Beyond Boundaries - 006 - Learning To Truly Love Our Gay Son

While at Q Conference last month I was able to connect with Rob and Linda Robertson and do this episode of Beyond Boundaries. This may be one of the most important episode yet. The hours shared with Rob and Linda were holy for me. This conversation reminded me that God’s grace is at work right here and right now in our lives. It also gave me hope for a new, more beautiful, reality being birthed out of pain. God is so good at repurposing our stories. I want to warn you in advance that this episode is an emotional rollercoaster. Many tears were shed as we recorded this. Lots of pain, but lots of hope.

Find out more about Rob and Linda at the following links

Just Because He Breathes Website

Exodus International Video

Gay Christian Network Video

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If you have questions or comments you’d like us to consider for future Beyond Boundaries episodes please comment below. I want this podcast to spark meaningful conversations so please let feel free to use the comment section below as a chance to dialogue or reach out to me @pastorjustindouglas on Instagram.

Beyond Boundaries - 005 - Mom I'm Gay

On this episode of Beyond Boundaries I sit down with Susan Cottrell of FreedHearts.org and hear her story. She wrote a book titled, "Mom I’m Gay." She supports, educates, and encourages many parents who have LGBTQIA children. She is primarily working with parents in faith communities who are struggling with how to respond to their LGBTQIA children.

RESOURCES AND LINKS:

Find out more about FreedHearts

Susan Cottrell Ted Talk

Mom I’m Gay Book

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If you have questions or comments you’d like us to consider for future Beyond Boundaries episodes please comment below. I want this podcast to spark meaningful conversations so please let feel free to use the comment section below as a chance to dialogue or reach out to me @pastorjustindouglas on Instagram.

Beyond Boundaries - 004 - Jared Meyers

On this episode of Beyond Boundaries I sit down with Jared Meyers and we talk through his story. Jared is a coach at Crossfit Gamma and has also started his own personal training and nutrition coaching business, New Life Hershey LLC. His story is heartbreaking, inspiring, and necessary. I am so thankful Jared took some time to share his experience with us.

You can find out more about Jared here:

www.newlifehersheyllc.com

www.facebook.com/jared.meyers.908

www.instagram.com/wodinit/

www.instagram.com/workoutpenguin/

www.hersheybarbellandfitness.com

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If you have questions or comments you’d like us to consider for future Beyond Boundaries episodes please comment below. I want this podcast to spark meaningful conversations so please let feel free to use the comment section below as a chance to dialogue or reach out to me @pastorjustindouglas on Instagram.

Beyond Boundaries - 003 - Who Is God?

I sit down with Brendan Acebo and we talk theology. Brendan is an amazing young leader and thinker in the church. We talk through his theological journey and experience. We talked about atonement theory and our concerns with penal substitutionary atonement, non-violence and enemy love, grace and judgement, and much much more. You will find that we are largely answering two questions: 1. Who is God? 2. Is God angry? Maybe these are questions you’ve pondered at times. Hope you find this conversation helpful.

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If you have questions or comments you’d like us to consider for future Beyond Boundaries episodes please comment below. I want this podcast to spark meaningful conversations so please let feel free to use the comment section below as a chance to dialogue or reach out to me @pastorjustindouglas on Instagram.

Beyond Boundaries - 002 - Marge

On this second episode of Beyond Boundaries I sit down with Marge Kokal and we talk about her life story. Marge is an amazing person with an incredible story. Enjoy. #story #lifestory #Marge 

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If you have questions or comments you’d like us to consider for future Beyond Boundaries episodes please comment below. I want this podcast to spark meaningful conversations so please let feel free to use the comment section below as a chance to dialogue or reach out to me @pastorjustindouglas on Instagram.

Beyond Boundaries - 001 - Evolution

Pastor Justin Douglas and Nathan McConkey discuss the intersection of faith and science on this very first episode of Beyond Boundaries.

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If you have questions or comments you’d like us to consider for future Beyond Boundaries episodes please comment below. I want this podcast to spark meaningful conversations so please let feel free to use the comment section below as a chance to dialogue or reach out to me @pastorjustindouglas on Instagram.

What Snowboarding Teaches Us About Innovation

When I was only one year old there was a debate happening about the role of snowboarding in our culture and on our ski slopes. Check out this video from 1985.

The video ends with the reporter asking, “Do you see any compromise in the future at all?” The person representing skiing replies, “No. No. Skiing is becoming more and more popular and if these boards become more and more popular it’s going to be more hassles, more confrontations, so we’d just like to say, ‘we don’t want them at all.’”

It is fascinating to look back and see how innovation is often feared. Safety becomes a reoccurring theme whenever anyone steps up and challenges the status quo.

