Showing posts from March, 2016

Becoming Sheep

Could there be any animal more boring than sheep? Sheep are herbivores who consume 2-4 pounds of food a day. They are helpless, timid creatures whose only defense mechanism against predators is the numbers they huddle in. Sheep have poor eye sight, they spend a third of their life “ruminating,” and when they fall down on their back they are powerless to get up. (For more interesting and fun sheep facts click here)

In John 10 Jesus describes himself as the good shepherd, and those who follow after him he unflattering calls his sheep. Is it any wonder why?

“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again.”

And a broader look at John 10 will show, i…

Guest Post: The Immigration Conundrum

Today's guest post features a controversial, hot button issue which is sure to initiate some conversation. As thinking Christians, the question of how the church is to tackle illegal immigration is a very important discussion we must engage in. Disclaimer: the thoughts and views below are of guest writer Dick Nevala, and not my own.

Illegal immigration is a real issue affecting millions of people currently living in the United States. It is currently a hot political topic. As a church leader, it is difficult not to allow controversial public opinion to bleed into my perspective on compassion, kindness, and ultimately the spiritual condition of everyone. The bottom line is we ought to share the good news of salvation with anyone, including those who may be here illegally.
My grandparents were immigrants who came to this country, went through the lawful process, and became citizens. Thus; one could say, I am a product of immigration into our country. Yet, I am a bit chagrined at the p…

The "Good Person" Heresy

You know, I am a really nice guy. It's true. Ask my family, my friends, my fiancĂ©--and they will all reply with the same answer: "Daniel Harris is a nice, no, he is a great guy." Not only have I NOT done anything in my 23 year old existence egregiously terrible (as in kill someone), but I am a courteous chap who loves and cares for most of the people in my life. Don't believe me? Go ahead and ask the people in my life! No one to my knowledge out right hates me (I mean honestly, how could anyone?), and even most acquaintances of mine would have to admit: Daniel Harris is a good guy.

In general people today tend to think of themselves, how I think of myself: Good. Reasonable. Moral. Fair. Kind. Just an all 'round great person. Sure, we all have some defects, but who doesn't? Everyone makes the occasional mistake here or there, but by and large most of us are well-meaning, good people who are simply trying to "leave the world a better place." Go us.


Pope Francis, I am a Saint

The Roman Catholic Church has long believed in a process called "canonization," where the notable and truly extraordinary Christians are posthumously venerated. Canonized saints may be prayed to for guidance and looked on as examples by those of us still struggling in this fallen world. The requirements for sainthood is, in short, for the deceased to have lived a general life of holiness, to have performed at least two verifiable miracles, and to posthumously receive a papal decree which adds the subject to "the list" at least 5 years after death. And last week Pope Francis "approved sainthood" for Mother Teresa, which will be finalized by September 4 of this year. There is no question Mother Teresa of Calcutta lived a truly exemplary life. The former Nobel Prize winner’s incredible deeds of both service and sacrifice for the "least of these" has been well documented; and as her work to this day is continued in over a hundred countries by thou…

Book in Review: "Manhood Restored"

I have been quiet on the blog for the month of March due to a variety of factors (new job/engaged life). Hopefully a book review can get me back on track! Feel free to contact me if you have any ideas for future posts, or would like to write a "guest post" yourself.
Manhood has a problem in our world. It has a problem in our churches. Everywhere we look fatherlessness, sexual infidelity, apathy, selfishness run rampant among men, and things are not getting better either. Eric Mason's book Manhood Restored seeks to provide an answer to this problem: the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Mason begins by describing man's original purpose and function. "Man was made to function like a mirror--something to reflect the image of God into creation. Humanity, made in the image of God, was created to be an earthy representation of who God is." Man was originally was made to represent the glory of the Father. Something went wrong though. The mirror was shattered and we are left …

My "Risen" Review

Last night I went with my young adult group from my church to see the new movie "Risen." I had heard good things going in, but as someone who tries to avoid buying into the hype at all costs—I can say with confidence I had no expectations either way for this movie.

"Risen" is an extra-biblical account (similar to the classic Ben-Hur) which looks to depict a Biblical story (death and resurrection of Jesus Christ) through a different perspective. This time that different perspective is a Roman Tribune who goes by the name of Clavius (Joseph Feinnes). Clavius is an ambitious Roman soldier who puts down rebellions, receives frequent summons from Governor Pilate, and in general sees a lot of death. But as the plot develops, the viewer finds himself identifying and rooting for this pagan gentile who tells Pilate in a moment of honesty that inside he "yearns for peace." Furthermore, the Tribune seems to carry himself with honor and humility, so “go Clavius!” The…

Change Facilitates Change

In my sophomore year of college I had an interesting roommate. He was a guy who folded his clothes, followed methodical lists, and as the RA, enforced the rules on our hall full of freshmen with an iron fist. Every couple of weeks or so this roommate of mine would try to broker a deal with me to rearrange our room. To change things up.

The problem with this was I preferred stagnation to change. I happened to like my clothes piled up in a rotten heap right in the middle of the floor. I enjoyed having my bed in the same corner of the room and my desk facing the window. My roommate's calls for reformation were almost always met with my hard line resistance, because consistency gave me a level of comfort. "Why change our room when it is working fine?"

College was a busy time for me with frequent due dates and schedules changing from week to week. New projects required schedule accommodation and it seemed as if there was always something else going on vying for my attention. My…