Showing posts from October, 2015

A Money Meeting at the Kitchen Table

It was there that we made the decision. When I was a new pastor serving my first, full-time appointment, my wife, Joy, and I had only been married a few years. Like many young couples, we were struggling financially. I remember well our money meeting at the kitchen table. Things weren’t going very well for us financially. It was there that we made the decision to commit our money to God. We literally got on our knees at the kitchen table and asked God to help us handle the money entrusted to us in a faithful way, and we committed to tithing, giving 10% of our income to the church. Our financial situation didn’t completely change overnight, but it did begin to change for the better.  That was twenty years ago. Today we live with no debt except the mortgage on our home. The first thing we do with our income each month is give to the church. We have two daughters in college, braces on the third girl (finally!), and a car that’s older than all of them, but we give more than ever to support …

Help Equip Seminary Trained Leaders

On June 3, 1994 I graduated from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, located on the north side of Chicago on the campus of Northwestern University. Commencement was still a few hours away. Senior Chapel was just beginning, and I had been asked to preach. In my three years I had never seen so many people in that large hall of worship. As the grand procession moved down the center aisle, I looked into the many faces and felt the fervor rising in me. The sermon started with a prayer that God might breathe life into my words. And then when I put my hands to the plow, I never looked back. At times when I was preaching I felt like I had taken a step back from the pulpit, as if I was watching myself preach. In that hour I felt the power of God’s Spirit surging through that place of worship as it surged through me. In a speech to a group of teachers, Martin Buber once said that if he ever met the great Christian theologian Karl Barth, there was only one thing this bearded Jewish scholar w…