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Showing posts from September, 2018

from now on

last week i tried to remind myself and any of you reading that Jesus isn't interested in calling only the squeaky-clean or those who have all of their cracks and tears all covered up and hidden. 

but somehow many of us still let ourselves "off the hook," by assuming that the people that Jesus is really interested in are the religious people.  people like priests and pastors.  people like walt, the guy who leads two different bible studies at church, always attends the special church events, and reads bible commentaries in his spare time.  we sometimes allow ourselves to buy the lie that says, "those are the real Jesus-followers.  you don't have time for that.  you've got your career and your family and your retirement and your hobbies and your busy schedule to worry about...you can follow Jesus just by going to church sometimes." 

and we do.  and we check the box. 

but i happen to think that Jesus is actually inviting people - regular people like you an…

new collage (!): peculiar circumstances

"peculiar circumstances" paper collage on hardcover book cover gregory a. milinovich

i truly love the season of life i am in, in my twentieth year of marriage, raising three boys,  and serving as senior pastor of a downtown university church.  life is good.  really, really good.  but it is also full.  some of the things i used to just have time for, i can no longer even make time for, at least for this season.  one of those things is my love of gluing things together.  i still have boxes and boxes of old paper, scraps and bits, found objects and detritus, and more, just waiting to be joined together, to be redeemed in some new birth.  but, for the most part, they will need to wait several years longer, until "teenager" isn't a regular part of our vocabulary. 

that being said, i am delighted that i was inspired to carve out a few moments this week to glue a few things together that had been accumulating in my "someday i'll do this" file.  so i just d…

"follow me"

so here's the thing: i call myself a Christian.  actually, i don't even use that word as much anymore, because it ends up being a wedge between me and many other people as soon as i use it.  instead, i like to say that i'm a Christ-follower (which is closer to the way the very first Christ-followers talked about it anyway).  to be a Christ-follower is to - wait for it - follow Christ.  i know, surprising, right? 

well, it shouldn't be a shock to us that being a Christ-follower, or a Christian, means following Christ, but in America in 2018 calling yourself a Christian often has far too little to do with actually following Jesus.  when people call themselves Christians in america today, they may mean any number of things, such as:
-i went to a church sometimes when i grew up;
-i once got 'saved' at a christian camp or crusade;
-i believe in God;
-i am in favor of traditional american evangelical political positions;
-i say merry christmas instead of happy holid…

summer is now a scrapbook page

well, friends, it is labor day, which is to say that the period of the year we call summer is now pretty much completely over.  school has started.  the nights are getting darker, sooner.  and we are taking our summer bucket list out of the frame and putting it into the "to be scrapbooked" pile, an ominous sign by any measurement.  when you are "to be scrapbooked" you are clearly just a memory.  your neighbors are torn ticket stubs, bent programs, receipts, and other two-dimensional obituaries to moments that have gone before.  such is summer, 2018:  a memory. 

but it is a good memory.  you may remember that i was reluctant to even share our summer bucket list this year, and i want to say that while we were able to put quite a few dry-erase x's on that sucker; and while we were able to make quite a few memories, what i hope we got out of it is more than mere scrapbook pages: i hope we continued to build something significant, something substantial, something m…