Mission: People Who Create 2

There is something noble and primitively right about producing quality woodwork, or a fine painting, or a productive and beautiful garden. Creativity is in our blood, and, as many have discovered, we do not feel complete unless we are creating. I suppose that’s the genius behind Hobby Lobby.

Could this be the image of God bubbling to the surface from within us? God is the original artist and craftsman. He worked diligently and creatively to produce an incredible world that we have only begun to understand. Then He made us, crafted with love and care to reflect his character, including his creative character. This, I believe, is one of the reasons God gave Adam the role of Gardener of Eden: God wanted man to be productive and creative just as He Himself is. Continue reading


Mission: People Who Create 1

We are supposed to strive to be like God.

That is a simple statement with a lot of theological weight. First, I have to ask if it is even possible for me to be like God at all. Second, I have to wonder if the fact that I am made in God’s image makes me enough like God to suffice. Third, I have to marvel at all of the things God can do that are recognized to be utterly impossible for me (such as parting a large body of water). Fourth, I have to cringe at the many ways I know I could be more like God, but require more will power than I currently muster. So many theologically puzzling implications in that statement, and, yet, we Christians know that it is still our goal.

We have to come to at least one important conclusion about our responsibility toward God as it regards this statement: that however we can be like God we should be like God. Continue reading

Mission: People Who Wait, part 2

I find it sadly humorous that the people we have the hardest time being patient with are those class of hard-working people known as waiters and waitresses. Their very titles indicate that they are to “wait” on us, to be patient, conscientious, and hospitable. And, we take them up on that. Or, rather, we test them. “My food is cold. My chips are stale. My potatoes are too salty. I should get this meal free. I am definitely not leaving a tip.”

I have something to say here that may be a little controversial: the forgiveness and patience that Christ calls on us to extend even to our enemies must also extend to the waitstaff at the local restaurant.

I could also go on about Paul’s command that we “do everything without grumbling or questioning,” (Philippians 2:14) but I make it a point to only step on one toe at a time. Continue reading

Mission: People Who Wait, part 1

We are impatient people.

Next time you go through a drive-through window at a fast food restaurant, look in the window for a sign with a time posted. Managers often post a goal for how long customers should wait for their food from the time they place the order to the time the bag is in their hand. There may also be a separate sign for customers who order at the counter inside, but the drive-time will be much shorter.

Have you seen that sign before? Worked in fast food? How long is an average order fulfillment goal?

From what I have seen, roughly 35-45 seconds. And many a manager takes pride in the fact that his store regularly meets the goal. But, it is not the manager who really decides that number. It is you and me–the demanding, impatient, busy customer. Continue reading

Mission: People Who Give

For God so love the world that He gave… [John 3:16]

I heard an objection not all that long ago that preachers are always asking for money.


The objector was right.  Church leadership is often concerned about finances, and the job of pushing for greater financial sacrifice often falls to the preacher.  “Preach a sermon about it.” “Make sure the church knows they need to be sacrificial and cheerful givers.” “Show them what the Bible says about giving.”

See what kind of love the Father has given us… [1John 3:1]

But, the Bible says much more about giving than we typically hear from the pulpit.  We preachers have been guilty of limiting our discussions of giving to monetary matters. Continue reading