In this episode, I discuss gratitude. It feels fitting during a week when the United States celebrates Thankgiving to explore what it means to be thankful, where gratitude comes from, how it's cultivated, and how it ends up shaping us throughout our day whatever we may be facing or experiencing. I am reminded of Jesus statement to seek first God's Kingdom and righteousness and everything else will be provided. Gratitude is key and opens us to the peace and joy God created us for.
In this episode, I discuss mystery. Our world is full of it. Our faith is full of it. Mystery is central to our lives as human beings and rather than being something to be solved, mystery is really good for us. I discuss everything from Job and JJ Abrams to crazy science experiments and C2E2. May you embrace the mystery boxes all around you and inside you!
In this episode, I conclude our look at the book of Revelation as apocalyptic literature by returning to the purpose of the book as a whole. We look at the passages that discuss the seal of God's people and the mark of the beast in light of God's call in Deuteronomy to bind God's commands to our foreheads and hands. The book is revealing that all of our actions help make one of two kingdoms a reality and these actions reveal which kingdom's ways we have written on our hearts and bound to our foreheads and hands. I hope our look at Revelation has helped bring this book to life for you in the present and that God will continue to reveal how God sees the world to you each day!
In this episode, I am continuing our exploration of the book of Revelation by discussing the two Kingdoms the entire book is about. While both appear to offer something similar, the methods and results of these two kingdoms couldn't be more different and opposed to one another. One offers peace through victory while the other offers victory through peace. Revelation helps us discern which kingdom we trust more. Both kingdoms are alive and well today and we choose our citizenship each day through our beliefs and actions. Which King do you trust?
In this episode, I am joined by Ben Curtis, the Street Minister for Operation Nightwatch in Seattle. I got to know Ben when he took me out on the streets late one night to spend some time among people sleeping outside. Ben has years of experience working with the homeless population and some great insight into how we engage one another. Our conversation is centered around the homeless but we talk about listening and how to be present, both skills that are helpful for all relationships no matter where we are. If you want to learn more about Operation Nightwatch and Ben, check out https://www.seattlenightwatch.org. Enjoy!
In this episode, I continue our discussion of the book of Revelation as apocalyptic literature by diving in the Beast and the Harlot in chapters 13 and 17. Rather than being about a future antichrist, the beast was an image for a particular person and a particular way of living in the time of John. John reveals these identities using gematria, a well-known myth from the time, and engaging images. It turns out that the beast and the harlot are alive and well today and John wants to help us see them and know how to respond. As mentioned in the episode, if you would like to read some great resources on the book of Revelation, I highly recommend The Climax of Prophecy by Richard Bauckham, Revelation and the End of All Things by Craig Koester, and Revelation for Everyone by NT Wright. Please subscribe and leave a review!
In this episode, I am continuing the series on Revelation by jumping into Revelation chatper 12. This is a fascinating chapter because the author is taking a story from the day about the god Apollo and revealing who the story is really about and what this means for where we put our trust. During the time Revelation was written, much like today, there were many people and things claiming to bring salvation from all the terrible events happening in the world. It turns out, however, that there is only one person who delivers on that promise.
In this episode, we continue the Revelation series by discussing the book as a prophesy. What does it mean that the book is prophetic and how does that apply to our lives today? We look at the 4 horseman in Revelation 6 and the 2 witnesses in Revelation 11 as examples of how we are meant to respond to John's prophetic word. Rather than being about future events, these passages reveal the truth behind the choices we all make every day when responding to difficulty. They challenge us to return to God who is on the ultimate throne.
In this episode, we continue the Revelation series by traveling to the throne room in chapter four and discussing the book as a letter. The letter is ultimately all about God on the throne, the alpha and omega, the one who was, is, and is to come. This is a challenging thing for some of those who originally received the letter and encouraging for others. It is meant to have the same effect on us today.
In this episode, I continue my series on the book of Revelation by looking at the well-known theological idea known as the Rapture. By looking at it Biblically, historically, and even linguistically (more fun than it sounds!), we see if this concept is consistent with the Biblical narrative and if there might be something else going on in these passages.