Suffering


Stuck

Don’t get stuck in the rut of seeing the forest from (the perspective of) the trees. If you get close enough to any tree you will see blemishes, imperfections, and problems. Stand back and see the trees from (the perspective of) the forest and watch your worries decrease and your joy grow. When you see beauty as a whole or …Continue reading →

Blurred Lines of Morality

What to do when you feel overwhelmed about the blurred lines of morality? What to do when you feel grieved over the cross-pollination of good and evil, right and wrong, in our ever-changing culture? There’s been so much media-attention recently concerning the political views and actions of the Right and the Left. There’s a presidential election on the horizon and …Continue reading →

Self-Sacrifice

If we are to be like Christ, we must know something of self-sacrifice. To think that God will not refine us through the fires of pain and suffering, and melt away our imperfections like the dross of silver is to relegate the tao of Christianity. Let us embrace sufferings that serve to embrace our longing to be held tightly to …Continue reading →

Theological Happiness

I am sharing with you what is now Chapter 7 of my book Biblical Ethics. This happens to be my favorite chapter because it’s chock-full of vivid explanations of God’s emotional life and flourishing. It’s also a topic that is not talked about much from the pulpit, which I believe needs to be discussed in order to make sense of …Continue reading →

Eternity

I am not a songwriter but I did attempt to write a song once, while I attended Azusa Pacific University as a transfer student back in 2001. The lyrics speak of a fellow transfer student who I became close friends with during the last few months of her life before a fatal car accident. (I actually sang and played this …Continue reading →

NICARAGUA

NICARAGUA, my beloved homeland, has experienced more tumultuous revolutions than any other country in Central America. To better understand the current socio-political climate of Nicaragua, Alan Arnesto–long time family friend and proud Nicaragüense–gives us an up-close-and-personal depiction of Nicaragua’s longing for peace and prosperity, in the midst of governmental greed, scandal, corruption, and violence. “Ay Nicaragua, Nicaragüita, la flor mas …Continue reading →

Father

I wrote this poem about my relationship with my father a long time ago, but I always return to it like a homeless wanderer returning to his ole home town. I miss the way we’d hold hands At night As you dreamt of your pilot days And restless pride. I held your thick fingers And you cupped my lil hand …Continue reading →

Fear

Fear stifles love and ultimately imagination. To freely love and be loved (that is, to create a moment or memory with someone), one must stand ground in the presence of fear and its twin, condemnation, and smile in the dark. By the term “imagination” I mean the soul’s ability to freely create with bold, unapologetic pleasure. This courage and joy …Continue reading →

Clichés

I feel cruel leaving you behind with only crumpled currency. A leather glove of Mexican pelt reaches through the window into my world. “I must set boundaries,” so I tell myself. I inch across the border in a metallic time machine headed for a better life, so I think to myself. I offer only nickels and dimes wrapped with platitudes. …Continue reading →

Sumptuous Fruit

Like grape branches that must be lifted up and placed along a cross-like trellis to produce fruit, allow your thoughts and feelings to be lifted up to the Cross of Calvary, so the Gardner can cultivate virtuous fruit. If you let Him, He will lift up your heavy branches and wrap them around Himself, so their death will be swallowed …Continue reading →

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