I am back from the land of the Vikings. I can’t help but have Led Zeppelin songs echo through my head whenever I’m driving up there, especially Immigrant Song. Howling winds, ice cold rain, grey skies, Vikings, oh yea!

A new experience in the land of the ice and snow, speaking in a funeral home! We had to go fully remote for my second talk to first responders and their families – so we used the facilities from Anderson Funeral Home.

I’ve noticed something very important in my talks lately, and Minnesota was not different. There is a shift taking place in America among many people, and it’s not what you might think. Lockdowns, fear, social media, rioting, etc. have opened a lot of eyes that one reason we’ve been so easily broken as a country is that for too long we’ve been consumed by consumption: consumer things, giving up family/faith/friends, the education of our children - all for the ambition of bigger homes, 401ks, fads, fashions, celebrity culture, and the cult of sports.

People are coming back. People are realizing the importance of deep things that matter.

If we live deeply, and spiritually, supporting each other, each day is an opportunity for something important and timeless.

Matthew 18:20

“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”

Today is an awesome day, in the Land of the Ice and Snow, or wherever you are. Stand up, be strong, speak out, live deeply and fiercely.

September 29, 2020

What Will Be On Your Runestone?

What a great day in Alexandria, Minnesota. Vikings and Community!

The Kensington runestone was found in 1898, and while most scholars thinks it’s a hoax, it tells the tale of Viking Adventurers around the late 1300s who made it to what is now Minnesota before most of their party was massacred. The survivors allegedly created this runestone as evidence of their journey.

Quite a story, and a great event today in Alexandria. This was a community affair, and as I shared that a proper response to caring for first responders required a community plan, I realized that as our society seems to disintegrate, we all need to do the same thing. We need to gather with our family and friends and plan. If we don't, we are likely to end up isolated and lost like the Kensington Vikings.

September 28, 2020

Crazy Russians and Lake Wobegon

Driving from the airport in Minneapolis-St. Paul to Alexandria I stumbled upon Charlie’s Café in Freeport, MN on the Lake Wobegon trail. I met a Russian motorcyclist. His motorcycle was pimped out Mad Max style and his smile was full of mischievousness. 

He told me about Russian churches a 1000 years old and "serious" religion. Quite a character to meet on a stop along the Lake Wobegon trail.

In a roundabout way it reminded me of something I had read on the flight to Minnesota from a 5th Century Bishop, Diadochus:

“Very few men can accurately recognize their own faults; indeed, only those can do this whose intellect is never torn away from the remembrance of God.”

September 25, 2020

What is Real Worship?

Yesterday, we talked about the widow in poverty giving everything she had to Christ. She wasn’t worried about worldly concerns, only giving to God. This is worship. This is an example to judge our worship by.

Is your worship pure and leading to the Kingdom of God, or tainted by the world and leading to destruction? Do you approach God like the widow or the child, or like the rich, only giving what you can spare?


September 24, 2020

The Poor Widow and Real Wealth

It is easy to look down on those who have less than us, yet they are the ones often most nestled in the arms of God.

It is also easy to look down on our own lives, see what we are missing, and despair. Yet, it is here you might very well be closest to understanding the Good News of Christ. He came for you. Often, the things you think you want leave us empty. The thing you need most is all you are left with when you are broken.

When the spirit of God is your companion, you are never alone. Getting there requires the mindset of the widow, you give all that you have, that last drop of hope or your small copper coin, and then God allows you to see all of life as your companion – the stranger, the widow, the mentally ill, the prisoner.

Social Media exists to do one thing, make money. To do that, you are the product. You are the commodity needed for their growth. And our children.

The example we set can lead to destruction. or prayer. We have allowed media to encircle us and enter our homes because we did not recognize what was happening and do something soon enough. But there is another way.

I came home the other day and my nine-year old Gabriel was running from the woods with a stick. He was excited, he had just seen three deer in the woods. He’d been on patrol, as he put it.

He has no electrical device of his own. His screen time M-F is probably zero. We let me him watch documentaries and a movie on the weekend, supervised. The kid is Beskar steel, energy, excitement, constantly talking about the adventures he has ahead of him.

What are many of his 9-year old peers doing? Staring at screens, getting soft, being raised by someone other than their parents.

It’s hard, but it can be done. That boy starts every day standing in prayer with his brothers and sisters. Day after day, year after year, it makes a difference.

Will your home be a house of prayer, or a den of thieves?

What do we sacrifice for screen time? 

More importantly, who is that sacrifice to?

September 21, 2020

The Real Social Dilemma

The Netflix docudrama, The Social Dilemma, is centered on words of warning from former tech employees at Google, Facebook, Twitter, and others. They manipulate you to stay on your device and buy stuff. They try to get society to move in the direction they want 1% at a time. As you have probably heard, if you aren’t paying, you are the product.

But it is more than selling products. It is influencing societal norms and determining what is "truth". And when we allow children to connect, they are lost.

September 18, 2020

The Splendid Glory of CS Lewis

Truth can transcend time, and lessons from the past can seem like prophecies in our current times. I want to spend today discussing some nuggets from the great CS Lewis that are now almost 70 years old, but as relevant as they were then.

“Each day we are becoming a creature of splendid glory or one of unthinkable horror.”

“No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good.”

“When we Christians behave badly, or fail to behave well, we are making Christianity unbelievable to the outside world.”

Read yet another article today about a soldier suicide. It was accompanied by more pontification from some General on how they need to change the culture. They've been saying that for eternity. Act, or just shut up, and admit the lives of our military are pieces on a game board to you.

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