The Mind of A Child

While working at Pine Rest, I often heard people saying, “I don’t see where God is when I am in trouble,” or “I don’t understand why God let this happen to me.” They cry out, “I am mad at Him because He is just staring at me and did not … ∞

God’s Chinese Kingdom

How does the Chinese church go about “being the church” in the face of significant government opposition in their country? What I want to do is present a very brief, decidedly un-scientific case study of the ways in which four different Chinese churches answer this question. I chose these four … ∞

The Gift of Presence

It was 4:06 p.m. on a Tuesday afternoon when I got the call from Kevin. “There’s been a passing in my family, I don’t know if I can make it to the retreat anymore.” I was stunned. People I knew in his family came crossing through my mind. “Who passed?” … ∞

A Dark and Stormy Night

Troubled times or difficulties in life have been part of humanity since our creation, whether we personally are going through times of trouble, or know someone who is. We can conclude that they are not the best of times, or fun at all. During difficult times, it is in our … ∞

Mix Well Before Use

Studying systematic theology, apologetics, ethics, doctrine, etc. when done with the right mindset can be truly devotional and transformational. Although the practice itself is purely intellectual, this process of study can be approached from a spiritual direction. When we are studying theology, we are deepening our understanding of God. Theology … ∞

Kenyan Sun and Soul

The sun rose early welcoming another beautiful day in the African countryside. The clouds saluted each other respectfully as they joined hands to embark on their daily sojourn across the vast and endless sky. The birds exchanged their morning greetings cheerfully as did the cows and goats on their way … ∞

The Disciple Challenge

During the reign of the communist government, there was severe Christian persecution in Ethiopia. We had our personal devotions in our own rooms and so were able to survive the communist anti-Christian pressure. Since its fall, there is comparative freedom to exercise faith on an individual or group basis, but … ∞

Be Frank With Me

A few years ago a man named Frank wandered into our church for a hot cup of coffee. He had been drunk and sleeping on an old mattress behind the warehouse near our church. It was below-zero outside and Frank came in from the bitter cold. I know he had … ∞

Big on Newbigin

In a workshop I attended a couple of years ago, the speaker asked his audience some questions about Christian leadership. After participants answered with a variety of interesting responses, the speaker offered his definition of a leader. Without entering into details, I found myself struggling with this speaker’s definition of … ∞

Leading When Times Get Tough

I am initially writing this article from Wittenberg, Germany, on a Reformation Tour with supporters of Calvin College and Seminary. I just walked (and almost tripped) over some of the same cobblestones where Martin Luther and Philip Melanchthon walked. Would 1517 qualify as a difficult time for leading? I think … ∞

A Prayer for Fiji

When our flight landed back in the States, Breanna and I were bombarded with the reality that the world had not stopped turning while we were in Fiji. In just two weeks being back stateside, the divisive events in Charlottesville rocked the news, and hurricane Harvey and Irma landed and … ∞

The Holy Spirit and Community

Every spring, my wife, Sarah, and I take part in a strange process called Selection Sunday. We, the mentors of six Project Neighborhood houses, gather to choose which students will live with us for the next school year. Project Neighborhood is an intentional Christian community program for Calvin College students. … ∞