Willy Wonka’s Heaven

"If you had asked me this question when I was a second grader, I could have answered this question just as simply as my second grade math problems. “Sin is the problem and everybody is going to hell. Jesus came to offer forgiveness so I would not go to hell but to heaven.” Answering this question was like simple math, no art was needed. I imagine many Christians today might answer in a similar way. The goal of God’s mission is that Christians escape hell by going to heaven. As a second grader living in the United States, I imagined heaven, the escape from hell, as a sort of utopian version of Disney Land meets Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory in Jamaica. While I do fully embrace the promise of heaven, I wonder if God’s healing and mission seeks something broader than simply my escaping hell and getting into a place where I get to satisfy all my desires, or at least eat lots of chocolate." ...  Keep reading

The World is My Canvas!

"Do I really have the permission to call the world around me my canvas? Do I have the freedom, the audacity, the creativity, and the imagination to wade in and create on that canvas? Or am I nothing more than a detached observer?"  [Paul Richardson, A Certain Risk, p. 109] We’ve been taught so often in our own cultural that to seek God is to seek solitude, peaceful settings, and quiet time. These are all good things. But I wonder, too, if sometimes we lose sight of the fact that we also meet with God in a very real way when we are sweeping across the canvas of our community and our city; that in our interactions with people we not only find ourselves thinking about God, but we begin to commune with him on a deeper level by actually walking with him. ...  Keep reading