General, Music, Personal, Things We Shouldn't Discuss

Jesus Freak – 20 Years Later

The summer of 1996 was a peculiar time for me. For the first time in my life, I started to take my faith seriously and really ask whether I would stick with the Christian thing or move on to something else. I had spent the spring working like a dog at both college and work (I went… Continue reading Jesus Freak – 20 Years Later

Aikido, Personal, Prayers

The Necessity of Silence

At the beginning of every training session, most budoka will have a time of silence known as mokusou (黙想). The purpose of this silence varies from dojo to dojo, but at its heart mokusou is about silencing the distractions and thoughts that crowd our minds and keep us from making good decisions. Most of what is asked… Continue reading The Necessity of Silence

Church, Music, Personal

The Blues

When I was learning the guitar, my dad had a whole bunch of blues tablature books. There were some modern players like Jeff Beck and Jerry Garcia, but most of his books were about acoustic, finger style blues. I cut my teeth on stuff like "Black Snake Moan" by Lemon Jefferson and old, old Mississippi… Continue reading The Blues

General, Personal, Prayers, Sin, Theology

Learning Exercises (ugh!)

One of the key reasons I don't do conferences is that inevitably someone wants you to do some kind of "learning exercise." I am a high-brain, verbal learner which means that I learn best by taking in information and teaching others, and most "learning exercises" do nothing for me. At the Biblical Imagination Conference we… Continue reading Learning Exercises (ugh!)

Church, Personal

I Don’t Like Being Away

This morning, our beloved congregation will worship without us. Nichole and I are in Syracuse, New York for a conference and concert. I'll be completely honest. I don't like being away. It is more nerve-wracking than being there. When you invest so much of yourself into something you believe is God's thing, you become very… Continue reading I Don’t Like Being Away

Church, Doesn't Fit in a Category, General, Personal, Prayers

Childlike Wonder

I wouldn't trade being the father of a little girl for anything in the world. My sister has five sons (ages 11-1), and I have a couple of friends with lots of boys. I wouldn't mind having a boy as well, but Ariel is a tremendous joy. Her friend Paige comes over a couple times… Continue reading Childlike Wonder

Church, Cross Posts, Personal

Effective Communication

Michael Hyatt recently posted a summary of what he believes is the four keys to effective communication: Effective communicators know how to prepare a message with a singular and crystal clear focus. If you know where you are going, you can take anyone with you. If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every… Continue reading Effective Communication