Prejudice or Ignorance?

For the majority of my life I have always lived in culturally diverse places. For instance, as a child my closest friends were Filipino, Chinese, African American, Cambodian, Mexican, and even a couple white guys :-). My memories of summer consist primarily of delicious food. You name it, one of our friends had a grandma who could make it.

Fast forward twenty years I look around and see myself in an intercultural marriage. I love it. We have two amazingly handsome half Indian half white boys and we live in Washington. Liam PrayingOne unexpected challenge that we faced was the realization that an intercultural marriage was not the norm for many here. While I am unable to express the intentions of the looks that we have received, I can say with confidence the primary look that my wife and I get when walking in the city of Bellingham is confusion.

To be honest, I think my wife may have one of the best perspectives of what we have experienced and she shares about it on her blog – Check it out and feel free to leave a comment or question in regards to any questions that you may have!

Prejudice or Ignorance?? <——Click here.



Death – The Last Station on the Road to Freedom

In Bible College we never really talked about the practicality of death. Of course, we discussed the theology, implications, and consequences of death for the Christian but we never really discussed how to respond to the reality of death.

My wife loves Gray’s Anatomy. This popular TV show was actually the cause of significant fighting during our first year of marriage. The scenario played out like this. We would come home from work, eat dinner, and then Britt would say, “I need to catch up on Gray’s Anatomy, watch it with me.” My response every time was, “no”. Britt felt like I didn’t want to spend time with her, when really, deep inside I was dealing with some significant issues. From my perspective the entire show was filled with death. Death was packaged in a variety of creative ways always dealing with some kind of medical crisis. Regardless, I couldn’t stomach watching it. Then it hit me, why watch a show about death when there are real people that are dying all around us. These people have real families, real stories, real children, and they face a very real conversation with God after death.

As I have been processing through my feelings, fear, and honest resentment with death, BonhoefferDietrich Bonhoeffer has been a great help. Bonhoeffer comments about death in a sermon in 1933 stating,

“How do we know that dying is so dreadful? Who knows whether in our human fear and anguish, we are only shivering and shuddering at the most glorious, heavenly blessed even in the world? Death is hell and night and cold, if it is not transformed by our faith. But that is just what is so marvelous, that we can transform death.”

Bonhoeffer rightly describes the dilemma of death. In all honesty, none of us know what death is like. Our view of death is a combination of assumptions, fears, faith, belief, and simply our acceptance of an absolutely unknown part of life. As I look to the scriptures it seems clear that death presents an opportunity to bring glory to God.

Bonhoeffer referred to death as,

“the last station on the road to freedom”

While it remains certain that we don’t know explicitly what death will be like, we can know for sure that both death and life give us the opportunity to bring glory to God. As the Apostle Paul states in Phil 1:21, life brings the opportunity to live for Christ while death gives the opportunity to depart and be with our Father. From this perspective, there is a motivation to live for Christ but a sense of peace in understanding the outcome of death is to be with God.

Why Memoirs To My Kids?

To be very honest, the thought of writing a blog is not something that is incredibly appealing to me. I love theology, leadership, and discussing various philosophies of ministry. Writing blogs is not in that list. During some sermon preparation two years I ago, I started to see a consistent theme among pastors, theologians, scholars, and teachers that I valued and respected. They all wrote consistently. Some of my favorites like Charles Spurgeon, C.S Lewis, and Jonathan Edwards kept consistent journals and wrote to those that they loved. Hundreds of years later, there disciplined approach to writing left us with the ability to learn and grow from their thoughts.


Liam (left) and Levi (right)

17 months ago my son Liam was born and one week ago my second son Levi joined us. As I was praying I felt an overwhelming compulsion to start writing specifically to them. I wanted Liam and Levi to be able to read my thoughts and see how the Gospel was actively transforming their incredibly flawed and sinful father. I wanted to be able to provide them the opportunity to learn from my experiences, successes, failures, and hardships. With the desire that they would experience the incredible power and refining of the Gospel, even beyond what I have.

Liam and Levi are an absolute joy, and I pray that these posts would encourage others that stumble upon this blog to experience the beauty of the Gospel and grow in their affections for Christ.

My next post will be Levi’s story and how God showed us his Glory through some challenging moments these last 9 months.

– Joel