began.

It’s pretty and green, but there’s nothing spectacular… just the promise of finding something amazing along the trail.

We chose to follow the trail. It led to a long, vigorous climb full of mud-holes, slippery rocks, narrow paths, steep stretches, many switchbacks, a few tricky crawls… and so much wonder.

One trail led us about 3 miles up and down and around and along to this amazing waterfall. Continue reading Not From the Paved Road