Why is church so hard?

May 13, 2016 by

For the past couple of years, my blog’s tagline has been: “Religion is easy; discipleship is hard.” I’m starting to think that perhaps this slogan is only half right. Discipleship certainly is hard,...

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Trust while shrinking

Feb 1, 2016 by

“Change is always occurring. But when that change appears more dramatic than usual, it can feel frightening. . . . I think that the Christian church across Canada is experiencing such a time of dramatic...

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Change in the church

Jan 28, 2016 by

Change is always occurring. But when that change appears more dramatic than usual, it can feel frightening. I wish there was an emoticon for anxiety to accompany my thoughts on change. I think that the...

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Baptisms of water, spirit, blood

Jan 11, 2016 by

In 1 John 5, three witnesses are named that authenticate Jesus: the baptisms of water, spirit and blood. An authentic Anabaptist witness will embrace all three. Too often, churches will emphasize only one and...

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Before you leave your church

Nov 4, 2015 by

Is it wrong to call it quits on your church? The question comes from the longing I sense in my generation for authenticity and spiritual life, and that it seems we don’t often find that in our churches. When...

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An apathetic generation?

Oct 27, 2015 by

For the past several years, the current generation of 20-30 years old has often been labeled as lazy, self-centered and disinterested in local and global affairs. Ranging from simply not caring enough to...

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Stretching the boundaries

Sep 28, 2015 by

Peter saw the heaven opened and something like a large sheet coming down. . . . In it were all kinds of four-footed creatures and reptiles and birds of the air. Then he heard a voice saying, “Get up, Peter,...

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A more valuable sacrifice

Sep 28, 2015 by

In Mark’s Twain’s posthumously published collection of essays, Letters from the Earth, the fallen archangel Satan sends correspondence back to Gabriel and Michael about the curious creatures who inhabit...

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Why don’t churches thank us when we give them money?

Sep 11, 2015 by

Churches survive because people give them money. Sure, that’s a simplification, but I stand by it. And I think the church needs to say “thank you” more. Lots of other charities rely on donations...

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What’s the point of the church?

Jul 17, 2015 by

At our block party this week, a new friend and I were laughing about how coming out as a Jesus follower might be one of the weirder things to do these days. In her spiritual awakening, she was realizing that...

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Julian of Norwich’s great claim

May 5, 2015 by

Many of us are all too aware of the brokenness, insecurities, limitations and inadequacies in us and around us. When the women of my congregation got together on Sunday to learn from Julian of Norwich’s...

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Are we training pastors for jobs that no longer exist?

Apr 24, 2015 by

It’s safe to say that the traditional expression of church has varied little in the Western world. This form worked well when the dominant culture was agrarian, most people were uneducated and illiterate,...

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Where are you, church?

Apr 23, 2015 by

As our Canadian society becomes increasingly secular, I have been thinking that people have disregarded the church. However, this assumption has been challenged for me. This spring I have been asked to...

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The test question for your church

Apr 16, 2015 by

We tend to measure the “success” of a church by numbers. I propose in A Fellowship of Differents another way of measuring whether or not our church measures up to the kind of success that the Bible...

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The small politics of the church

Mar 24, 2015 by

If you read a lot of Anabaptist theology you know that a key insight regarding the social and political witness of church is this: The social and political witness of the church is simply being the...

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You lost me: Young adults and the church

Mar 5, 2015 by

Earlier this month, I was one of many who gathered in the new Marpeck Commons building at Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg, Man., to hear from a panel of “young adults” on their age group and the...

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On the 12th day Of Christmas

Jan 5, 2015 by

The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. — Paul, Acts 17:24 It’s almost impossible to think of congregations...

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I like Jesus. Do I have to be Religious?

Nov 24, 2014 by

Are you tired of the hypocrisy and greed of prosperity gospel preachers? Fed up with politicians appealing to religious sentiments in order to win elections and start wars? Do you feel like there must be...

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Broken down

Oct 23, 2014 by

I look out my office window this morning and see a rusty, mud-streaked old pick-up truck with a creaky-looking camper on the back stagger and wheeze its way into the church parking lot. Such sights in the...

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Skipping church

Oct 1, 2014 by

Last Sunday we, as a family, were exhausted. We, as a family, were skipping church. We go to church most Sundays. Matt and I ship our two kids dutifully off to Sunday school, and then we sit in our pew, side...

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Wiping the blood away

Sep 16, 2014 by

I was taking Kristi to the grocery store as I do from time to time. Kristi is blind and in a wheelchair and she suffers from some cognitive disabilities. Kristi is a friend from church who I visit at her...

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Movie review: Calvary

Sep 5, 2014 by

After a slow start, 2014 is turning into the best year of the century for independent filmmaking, with film after film leaving me saying Wow! Calvary is a brilliant little Irish film written and directed by...

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Willa Cather’s bishop on miracles, vision and love

Sep 2, 2014 by

Here is a stunning passage from Willa Cather’s novel, Death Comes for the Archbishop: “Where there is great love there are always miracles,” [the bishop] said at length. “One might...

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Waiting with the stories

Jul 31, 2014 by

My daughter and I looked at our garden each day, peering closely into the dark earth. “Do you see anything yet?” she asked, her voice hopeful. “Not yet,” I replied. “How about you?” Each day in...

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10 racial reconciliation conversation deflections

Jun 19, 2014 by

My friend Grace Sandra wrote an article for Christianity Today on the vulnerabilities faced by black women where she discusses the links between her personal experiences, current events and statistics....

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