“‘I’m coming to your house. When is a good time?’ I told her.” “Really? You said that?” I asked. “I don’t think I could do that.” “Why not? That’s the right thing to do,” she told me in her matter of fact way. My friend Charlotte is from India. But today she lives in Atlanta while she completes her doctorate of ministry degree. She was explaining to me how she reaches out to the often guarded south Asian people in their community. “Yeah, but could…Continue Reading “5 Steps to Successfully Reach Out to South Asians in America”

Have you ever noticed how most of the people in church don’t do anything? Disclaimer: this isn’t a rant. But, it’s true, right? Most of the people who go to church treat it more like a football game. I pay my tithe (if I do), and you play music that makes me feel good and stuff knowledge about the Bible into my head. That’s basically it. The people who stand on stage are qualified. And most of the rest are just, well, clapping. But I’m…Continue Reading “How to Find Your (Spiritual) Theme”

I don’t know if it’s true, but the number one reason I hear from people who are not interested in church is that it’s full of hypocrites. And, I agree. It is full of hypocrites. That’s the whole idea behind becoming more like Jesus. It’s a fight and a struggle, and all the failure in between is, well, hypocritical. But there’s a difference between trying and failing and outright manipulation. A difference, I would add, that in the hands of the right people is deceptively hard…Continue Reading “How to Spot a Con”

When my brother was younger, I found him sticking a paperclip into a outlet. I knocked it out his hand. “Sam, are crazy!?” “What? I just wanted to see what would happen.” Later that year–unbeknownst to Sam–I was doing my own experiment with my ceiling fan and electrocuted myself. It scared the mess out of me. I was twelve. In the eighties, when VHS tapes cost about $100 each, my dad started a business where he partnered with local grocery stores to rent them out for…Continue Reading “3 Months of Fasting (& Why You Might Want to Try This)”

I used to have a boss with a mouth like a longshoreman. He was a Christian, he told me. (Of course.) And he tried, up and down, to justify his prolific use of the f-word. And while his arguments were silly, it got me thinking. Why are bad words bad? God Never Said… It’s true. God never says: Don’t say the f-word. That, and all of our four-letter-words were created long after the Bible was written. But I’m sure there were dirty words 2,000 years ago. Why were those…Continue Reading “The Theology of Curse Words”

I’m not a Rolling Stones fan because of their music (or their sweet spirits). I only became a fan, if you could call it that, after I read Rich Cohen’s wonderful (and sometimes irreverent) book, The Sun & the Moon & the Rolling Stones. What struck me was how human and mortal and, often, mediocre, the Rollings Stones were (and still are). These guys have persisted to near legendary status, but yet, they’re not legends. They’re not even that special. They’re just people. The same is often true for us–followers of God–called to…Continue Reading “5 Lessons I Learned About Ministry from the Rolling Stones”