From the monthly archives: June 2014

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Digital Interval for June 24: A Burden for All


Last week, we published our first Digital Interval — a “devotional” video of easily digestible length.

The name is a take on a running term. According to, Intervals are a type of training “in which short, fast ‘repeats’ or ‘repetitions’ ... are alternated with slow ‘intervals’ of jogging for recovery ... interval training builds speed and endurance.”

So, these videos are short bursts from Sunday sermons to augment your training and build endurance (1 Corinthians 9:24-27; 2 Timothy 4:7; Hebrews 12:1-2). I guess I’m not really sure if the Sunday messages are the “intervals” and these short clips are the “repeats.” Sometimes metaphors break down sooner than you want.

At any rate, make what you will of today’s “training.” The bulk of it centers around Mitch's story of a pastor who befriends a lesbian couple who moved in next door. The theme: God wants us to have an unconditional, passionate commitment to the care and well-being of everyone — even those that we would easily label as “other.”

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The Single Life, Part III: Choosing to Live with Joy


A few years ago, I was pretty dissatisfied with my life. Single and in my early 30s, watching yet another set of friends pair up, feeling like it was time to give up on ever getting married. I remember one particular night as tears were pouring from my eyes, crying out to God, “If I’m going to be single for the rest of my life, please make it worth it!”

I believed something then and I don’t think I was the only one. It was a misconception about singleness that I think is very common in the church today and is summed up very well by a famous pastor from the Pacific Northwest:

“If you are called to singleness, you should feel called to Martyrdom … if God is going to call you to singleness he is going to call you to a particularly difficult ministry that would not work were you married.” 

This way of thinking is, unfortunately, something that I was taught for a long time and now haunts me in my mid 30s. It is, by all human standards, a negative statement, equating the purpose of singleness with sacrifice, pain and death. No wonder no one wants to be single! What a terrible attitude toward life! Is a more sacrificial life really the purpose of singleness?

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Daddy Issues: On America's Search to End Father Hunger


There is no enduring culture in which cowardly men are esteemed, or in which brave men are held in contempt. There is no enduring culture in which lazy men are celebrated while hardworking men are despised. —Dr. Leonard Sax, author of Boys Adrift

This was the third year I got to celebrate father’s day as a father, and it is quickly becoming one of my favorite holidays throughout the year.

But only 60 percent of babies born in the U.S. could say they celebrated Father’s Day with a dad that’s married to their mom. This means that nearly half of kids growing up these days don’t understand what the word “father” means. This term is becoming more vague, meaningless and foreign in our country. Why is this?

Looking at the historical divorce rates, it wasn’t really until “no-fault divorce” was introduced in California in 1969 that divorce rates began to soar. Suddenly, no reason or proof of wrongdoing had to be given for a husband or wife to break their covenant vows. On the heels of this turn, divorce rates went from about 10 percent of marriages ending in divorce to holding steady around 50 percent today.

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Summitview's Small Groups Are Getting the Reboot



Many of us find it hard to know how our life matters. Oh, we have our goals and aspirations. But when we reflect on these aspirations, many of them reveal themselves to be temporary and self-exalting. Few of them seem to make the kind of difference for which we hunger.

It reminds me of Walt Whitman’s poem “Oh Me, O Life” — you know, the one we hear Robin Williams recite in Apple's iPad Air commercial:


Oh me! Oh life! of the questions of these recurring,

Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish …


What good amid these, O me, O life?

Answer. That you are here—that life exists and identity,

That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.


"Amid these" there is a powerful play going on. It is the history of redemption. And we may contribute a verse of eternal significance! This is one of the tremendous graces we have received as children of God. Our lives can be significant beyond our wildest imagination, even with our one verse.

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The Single Life, Part II: The Purpose of Desire


I have heard many sermons that describe the purpose of marriage as a picture of the oneness and relational unity present in the Trinity. Marriage is, therefore, an expression of God’s image — theImago Dei.

But is there a parallel picture that singleness reveals? If we wish to reach a culture that is nearly 50 percent single, we need to have a healthy community where both marrieds and singles feel valuable and have a solid understanding of the purpose to which they have been called. I believe that singleness offers a unique expression of the Imago Dei to a world that desperately needs to see the beauty of our Savior.

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