Nov 302013

thumbnail.aspxGod of all our times:

We have known since the day of our birth that our primal task is to grow to basic trust in you,

to rely on you in every circumstance,

to know that you would return when you are away,

to trust that in your absence you will soon be present,


to be assured that your silence bespeaks attentiveness and not neglect,

to know that in your abiding faithfulness, “all will be well and all will be well.”

We do trust in you: we are named by your name, and bonded in your service.

We are among those who sing your praise and who know of your deep faithfulness.

You, you, however, are not easy to trust:

We pray against a closed sky;

our hopes reduced to auto-suggestion;

our petitions are more habit than hope;

our intercessions are kindly gestures of well-being.

Sometimes more, many times not, because your silence and absence, your indifference and tardiness are glaring among us.

We are drawn to find lesser gods,

easier loyalties,

many forms of self-trust … that do not even fool us.

We pray for new measures of passion, for fresh waves of resolve, for courage, energy, and freedom, to be our true selves … waiting in confidence, and while waiting, acting our life toward you in your ways of forgiving generosity.

We pray in the name of Jesus who trusted fully, and who is himself fully worthy of our trust. Amen.

Walter Brueggemann. Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth: The Prayers of Walter Brueggemann (p. 48). Kindle Edition.

Nov 292013

finger_pointing_027I’m trying to give everyone the finger.

No, not that finger…at least for the purposes of this article.

This morning I speak of the finger you use to point…and I’m trying to point to people who are doing wonderful things, creating wonderful things, and saying wonderful things.

Whether you’re raising a child or a pet you know the power of positive reinforcement.

As a grown dog at 55, I can tell you that we never outgrow the need for positive recognition and encouragement.

Much of what we see here and on the rest of the internet are people pointing out folks who do the opposite…and if we are going to be a people who point to Jesus, then we must achieve some balance.

Here on the blog we’ll try to point to good writing, good projects, and the good in the Body of Christ with the same enthusiasm that we point out that which is not so good.

If you see something good point it out to me and I’ll point to it too…and maybe all that pointing will encourage more good things to point to.



Sarah continues her series on Advent…

Use the code “bookdeal” to get Matt Redmonds print book for 30% off…

More info from Derek on #freesaeed…

My book is on sale as well…




Nov 292013

1462931_10201565030141373_790054676_nOn Nov 25th we posted the first article about a social media campaign to free Pastor Saeed Abedeni.

This morning we’re quickly moving toward 5000 people who have committed to participate on Dec 4th.

We’re just getting started.

If you haven’t joined the Facebook page do so….then invite all your friends to do the same.

Post the photo and link on your own Facebook page, Google+ page, or blog.

Hundreds of people have changed their Facebook profile pictures…lets put this orange banner everywhere!

The Twitter hashtag is #freesaeed…wear it out!

My friend Phil Naessens interviewed me last night about the campaign and you can listen to that show here.

Friday, Janet Mefferd lent her name to the cause and she will be encouraging people to join us on her national radio program.

The wave is forming… get on!

Nov 282013

Giving_thanks_commentary-001Gratitude for what has been given is what will sustain you as you wait on the Lord for that which has not been given yet.

Each giving of thanks today contains the promise of sustenance tomorrow.

God is good.


Happy Thanksgiving, my friends.

Nov 272013

The_First_Thanksgiving_cph.3g04961“Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and

Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness”:

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the Beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplication to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our national government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a government of wise, just and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, AD 1789”

George Washington

Nov 262013

links_image1The #freesaeed Facebook page…join us!

New from Sarah…

Satan in Mexico…

A liberal look at the myths of the religious right…

Three things every Christian should know…

Massacre of Syrian Christians ignored…

John Stackhouse on the problem of evil…

An excellent scholar on plagiarism…

Supreme Court to rule on Hobby Lobby…

and more plagiarism…

A table of forgetful remembrance…

Trusting God in trying times…

The Third Wave…

What’s behind the decrease in global poverty?

Providence, gratitude, and Thanksgiving…

Matt Redmond…

I hadn’t seen anything about this…

Nov 252013

Saeed-Abedini-ACLJPastor Saeed Abedini, an American citizen, has been imprisoned in Iran for over a year for the crime of being a Christian.

In recent negotiations with the government of Iran his plight was ignored by our administration.

We cannot, will not, do the same.

As member of the church militant, the Body of Christ, when one member suffers we all suffer.

Our brother is suffering…and we must enter into that suffering with him and seek God’s power to free him.

This is what I propose.

I propose the single loudest outpouring of support via social media to free Saeed in the history of the church.

On Wednesday December 4, every Christian with a platform, great or small, will feature Saeed on it and demand that our government secure his release.

If you have a Facebook page, you have a platform.

We will use the Twitter hashtag #freesaeed… use it on Facebook and other social media as well.

Our scattered voices can be ignored, but if we can come together across denominational and political lines as one voice the church may break prison chains once again.

We need every single Christian to spread the word to friends, family and any media outlets.

Pastors, we need it featured on your websites and blogs.

Bloggers, we need it on your front page.

Brothers and sisters, we need your Facebook status.

We welcome any ideas to further this cause and we covet your participation and promotion.

This is an historical moment for the American church…shall we participate in it or pass?

Please feel free to copy this content or modify this content, and post it as your own on your own media!