What if you boarded a flight to Italy, but then to your shock, you ended up in Holland? For many church leaders, that’s what this year has felt like. The entire landscape is much different than what was preached on “Vision Sunday” last January! Maybe your life hasn’t exactly flipped upside-down. But it’s likely you’re asking brand new questions as you navigate terrain you’ve never seen before. In today’s podcast, I share some insights from the prophet Isaiah to help us see what God is doing when our plans change drastically. I believe this episode will help you enter more deeply into the Advent season AND prepare well for the coming year.
As church leaders, it is critical we develop the practice of learning from other streams other than our own. Years ago, I sat down with Trappist Monk, Fr. William Meninger, to receive a fresh perspective about a life of prayer. During this interview, he references how the journey of prayer comes in four stages. Each stage is beautiful and important for growing in communion with God. But, more than ever, it is critical we learn how to develop our ability to be with Jesus in the fourth stage – contemplative prayer. In today’s episode, I share with you this conversation and pray it spurs you on in your own prayer journey.
For many, this has been a year of great loss. We’re learning, on a whole new level, what it means to “take up our cross” and follow Jesus. But in times when the cross is doing a deep work in our lives, we face three great temptations. We hurry through the cross. We distract ourselves from the cross. Or, we attempt to get down off the cross! In today’s podcast, I share a message from years ago that is especially important for leaders today. It’s about embracing the work of the cross so we can experience resurrection life.
Our world is living in between what was and what is to come. It is difficult to even know how to talk about where we are. In the U.S., we continue to grapple with the implications of a messy election while COVID-19 cases rage all around us. We know that God is on the throne, but we still feel stuck in the middle of two worlds. Living in this space is deeply uncomfortable. Most of us have learned to run from confusion, pain, and loss. But what if these moments are precisely where God wants to meet us? In today’s podcast, Pete addresses how we can live, lead, and meet God in the confusing-in-between.
Today is a seismic day in the life of our nation. Regardless of the results of this election, it is crucial that we are rooted in a broader understanding of what God is doing in this hour. But how can we not feel overwhelmed when we are confronted with evil on every side? In today’s podcast, Pete shares a sermon in which he explores Jesus’ parable of the wheat and tares. In this passage, Jesus reveals an astounding picture of how God intends to deal with the good and the evil – especially in the church.
Around the world, we’re all feeling the dramatic effects of the U.S. elections. This moment demands we grapple with the question, “How should I relate to those who think drastically different than I do?” We know the right answer is “to love”, but for many of us, it’s challenging to know how to love when the stakes are high. In today’s podcast, we learn an important lesson from Martin Buber, a well-known German-Jewish theologian who lived during WWI. From there, we’ll explore 3 questions for how we can know whether or not we are actually loving our enemies. Listen to the three questions here…