The Difficulties of Unplugging on Vacation

It was well over a year ago that I first read the personnel manual of the church that had elected me to be their new lead pastor. It was not the first church that I had been called by God to lead, but it was the first that had gone out of their way to articulate such a generous vacation offer for their pastoral staff. All pastors, not just the lead pastor, would be given a tiered number of weeks off based upon their number of years in full time ministry to the Kingdom of God. My wife and I have been called to serve churches in Philadelphia, Central New Jersey, and for the past decade, three churches in the Baltimore-DC corridor, and with each new church that God had led us to the clock would reset as we would start over at day one. This was the first church that we walked into where we had already accumulated some vacation time to spare. Continue reading “The Difficulties of Unplugging on Vacation”

I believe Jesus can…turn your world upside down to put things in place.

The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Although that may hold true for two-dimensional objects, life has taught many of us that you can’t always get where you are going by following a straight line. As we look through the stories in the Bible we find that very rarely do any of the stories in both the Old and New Testament include any straight lines. Sometimes the detours and chaos that ensue are due to sin, disobedience, or the lack of faith—think the Israelites wandering in the wilderness for 40 years for a trip they should have been able to complete in under 40 days— and sometimes there seems to be no easy explanation on why things had to turn out the way that they did. Continue reading “I believe Jesus can…turn your world upside down to put things in place.”

A Low View of Marriage

O be careful little eyes what you see
O be careful little eyes what you see
For the Father up above
Is looking down in love
So, be careful little eyes what you see

Many of us remember that believed children’s song that we possibly sang at Vacation Bible School or in Children’s Church growing up. The song goes on to encourage us to be careful what you hear, what your hands do, where your feet go, and so on. It would appear that all too many have not heeded that simple melodic warning. Continue reading “A Low View of Marriage”

CAUTION, What you can’t see may hurt you

Family vacations are great. I have met people who dread family vacations as they go on about the driving, the lines for the attractions, and being cramped with the family for an extended period of time. For me, the driving time is just quality time, and we get along remarkably well as a family and genuinely enjoy being together regardless of how much space we have. As far as those lines are concerned, we don’t like them either and intentionally travel at times where we can anticipate shorter lines. Continue reading “CAUTION, What you can’t see may hurt you”

The Institution of Marriage

Recently, a good friend shared an article that  was published in the New York edition of the New York Times that was later reposted online and appears on the New York Time’s website (tinyurl.com/nsyb3gk). The article is titled “The Divorce Surge Is Over, but the Myth Lives On” and  discusses how, despite the drop in the divorce rate, the media and public at large continues to throw around the “50% of all marriages end in divorce” statistic. This led to a discussion of just how tricky statistic can be and how difficult it can be to overcome held assumptions (aka perceptions). In my doctoral dissertation I wrote about marriage and divorce in America and thought I would share some of that here today. Continue reading “The Institution of Marriage”

Catching the Wrong Train

Yesterday I had the chance to once again travel into Washington DC to participate in the Potomac Ministry Network’s NEXT. This time around John May and Mark Batterson had invited Darren Hileman to join them in challenging young leaders take the “NEXT step in their life and ministry”. As has been the case over the past few years, I feverishly took notes in my Moleskine I received as a gift during my first two-day NEXT and I coordinated with a close friend to meet me at Union Station early in the morning to debrief on life and ministry. Continue reading “Catching the Wrong Train”

It all starts with perspective

Our perspectives are the objective, buy rational observations of objects or events. Our perspectives are the literal point of view from where we are standing. Our perceptions are the subjective interpretation of those observations. Our perspectives inform our perceptions and it is our perceptions that focus on emotionally connecting the dots of what we saw and subjectively formulating what it means to us. If our perspective is not providing us with correct or helpful information, order then naturally our perception will be biased and impaired. Continue reading “It all starts with perspective”