Tag Archives: discipleship

A little R&R

Did Jesus really say we can’t be his disciple if we don’t give up all our possessions (Luke 14:33)? Think how hard it would be if we did that. How would you hold your breakfast cereal? How would you brush your teeth in the morning? If that’s what he meant, there would be a lot […]

Becoming the Word

We’re still close enough to the season of commencement addresses to remember the advice of Ray Bradbury: “Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. . . […]

Companions in the journey

Sometimes Jesus just seems cranky, like during this road trip through Samaria (Luke 9:51-62). Someone offers to follow him, and Jesus encourages him to reconsider. You’ll have no place ever again to call home, Jesus tells him, no place even to rest (vv. 57-58). Jesus invites another, who wants to honor his father, and tells […]

On love for one’s enemies

Sometimes it seems Jesus expects too much of us. The invitation he offers makes the life of discipleship look pretty good. When we look closer, however, things look different. Jesus promises “more and better life than [you] ever dreamed of” (John 10:10 MSG). He says: Don’t worry about having enough food or drink or clothing; […]

When you’re desperate enough

How desperate do you feel? Thoreau believed most people “lead lives of quiet desperation” (Walden, “Economy”), not the frantic desperation of someone who’s in imminent danger, but the subtler kind, the low-level anxiety that slowly eats away at us. We may pretend it doesn’t exist, but once in a while it bubbles up and lets […]

How to live well

It’s easy to lose the meaning of what you try to say when your words are translated into a different language and a different culture. Kentucky Fried Chicken got off to a bad start opening a franchise in China when their slogan, “Finger-lickin’ good,” was translated, “Eat your fingers off.” And a Swedish company missed […]

Chasing the rabbit

Following my message last week, someone wrote, “You always leave me with more questions than answers. I can’t wait to see where you are taking us.” People have been saying that to me in one way or another for a long time. After one of my sermons years ago, someone who was obviously frustrated came […]

Arise

We’re hearing a big argument today – it’s not a debate but a very primitive, emotional argument – about who will next lead this nation. Who will make America great again? Who will lead us to manifest the greatness we already possess? Who will lead the social and political revolution that restores our basic values? […]

Decide to mature

Demetrius Johnson probably thought very little if at all about rushing back into his burning apartment two Fridays ago to save his three-year-old son. His decision, I believe, made itself; there was no other choice but to do what he knew he had to do, even though it would cost him his life.1 Some decisions […]

Decide to follow

Deciding what you want your life to be about is not particularly hard. Everyone makes that decision sometime, consciously or unconsciously. Many people, perhaps most, make it several times. What’s difficult is figuring out what you’re willing to give up for the things you really care about, what you’re willing to sacrifice for the life […]