What is Courage?

Think of a situation as an adult when you felt afraid,  yet chose to face your fear.
I have a habit of engaging people I don't know. Weird. I’m far from being an extrovert. Just the opposite. As an Enneagram four with a five wing I’m more of a deep-thinker with a desire for personal autonomy and self-expression. Regardless, Tony was sitting next to me at the auto repair shop. We got to chatting and I asked his opinion about a sermon I was writing on courage. He shared his definition of courage with me: “The bravery to do something you know you ought to do” How would you define courage?
Courage, it’s an interesting thing. Courage isn’t something you ‘have’ or even what you ‘are.’ It’s what you choose to practice. Courage doesn’t always look just like bravery and fearlessness. It often looks like sweaty palms, wobbling knees and a quavering voice. It can look like second guessing yourself, battling anxiety and feeling the overwhelming urge to hide back in the shadows. I think a lot of …

Tikkun olam: תיקון עולם

"No one showed me what I ought to do,” wrote St Francis. Towards the end of his life of devotion and insight he said, “I have done what is mine to do; may Christ teach you what is yours!” What permission, freedom, and space Francis gave; so much to take advantage of; so little time to ponder and lament; so little time to act. Sometimes, it feels as if the world is calling on us to do way too much. What’s ours to do? There’s an old adage that says something along the lines of: you can do anything you put your mind to—but it doesn’t mean that we should.

#Boo! Some Halloween Thoughts

In the USA 25%of all annual candy sales occur during the Halloween season. Halloween, by some accounts, is a 9 billion dollar affair. What makes Halloween so popular? Perhaps it's the novelty of ‘trick to treat’ or the clever costumes or … maybe it’s just the free candy.

The conversations surrounding the celebration of Halloween have become a hot topic in many Christian circles.I’ve heard the debates and they seemed to have ramped up over recent years. Is Halloween harmless fun or something dark, evil and sinister? These exchanges may even be producing a growing division among seemingly otherwise unified believers.  Do the rhythms of Halloween 2019 fit with the understanding of the Christian faith? Paul’s writing to the Philippines reminds us to focus on those things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, etc. (Philippians 4:8). So maybe families of faith should avoid Halloween. Cool. Conversely, other Christians say God is not offended by carving a happy face in a pu…

Faith, Doubt and Certainty

George MacDonald was a Scottish author, poet and Christian minister. He was a mentor of fellow writer Lewis Carroll. Listen to this quote by MacDonald: Do you love your faith so little that you have never battled a single fear lest your faith should not be true? Where there are no doubts, no questions, no perplexities, there can be no growth. Part of my personal story over the past seven years involves my own journey away from sub-standard certitude and moving towards a more authentic faith. Certainty is a poor substitute for authentic faith. Certitude is popular; it’s popular because it’s easy. It's easy…until it’s not.
From time to time we have to wrestle with questions, with doubt to arrive at real faith. Certainty can’t be bothered with all that.Real faith makes room for doubt and questions. Real faith gives us space to work out our salvation — understanding that the effort to believe is the very thing that makes doubt possible.Real faith is not afraid of doubt, but the faux faith…

Click "Like" 👍

There’s a big difference between liking Jesus 
and being like Jesus.
What is Christlikeness? The simple, theologically sophomoric, definition is a person who has qualities like Jesus Christ. Paul wrote to the church at Corinth saying: “…Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ…”Being Christ like says we are a kind, forgiving, sincere, caring and accepting person. “…Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did…” 1 John 2:6

Perfect God,  Broken Man.  What forms our  identity as Christians, but the patterns of our lives in direct reflection of the life of Jesus. Consider the early 1900’smusical lyrics from James Rowe:

🎶Earthly pleasures vainly call me;
I would be like Jesus;
Nothing worldly shall enthrall me;
I would be like Jesus. 
Be like Jesus, this is my song… Easier said than done. Perhaps it seemed like a good idea in 1900, but is it doable today? What might that look like in 2019? Hint - it looks like servanthood.
In the Hebrew Scriptures, there’s the mandate from the pro…

#Soxtoberfest 2019

We aren't pulling the wool over your eyes!  Clean new socks are good for the soul;
 new socks change lives.  #Soxtoberfest - it’s a movement we’ve done for a couple of years; It’s a hoot for our grown-ups and teenagers; Just another way to be the church outside the church.
We share a meal and laugh a lot and stuff hundreds of pairs of tube socks, with bunches of personal care items and yummy snacks, to share with our brothers and sisters who call the streets of Houston Texas their home.
Join us Wednesday October 9th @ 6:30pm
If you can’t team up with us in person, feel free to partner with us electronically. For a gift of $10 you can help us distribute hundreds of pairs of new, much needed, stuffed socks. Very Cool!#pkes

Donate  /  Directions All gifts are tax-deductible and a year-end giving statement is prepared and sent, the end of each January. Ministry in Motion is a Texas Nonprofit Tax Exempt 501(c)(3) corporation under the US Internal Revenue Service Code.
#MetroLifeChurch #MinMChurc…

“Pax Vobiscum” (“peace [be] with you”)

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister they called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to her guest, Jesus, and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
When Jesus arrives at their home, there is a clear contrast in behavior between the sisters, Mary and Martha . While Martha was in the presence of the Prince of Peace she was also the picture of stress. Why? As a result of her Martha’s stress, her building resentment, she  finally lashes out. Martha focuses her tension on her sister, bad-mouthing her to Jesus. And, isn’t that just like stress? It causes us to: become easily agitated, frustrated, and moody; Feel overwhelmed, like you are losing control or need to take control; Have difficulty relaxing and quieting your mind — the…

Do It Well

Anything worth doing Is worth doing well
There is some debate as to the wording and origin of this idiom. Was it Aristotle or Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield ? I guess it's really not that important. Suffice to say, my parents, second generation Americans, were motivated by the quote’s application. They weren’t college educated but they were schooled in hard work. Work well done was a lesson they taught me and my siblings at a very early age.
My brothers and I all worked at some various jobs, through high school: paper routes, shoveling snow, cutting grass in the neighborhood — an unquestionable work ethic was rooted in us. Once, I recall my mom walking down the street to evaluate a neighbor's lawn that I had just mowed. She was not happy with my work-product and made me cut, edge and rake the entire yard, a second time, for free.

These personal experiences and my upbringing got me to thinking about a young Jesus — what did that look like?In seminary I had several course…

The 7 Sacraments - Are they all Biblical?

The seven Sacraments celebrated by the historical church and pictured in this graphic all have their roots in scripture, although some are featured more prominently than others. Consider that: There are many references to Baptism, of course, beginning with Jesus’ Baptism by John.The Eucharist was instituted by Jesus at the Passover Supper (Matthew 26:26-29). 
Confirmation, though not specifically named in the Bible, it's loosely traced back, by some writers, to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Jesus at his Baptism.“And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."Mt 3:17.I would have to chew on this explanation a bit more to be convinced it’s confirmation...
The Sacrament of Reconciliation, while not practiced in the same way in biblical times as we know it now, is rooted in Jesus’ ministry of forgiving sins.Look at the time after Jesus’ resurrection, he breathed on the disciples, imparting them with the Holy Spirit and stating, “I…

A Confession

I have to confess,  I have not contemplated, steeped in, or spent enough time in, the Sermon on the Mount; not as often as I should — as I must.

The Beatitudes describe the ideal disciple and his rewards, both present and future. Each is a Proverb-like proclamation, without narrative; each is somewhat cryptic yet incredibly precise — full of heart wrenching application and meaning. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. St Gregory of Nyssa, a theologian who lived in Cappadocia in Asia Minor around …