God Running

Is Believing In Jesus All That’s Required? (Because after all, Jesus gave us commands)–John 6:22-40

Marriage via pixabay - Public Domain

We left off in our study of the book of John with Jesus allowing his disciples to be battered about by a storm. There may have been a good reason for that. If you’re interested you can read the last post from the Gospel of John here: What It Takes To Be Glad About Jesus: John 6:16-21.

The Work Of God

The morning after the storm, what the crowd saw was that Jesus sent his disciples over to the other side of the sea of Galilee in a boat, and then he himself hiked up a mountain to pray. What they didn’t see was Read More

The Article About Anger That Might Make You Angry

Josep_Vergara,_Caïm_i_Abel (1)

Cain and Abel by Josep Vergara, 18th Century

The Article About Anger That Might Make You Angry

I have to confess, I was reluctant to write and publish this article about anger, because I’m concerned it will make people angry. But maybe in spite of my better judgment . . .

Jesus Nerd

If you follow my Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ accounts you know I put up scripture on these almost every day. More than one person has criticized me for it, but what can I say — I’m a Jesus nerd. I’m completely fascinated by this ancient Jewish Rabbi, so much so that I just can’t help myself. I want to learn all that I can about him, and I want to share him with others. Anyway, recently, on Facebook, I posted the words from Jesus, “. . . I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment…” (Matthew 5:22) And a friend of mine, Danny, asked in the comment section, “What do you think is meant by ‘brother’?” Read More

Orlando Shooting: The Hard Part Most Are Missing

Shooting_at_Pulse_Nightclub-Wikimedia Commons

Emergency vehicles on scene at the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando

I just want to share a few thoughts on the Orlando Shooting. Thought number three in particular is the most difficult and it applies to you, and to me.

1) It’s a horrible tragedy. This was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. Fifty died, and fifty-three were injured. My heart breaks for the victims and their families. They’re in my prayers and I hope they’re in your prayers too.

2) We need to guard against acts of terror in the most sensible and effective way possible. This is where everybody wants to go when they discuss the Orlando tragedy. This is the part that’s most popular in the media and in the blogosphere. I have my own opinions, but the purpose of this blog isn’t to offer up the actions I believe we should take to prevent attacks like this one. The purpose of this blog post is to focus on something more difficult.

3) The hard part, the most difficult thing we need to guard against, is this: Read More

Damian Lillard, Stephen Curry, and Bad Christian Examples

Lillard vs Westbrook

Lillard Drops 50

By now, like most basketball fans, you’ve seen Damian Lillard’s 37-foot game winner that sent Russell Westbrook and the OKC Thunder home for the season. And you also know it’s undeniable that as good as Lillard was last season, he’s made a big leap to an even higher level this season.

Recently I learned why.

Lillard And Curry Read More

Finding Your Identity (and what that has to do with Jesus): John 1:42-43

find my identity

He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John. You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter). The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” John 1:42-43

Nate Larkin, Samson And The Pirate Monks

I recently heard a man speak by the name of Nate Larkin. Nate wrote a book called Samson and the Pirate Monksand in his book and during his talk he spoke of the different personas he developed as he navigated life. For church and when he was in the presence of God there was Saint Nate. Saint Nate was good (at least on the outside), he memorized scripture, and he said all the right things. He polished that persona to perfection. Nate was great at looking bright and shiny to other Christians. But later, in high school, he found girls weren’t attracted to Saint Nate, so he developed another persona he calls Date Nate. Date Nate was smooth and fun and cool. And you know what? It worked. He could find dates when he took on the Date Nate persona. Then he met the girl of his dreams. But the only problem was, she didn’t like Date Nate. So he invented yet another persona he calls Mate Nate. And that worked too. The girl of his dreams married Mate Nate. Awhile later Nate entered the ministry. But he did so while carrying a dark secret: he was a sex addict, addicted to porn since his teens. After a few years working for a church, Nate noticed several high profile Read More

The Flip Side Of Envy: John 1:39-42

Envy ChristianHe said to them, “Come and you will see.” So they came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour. One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ). He brought him to Jesus. (John 1:39-42a)

One Day With Jesus

So last post from the book of John we saw how John the Baptist was with two of his disciples when Jesus walked by. “Behold the Lamb of God,” John the Baptist said. And these two disciples of John the Baptist, they immediately left him and followed Jesus.

When Jesus saw them following, he asked, “What do you want?”

And the two responded, “Where are you staying?”

And Jesus said, “Come and see.”

So they did. They followed Jesus to where he was staying. And they spent the day with him.

