When Life Happens

Life. It is always happening. Sometimes it’s great. Other times it is not. And today I am wondering about existing when things aren’t well. How do you go on when we are very aware that life’s broken edges cracked parts of you that might never be repaired? How do you keep breathing when everything in
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Discernment Blows

How many times have you and I heard sermons about “Finding God’s will” or “How do we know what to do with our lives?” And, how many times have these sermons or other churchy conversations resulted in the same answers like “Pray more” or “Find more quiet times?” Or just, “Trust God more. It will
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Getting Married to God


On Monday, November 4th, I celebrated the 7th anniversary of my ordination. Seven years ago this week, I stood at the front of a church– Calvary Baptist Church in Washington DC and said to the congregation gathered of family, friends and congregation members that I would serve God in my vocational pursuits. I said I
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When Calling Takes You Outside the Church PART TWO


In continuation of the conversation about what happens to your own sense of doctrine when calling takes you outside the church? (The first part of this series can be read by clicking here if you missed it). What happens when you don’t have a denomination or a presbytery or bishop or association telling you to
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When Calling Takes You Outside the Church PART ONE


I was taught in seminary that the most virtuous thing you can do for your whole life is to serve the church with an undivided heart. “The church needs you!” my classmates and I were told over and over again. Sometimes our instructions included more details like this: “Take care of the church like nothing
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The book of Ecclesiastes opens in this way: The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem: “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” The word meaningless seems to go against everything we’ve heard about spiritual formation, doesn’t it? In classes, sermons and lectures, we read passages of sacred texts
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Creating What Doesn’t Exist


People ask me all the time what I miss about church life? Do I miss preaching all the time? Do I miss the committee meetings? Do I miss the hospital visits? Do I miss the cranky people calling me after church on Sunday afternoon? I’m not really sure how to answer these questions. Because yes,
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Friendship with God


I grew up in the type of Christian community that would frequently say things like: “Work on your relationship with God above all else.” And, “If you let anything come between your relationship with Jesus, then your faith is off track.” For while the intention of such teaching was probably was something like, “Make your
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Why Still Preacher on the Plaza?


One question I’ve gotten recently is “Why haven’t you changed the name of your blog?” The official title of my blog is Preacher on the Plaza. I started this blog back in January 2009 (back when not everyone and their brother had a blog) when I became the pastor of Washington Plaza Baptist (WPBC) in
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