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The other day my three year old son stubbed his toe for the first time ever. I don’t know how it happened, but he stubbed it pretty bad. He needed a band-aid for real and not just for the psychological benefits. As I put a band-aid on him he asked me if I need one too.

“Sure, bud.”

“On your toe, so we can match band-aids.”

So we put a band-aid on my big toe and I left it there for the rest of the day.

The strangest thing happened that night. My wife pulled the sheets up quickly and I winced as they rubbed against my feet because I thought it would hurt my stubbed toe.

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obrienThis week the completely unsurprising happened: a high profile Christian resigned his position because of inappropriate sexual relationships. This time it was Keith O’Brien, but he wasn’t the first and he (unfortunately) won’t be the last. In fact, if I optimize this post to show up on google as “church guy resigns because of sex” it could very well be my most viewed post ever because this happens so unbelievably often.

In this particular case, O’Brien has had some pretty ugly things to say about the LGBT community. But, as it turns out, he himself has had a few sexual encounters with young priests.

Why does this happen? And why does it always seem to be person who has taken a strong stand against the very thing they are exposed as doing?

That stance is actually exactly why it happens.

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It is a good rule, after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between. If that is too much for you, you should at least read one old one to every three new ones. -C.S. Lewis

Recently someone asked me which books and authors have been most influential in my spiritual development at different stages of my life. I answered Soren Kierkegaard, C.S. Lewis, Rob Bell, and Jacques Ellul.

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This week Louie Giglio announced that because of controversy surrounding a sermon on homosexuality he gave 20 years ago he would be withdrawing from the Presidential inauguration program. This, of course, has caused even more controversy. While I think he has been unfairly characterized as “homophobic,” I think there are a few things Christians need to keep in mind when we talk about this controversy.

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Deep and WideAndy Stanley’s Deep and Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend  is part memoir and part instruction manual on how to create churches for those outside the church. Deep and Wide is divided into five sections, “My Story” is Stanley’s personal background, “Our Story,” is the story of the planting of North Point Community Church in 1995, “Going Deep,” covers North Points’ spiritual formation technique “Going Wide,” is about how North Point structures its programming for outreaching and “Becoming Deep and Wide,” is about helping churches to transition to the type of church Stanley advocates. My thoughts on what Deep and Wide gets right and what it gets wrong are detailed below.

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This morning I dropped my son off at Mother’s Day Out. We call it school because it helps him feel big and grown up and makes him more excited to go.

Then I went with my wife to meet a guy at McDonalds about selling an old computer to him that we don’t use anymore. While we were in McDonalds we saw CNN report that there had been a shooting at a school in Connecticut. We mused about the fine line between news reporting and voyeurism, waited for this guy who was 30 minutes late. And left.

And now while my son is at school I’m trying to get some work done. I pause, get online, and learn that 20 people have died. 10 of them kids.

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I’ve lost about 20 pounds this year. I plan on losing more next year.

I lost weight as a direct result of my growth as a Christian. In youth group last spring we were talking about giving back to God because he gives so much to us and we asked, “What is something God gave us that we don’t always act thankful for?”

One girl said, “Our bodies.”

And like that I knew I had to take better care of my body. And so I do.

I’m telling you this story because I want to establish that I think that there isn’t a single part of life that isn’t influenced by our decision to follow God. Even the way we eat should be.

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This week I had to preach on the Binding of Isaac. Had to.

Early in the year I made a tentative schedule for a year of preaching and in it I included ten weeks of Genesis. And I knew then I would have to include this sermon. And I dreaded it.

A few months ago I made a schedule of Genesis specifically. And it included, of course, this story. And I dreaded it.

All last week as I prepared I dreaded it. As I walked to the pulpit, as I gave the sermon, every second I dreaded this story.

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I’m currently reading The Forgotten Father by Thomas Smail. His central premise is that we tend to exclude the first person of the Trinity, the Father, in favor of the Son or the Spirit. In it he writes:

 We have had in recent years a Jesus movement and a charismatic movement. The one has almost disappeared and the other is threatening to run out of steam, perhaps because easy is in a different way inadequate to the gospel, which is basically a Father movement. It is not first a Jesuology (a doctrine about Jesus) or a pneumatology (a doctrine about the Spirit) but it is a theology or even a patrology — a doctrine about God the Father. It starts not with the cross of Jesus or with the gift of the Spirit, but with the Father who so loved the world that that he gave his Son in his Spirit. And it achieves its purpose, not when the body of Christ is gloriously renewed in every part without spot or wrinkle (Ephesians 5:27), not even when the enthroned Christ has subdued all his enemies and brought every lee to bow before him (Philippians 2:11), but rather when that same Christ “hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after has destroyed all domino, authority and power” (1 Corinthians 15:24). “When he as done this, then the Son will himself be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28).

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