Monthly Archives: March 2011

Questioning the Evangelical Equation – Reviewing Love Wins Ch. 1

Photo from au_tiger01 - Flickr

So it continues. I am reading another book from Rob Bell, the preacher from the heart of Michigan and the so-called heretic of evangelicalism. The thing that I like about Rob Bell is that he is willing to ask questions about issues and beliefs that are fundamentally important. He is not willing to just believe what he is told and repeat it back.

I want to review each chapter of his new book “Love Wins” and take it slowly as I try to understand his thought processes.  I don’t want to rush through the book trying to find out if he really is a universalist. I want to let it percolate in my mind and simmer on the ideas in light of Scripture.

So here are some of the interesting ideas he raised in chapter one as he questions the core principles of what evangelicals would call conversion or salvation. He writes about how evangelicals are focused on people coming into a relationship with Jesus Christ through some sort of prayer accepting Jesus into their heart. Read the rest of this entry


Calming the Storm: Family Lent Devotions for the Week of 3/27

A 1st century boat on the Sea of Galilee - Taken by Joel Newton

Big Idea: Jesus is not just another good religious teacher, he is the Son of God


  • For this family devotion, a change of location is needed
  • Find a local lake, the bigger the better, around where you live
  • Find a time when the weather is not too cold and travel to the lake for your family devotions Read the rest of this entry

Tech/Life Balance

From cbseyemobile

People in the workplace talk at length about work/life balance, but I believe the real issue now is tech/life balance. I recently went to AT&T to get a free phone and over 90% of my available choices were smart phones.  The sales person was dumbfounded that I wanted a “dumb phone,” as I call it, that won’t connect to the internet. People now have the power of a personal computer in their cell phone that they can access the internet, apps and their email. Boredom is a thing of the past when you can play Angry Birds while you are waiting for an oil change. There are definitely benefits to having all this power in your cell phone, but it becomes an issue when we don’t have tech/life balance with our families. Read the rest of this entry

Seeking Shalom in Champaign-Urbana

Last Sunday I preached a sermon from Jeremiah 29:1-7 titled “Seeking Shalom.” I talked about our role as Christ followers in our city and how we are called to seek shalom (peace and wholeness).

You can listen here.

Welcome to Dinner: Lent Family Devotions for the Week of March 20


BIG IDEA: Jesus calls us to be welcoming to those around us and show hospitality (a little different take on the feeding of the 5000+)

– Tell me about a time when you felt left out. A time when your friends were doing something and they didn’t invite you.
– How did it make you feel?
– Today we are going to read about a time when Jesus’ disciples weren’t very welcoming and wanted to leave people out Read the rest of this entry

St. Patrick for Kids

Here is the story of St. Patrick for kids courtesy of Veggie Tales

See you in a week! I’m taking a little blogging sabbatical for spring break to enjoy some family time in Colorado.

Love Wins: What Are We Afraid Of?

I just read the first chapter of Rob Bell’s new book “Love Wins,” in which he asks some deep questions about the foundations of the Christian faith and specifically the afterlife. They are the kind of questions asked at 11 pm during a youth group retreat. Students feel open to question and discuss these issues but sometimes adults cringe in fear.

What are we afraid of?

As I read through the book I will use this blog to spur on honest, civil discussions on the questions raised in this book. We cannot run from these questions but must engage them through the lens of Scripture.

Here are the links to each chapter I reviewed:

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Faith: Family Lent Devotions for Week of March 14

Big Idea: When we pray, we remember that God has the power to answer our prayers


  • A blindfold

Opening Activity – Trust Fall Read the rest of this entry

Work/Life Balance

Here is a great video from TEDx in which Nigel Marsh the author of “Fat, Forty and Fired” talks about work/life balance.

Following Jesus: Family Lent Devotions for Week of March 6

Big Idea: Being a follower of Jesus means letting him be the leader