The Necessary Darkness

The Necessary Darkness

Have you ever been through a dark night of the soul? A time when there seems to be no voice from God? A time where you feel a bit rudderless and your soul is downcast? Dark nights of the soul are well attested to in the history of the Church. Many folks have experienced them. They can either destroy us or they can take us deeper in our relationship with God and his people. In today’s parlance we might call this, “deconstruction.” We question everything and doubt much. Our faith seems to be coming apart and we cannot wrap our minds or hearts around it. With so many having this experience it makes me wonder if this is something that is a necessary part of our spiritual formation. Could it be that we need our dark nights of the soul? What if these seasons of doubt and questioning are seasons that help us become more like Jesus? (more…)...
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How Do You Do It?

…10 Things We Do As Parents I’m not an expert. I’m not even close to being an expert. I have a son who is 16 and a daughter who is 14. Both of them are excelling as human beings (in my all too biased opinion). They each have passions that they are pursuing with zeal. I think both of them are becoming good people. They have friends, they respect adults, they are both people that my wife and I enjoy being around. Any time I ask people what they think I should I write about, one of the most requested topics is, “How do I raise my kids?” I don’t think people ask me this because they think my kids are angels and they want to know how we did it. I think anyone who is raising a child wants help in making sure that they don’t screw up. In our culture we get more training to drive a car than we do...
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#MeToo

Photo by Pablo Varela on Unsplash I am watching my social media feed fill with a singular hashtag, #MeToo. Friends, dear friends, are sharing it. Women in my congregation have been sexually abused or sexually harassed. I didn’t know. They had never shared that with me. Nor would I expect them too. Yet, there it is, #MeToo. I am shaking in sadness, anger, rage, and frustration. My eyes are welling with tears as I think about my friends being treated this way. The lump in my throat is growing as #MeToo pops up next to more and more of my friends. Then it hits me, my God, my daughter. What would I do if I saw the #MeToo next to her name? How can I protect her from this terror? Is there some way to keep her from this evil? Has it already happened? Would she know she can tell me? Would my precious daughter trust me enough to share this with me? What about my son? Have...
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Can You Feel It Coming…

It seems as though there is something huge waiting to break through. I can’t put my finger on it but there is something almost tangible enveloping my heart, mind, and soul. Have you ever felt this way?Naysayers don’t seem to have any power. The vision, the mission, the dream are in front of me and yet it seems as though there is a fog that causes me to not quite be able to fully comprehend.So I actively wait.Faithful to the things that are clear and before me.Hopeful for the things that wrapped in the mystery of the fog.Thankful for the sovereignly good God within whose kingdom I serve....
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What are you thankful for?

What are you thankful for? This is the question that was posed by the boys at Professional One a “boutique of awesome” or also known as one of the best real estate firms in the country run by Mike and Todd.Ever since the question was asked I have been thinking about it.This is a question we ask around our kitchen table as opposed to the generic “God is good, God is great…”How can you answer such a question with any kind of authenticity and keep the post relatively brief?When I think about what I am thankful for I am amazed at all that I really ought to be thankful for, but I’m not. I am not thankful, at least not usually. I want to be one of those people that are constantly overwhelmed by gratitude.I really do. But, I’m not.Life is more complicated, it seems.What am I thankful for?I am thankful that there are people who are asking the question...
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The Paradox

When you find out that most if not all of your preconceptions are misconceptions it leaves you reeling. The first time I woke up in Israel I struggled to believe all that I was seeing. I felt as though I had stepped foot out of the Matrix and into “The Real”. There was nothing that was what I expected. Not a single thing.We boarded our bus and met Yaniv, our guide and soon to be our good friend. He took us to Caesarea by the Sea. It was a confusing time as we left Tel Aviv and arrived at a place that was over 2,000 years old. This is the kind of confusion that leaves you scratching your head and unsure of what you are seeing.It turns out that Israel is a place of paradox. You never can quite get your mind around it. It is a living and breathing postmodern experience. What is new is old and what is...
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Preconceptions, Land Mines, and Explosions

Any time you visit a new country there are always preconceived ideas that you have coming in. When I left for Israel I had a picture in mind of sand, mountains, and camels. Of course I also had the thought of one or two surface to air missiles and maybe a suicide bomber. I could tell that these were the same thoughts that some of my family had in mind too. I think that is part of the reason why I didn’t really get too excited about the trip, why it “slipped” my mind and why I did not talk about it much with those closest to me. My preconceived ideas had laid a foundation of fear.Then I arrived in Israel.I saw it.There was no filter, there were no reporters or editors choosing what to show me.I saw it with my own eyes.What did I see, you ask?I saw Tel Aviv and modern bustling city filled with people. There were...
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Baseball. Redemption, and a Hospital Room (re-post from May 29,2009)

Today I have a little procedure to deal with some scar tissue in my esophagus. It is no big deal. Last summer though our family dealt with a big deal medically. I won’t be writing a new post today but I thought that this was a timely one to re-post (it just so happens that the first Tigers telecast of the season is today). This post is from May 29, 2009.A week ago yesterday my bride received a phone call. It was one of those calls that you dread. Her dad, Dennis, was in the hospital due to a stroke. It was “minor” but for a man like Dennis and for a family like ours it is major. Dennis is an athlete (at times becoming a scratch golfer!). Dennis is the life of the party. Dennis is the picture of the entrepreneurial spirit. Dennis is the kind of man that other men want to be. This is seen in the...
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Shall I…think?

One of the things that I have been struck with over the past few months is that many people are unwilling to think and even more unwilling to listen. We have been trained to process what we will say next and as a result we do not hear what is being said to us. It is this phenomenon that I think leads us to the place where we no longer actually think. Thinking requires listening and processing. One of the places that I have been finding this to be true is in the context of book reviews. Most recently has been the discussion that has been going on over Brian McLaren’s most recent book, “A New Kind of Christianity”. I do not have this book. I have not read this book. My point is not to enter into conversation about McLaren or his writing but to look at the way that the conversation has been going forward.The men and women...
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