The 5 punishment languages

The 5 punishment languages

There are five languages of punishment that we naturally gravitate towards, each of which are uniquely damaging to the heart of a child. Rather than hold up a warning sign or place a healthy boundary marker, by punishing we exert power over a child, which wounds their heart. Thankfully, there are alternatives!

Read More

Choosing Peace

Choosing Peace

I quit my day-job recently. It was scary, stepping out and trusting God for what was next, but he hasn’t let me fall. My bills are paid, and I’m enjoying my new world. But that doesn't mean it's all roses. About once a week I find myself plunged into existential fear and chaos. One day last week I was overwhelmed by indecision, fear and confusion, and I had to make a choice: choose busy or choose peace.

Read More

You're not alone and everything is going to be OK

You're not alone and everything is going to be OK

I met with a group of young Christians on the weekend to discuss the topic of loneliness. We each asked the question, "Where is Jesus when we feel lonely?" and I invited them to do a journaling exercise. We began by asking God to give us the name of someone we knew, who was lonely. Then we asked God what he would want that person to know. Matias got my name, and here’s what God told us both.

Read More

How to forgive Bill Cosby

How to forgive Bill Cosby

I don't want to live in a world where Bill Cosby is a rapist. But neither did Andrea Constand, or anyone else he assaulted, and they weren't given the choice. So here we are, trying to figure out how to say to all of the Bill Cosbys in our lives, "You have wounded me, I cannot trust you, you are not safe... but you owe me nothing. I release you to a higher authority. The devil will not have the last laugh out of your choice to wound me. I am walking away in freedom. You are forgiven."

Read More

It's only just begun

It's only just begun

For Christians (and churches) that don't follow a liturgical calendar, it's easy to lose track of the fact that Easter is just the beginning. Most of us probably enjoyed the long Easter weekend, had an extra-special Sunday meeting, took new family photos and then went back to work. That's certainly what I did, and I don't begrudge anyone who did the same... but the fact remains, Easter is just the beginning. On Resurrection Sunday, Jesus is only getting started. Some of the most remarkable displays of what God is like come to us after the resurrection. And the new race of humanity that Jesus ushered in is just getting started too.

Read More

He came to be trampled on

He came to be trampled on

The year is 1637. You are a priest, who has travelled to Japan to locate your former teacher. You travel from island to island, encouraging tiny groups of Christian believers, who are hiding for their lives. You are eventually captured by the Inquisitor, who tortures other believers in front of you in an attempt to make you renounce Christianity. Eventually the Inquisitor offers to end the torture if you will simply tread on an icon of Jesus.

Read More

When you're tired and empty

When you're tired and empty

Sometimes there's just nothing left in the tank. I'm not talking about chronic depression, just plain old, run-of-the-mill malaise. When there's too much housework to even know where to start. Or when you've been sick in bed for a week and somehow you're still tired but also bored. Here's my advice: If you do nothing, then the nothingness will certainly win. But if you can let go of the things that aren't important, and intentionally surrender to God all the things that are, then the day may not be lost. Take a deep breath, and repeat after me...

Read More

You don't have to be like Trump

You don't have to be like Trump

Each culture adopts values and principles considered desirable or necessary in their leaders. Personas and archetypes emerge that come to define certain roles and responsibilities. We end up being told that in order to do that we must be like this. But you don't have to be like that at all. You can be like you! If you've ever felt like you just didn't fit into the mould of the leaders around you, then this one is for you.

Read More

Dear Pastor: What is your church's career path?

Dear Pastor: What is your church's career path?

Most churches are founded around a shared set of values. God often gives someone (or a group of someones) a blueprint, a vision of some aspect of spiritual life that has been neglected in their generation or their region. A community grows around these values. What happens once the community is saturated with your values? Do you keep force-feeding them, or find new values?

Read More

Fear is an invitation

Fear is an invitation

If you are afraid of anything then you have room in your life for more of God's love. It's as simple as that. Fear is a signal, an invitation, a waving flag, that says "I have room for more love." We can't make fear go away by sheer force of will, instead God invites us to surrender it  over to him. He is gentle and he will not force us. If we don't respond now, he will still be waiting till we are ready. But it's far more embarrassing to deal with our fear of the dark at 50 than it is at 5 years old.

Read More

The battle beneath the surface

The battle beneath the surface

If whatever you're doing right now just feels like it's sucking the life out of you in a profound way, then I want you to consider that there is a battle raging beneath the surface of what you can see. When you show up each and every day, you are going to war, that's why it's so exhausting. But we need you to keep going.

Read More

What virtual reality taught me about sin and death

What virtual reality taught me about sin and death

Once you're wearing your VR gear, you have roughly 9 square metres to explore. But of course, you're not exploring that space at all, you're exploring a virtual world that only you can see. It's fantastic escapism, but I think sin operates in our lives in very much the same way. When we choose to sin we experience another reality, and in this other reality God feels distant to us. It feels profoundly real to the human experiencing it, but God hasn't changed position at all. 

Read More