It’s Time to Be the Welcome Mat

It’s Time to Be the Welcome Mat

At first glance, the little welcome mat looks much like something you’d find at World Market or Pier One. Strips of fabric sewn together make a durable gathering place for shoes that have journeyed near or far. But in the corner, a canvas tag is a reminder that this is much more than a rug. It is redemption. And it is a hopeful invitation to the church. The tag simply says, “Love Welcomes.” Tennessee-based Thistle Farms, a nonprofit dedicated to healing, empowering and employee women survivors... Read More
What is Our Real Purpose? Three Reminders from the Vicar in a School Cafeteria

What is Our Real Purpose? Three Reminders from the Vicar in a School Cafeteria

“You are never more like God than when you invest in other people.” Reggie Joiner The Vicar of the small church in a Texas suburb adjusts the colorful stole that’s draped over his blue jeans, boots, and button-down shirt. It’s a decidedly different look than the traditional vestments he wore when he pastored an Episcopalian church on the eastern seaboard. There, history was rich and long, and the pews and stained glass reminded all who attended that the building they were in was designed for... Read More
What a Small Clapboard Church Can Teach Us About Success

What a Small Clapboard Church Can Teach Us About Success

It was a typical July morning in Oklahoma, with the sun and clouds playing a game of keep away as thunderstorms threatened the horizon. The small clapboard church sat just off the highway that took most of the town’s residents to their jobs in the sprawling city nearby. Not much had changed since the church found its home on the corner near some railroad tracks. There was a narthex, the wooden panel walls held paintings of Jesus tending to His own, and the painted pews creaked a little. The... Read More
The Real Power of Our Testimonies

The Real Power of Our Testimonies

“A religion that is small enough for our understanding would not be big enough for our needs.” – Corrie Ten Boom They come with questions. Every Sunday morning, every weeknight at small group, every waking hour on Facebook or Twitter or in our inboxes, the questions are there, wrapped around breaking news reports or the latest research or the story of life forever changed just down the road. “What does God say about what’s happening in our world?” “What am I supposed to believe right now?”... Read More
Give Your Kids MORE This Christmas

Give Your Kids MORE This Christmas

He stands like a guard in the backyard, and there’s no escaping his presence. The inflatable snowman climbs down from the attic the day after Thanksgiving and makes his way to his Christmas home. I remember the day we got him more than a decade ago. “That’s Burl Ives!” I exclaimed as he came to life. Yes, our snowman is no regular Frosty. He’s the snowman from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. He is Burl Ives, complete with goatee and umbrella. He doesn’t look like any of the other decorations,... Read More