Redefining Holiness Jesus-Style: Transforming the World from the Inside-Out

When many of us first embraced Christianity, we almost immediately began to define our journey by the things we could no longer do. The words ‘not’, ‘do not’ and ‘cannot’ came to characterize not only our approach to our new-found faith, but the ways we lived it out as well. However, the more I read […]

holiness

If God is Always With Us – Why Do We Ask Him to “Visit Us”?

Our experience of God should always have a role to play in our attempts to better understand God and God’s activity in the world. Experience can help us determine the validity of a certain theological idea about God when we put that idea to the test in the real world of everyday life. If it seems to work with […]

god

Connecting the Dots: The Cross, the Sermon and Discipleship

What does it mean to follow Jesus? What does following Jesus look like? Following Jesus, regardless of when and where you live, will always look the same because it is based in God’s demonstration of love witnessed most powerfully in how Jesus died on the cross. The cross points to what Jesus did for us and how we […]

discipleship

On Renouncing the Plastic, Cheaply Fabricated, Celebrity-Driven Style of Christianity

The plastic, cheaply fabricated, celebrity-driven style of Christianity that has come to characterize a variety of churches in the West will never be able to effectively offer a healing response to the pain we carry within us and see around us. When we travel through the normalcy of everyday life; When we consciously integrate our […]

christianity

“Forgive your enemies” looks like this. Our response as Jesus-followers looks like this. It is a generational initiative that begins with us. Please watch and share Forgiving ISIS.

 

2 Themes From the Psalms That Will Forever Change the Way You Read the Book

I recently completed reading through the Psalms and noticed two themes in particular that came up over and over again. Both of which I really didn’t anticipate seeing in this context, but were found throughout. While I won’t take the time to list every passage within each category, I thought I would share a few […]

psalms

Why We Need to Seriously Reconsider the Whole Idea Behind the Altar Call: Part 2 – Recapturing the Beauty of Baptism

Inviting people to embrace the kingdom of God where Christ is worshiped as King is a community event. The Church, as the primary expression of Jesus’ kingdom on earth, is called to live out the kingdom ethic of our King. Our commission as kingdom ambassadors is to invite others into His kingdom, to be reconciled […]

baptism

The Sawdust and the Plank

sawdust

Please allow me to present us with this challenge:

The next time an opportunity comes our way to critique another human being (which will surely come to all of us), let’s try to form a new habit.

Rather than speak of all the bad things they may have done, all of their flaws, mistakes and poor decisions (which we all have), think about a speck of sawdust and a plank. Then, remember Jesus’ use of these two common items in His teaching.

Remember the story?

The one being criticized had the speck of sawdust in their eye, while the one about to do the criticizing had the plank.

I can’t speak for you. But for me, I need to learn and re-learn this important life lesson anew every single day.

We all have flaws, idiosyncrasies, and personality traits that annoy the hell out of each other. That’s just the way it is.

However, we have two options to choose from. Life will always present us with options.

Sawdust or plank?

If ‘Jesus is Lord’ is the creed of our lives, than Jesus has the right to tell us how to live (thanks, Bruxy Cavey).

And, His way was to remember the sawdust and the plank.

Maybe – a better option is to remember the good traits and positive qualities that make that person great.

Maybe – a better option is to choose the way of love.

Maybe – a better option is to whisper a prayer for ourselves as we seek forgiveness for the thoughts we were processing. And, to whisper a prayer of grace, love and peace for the other person.

Rather than critique – let us form a habit of whispered prayer.

Think about this for a moment…

What if every time a negative thought came into our minds about another person, we chose to pray for them rather than to criticize?

I’m not a genius, but I think things would turn out very differently for the one praying, as well as for the one being prayed for, if we chose this option.

So…

Let us together form a new habit of remembering the sawdust and the plank.

Let us together form a new habit of whispered prayer.

Let us together choose the better way.

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“Above all, love each other deeply, for love makes up for many of your faults.”

-The Apostle Peter

“Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who have sinned against us.”

-Jesus, The Lord’s Prayer

A King and His Kingdom: Relearning the Story of Jesus From the Ground Up

Sometimes, in order to learn about something, we have to (un)learn all of the things we thought we knew about that something first. In our pursuit of Jesus, sometimes we have to (un)learn what we thought we knew about Jesus, in order to (re)learn about the real Jesus that lay behind our presuppositions, prejudices and […]

Jesus