The Problem with “Pastor” Steve!

The Problem with “Pastor” Steve!

I’ve never really been a fan of religious verbiage. I especially hate it when people call me Pastor Steve. God doesn’t call me that.  But the problem with the word pastor, in the English language, is that it means just about everything. Thus it sometimes doesn’t really mean anything.  Anything specific that is. The problem with me is that I tried to do and to be everything associated with the word and it just about killed me.  But maybe, in truth, the real problem belongs to all of us who call on the name of Christ. (more…)

Does it Work?  (Christianity that is.)

Does it Work?  (Christianity that is.)

Sometimes Boris would drive me nuts.  I mean really drive me nuts.  Ok, sometimes I suppose he just ticked me off if we’re being honest here.  I remember well the afternoons that Boris would come into our office at the college we rented from in Moscow, Russia.  We’d play chess and discuss everything from politics, to Christianity, to philosophy.  I liked playing chess with Boris because he was just about the only Russian over the age of 12 that I could actually beat.    The reason Boris pushed me to the edge sometimes was because he clearly had little interest in discussion for discovery, but rather just for the sake of being argumentative.  Boris longed for the Communist to retake the government in the national elections of 96.  Boris quoted Paul McCartney with as much reverence as the apostle Paul.  Boris referred to both Vladimir Lenin  and John Lennon with equal admiration while joking about Jesus.  Boris would deny the credibility of the Bible while all the time never acknowledging the proofs I’d give for its inerrancy.  Boris just liked to argue and I suppose that’s probably normal for a young man in his late teens and early 20s. I’m sure I’ve got my own history of annoying folks with my arguments as well.  So if you’re out there Boris, please know that I really do love you and miss you.

One of the criticisms of Christianity that Boris would level at me periodically was the supposition that Christianity was simply not practical. “It didn’t do much,” he’d say.  Maybe he was contrasting me to the Bolsheviks of old or something.  But for whatever reason he had that idea, I tried to illustrate to him that Christianity is anything but impractical.  (more…)

Chick Fil A line, Corsets, and God’s Beauty.  Or  (God and Sex. Part I)

Chick Fil A line, Corsets, and God’s Beauty. Or (God and Sex. Part I)

It had been a long day as Deb and I were dropping off our girls for youth group. We try to grab date nights whenever we can.  When you’ve been married for just over 26 years even fast food has a romantic ring to it.  So with a coupon that Deb was graced with from one of her students, we headed to Chick Fil A with the anticipation of not having to clean a kitchen and enjoy some time without teen drama.  The problem was that the line was taking forever and the day was just getting longer.

I wanted to bolt, but Deb was much more patient.  To encourage me she suggested a bet; which is something she hardly ever does.  In her confidence, she offered a bet that if we were not through the line in 10 minutes she’d wear a corset that night.  

What? A preacher talking about the intimate details in marriage? Well why not?  Actually the Bible does speak about the subject in quite wonderful ways.  The unfortunate deal is that our present Western culture has allowed Hollywood to highjack the subject. Yes, God really did create sex and preachers really do engage in it.  So today and later in a second installment I’ll share 5 quick points on the subject that just might help us restore a truly Kingdom mind set about sex. (more…)

That Whoever Believes!

That Whoever Believes!

I love these videos of Matt Harding dancing around the globe.  The videos from 2008 and 2012 are probably my favorites.  Below is the clip from 2016 and while I’m not stoked on the tune, I’m still enthralled by the beautiful folks from all over the world.  Each video is a reminder of how big God’s creation is and how huge HIS love is for that creation. It is also a clear picture of the ultimate Kingdom of Heaven which is not about geography but people in whose hearts God rules.  They are an ever present reminder of Revelation 7 that speaks of not only the present, but the future fulfilled Kingdom where a “great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, was standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb.”  Also, they are an additional reminder of one of the most famous verse in the Bible; John 3:16 in which Jesus proclaims that “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that WHOEVER believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  That statement by Christ is such a great proclamation of God’s grace and also the diversity of HIS love.  All of mankind is included in the offer to respond this amazing grace.  And that, along with Matt’s videos, just makes me smile.

What about God’s creation makes you smile?