A couple of weeks ago, the band ‘Twenty One Pilots’ released a new single named ‘Heathens’, in conjunction with the release of the movie ‘Suicide Squad’ a movie about a team of villains. Because the song was featured in some marketing with the movie, it seems like the lyrics are written about the characters in the movie (and there is definitely some correlation). The truth is that the song has a deeper meaning. The lead singer, Tyler Joseph, is a strong Christian. He wrote the song to other Christians (read: the church), on behalf of his non-Christian (read: heathen) friends.
So here are a few things the church can learn from the song ‘Heathens’: Continue reading
A while ago, I learned about parkour (which is French for ‘Free Running’). Parkour is, essentially, combining running with gymnastics, with a little bit of climbing thrown in. The internet is full of videos of people who practice it. Parkour can look a little odd to an outsider to be sure, but it’s a really interesting skill set.
The most remarkable thing about it isn’t the general athleticism required (though that is certainly incredible). When someone watches a parkour maneuver for the first time, they usually want to ask how they ‘planned’ the trick. They’re surprised to find out that for a vast majority of the stunts and tricks, there wasn’t a plan. The athlete just made it up as they going. The most incredible thing about parkour is that is it essentially athletic improvisation.
Pastors and church members like plans. I know I do. Plans offer security and stability. Plans can also limit what churches or Christians can do in their spiritual lives. Here are a few things I think we can learn from Parkour for our spiritual lives. Continue reading
I’ve gotten the sense that over the last year or so, God has been up to something in my life. I just wasn’t able to put my finger on it until lately.
I saw a really interesting segment on a documentary a few months ago. In the segment, they were showing two villages that lived fairly close to each other in a desert. Both of these villages had been established around a single well that was drawing from an underground river. These two villages realized that if they would connect their wells, there would be more water flowing, and they could almost create a network of wells.
In order to do this, each village had to send people down their wells and carve out a tunnel following the river toward the other village. The person who was digging this mud, rock, and dirt out was up to their knees in muddy water, taking buckets full of rock back to the well to be taken away by others up top helping out. It’s messy, dangerous work, where there is a risk of cave in each day.
I think there are two periods of my spiritual life that God is using ministry to carve a deeper well between. It’s messy, confusing at times, and glorious at others. Continue reading
Guest Writer – Abigail Yeazel
In this day and age, technology keeps growing in popularity, practicality and usage. This means that apps are being used more and more. Christian culture has utilized the popularity of apps to create apps for spiritual growth. I’m thankful for the reasoning many have done it. Just like Jesus, they seek to meet people where they are.
Personally, I use several of these different apps during my morning devotional times. I thought it might be helpful to share those with you. I stand with the leadership in the goal for personal growth in each of you, so if this can help you in your morning quiet times or with motivation to have a quiet time/ morning devotional time, praise be to God.
With each app I have listed the description given by Google Play as well as listed why and how I use it. Continue reading
My name is Brady, and I’m a pastor. Over the last few months, my ‘tribe’ (the church) has protested your right to marry the person you love and snickered about bathrooms. I know that for centuries, you have been harassed, attacked, and persecuted by my tribe.
Today, the world awoke to the story of no less than 50 human beings being murdered for the audacity to be at a gay bar. And you will undoubtedly turn somewhere for healing, care, and comfort, as we all would. And I’m aware that you may not be welcome in every church across the country.
But you’re welcome in mine.
Over the next few days, there will undoubtedly be some talking heads and social media posts, no matter how few, that talk about this attack as ‘the cost of living in sin’, as if you somehow deserve this hatred. Some of these statements will come from pastors and religious leaders.
But not from me.
For whatever differences you and I have, I’m not here to judge you. I’m here to offer love, comfort, and care. I serve a God who calls us to comfort those who mourn and bind up the broken hearted.
Please hear me on this: We do not have to see eye to eye to weep together.