The Isles | What I Take Home

(The Isles is a series of reflections on my recent trip to Ireland and England.) It’s good to benefit as much as possible from the journeys and trips one must make. Vincent van Gogh When you take a trip, you hope to bring something back with you — to somehow be changed by your experience….

The Isles | Transcendence

Transcendence describes something that transports us beyond our physical existence, something whose whole is on another spiritual plane than the sum of its parts.

The Isles | Rivers of Change

As I walked along the banks of the River Liffey on the last day of my journey, I think all the energy of the ancient cities I had visited––London, Oxford, and Dublin––began to course their way into me.

I Am Scout

A good friend and I were talking recently about Go Set A Watchman, Harper Lee’s book set twenty years after the events of To Kill A Mockingbird. Written two years before its celebrated prequel and yet published over fifty years afterward, the questionable circumstances of its publication has immersed Watchman in controversy, but perhaps not…

Advent 4: The Reconciler

In the story of redemption, the grievance is from one direction and the reconciliation from the other.

On Going to Seminary

I graduated from seminary almost four years ago now. I still live in the city where my seminary is, and I even work full-time at the school. Because of this, I’m able to talk with a lot of current students and my fellow alumni. I’ve noticed some common threads that weave through these discussions and…

The Artist-Pastor Identity Crisis, Part 2

I was talking with a coworker recently. An English major when he was in college who loves writing stories and reading Dostoevsky, he is now studying at the seminary in order to hopefully plant a church overseas someday. We spoke of stories we liked and environments that seemed to inspire us, like gothic buildings and…

The People of the Church

Today at church, I sat behind a friend who was part of my first community group at Sojourn, over six years ago now. Beside me sat a friend whose baptism and membership interviews I did two years ago when I was an intern. On my way out of the service, I met a man who is…

Preaching Through Pain

I preached my grandfather’s funeral this past weekend. I was simultaneously saddened by the loss of my grandfather and relieved that his long battle with multiple ailments was over and that he is, to the best of my discernment, now with the Lord. I have been told multiple times that a preacher should not officiate…