Singing Dangerous Songs

Singing Dangerous Songs

I grew up in the land of Woody Guthrie. The folk singer grew up about thirty miles from my hometown, and his legacy is well known in the area. Guthrie is best known as the folk ...
Why We Value Brokenness

Why We Value Brokenness

The Christmas season was in full swing, and I was in a hurry. Not only because there were a million and one things to get done before the big day but because, on this particular day, ...
I Did Not Invite Her

Why My Friend Didn’t Come to Church

Every week, I hear stories about what is happening around Valley Life Church. I know that you want to invite someone—maybe several people—to the Christmas Eve service at Tramonto, Surprise, or Arrowhead. And I know you ...
Sexual Assault, Jesus, and Me

Sexual Harassment, Jesus, and Me

I was a freshman at a Christian university in South Carolina. He was the head of security for that university. He paid me $50 a week to take part in an exercise program, and he monitored ...
Three Roadblocks to Following Jesus

Three Roadblocks to Following Jesus

Most people that I encounter really like Jesus, or at least their concept of him. They see Jesus as loving, gracious, forgiving, and anti-establishment. That concept is not entirely wrong. It is difficult for them to ...
Engaging Emotions Without Manipulating Them

Engaging Emotions Without Manipulating Them

As I write this I’m listening to U2’s seminal album, The Joshua Tree, and I hear Bono singing about how he still hasn’t found what he’s looking for. After that album was released, the band did ...
Motivation and Acknowledgment

The Link Between Motivation and Acknowledgment

In his book Payoff, behavioral economist Dan Ariely recounts an experiment involving motivation. In short, participants were asked to perform a meaningless task, circling pairs of matched letters on randomly generated sheets of paper. When they ...
How to Become a Bible Reading Family

How to Become a Bible Reading Family

Early this morning I was drinking coffee and reading the first five chapters of Psalms, since it is the first day of the month. I noticed Brooke was drinking coffee and looking at her phone. Then ...
Good Leaders Can’t Be Bottlenecks

Good Leaders Can’t Be Bottlenecks

In Exodus 18, right before God summons Moses and gives him the 10 Commandments, Moses gets a visit from his father-in-law, Jethro. Jethro observes Moses dealing with everyone’s problems “from morning until evening” (v.13). Being a ...

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