On This Day in Histo...

I want to tell you a story. Five years ago today, I got dropped off on Biola University’s campus to catch a ride with a stranger to the Bay Area for Spring Break. My dear friend Sarah and her parents had graciously invited me to spend the week at their home on a vineyard in wine country...

Gracious Light

It can all come to feel so mundane. Established. Foreseeable. So taken for granted. It’s a given. The daily commute. The workday. The repetition. All the hours, and things that we will do in them and see in them mapped out. We come to feel a certain predictability in our routines. We know...

Are We God’s Pawns? Jan08

Are We God’s P...

A pastor once told me that God’s people are simply pawns in his ultimate plan to glorify himself. Seriously. He said “pawns.” That would be a great metaphor if chess players actually loved their pawns, but they don’t. The world’s greatest chess player never loved his pawns, much less...

God in the Mosh-Pit

I’m not sure what I thought I would find when I stepped inside the gymnasium the last Saturday night in March. I know that I was hoping to find my sister and enjoy the show–but I considered neither of those very likely given the crowd of people crammed inside the gym and the fact...

Birthday Resolutions

Today is my birthday. I’ve always considered it my own personal New Year. Billions of people celebrate new beginnings on January 1st, but on June 20th that number drops to mere millions. (Two worth noting: fellow blogger Caleb Johnson and my dad.) So, in honor of another year, here are some...

I’m Happy for ...

One night a few years ago, I was reading through Romans and stumbled upon an extraordinary command from Paul’s pen: Rejoice with those who rejoice (Romans 12:15). I’d read it before, even quoted it, but something stood out this time. Struck by its simplicity and its strangeness, I...

Letter to Myself at ...

Dear Bryan, You’re probably at the piano, writing songs about things you know nothing about, like love and loss. Or doing vocal warm-ups so you can audition for that blasted show choir. (Don’t bother. You won’t make it until your senior year, and when you do, you’ll become a bigger...

Joy to the WorldR...

What does Christmas joy look like? And if so, how do we obtain it? This month, I’ve noticed that a lot of my Christmas reflections have sought to explore the emotional and spiritual dissonance that the soul can fall prey to during Christmastide. Personally, I do believe that nostalgia is not...

“Forgotten Christian...

“I am trading my sorrows, I am trading my shame I am laying them down for the joy of the Lord… I am trading my sickness, I am trading my pain, I am laying them down for the joy of the Lord!” “Yes Lord, Yes Lord…” And “Yes Lord…” ad nauseam. Most of us are familiar with...

Sex & Eschatolo...

I remember when I was younger being told that Jesus could come back at any moment.  Instead of erupting in joy at such a statement I would often think that Jesus should wait, perhaps until I have at least been married and had sex first.  Now, I’m fairly confident that I’m not in...

Alcohol in the Bible...

“Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” This quote, uttered by Benjamin Franklin, is closer to the mark than most Christians may realize. Growing up in a fairly conservative evangelical tradition (albeit in Las Vegas!), I was basically raised to believe that...