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Blowing Up Boxes
20 minutes | Dec 5, 2017
26: Driving Lessons
"These People just need to learn that that's not ok." After I slammed on the horn and freaked out the guy in the car next to me, I realized how what I had done probably wasn't the wisest move. My wife asked me, "Is it your job to teach them?" It got me thinking about the difference between sharing the truth and judging, something that we often struggle with when we think we have the answers. Jesus calls us to share the truth, but when do we become the moral police and begin judging in unhelpful ways. What's the difference between speaking truth and judging anyway? From the Sermon on the Mount to Jesus' Parable of the Pharisee and Tax Collector, I tackle these questions beginning with a driving story.
22 minutes | Nov 29, 2017
25: Upside Down Jonah
In this episode, I look at the book of Jonah and the way it turns expectations upside down. It's a book that helped shape the entire podcast because it is the ultimate Biblical book for blowing up boxes. Everyone in the book does the exact opposite of what we would expect and the results are fascinating. It helps us not only understand people differently, but shows us that when we invite goodness from people, truly amazing things can happen. Thanks for listening! Please remember to subscribe, share, and leave a review!
12 minutes | Nov 22, 2017
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.
23 minutes | Nov 14, 2017
23: Mystery Boxes
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!
20 minutes | Nov 7, 2017
22: Marks, Seals, and Fruit-Revelation Part 8
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!
20 minutes | Oct 31, 2017
21: Tale of Two Kingdoms-Revelation Part 7
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?
33 minutes | Oct 24, 2017
20: Learning to Listen with Ben Curtis
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!
28 minutes | Oct 17, 2017
19: The Beast & The Harlot-Revelation Part 6
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!
19 minutes | Oct 10, 2017
18: Would the Real Apollo Please Stand Up?-Revelation Part 5
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.
34 minutes | Oct 3, 2017
17: A Prophetic Word-Revelation Part 4
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.
25 minutes | Sep 26, 2017
16: A Letter from the Throne-Revelation Part 3
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.
18 minutes | Sep 19, 2017
15: Reverse Rapture-Revelation Part 2
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.
19 minutes | Sep 12, 2017
14: Apocalypse Now?-Revelation Part 1
In this episode, we discuss apocalyptic literature, a popular but frequently misunderstood genre in the Bible. We specifically look at the most famous apocalyptic Biblical book of Revelation and what exactly it is trying to communicate. It turns out that rather than being a prediction of future events, Revelation is meant to help us understand the true nature of all things in all times and challenge us to choose what we engage wisely. We cover everything from Wall-E to "apocalyptic" shows like The Walking Dead to bring some clarity to this amazing book.
19 minutes | Sep 5, 2017
13: The Blessing of Babel
In this episode, I look at the story of the Tower of Babel found in Genesis 11. It's a story I had always understood as ending with a punishment but more recently have come to understand as one of God's greatest blessings. It turns out that God's confusing of the languages helped us down the path toward worldwide diversity, something that is often a source of tension and fear in the world today, but actually holds within it the power for amazing creativity and beauty.
36 minutes | Aug 28, 2017
12: Geography Matters! with Cyndi Parker
In this episode, I am joined by Cyndi Parker. Cyndi is a professor in both the United States and Israel and she has deeply impacted the way I read and understand the Bible. She taught me that Geography matters! It’s a character in all of our stories and often plays a significant role in the Biblical text. In our conversation, we discuss geography, both ancient and modern, and the significant impact it has on interpreting Scripture and understanding what is going on in the Middle East today. You can find Cyndi at www.narrativeofplace.com!
42 minutes | Aug 21, 2017
11: Can We Offer Them Flowers? with Dawn Bulchandani
In this episode, I am joined by Dawn Bulchandani. Dawn is a professor and author who I met because of a book she wrote about a man named Jihad Ramadan. I met Jihad when visiting a refugee camp in Palestine and his story has always stuck with me. When I found out that Dawn had known Jihad for years and then written a book about his life, I knew she could offer some fascinating insights into blowing up boxes. In this episode, we discuss Israel and Palestine, resistance, forgiveness, and the possibility of offering someone flowers. You can find Dawn's books Grass, Trees, Sunshine and Driving Through Walls: My Supernatural Journey of Hope on Amazon and soon she will release a course called Hello Islam online! Make sure to check them out!
46 minutes | Aug 13, 2017
10: Freedom & Feels Like Redemption with Seth Taylor
In this episode, I am joined by Seth Taylor, the author of the book Feels Like Redemption. Seth shares his journey from pornography addiction into true freedom and why his journey is so different from what is often taught about addiction and the path to life. While the discussion begins with pornography, the stories and insights he shares apply not just to addiction but to being free in all areas of life. Discussing everything from challenging our belief systems and the importance of paying attention to our emotions and what our bodies are telling us, to the Holy Spirit and how to find true freedom, Seth definitely blows up some boxes. You can find out more about Seth at https://mypilgrimage.comand http://www.sethalantaylor.com.
33 minutes | Aug 7, 2017
9: Beautiful Gate, MS-13, and God’s Response to Sin with Bob Ekblad
In this episode, I am joined by Dr. Bob Ekblad. Bob is a professor, pastor, missionary, author, and much more. He has extensive experience ministering to people on the margins, including prisoners both in the United States and abroad. In this episode we talk about his new book, his work with MS-13 prisoners, and discuss the question of whether or not sin separates us from God. Bob has deeply influenced the way I minister as well as how I interact with Scripture so I am thrilled to get to share this conversation with you. You can find more about Bob by searching for his books on Amazon, as well as at http://www.bobekblad.comand http://www.tierra-nueva.org. I hope you enjoy this episode!
27 minutes | Jul 30, 2017
8: Genesis and The Big Bang
In this episode, I explore Genesis chapters 1 & 2, the Big Bang Theory, and the truth located in both. Science and Scripture have often been understood to be at odds with one another but I believe that they can both be trusted and act as sources of truth about life and God without contradicting one another. Maybe it's time we blow up the box that says there is a battle going on between Scripture and science.
19 minutes | Jul 23, 2017
7: The Art of Defending the Faith by Not Defending the Faith
In this episode, I dive into what I call the art of non-apologetics, defending the faith by not defending the faith. I look at our call to live as witnesses with a testimony rather than defense or prosecuting attorneys. God and the world don’t need defendants trying to debate people into belief or convince people of God’s existence with persuasive arguments, but faithful witnesses to love and truth. I share my own journey from apologetics into non-apologetics and how a it's meant a lot less anxiety and a lot more freedom.
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