Recent Posts

When I was asked to write a guest Christmas post for you all, the instructions were clear – it had to smell like Christmas. I agreed – but let’s skip the angels, manger, wise men and camels and get to the real smell of Christmas. Darrell Bock in his book Recovering the Real Lost Gospel writes, “The gospel…is not about avoiding something, but gaining someone precious” (emphasis mine). That takes me into the heart of Christmas – and Jesus’ invitation in Luke 9:23.

I sat across the table from my Vietnamese friend, drinking coffee on a Friday afternoon and talking about hope. “Ryan” he said, “the people in Vietnam have no hope. I want to believe it can be better, but it is hard to believe sometimes.” I paused, prayed, and asked the Holy Spirit to guide whatever came out of my mouth next. “Do you think we should pray every day for a month that God would help Vietnam?” He considered the question and then said, “I will pray every day for a month. And if nothing happens after that, I will pray the next month, and the month after that.”

Studying Scripture recently, I have been seeing a motivational theme in the New Testament. The authors continually motivate their audience to engage with their encouragements and instructions by reminding them of who God has remade them to be in Christ. They don't simply say, "you should do ____" (although they should). I call this "Identity-Driven Obedience."

What does it look like to serve with The Navigators Collegiate Ministry? A little something like this...

One party. Eleven hours. Three houses. Thirty-five students packed into living rooms and kitchens eating fajitas and playing games. “Mega Game Night” was the second event this semester hosted by Austin, a junior engineering major involved in The Navigators ministry at Texas A&M University. Interestingly, Austin (pictured with me - he's on the right) is a hard-core introvert who would prefer studying completely alone all day. Austin’s quick to say, “I like being by myself.”