The Christmas Paradox, A Holiday Devotional (Hebrews 1)…

Yea, I know, I know, I know… It’s been a while. Remember me? Maybe? Okay, look… I’m sorry. It’s my fault, really. It’s not you, it’s me.

No, seriously. I didn’t forget about you guys. I promise. I still love you, and hopefully you feel the same. For the record, forgiveness is a Christian virtue, sooooooo… (awkward) you really don’t have a choice but…

Life just got crazy. The wife’s pregnant, the job’s picked up, so I missed a few months. Give me time though. I’ll be back.

Anyways… for the few of you still following, attached below is a writing project I did this December for a tremendous publishing called The Lookout Magazine. I was asked by a new friend to write their December devotionals, and I’ll share them in part with you here as they are released each week. Follow the link for the whole thing.

Lookout

THE LESSON AND LIFE – DECEMBER 7, 2014 – HEBREWS 1

Incarnation, the Christmas paradox: majesty dressed in humility, God’s Son growing in Mary’s belly, the Prince born peasant, Creator created, higher than angels laid lower than cattle, Jesus’ extraordinarily ordinary arrival. Can you feel the tension? If not, try reading Hebrews 1 over a modern-day manger, preferably while in use.

“[God] has spoken to us by his Son,” Hebrews 1:2 says. The Son’s subsequent résumé shows he is a really big deal (v. 2b-9). Yet incarnation was the way he spoke? Couldn’t he have motioned for, I don’t know, a pillar of fire? a raging storm? at least a burning bush? Why the country twang of a Galilean carpenter?

Defining the Divine
Why would God speak like this? Why a manger then a life then a cross? I assume he had options—he’s God. So why not less dirty and bloody? Couldn’t he have just snapped or nodded or thought his will into existence? Why incarnation?

The answer is simple—that’s God…

READ THE REST HERE.

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The Most Disastrous Thing Christians Do Everyday

We make some of our biggest leadership (and self-leadership) failures sitting still. We blow tremendous ideas by not even beginning them. We waste God-sent visions by allowing dreams to remain dreams.

And in so doing we do the worst thing possible for the waiting world spinning around us… nothing.

[Does any of the following describe your life?]

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A Kentucky Pastor’s Guide to Trash-Talk During March Madness

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PHOTO CREDIT: USA TODAY Sports Images

There’s a reason why they call it March Madness, and it goes beyond things like the Mercer Bears, Dayton’s Cinderella run, overtime, buzzer-beaters, and vacation-days spent binge-watching nineteen year-olds you wish you could be.

The Madness goes beyond that because every year, during March, I actually watch people go mad. The AMA should look into this. In fact, anyone who knows me knows I speak from personal experience: March Madness makes you mad. (Don’t patronize me!!! My depression after John Wall and company lost to West Virginia in 2010 was real… and sad. At least I lost like five pounds.)

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The Most Dangerous Idol of the Next Generation

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I’m a Millennial, born sometime between 1980 and Y2K (the day when all the computers and the universe imploded), and my generation has a lot going for them.

Some call us the “Hopeful Generation” because few generations to ever walk the planet were more mission-minded and cause-oriented. I have friends who use vacation-time to serve in third-world countries, who won’t buy coffee from anywhere but direct-trade vendors, who run fundraiser 5Ks every weekend. I even have friends who’ve shaved their heads and cut their beautiful beards because they saw on Facebook a friend of a friend raising money for another friend with cancer (and that’s a big deal, because nothing gives you instant authority in life like a great beard or stache).

Some call us the “Relational Generation” because there’s never been one more connected. Sure, some people (including me) hate on the false-intimacy that social-media provides. Sure, some people need to be given read-only accounts to Twitter and Facebook based on the sheer number of selfies and “look-at-me” posts they publish hourly. But that doesn’t change the fact I communicate with loved ones across the country daily on my iPhone through e-mail, text, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Skype, and Facetime (sometimes I even use my phone to make calls too!).

Some call us the “Educated Generation,” as already our rate of receiving undergraduate degrees has surpassed all other generations. My generation thinks college degrees are sweet and a prerequisite to life-advancement. So even if we spend our college days doing everything but college work, we still think it’s important. That’s why we’re there on the 6-year plan.

Are you swooning yet? Because you had yearbooks. We have Facebook! You had K-Mart. We have Target (boom!). You had hula-hoops. We have X-Box. You had mass-media. We have personal media, a social platform where we can talk about how awesome we are (on our blog). And let’s not let the one word that shuts the whole “best generation” conversation down go unmentioned… Netflix. Need I say more? …Pandora! Oops, that slipped out.

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Why You Weren’t Ready for Marriage: What no one ever told you…

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Marriage was created by God. True. But that doesn’t mean it’s magic. And that doesn’t stop people from approaching it like magic.

People spend their whole lives building terrible relationship habits that’ll make commitment near impossible for them. But then get married. And take vows. And exchange expensive rings. And make forever promises about the future that simply don’t add up with their past.

People spend years building bad spending habits, bad credit habits, bad debt habits, bad communication habits, bad conflict-resolution habits, bad anger habits, bad drinking habits, bad addiction habits, bad working habits, bad schedule habits, bad sex habits, bad commitment habits, bad faith habits.

But then despite it all, they get married. Because they must think marriage is magic. They must think marriage can just abracadabra all the stupid they’ve spent years building.

Maybe we’re confused because few are honest about the realities of marriage. Everyone wants to live and tell a fairytale. Maybe it’s because we haven’t gotten real with ourselves and clear with the next generation about how difficult lasting love is.

Love is worth it, trust me. But it takes hard work, just like anything else in life worth having. So real quick, let me do you a favor and share some truth. Repeat after me:

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