A Mountaintop Rant Re: Caitlyn Jenner

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not do sexually-immoral things that permanently change your physical appearance that everyone around you can’t avoid.’ But I say to you that everyone who “innocently” googles pics of attractive people, who “entertains” attractive acquaintances on social networks for the thrill of it, or who “dabbles” in porn/sexually-gratuitous-entertainment/swimsuit-editions from the privacy of their cellphone screen already stands condemned. If your cellphone causes you to sin, throw it away and use land lines. For it is better that you lose access to Google Maps than that your whole body be thrown into hell.… Continue Reading

Jenner, Jesus, and Vanity Fair

The Parable of the Toddlers

There once was a 3-year-old and his 1-year-old brother. The eldest experienced the frustration of the younger, whom did not always “get it,” and the elder (quite justifiably) reacted against these frequent injustices. But the provocations went both ways.

The eldest too got on little brother’s nerves. He often responded as many 1-year-old’s do, with fussing and gnashing of teeth. In those teachable moments, the boys’ parents were careful to correct older brother’s provocations, but they were also quick to correct little brother’s whining: “We do not fuss to get what we want,” “That is not how we respond,” or some other variation of the sort.… Continue Reading

Hidden. With Christ. In God.

All of my life, I have been fighting the battle of perception. You know, my always shifting self-perception, other peoples’ perception of me, and the perennial, “Is it really true that God sees me as beloved?” (Romans 9:25, 1 Corinthians 4:14, etc…)

This issue of perception is exponentially multiplied once you step up onto a stage. The “church stage” or the everyone-is-watching “stage” of social media are similar, both are a superficial level of exposure, and both carry the ever-present danger of distorting yours and others perception of “you.”

Each one of us has a distorted perception of “me,” whether consciously or unconsciously.… Continue Reading

Adventures in Icons

I have a bunch of stuff brewing re: the church history class I’m teaching on Wednesday nights, but for the time being, I thought I’d post a few app icons that I made/customized recently. You can download the icons below. Enjoy!

My inspiration was the new ESPN icon’s 45 degree shadow. (Also, I made a new Audible icon, thus the redundant icons)

Edit: Nearly all of these are unoriginal designs, but the lack of uniformity in icons on Android irks me, so I made these.Continue Reading

Parenting in the Grey Areas

Our 3 year old has recently started using the declarative instead of the interrogative mood. For those not willing to google my use of big words: he has started making statements rather than asking questions.

The tone of his statements are mostly quite sweet, and so this subtle behavior can easily go unnoticed. When a child loudly declares his desire in a fit of rage we generally recognize as parents that we don’t give in to the demand of terrorists toddlers.… Continue Reading

Help Paul, Help You: Hiring & Being a Qualified Pastor

Please take a moment and consider again the qualifications for a pastor:

The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?Continue Reading

Regain & Rethink Your Adult Authority: The Blessing of Christian Discipline

Our 1 year old is all over the place, and for the most part we welcome this new mobile intensity.

Let us sleep through the night and we’re game for most anything he gets into. This morning, this thought, brought me to my favorite coffee mug.

The Mug

Jodee bought me the best Harry Potter inspired, hand maid stoneware mug not too long ago. The struggle is, now that the little man is into everything, every end table, coffee table, and, with a little more ingenuity, every table and counter in the house is within striking distance.… Continue Reading

Train Up A Child

I just heard from the other room my 3 year old son tell my wife, “I’ll protect him!” This is a pretty common phrase around here and he’s an awesome little boy, but I don’t want you to believe for a moment that he’s an exception to the rule (you know the rule: toddlers are insane and unruly little monsters).

My super sweet 3 year old has plenty of teachable moments and is growing up every day. He learns from his (many) mistakes, sinful dispositions, and everything else that comes with being a 3 year old.… Continue Reading

The Virtues of Singing (& Listening to) Music in Church

In the last few years, the internets have been chalk full with blogs about the (good) reasons why people are not singing in the (American) church.

Here’s Nine Reasons People Aren’t Singing in Church.

Also: Why They Don’t Sing, Christians Stopped Singing, and more Not Singing. These blogs are a dime a dozen (maybe a dollar a dozen—they have value!).

There are even more biblically-inclined, theologically-inclined, and historically-inclined arguments for more congregational singing.… Continue Reading