Imagine what you would ask if you spent the day with the Messiah. These two former disciples of John the Baptist, now Jesus’ first two disciples, probably spent the day asking the same questions. Whatever the discussion, we know from what happens next that they were deeply and profoundly impacted, because one of them, Andrew (the other isn’t named) leaves Jesus to tell his brother who they found.

Peter’s Brother

“Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother,” that’s how Andrew is referred to in our text. That’s how Andrew is usually referred to throughout scripture, as Simon Peter’s brother. One imagines that it was that way for Andrew, for a long time. We can imagine Andrew growing up hearing himself referred to in this way: “You know who I’m talking about, Simon’s brother.” Do you know someone like Andrew? Someone who is always referred to as “so and so’s brother?” If you do, you know it can be a point of contention. Envy can creep in. And when envy creeps in, that person who’s referred to as “so and so’s brother” begins to wish for, hope for, and even enjoy the defeats and failures of the person who is the object of their envy. That’s just how envy works.

You might think that Andrew, having lived in his brother’s shadow all these years, would have looked at his new relationship with the Messiah as an opportunity: an opportunity to escape his brother’s shadow, an opportunity for Andrew to shine for himself.

“I’m Andrew, the very one who found the Messiah (with a little help from John the Baptist). Maybe now they’ll call Simon, ‘Andrew’s brother.'”

But to Andrew’s great credit, he didn’t let envy or anything else get in his way. After spending one day with Jesus, he felt compelled to find his brother Simon and to tell Simon all about who he, Andrew, just found: the Messiah, the Christ.

The Flip Side Of Envy

But there’s another side of envy that we rarely hear discussed. The flip side of envy is Read More

The One Thing That Changed Everything For Me As A Christian: John 1:35-39

Why don't I feel joy
Read John 1:35-39.

“What are you seeking?” (John 1:38)

Why Don’t I Feel Joy?

So you’re a Christian. And you’re wondering why you feel the way you do. I mean, you read about, and hear about joy, and fulfillment, and an abundant rich life in Christ, but, that’s not what you feel. That simply has not been your experience. Maybe you feel anxiety, frustration, or even depression, and you’re wondering why.

This blog post answers that question, and offers you a chance to change everything. Read More

Joseph’s 5 Steps to Avoid Temptation: Genesis 39:6-23

how to resist temptation

(Tied for the most popular post of 2014 so far, from the archives)

Read Genesis 39:6-23

Genesis 39:6-23

I don’t know what Joseph’s early responsibilities were when he first began at Potiphar’s house, but they may have been intensely physical, because Joseph was ripped (“well built” verse six tells us). He was also a good looking guy. And because of this, Joseph’s master’s wife notices him, and begins to proposition him, without much in the way of subtlety either.

“Come to bed with me!” she says to him. Read More

My Friend Mike’s Miracle

miracle prayer

Last post we talked about one reason God was so responsive to Jesus’ prayers was because he loved God so much. And because he loved God so much, Jesus was always seeking to give Him glory. If you’re interested you can check it out here: The One Thing You Can Do To Give Life To Your Prayers

Well Monday, two days after that post I received a text from my friend Mark. He and another friend Mike host a podcast called Solomon’s Porch Radio. And Mark’s text said,

“Hey Kurt …..let everyone know to be praying for Mike….he had a heart attack. ..and just went in for surgery.”

So I just arrived home from Portland late the night before and I missed that text. But another friend, Luke Salyer, sent me a DM on Twitter about it, so I called Mark and asked him to keep me up to speed on Mike’s condition.

Then Wednesday morning I received another text, and this one was from Mike (via Mark). And this is what it said: Read More

How One Mistake On Twitter Destroyed A Woman’s Life (And what we can learn from it)

This one mistake on Twitter destroyed a woman's lifeMorbid Fascination

Last night (at the time of this writing) I read this very insightful article in the New York Times. I was so morbidly fascinated I just couldn’t put it down. It was about a woman traveling from New York to South Africa to visit family. While she was on a layover in London, she sent out a tweet. This tweet of hers, it was an awkward attempt at humor. But it had to do with AIDS and race–and it was definitely more awkward than it was humorous.

After she sent this tweet she checked for a response but there was none. She only had around 170 Twitter followers, so that’s not too surprising. But what happened next was very surprising.

During the eleven hours she was in the air between London and Cape Town, South Africa, a writer and editor of a blog with 15,000 Twitter followers got wind of her tweet. So he posted it on the blog he edits, and this began a chain of events the woman never anticipated. Read More

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