October 11, 2018 Justin Peter Gudel

“Whatever was just said or the actions that were displayed in public, I’d generally speak up in reassurance, saying, “It’s fine.  I’m extremely slow to take offense.’”   The Great Good Place posits that third places are, “where people can gather, put aside the concerns of work and home, and hang out simply for the…

September 24, 2018 Justin Peter Gudel

Lucky vs Taking Advantage of the Opportunity Vernon ‘Lefty’ Gomez was known to say, “I’d rather be lucky than good.” The scrappy five-time World Series champion was, get this, a left-handed pitcher. Ha! To call him a baseball player, would be to diminish how good he really was. Between 1933 and 1939, he was selected…

August 20, 2018 Justin Peter Gudel

“Positive fantasy happens when we put a small amount of effort into thinking about the future or what the future might hold while doing little to move towards that goal.”   Jon asked me, “How’s Punk doing?” He wasn’t asking about the music scene. He’s probably closer to fifty than forty and has grown kids…

July 17, 2018 Justin Peter Gudel

The Law is all those rules and regulations. It’s those hard guidelines that people include as being necessary for being a Christian or a righteous person. But note, we weren’t made for it, that is, our purpose wasn’t to follow the rules. My friend Alec is a writer. He knows it to his core. It’s…

July 1, 2018 Justin Peter Gudel

Deep down we’re all seeking something similar.  We have a specific desire — a better story for our lives.   If your hackles rise at the mention of the Bible, bear with me.  Stay with me for a moment if you’ve heard this story before. It’s going somewhere important. In John’s account of the whole…

June 18, 2018 Justin Peter Gudel

What’s worse, those theologians have such high sunken costs and a commitment to those rehearsed lines, that they will likely never be able to connect with certain audiences. I promised that we’d look at shame and seduction today. And we will, but first, more about me (please forgive my sarcastic ego and its tendency to…

May 29, 2018 Justin Peter Gudel

“In some ways, it’s impossible for us to think without words, and yet we all did it at one point in time.” It’s a humid 87 out in a treeless—thus shadeless—bit of strip mall.  A man pulls his 2003 diesel F150 up to a pump sitting out front of a gas station in need of…

April 23, 2018 Justin Peter Gudel

Why would a person even stop to listen? The secret, I never was. There is an entire field of academia dedicated to communication.  Additionally, the behavioral sciences also illustrate why some messages are heard and stick.  There is some heady stuff in these disciplines, and they are both worth years of devotion. Only having a…

March 31, 2018 Justin Peter Gudel

Here’s the first half of my point.  If you’re not careful, your work of charity can come across as a stick and carrot.  “I’ll feed you as long as you sit through my sermon.” It grinds my goat when I hear dynamic descriptions of what a congregation is planning, followed by a rate of return…

March 17, 2018 Justin Peter Gudel

“A gun is a toy.  A weapon has a single purpose.” Three years ago, I was listening to my friend Isaac describe his time in boot camp.  We were at a tiny coffee house downtown, tucked between financial offices and several trendy restaurants—at least one of which was obscured in artistically done graffiti.  At that…