When Fear Motivates (or Manipulates)

Fear-spelled-outOver the last 2 Friday’s, I participated in what I believed to be an amazing opportunity.

Let me set the scene:

I teach a class entitled Missiology. We discuss the concept of the mission of God in our world – what that entails and many related topics. Such topics are covered as the church, the kingdom of God, the gospel, the mission that began in Gen 1 (not the NT), the work of the Holy Spirit, the gifts of the Spirit, modern mission movements, and a few other areas.

But one other topic addressed for merely 2 class sessions is that of Mission & Other Religions. Continue reading

The Day I Stopped Speaking to My Wife

I remember the early days of our relationship. In the 9 months between meeting and marrying, my wife and I were only in the same city a mere 40 days or so. We were divided most of the time by an ocean, but thankfully had great support in both the US and UK. Therefore, in those many days apart (even when we were both in the UK), we spent much time emailing and texting by phone. I’m talking about emailing and texting a whole lot! It was all-consuming as we looked to stay in touch day after day after day.

As our relationship heightened, we began calling each other, though we also maintained the little love notes via text as well. Our mobile phones were the major place of communication. I remember one month my UK mobile phone bill was around 85 GBP, which was some 50 GBP more than the normal monthly bill. I was shocked, but it was truly worth it in my eyes.

We also moved into the realm of love-letter writing. After moving back to the US, being even further apart from my beloved, this became an integral part of staying in contact, expressing our heart’s desire for one another. And, of course, both of us saved each and every one of those emotion-stirring, affectionate letters. They were not just words. They were an expression of the love we had for one another. And being so far apart, you can imagine their role in articulating our deep affections.

Continue reading

Jesus Is Better Than You Imagined

Jesus Is Better Than You ImaginedJonathan Merritt is a faith and culture writer who has been recently named one of 30 leaders reshaping Christian leadership by Outreach Magazine. I was introduced to Merritt through his first book, Green Like God. It led me to get connected more to his Religion News Services blog, ultimately leading to some conversations via social media and email.

Merritt’s newest publication is Jesus Is Better Than You Imagined, set to release on April 1, 2014. I appreciate the pre-release copy made available by the publisher, FaithWords. I plan to have a review up by the first weekend of April, so check back soon.

For an introduction to the book, check out the trailer. Continue reading