Wishing For Not Normal: Erasing the Deep Darkness Within

Normal.  What is normal?  After all, what seems normal to some is abnormal for others.  When my work takes me out of town, I try to stay with friends, family, or colleagues as often as possible.  Not only is it more cost-effective, but doing this allows me to catch a glimpse into someone else’s “normal,” solidifying the fact that “normals” …

Discernment 101: 5 Practices

“Our God is a God who cares, heals, guides, directs, challenges, confronts, corrects. To discern means first of all to listen to God, to pay attention to God’s active presence, and to obey God’s prompting, direction, leadings, and guidance.” [Henri Nouwen][1] Discerning God’s direction does not happen by accident. The Spirit helps us to discern but we have a part to …

Narratives in Silence

“We are shaped by our stories. And these stories, or narratives are running and (often ruining) our lives.” [James Bryan Smith][1] Discerning God’s direction in life is often messy and confusing. The stories that we have picked up in life often times do not serve us well. We need regular periods of silence to help us identify these stories, examine …

Embracing Disillusionment in Church Planting

If you’ve been planting a church for more than a couple weeks, you’ve probably already encountered a good deal of disillusionment. And if you haven’t felt disillusioned yet… well, just wait. Sorry if that sounds ominous. Disillusionment isn’t fun. You thought one thing and it turned out to be another. You had hoped that family would join the church and …

Courage and Clarity

A few years ago, my wife and I were packing up boxes and preparing to move to a new home. We were just about finished but we still had to pack up a few boxes of miscellaneous decorative pieces in our living room. We ended up getting into a bit of an argument because I tried to pack a small …