Archives For Lent

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Over the last few years, I’ve come to believe that the 40 days leading up to Easter can be some of the most life-giving, perspective-changing, hope-filled days of the entire year—not just for me, but for you.

This is the moment in the church calendar when we get to prepare our hearts and minds for the resurrection of Jesus at Easter. Past years have plunged me into the Gospels, silenced my prayer life with shocking results, and exposed the layers of contempt in my heart. (You can read about those here).

Three years ago, we read the entire Bible during Lent. Two years ago, we read the entire New Testament. Last year, we read the Gospels. Tens of thousands from around the world responded. We were wonderstruck as pastors, churches, parents, kids, coworkers, and friends dove head first into the great big story of God.

That intense time of Bible reading is transformative spiritual discipline for me.

After much prayer, I’d like to invite YOU to join me in reading two powerful books of the Bible this Lent: Luke and Acts.

Continue Reading...

Have You Been Visited By Angels?

Have you ever had an experience that makes you wonder:

Did I just encounter an angel?

One spring during college I studied abroad in Spain. My flight was delayed more than a dozen hours. The person who gave me directions sent me to the wrong train station. I walked through Madrid with all my bags, boots cutting into my heels, exhausted. My efforts at Spanish failed at every turn.

I sat on the edge of a fountain spent and confused. Tugging off a boot, I looked at my blood stained sock.

God, I prayed, I need help.

At that moment, a woman sat next to me on the fountain’s edge and spoke near perfect English. She took me to her home, fed me lunch, drove me to the proper station, and sent me on my way.

Her name was Maria.

Sometimes I secretly wonder if she was an angel. Continue Reading...

Can Demons Teach Us About Jesus?

Jesus tours towns and villages, along with his posse, heralding the blistering good news of the kingdom of God. Crowds press from every direction, sad there’s no ability to take selfies.

Yet Jesus cloaks his teaching in mystery.

He tells stories through parables—cartoons of the absurd, tales of enigma, riddles of old to unveil the kingdom of God.

Jesus tells a parable of a farmer scattering seed. At the time the story was told, plowing followed the sowing of the seed. Ponder that for a moment.

But perhaps there’s something more. Continue Reading...

How to Decode the Parables, Enigmas, and Mysteries of God

I don’t understand.

This doesn’t make sense.

I’m so confused.

What the what?

Life sometimes seems like an enigma wrapped in a riddle, stuffed inside a cryptogram and sealed with another riddle.

Why was that allowed? What are you trying to say? What’s going on here? Why does none of this make sense? 

No wonder so many of us find ourselves perplexed. In the kingdom of God, down is the new up and two plus two rarely equal four.

Perhaps it’s confusion, doubt, uncertainty or curiosity, but something drives the disciples to ask the question all of wonder deep down inside: Continue Reading...

Join 50,000 People Reading Through the Gospels for Lent Beginning February 18

Imagine spending the next 40 days drinking in the teachings of Jesus, watching his jaw-dropping miracles unfold, and falling more in love with God with each turning page.

You're invited to come along as we read the Gospels during Lent 2015 beginning on February 18.

Two years ago, I prayed, “God, what do you want me to lay hold of through Lent.” I felt led to read through the entire Bible in 40 days. We posted a reading plan online and more than 5000 people downloaded it in the first few days.

Last year, I invited you to join me in reading through the entire New Testament for Lent. Friends joined in including, YouVersion, Catalyst Conference, and many more. Over 50,000 people asked to receive a copy of the reading plan.

We couldn’t be more thrilled that so many are setting apart time to dive into the Scriptures and prepare their hearts for Easter. We expect the numbers to multiply again this year, but honestly, who cares? We’re just thrilled people are committing to set apart time to seek Christ and God’s leading in their lives.

This year, I sense we’re supposed to go deeper in the Scripture during Lent and focus on the Gospels.

Matthew. Mark. Luke. John. Or as I like to say it, “Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus.” Continue Reading...