Archives For Rethink Faith

What to do for Lent: Drive in silence

“What to do for Lent?” This was the question I asked myself as I drove to my Silicon Valley job on the morning of Ash Wednesday. The only thing I’d decided was to work through an email Lent devotional. But that wasn’t enough. I had a feeling God wanted to lead me somewhere else.

Giving up something for Lent is clichéd, but…

Asking “what to do for Lent?” is still a fairly new thing for me. I resist the idea of “giving up something for Lent” because it feels so cultural, even in a post-Christian context. At work, my friends (who are mostly atheist / agnostic / ehh, whatever) were jokingly asking each other, “Is that something you’re giving up for Lent?” I don’t see any spiritual seeking in it. It’s kind of like a New Year’s resolution, except with an end date.

I’m more drawn to the idea of doing something, rather than giving something up. But what if the two aren’t so different? What if giving something up for Lent isn’t pointless self-flagellation? What if it’s a journey to take with God? What if giving something up for Lent creates room to do something else?

That thought rang in my head as I continued my drive. Suddenly, I knew what to do for Lent this year… Continue Reading…

Lent Wallpaper for iPhone

February 24, 2012
Lent wallpaper for iPhone

My iPhone lock screen for Lent

One thing I’m doing for Lent this year is setting the wallpaper on my various devices. On my computers, I use the downloads CRM provides as companions for their email Lent devotional. That way, I’m looking at a verse and imagery that matches the devotional. But it doesn’t work on a phone, so I made this simple Lent wallpaper for iPhone use.

I wish I knew who designed the original image, so I could give them credit. A Google image search for “lent desktop” shows it all over the place, so it’s hard to say. But I took the original image, adding a slight white border on the sides. It’s cropped so that the word LENT is visible above the unlock slider, and above the iPhone page indicator dots. (Note that this is specifically for an iPhone screen, and won’t work well for an iPad.)

Setting this Lent image as your iPhone wallpaper is a little complicated. I’ll walk you through, step by step. Continue Reading…

Lent Devotional via Email

February 16, 2012

Following Jesus: 2012 Lent Devotional

Lent starts next Wednesday! Starting in 2010 (when God interrupted my Lenten prayer),  I’ve enjoyed the Lent devotional provided by CRM:

  • Church Resource Ministries is an organization I highly respect. They’re doing missional work around the world, including the United States.
  • The thoughts and questions come from CRM’s missional focus. There’s no fluff. It’s real, personal and honest.
  • The format is a daily devotional email during Lent. The daily reminder in my technological world helps keep me grounded.

With a smart phone, you can have the email devotional in your hand, wherever you are. I like to take a mid-morning break during my workdays and walk around outside with my iPhone. I walk slowly and meditatively, holding the thoughts, questions and prayers against the backdrop of both nature and workplace.

To sign up for this email devotional, go to Click the “Lent and Week of Prayer mailings” checkbox.

God’s ways are upside-down: a meditation on Christmas, and a blessing for you…

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Jesus says Occupy Wall Street

Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street, and Jesus Christ? A series of tweets and Facebook posts led me to a surprising discovery…

“If Jesus communicated kingdom stories/parables in our context today, what stories would he tell?” This is the question J.R. Briggs posed on Twitter. He followed it up with 11 surprising parables. Here’s my own tweeted contribution:

But things didn’t stop there, and this parable came back to haunt me. The kingdom of God is like… Occupy Wall Street? Continue Reading…

Banksy's flower thrower is a parable

If Jesus communicated kingdom stories / parables in our context today, what stories would he tell?

This was the question J.R. Briggs posed on Twitter. I would have shared it right away, but this was 11 months ago, while this blog was in remission.

But I loved the question so much, I saved it for future posting, along with J.R.’s own 11 examples. And now, the time has come!

1. The kingdom of God is like a flash mob in the food court of a shopping mall… Continue Reading…

There’s a whole side of Advent that we miss by not looking to the second coming of Christ. And what are we supposed to be doing between the First Advent and the Second Advent?

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If you ever love to sing, as I do, I think you’ll find this amazing. Composer and conductor Eric Whitacre had a crazy idea: He’d post a video of himself conducting one of his vocal pieces, but without a choir. The virtual choir would be provided by individuals replying with their own videos of themselves singing.

How had I not heard about this? I happened to stumble across a TED talk where Whitacre explains his first such project, uploaded to YouTube on in May 2010: Continue Reading…


What does it feel like to be saved?

Are you saved by what you believe?

I use the term “saved” cautiously, knowing that it won’t communicate what I mean to many, especially (but not limited to) my atheist friends. But I want to be clear: Living into the Way of Jesus is neither a set of beliefs you subscribe to, nor a set of actions you aspire to.

There’s a longstanding see-saw debate among Christians: Are you saved by what you believe? Or saved by what you do?

If I may I be so bold: No. And no. Continue Reading…

My Encounter with God

September 29, 2011

My unexpected encounter with God this past Sunday all started when I perused Google+…

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