Thursday of this week, I’ll head up the CA coast on Hwy 1, the classic route through Big Sur, to teach at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, and hang with some witty writers. A couple of years ago I did the same route, and must have seen two dozen Mustang convertibles. Rentals, I guess. And no better way to enjoy that stretch than a convertible—unless rain descends. But seeing several Stangs on that clear blue-skied day shocked me—their tops were up and latched, like the one in the pic. Rather than basking in the openness of God’s creation, they chose…Read More
A fellow teaching compatriot, Leilani Strong Smith, has crafted a new skill since we both left the school—painting. That’s her “Water into Wine” above. I easily saw the blue of water, at the top right, and the red of wine at the bottom left, and the turbulent mixing of the two in the center. But she neither intended nor noticed the …Read More
Not long back, a guy I meet with every couple of weeks asked a question whose simplicity was only exceeded by its complexity. "What does it mean to be a good Christian?"
Jokingly, in response to the latter trait, I replied, "In five words or less?"
Jim, recognizing the humor said, "Sure!"
I briefly pondered and responded...Read More
Our pastor has embarked on preaching through the entire book of Matthew. Usually, he handles a chapter at a time, hinting at over half a year just on this one admittedly fine book. But today he examined only six verses of chapter six, covering just one topic in the Sermon on the Mount. At that rate, the century may end before we complete Matthew! But that’s OK, it’s God’s word.That projection intrigued me, so while he preached...Read More
Distractions come easy, especially this time of year. The joy of picking and giving gifts. The beauty of houses extravagantly lit. The comfort of getting with family so often scattered in needed pursuit of separate lives. Congenial gatherings with friends and coworkers. All so focused on the fun of Christmas that I, at least, sometimes miss deeper truths. Not about the birth of Jesus, the wise men, the shepherds, and all. They get ample attention. But this year, another Christmas thought captivates me...Read More
Before we began
could you fill
the voids in my life
change the traits I could not?
You did it all
which leads me to believe...Read More
Saturday, a chance to catch up on yard and house maintenance, at least until my body screams, “Enough.” Trying to remember the good times when I could work all day, I put some classic rock on Pandora and cranked up the outside speakers. Bob Dylan’s “Knock, Knock, Knocking on Heaven’s Door” soon brought back a Facebook discussion over the previous several days, ranging from do all people go to heaven, why or why not, can people change, forgiveness, and justice. Some deep issues done well with divergent views.
Since Unconventional exists to discuss what it means to follow Jesus, we can all benefit from making sure we’re on track, so that when we stand, knocking on heaven’s door, that door will open. So, some basics that touch the results of following Jesus.
First, all people go to heaven who want to go there. Honest. But...Read More