“Who is this guy?”

This past weekend, we celebrated our lead pastor, Mark Norman’s, 25th year at Grace Community Church. It was a weekend filled with surprises, a bit of deception to make those surprises…surprises, lots of tears, and glory to God. The tension we had in thinking about the weekend was to honor Mark as a servant and glorify God as the Provider. Occasions like these can so easily steer into the extreme of glorifying the servant at the expense of the Lord, or glorifying the Lord and belittling the servant. I was blessed to work with a team of servants who achieved that balance well.

As part of my message on faithfulness for the service, I penned a poem for Mark. I’ve had several requests to see it in print, so I’m nervously posting it here.  Continue reading

A Christmas Day Parable (thanks to Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer)


I was reminded of this interchange from 2011. If you or anyone you know is a deer-eating monster (or something like that), may Christmas and its message change you/them.

Originally posted on Echoes of the Myth:

For the first time in his life, my son, Calvin, watched “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer” yesterday. It had been a while since even I had seen the whole thing, and the conversation that ensued was definitely worth the price of the show (which was free thanks to YouTube).

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Unpacking Boxes in the Advent Season

moving boxes






Since leaving Chicago, we are finally settling into a home in MD, and this past weekend, I got to unpack boxes of stuff that have been sitting in a garage for the past two and a half years. All of the boxes contained kitchenware – cups, plates, mugs, forks, knives, cooking utensils, and serving dishes. I spent a few hours awakening them from their cardboard slumber, unwrapping them like craft paper mummies.

The process was very nostalgic for me. As I opened each cocoon, I felt like a kid unwrapping Christmas gifts. I never realized that our kitchenware could be imbibed with so many memories: the two mugs Sarah and I got on our excursion to Mackinac Island (before kids); the flatware we received as wedding presents complete with the first chips I gave them doing the dishes. With each piece, I remembered a gathering, or an experience of a life lived in Chicago, now being reconditioned here in Maryland. Continue reading