Your sins are forgiven

One story in the gospels that always catches my attention is that of the paralyzed man in Mark chapter 2. Jesus is preaching to a group of people crowded into a small home in Capernaum. Four men approach the house, carrying a paralyzed man on a stretcher. When they see that they can’t even get […]

August 2017 E-news from the Siburt Institute

Elders and Ministers: Working and Praying Together Earlier this year, the Barna Group published a major report on the status of ministers.1 The report is full of great information, challenging insights and valuable data to help congregational leadership teams support and empower their ministers. One section focused on elder-minister relationships. Most ministers reported positive perceptions of […]

Heart String

Let’s imagine our hearts are like a ball of twine. When we are born, the ball is neat, and the twine soundly bound, all tidy, everything in its place. The ball is round and perfect in this state, as it is. Somewhere in childhood, the end of the twine becomes loose from the ball. It […]

Diagnosing Someone Who is Not Your Patient

Have you ever heard of the Goldwater rule? If you have worked in psychology or psychiatry, chances are you are familiar with it or at least should be. Here is how wikipedia explains it, “The Goldwater rule is the informal name given to Section 7 in the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) Principles of Medical Ethics, which […]

The Genetic Flaw That is Killing My People

I’m no geneticist but I’ve worked enough with DNA to know about genetic flaws and how some of them are ticking time bombs just waiting to take down an otherwise healthy individual. While Alzheimer’s has multiple causes, Early Onset Alzheimer’s has one: a gene that is dormant until, suddenly, when its host is between the […]

The Engine of Grace

What are we to make of this inexplicable sponge soaking up our sin and pain while simultaneously releasing everlasting freedom… An unending, last-drop-of-the-ocean wheel turning eternally, reflecting us as one in need, yet also one overflowing… Such sweet and ripe grace injected into our spirits as each sand grain drops through a perpetual hourglass… With […]

Racial Tension and the Need for Freedom and Obligation

A woman caught in adultery is thrown at Jesus’ feet in John 8. As Jesus dismisses her accusers, he gives her freedom through the forgiveness of her sin AND he tells her to go and sin no more. In Mark 5 a demoniac comes running out of the tombs to see Jesus. He is naked. […]

Engaging in Holy Scandal

Imagine if we could turn “church scandal” on its head. What if we became so in love with Jesus, so radical about grace, and so in tune with the work of the Spirit that the church repossessed the same scandalous positions that Jesus embodied and embraced? Loving the unlovable. Adopting the unadoptable. Forgiving the unforgivable. […]

Noise: The Injection of Negativism

Recently I made a dramatic change; I opted out of various social media and news sites because of one reason. This was injecting negativism into my life on a daily, sometimes hourly basis. We reside in a highly-reactive society, mostly non-reflective online culture. No matter what we say, as positive as it may be, someone […]

August 2017 Theme: The Church-Jesus Disconnect

The church will always have an image problem in the world as what the church is about is not in line with what the world is all about. However, there is an area where the perception of the church is remarkably different than the perception people had and have of Jesus. People see Jesus as […]