The Prophet Motto

Prophets are usually characterized as fortune tellers. In all actuality, they are truth tellers. We struggle with the notion of prophecy today. This is usually because we think that prophets aren’t needed (because we have the Bible), or because we’ve watched the loonies who claim to be prophets.

There’s an easy solution to the loonies: No one person has a corner on God’s truth or revelation. No one person can alter God’s Word, or add anything to it. For just a moment, let’s set aside the loonies as an anomaly and discuss the real point of a prophet.

A prophet is meant to reveal truth. They’re not meant to add to it, or make it up—they’re meant to make it known. The gift of prophecy really has to do with opening a can of worms.

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What Death Taught Me (Again)

Death recently taught me (again) that words can fail us.

This is a hard fact for me to accept. Here's why: words are my medium. And Metaphors and similes "are my favorite" (That's a quote from my favorite elf. I know, it's not Christmas, and you probably haven't seen Elf in 10 months, but just roll with it.)

Metaphors and similes work for situations like these:

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Uncertainty is Like a Chaotic Circus

It quickly became chaos. Before I knew it, people were interrupting each other and nearly yelling; and then, someone threw a shoe. (Well, the shoe part didn’t happen, but I thought that was next.)

Some Question and Answer sessions go smoothly. Some are a bit dicey. But others are just plain chaotic. The one I conducted this week was chaotic.

I used to get frustrated when shoes were thrown, but I don’t anymore because I have realized that when chaos ensues, something incredible happens.

What Happens? There are few things that make us more uneasy than asking: “What’s going to happen next?” We all know people who read their horoscope every day, or regularly see a fortune teller. (Perhaps this is why the ancients were fascinated by prophets.) The question “What’s going to happen next?” leads to anxiety, fear and worry. It can even lead to being dishonest with ourselves. And we know: worry is like a dancing bear and dishonesty is like a monkey with clanging cymbals.

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Dishonesty is Like a Monkey with Cymbals

We all know being dishonest with others is wrong and unacceptable: enough said. But there’s a kind of dishonesty we usually don’t talk about: being dishonest with ourselves. It happens when we’re unwilling to admit our personal faults and weaknesses. We convince ourselves that we can overcome our greatest weaknesses on our own. We go on without accountability. Eventually, either by force or surrender, though, we have to come to terms with who we really are.

If worry is like a dancing bear, then dishonesty is like a monkey with clanging cymbals. I’m a drummer—while we’re being honest, I prefer to be called a percussionist; if you’re a musician, you will get the joke, if not, I’ll just say I do more than bang on trash cans—so I love the toy monkeys with clanging cymbals. And I love the videos of monkeys trying to play with percussion instruments. (That stuff is make your ribs-hurt funny.) But when the monkey with clanging cymbals comes on the scene, we have a hard time hearing anything else. While that monkey is telling us lies about good music, like a garage-band drummer, we can’t hear the real melody. We can’t tune for the life of us. Eventually, we end up playing punk rock and having black hair, and calling ourselves an artist. (I did that, for the record.)

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When Christians are Wrong

Many of the problems in Christianity are rooted in assumptions.

We assume that the Bible is inerrant and infallible. (Have you looked for yourself?) We assume God is good. (Have you read Joshua?) We assume that anyone who even questions those beliefs is a heretic. (Are you thinking that about me?) Some of our assumptions are correct, but the fact that we make assumptions is not.

I used to fail in my attempts to tell people about Jesus for one simple reason: I worked from my assumptions about the Bible. It wasn’t until I really examined where the Bible came from that I was able to effectively communicate what I believed about Jesus with other people.

An entrepreneur’s book recently reminded me of this lesson. Seth Godin, in Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us, says:

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Mystery: The Orthodox Taboo of Christianity

And then she told me, ‘Your father, your girlfriend, and your brother were run off the road. They didn’t make it. They’re dead.’ I didn’t know what to say. How do you respond to hearing those words over the phone?”

As he told me this story, my friend began to subtly cry—one small tear at a time. I didn’t know what to say either. But I quickly realized, there’s nothing to say—just listen. In listening, I learned something profound.

The art of listening alone is profound. But I learned something else from my friend on Tuesday night. After telling me his story, he began to talk about something that is shockingly taboo: Christ is mystery.

The words of Paul suddenly rang in my head. Paul says to the Ephesians:

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Spirituality that Grows Like a Weed

Vision casters desire that the roots of their vision grow deep and wide. They want to see their vision catch on and grow in the hearts and minds of others like weeds. But it's easy to stray away from a central vision, and before you know it, you're growing a different kind of tree entirely.

Part of my backyard looks like this right now. My flowerbed in the back is growing ginormous weeds. You know, the type that could take over the planet if they want to. (I could personify them further, but I'll leave that to you.) As my wife and I (well mainly her) began conquering the green monsters in the backyard, I wondered, "What kind of weeds are growing inside of me? The kind of vision (the kind that bear fruit), or ones that will kill out all that is good? For this reason, I often pray, "God, help me to see the good in others today." I have realized that if I don't look for the best in other people, my vision of a better world -- a world where people search for God in everything and make him known in all parts of their lives -- will never come to fruition. 

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Brand-New Website about Ancient Prophecy

My new website, ResurrectedServant.com is now live! Subscribe to the RSS feed today and start learning about the resurrected servant prophesied 500 years before Jesus. This is also the subject matter of my new book.

Check out ResurrectedServant.com here.

My New Friend Vulnerability

We keep our distance. We put up walls. All because we believe vulnerability will come back to kick us in the behind, or even kill us. Something recently happened that changed my mind about my new friend vulnerability.

I used to write headlines for Bible Study Magazine. I don't anymore. But I didn't figure out that I stink at writing headlines on my own. In fact, I thought I was pretty good at it. I'm not. After some critique from leaders more skilled than myself, I decided to stop writing headlines. I turned to our artists and said, "I can't write headlines worth squat. I need your help." That decision made our entire magazine better. Our art is better. Our concepts are better. The narrative arc of our magazine is better. Everything is better. We now tell a story together.

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Mom: A Simple Prayer for You

My Mother is one of the primary reasons I am who I am, so in celebration of Mother's Day, let's take a short break from "The Infinite in Everything" to pray for our Moms. My Mom has been praying for me my whole life; now I have a prayer for her.

Mom: A Simple Prayer for You

Love Your Son

 

That you know you are as loved, as much as you love

That you see compassion, like the kind you offer

That you feel hospitality, like the generosity you practice

That you experience comfort, the way you comfort others

 

God, few people pray as much for others as my Mother

Lord, few individuals empower children like my Mom

Father, few people care for your creatures like my Mother

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About
The Infinite God is everywhere, are you looking? I am dedicated to finding God in all aspects of life – the Bible, the news, and the arts. Because I find that the most fulfilling journey of all is searching for heaven here on earth.