2017, Romans 15:4-13 & A Plea for Unity (part 1): Intro

As we leave behind the acrimonious year of 2016, can I make a plea for unity among God’s people in 2017? Paul made a similar appeal in the first century. His letter to the Romans provides us with clear markers for how to get there. In particular, Romans 15:4-13 is a text that summarizes the complex message […]

December 2016 E-News from the Siburt Institute

Nuremberg Funnel: Re-envisioning the work of leadership In their newly published book Teaching and Christian Imagination, authors David I. Smith and Susan M. Felch present a common image that satirically exposes the limitations of mechanical knowledge acquisition.1 In Europe – particularly in Germany – the image is called the Nuremberg Funnel. Imagine a funnel stuck into someone’s […]

Prayer for 2017

Let this be the year we forgive a grudge. Let this be the year we live in more peace and less angst. Let us construct a bridge where a mighty wall once stood. Let us love each other without condition. Let us accept one another unequivocally. Let us be Jesus representatives on foot and in […]

The Arrival – That New Family At Church

The most effective church growth strategy of the last 50 years has been the church across town messing something up. Inevitably the other churches in town benefit from a misstep, a misunderstanding or a broken relationship due to a decision or direction taken by another congregation. What do you do with people who come to […]

What Faith Does

The tragedy of suddenly losing my husband and our child’s father left us shell-shocked, tossed and torn. Our boat of three shrunk to two, and the captain at the helm was instantaneously gone. He was only forty and our son was four. What happens when the unthinkable happens and the unsinkable takes on water and […]

The Second Greatest Arrival

They shove him out of the way and hiss, “Disappear!” Hurriedly they grab her by the arm, push the door open and make their way down the alley toward the temple, disrupting the dawn. Her weeping and their shouting can be heard from across the courtyard. The “legal custodians of conduct” toss her into the […]

Fighting Pedophilia in the Church: A Special Ops Ministry

As I sat in college Bible classes, I daydreamed of what I’d be doing in ministry.  I heard professors tell us students cool stories of being missionaries overseas.  For the first time in my life, I was in the heart of the Bible Belt where the church was thriving.  And it was awesome!  I logged […]

The Great Experiment – When It Feels Too Soon to Acknowledge Our Hope

Ernie Johnson is a sports anchor and television personality on the show NBA on TNT. He was profoundly affected by the past presidential election and voiced his opinion on politics and religion as it pertains to the president elect, Hilary Clinton, voting one’s conscience, and approaching this with a Christian worldview. I listened to Ernie […]

The Truth About Millennials (and Why the Older Generation Needs to Shut Up)

Hey 40-somethings, 50-somethings, 60-somethings. All you guys closer to my age than my kid’s age. We need to have a chat. Get off the young people’s backs. Quit using the word millennial as a derogatory term. Stop it. Stop sharing articles about how terrible they are. Stop criticizing your younger brothers and sisters in Christ. […]

He Sent a Baby

He sent a baby. Didn’t see that coming. Oh, we knew He would send something, or someone. And it was going to be awesome… And terrible. Truth be told, we deserved “terrible” more than “awesome.” For thousands of years we gave lip service And not much else. We worshiped ourselves, did our own thing. We […]

The Second Advent – The Holy Spirit and the Early Church

Advent has much to do with anticipatory waiting and fulfilling arrival. We typically tie this into the coming of Jesus in the incarnation and the future hope of the second coming of Christ at the end of the age. Tucked in between those two events and certainly much closer in time to the first than […]

The Arrival – December 2016’s Final Theme

If Israel had a guestbook the names that would fill it are the same names we read not just in our Bibles but also in our world history textbooks. Scripture records many arrivals in Palestine. From Abraham being the first of the biblical narrative to Joseph after the Exodus many people in the biblical story […]