Author: Justin Bowers

logos and the baker leadership collection

A while back, Dan King shot me a brief e-mail asking if I’d be interested in reviewing some books for the Logos Bible Software folks.  As a long-time user of Logos, I jumped at the opportunity! Here’s the lowdown on Logos: I haven’t found better Bible study tools.  As a kid growing up in rural West Virginia, my exposure to commentaries, theological resources, etc. was somewhat limited.  I remember in my first class at seminary thinking, “I just hope the prof points us in the right direction for the best resources to study Scripture.”  She did.  And it was...

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vagrant spirituality

“So easily ‘spirituality’ becomes a cafeteria through which we walk making selections according to our taste an appetite… confinement turns into concentration, illusion transmutes into hope, death changes to resurrection.” – Eugene Peterson I’m a bit of a vagrant when it comes to the work of discipleship. I wander from tool to tactic to grow in my walk. Some days its a chapter of a book early in the morning. Other days a reading plan from Youversion. And still others its simply burying my head in the busyness of the day ahead. The reality is, as Peterson writes above, I...

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lessons from the slum congregation

“There is not an honest pastor in the land who is not deeply aware of the slum conditions that exist in the congregation and, therefore, the unending task of clearing out the garbage, finding space for breathing, getting adequate nourishment, and venturing into the streets day after day, night after night, risking life and limb in acts of faith and love.” – Eugene Peterson, “Under the Predictable Plant“ Yesterday, I spent the morning in three separate meetings. The first was with a young man fighting a battle with alcohol. The second was a strong leader in our congregation hungry...

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the alchemy of hope

Most of us, at one time or another, feel we have little value to offer to the world around us.  Whether this feeling has a pervasive death-grip on our lives or it is merely held in the fleeting moments of our pessimism, we know it is often a very real feeling. What difference can I make? What do I have to offer? Is it worth my time? Does that situation really need my input? But then there’s this word I’ve been thinking about… Alchemy. It’s defined as any process of “transmuting a common substance, usually of little value, into...

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he smells like mouthwash

Each Sunday he shows up.  He stumbles in, unkempt and a little noisy.  Typically his daughters come with him.  (They love our children’s ministry.)  He sits in the metal folding chairs in our little church plant startup meeting at our local VFW Bingo Hall.  Usually, he sits near the back, a little out of place but tears in his eyes during the entire teaching.  He is a walking picture of one man’s alcoholic struggles. Monday he calls me.  Usually 2-4 times just on Monday.  Not for any particular reason, but more or less because he just wants someone to...

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beware: your kids may one day read the bible

I live with four women.  And our dog is female too.  This means we are a very verbal household.  At any one point in the day, it is common to have three to four conversations directed at me simultaneously.  Seriously.  My mind freezes and I lock up.  Many times I’ve thrown my hands up (in a spiritual act of surrender), and shouted (in a very unspiritual act of humanity), “One of you has to stop talking!” But then there are those divine moments in our family.  There are times when I am able to unplug from the daily stranglehold...

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