This July my wife, Lea, and I visited Haarlem, The Netherlands, where the Christian family, the ten Booms, ran a watch store as a front for a safe haven for Jews and the Dutch resistance during World War II. Willem ten Boom opened their shop in 1837, and his son, Casper (1859-1944), celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1937, three years before the German invasion of the Netherlands. Read more
Are there discernible seasons in the life of a spiritual community? We all experience differing stages of growth in our own lives and witness the changing seasons of nature. Can we in similar ways trace stages or eras over the life span of a community of faith?
The history of God’s Church clearly shows that there are seasons in the life of both the global and local church. History testifies of times of renewal and revival where the Spirit of God drew groups of people to the Gospel. These renewals have served to counter the sin-filled entropy of the current age and secured an increase in experiential holiness and devotion to Christ. Read more
Earlier this year, I fulfilled a life-long dream. I traveled with a group of Virginia pastors to Eretz, Israel, the Holy Land. Most of my adult life has been spent studying the culture, history, language and rich stories of what happened in this place, considered holy by three major world religions. But if my study had prepared me like an archaeologist to identify bare “bones” of knowledge and understand the skeleton of history found there, it did not prepare me to find it full bodied and alive—God’s people and God’s promise in the flesh. It recalled to me words God spoke to a skeleton in the presence of the prophet Ezekiel, “I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord’” (Ez. 37:6). Read more
“The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life.” ~William Faulkner
A while back, I wrote a blog on the Holy Spirit and the Life of the Mind. It told the story of how the Holy Spirit worked not only in my own life, but also in my work as a teacher. I recently looked back on that and realized one very important factor was missing. I talked about the life of the mind, but not really my mind as an Artist (capital A!). Read more
Church History is not often on most Christians’ list of favorite topics. As I travel the world, I remain surprised by Christian leaders’ vocal disinterest and sometimes even avid aversion to explore the history of God’s involvement in and through His Church. So why should we study it? Here are ten reasons why the study of Church History remains important for the development and growth of authentic and Biblical Christianity and leadership. Read more
With the expansive use of modern technology, the need has arisen to implement forms of techno-detoxing. The term refers to recognizing when one’s focus in life has shifted to the overuse of technology in communicating with others and the process needed in returning to a more balanced experience in appropriate interaction with others. Studies indicate the existence of a growing number of individuals, including many in contexts of professional leadership, who attempt to deal with stress by choosing to self-medicate through the misuse of technology.
Self-medication in this instance can include attempted avoidance of conflict by limiting face-to-face encounters or attempting to assuage emotional and spiritual pain and the struggles often necessary to grow relationally by over-indulging in techno-entertainment and social media. Scientists are sounding an alarm to warn individuals concerning the potential risks connected with improper use of technological devices: Read more
Recently, a journalism professional who works in a developing country asked why ethics matter, especially where government is repressive and people treat their profession as a job rather than a vocation. In other words, if journalists are going to behave irresponsibly either because of fear of repression or out of a quest for material benefit, then what’s the point of teaching ethics? Read more
S-e-x? Not this time, friends. The “S” is for “Systems Thinking”! Let’s talk about systems thinking! If you are unfamiliar with the concept of “systems thinking,” your first thought might be that the expression is scientific, probably has something to do with psychology, and surely does not relate to what you do in your world. The aim of this post is to demonstrate how systems thinking is most assuredly applicable to your world and has the potential to change aspects of your life! Read more
Why does the History Channel’s recent series, “The Bible,” appeal to so many viewers? The message of the Bible reaches into the very soul and spirit of humankind because its progressive revelation is the Greatest Story Ever Told: A transcendent God who reaches down from heaven in pursuit of every human being—not just a God of judgment quick to stomp out the human race.
Daniel Wattenberg’s story in The Washington Times reported that audience ratings for the March 10th telecast of “The Bible” drew more viewers than anything broadcast on NBC during the entire week. The ratings prove there’s a vast audience willing to tune out the competition to see the Greatest Story Ever Told. Read more
I was all ready after the first night of The History Channel’s “The Bible” mini-series to announce its demise. There was so much in that first night that I was sure audiences, although tuning in out of curiosity, would certainly abandon the series by the flowing week. Boy was I wrong. The first night of the series garnered a whopping 14 million viewers. The second week it got 13 million viewers. The publicity online shouted its success beating “American Idol” the first week. Who knew? Hollywood is certainly scratching its head. The makers, Mark Burnett, and wife/actress Roma Downey have said in interviews how thrilled they are that it has resonated with such a large audience, and for that, I do applaud them. Read more