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Fighting Our Battles

This morning I woke up and began praying the prayers and scriptures below. It felt a bit superstitious, but it also felt like the right thing to do in light of what’s going on in the life of my family. If you’ve ever read the Bible, one thing you will notice is how much of it uses the language of conflict: “The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy…” John 10:10“Put on the whole armor...

The Eternal Now

My favorite passage from Jerry Sittser’s book, A Grace Disguised, which he wrote after losing his mom, wife, and daughter in a car accident reads, “I have this sense that the story God has begun to write he will finish. That story will be good. The accident remains now, as it always has been, a horrible experience that did great damage to us and to so many others. It was and will remain a very...

On the Release of my Book, Walking in the Dark

The following is a conversation from the podcast, Behind the Message, hosted by Ben Fleming and Evan Earwicker (audio of the entire conversation is embedded at the end of this post). Evan Earwicker: Welcome to Season 3 of Behind the Message. We’re here with Pastor Steve Mickel and, Steve, you’re releasing your new book, Walking in the Dark. Steve Mickel: My sister said, “You...

Walking in The Dark

“I shall look at the world through tears. Perhaps I shall see things that dry-eyed I could not see.” – Nicholas Wolterstorff On June 16, 2016, my life plunged into pitch-black darkness, when my oldest son Chase died in a car accident. The death of a child is like having a bright light suddenly extinguished in the middle of the night and not being able to see anything until your...

Interview: Is God Good?

Moderator: You recently preached a message on the goodness of God, which I think can normally come off as too broad of a topic. Many times, the broader we get in our sermons, the more bland they become. And yet, because of what you’ve walked through these past few years after the death of your son, talking about the goodness of God is anything but bland. Steve: Right. I have struggled with...

For the City

I’ve been thinking about the change in seasons here in Central Oregon and how we will soon enter the dry months of summer. Our world also needs the water of life – the water that Jesus offers.The good news of Jesus has to be good news for now, not just for eternity, or it’s not good news. The world needs Jesus and it needs Jesus to be in us working through us. Too often, the message of Jesus is...

Live In The Light

Light reveals what is in me, both what is good and what is bad. Can you remember one of the worst things you’ve done in the dark? And now imagine if someone had turned on the lights right then. Terrifying. We’ve brought that fear into the church and we theologize it by saying how God can’t be in the presence of unholy people. Even though when we first screwed up, He went out looking for us. He...

When Darkness Becomes Clear

Have you ever been on the Mummy Ride at Universal Studios? It is dark. Really dark. It makes you feel lost and confused and fearful and very, very sick. When darkness enters our lives in different ways, it has a way of doing the same to us. There is a lot of confusion, emptiness and fear when things are unknown and unclear. We desire light and clarity in these moments. But where does the light...

Darkness Reveals Light

I was recently in San Diego with my family. My son has taken up a love of photography and while we were there he was taking photos of everything. I realized as he set up shots, changing settings on the camera, that the quality of his photos were dependent on the level of light let in through the shutter. It lets light in or keeps it out. If you set things correctly, you can take a great photo in...

Jesus is Connection

We long for connection. Some of the greatest inventions have to do with getting us closer to one another; removing the distance between us: boats, wheels, trains, cars, telephones, radios, airplanes, the internet. On and on the list goes. It’s clear: we are built for connection. Look at what Jesus says in John 17: I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through...

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