Think of two relatively new companies, Uber and Airbnb. How many of us ten years ago ever thought we’d get in a car to hitch a ride with a stranger that wasn’t driving a taxi? How many of us thought we’d stay over at some random persons personal house or apartment? Yet, these innovations challenged all the naysayers proclaiming, “No one would do that, it isn’t safe.” They found ways to do it, and in relatively safe ways. Even more, the market has spoken, we participated and continue to participate in these new ideas.

The same thing happened with snowboarding years ago. Based on this video it would’ve shocked nearly everyone, including the snowboarders, to get a glimpse into the future of snowboarding.

  • Snowboarding became an olympic sport in 1998 (just thirteen years after this video).

  • “Approximately 97% of all ski areas in North America and Europe allow snowboarding, and more than half have jumps, rails and half pipes.” (Wikipedia: Snowboarding)

  • In the 2010-2011 snowboarding season there were 8.2 million participants (NY TIMES)

  • Not to mention Shaun White is a household name.

Snowboarding is no longer the fresh new innovative thing. But we can learn from the rise of snowboarding and the ever present challenge to innovative new ideas. Three things you’ll likely hear one way or another.

1 - “YOUR IDEA WON’T WORK!”

As Taylor Swift says, “Haters gonna hate.” If you are doing anything new and worthwhile it will likely bring about those who are gonna hate on it. It doesn’t mean they are monsters or against you. It may just mean they haven’t caught the vision you have for where this thing is going. Maybe you are able to help them catch the vision and maybe not. It is my guess that the dude in the video wasn’t going to come around to the idea of snowboarding over hot cocoa with some snowboarders. Learn who your haters are, those who aren’t going to get it, and learn how to block them out. The mid to late adopters are the ones you want to share the vision with, even if they are apprehensive or against it initially. Apprehension is not shade. Getting these mid or late adopters in your corner makes a huge difference because once on board they are loyal and committed to the idea.

2 - “IT ISN’T SAFE!”

I am not sure what you are innovating. Maybe safety is a huge issue in your leadership lane and you really do have to consider this, but often it is an excuse to remain committed to the status quo. In my line of work safety is often labeled as remaining doctrinally sound or rooted in scripture. While I respect and understand these sentiments, there are also many innovations the church has experienced over 2,000 years that were considered heresy at the time of their inception. Many of those innovations are now considered proper doctrine and rooted in scripture, and even if they aren't, they are no longer questioned as legitimate. Your industry likely has a similar cyclical history. The cry for safety can often the enemy of innovation. No matter what innovation you’re working with, there is always an element of risk to anything new. So ask yourself, “Am I willing to take a risk to try a new approach and step into an innovative method?”

3 - “JUST WAIT, IT ISN’T THE RIGHT TIME YET!”

Change is going to happen. If you’ve caught the vision then don’t wait. We often desire tons of affirmation before we move on something that is risky. We want to make sure we got the roadmap all laid out before we start the car and begin moving. The problem with this is that innovative leadership is partly visionary and partly reactionary. When you are disrupting a market or a church system there is no way to know how your vision is going to be received. It will require a level of reactionary leadership as the environment shifts and changes. It could at times get more volatile, or you could be accepted, therefore your platform/market share elevated. These potential outcomes will require new approaches and methods. So don’t wait until you have the road map, because usually the path you lay out initially isn’t the one you will actually travel. Go for it. If you have an innovative vision for something new, put the car in drive and get moving, but keep looking forward and reacting to the change of scenery.

Snowboarding teaches us a lot about innovation. What are you learning about innovation?

Are We Being Consumed By Consumerism?

I remember last year when my wife Brittney and I just happened to stumble into the Black Friday left overs. The grandparents were watching the kids and we were headed out to dinner while on vacation to enjoy the rare kid free moment to ourselves. 

The restaurant we went to was right next to an outlet mall and we decided we’d walk the outlet mall after dinner. We’d completely forgot it was Black Friday. We were in vacation mode and it just wasn’t on our mind. 

The sun was going down as we came up to the parking lot, and it was nearly full, but you could tell the rush was over. The residue of chaos lingered in each store we entered and the items left on shelves were all kinds of disorganized. 

I was resolved not to buy anything and then I saw them. A sweet pair of kicks. The shoes were my size and only $25. I contemplated for a good 20 minutes on whether or not to get them. Am I participating in the greedy capitalism machine by making a Black Friday purchase? Will I get these shoes someday anyway and just pay about 4 times as much? 

I had all kinds of questions. 

But seriously, I was conflicted. I eventually made the purchase. But I didn’t have that feeling I had in the past when I participated fully in Black Friday. A feeling I think Macklemore describes well in his song Wings with lyrics like, “My movement told me be a consumer and I consumed it.” And likely the most haunting line, “Consumption is in the veins.” 

If we are all honest with ourselves we’ve likely had a consumption in the veins kind of moment a few times in our lives. I find that with the onslaught of stuff coming our way on days like today, when Black Friday has turned into 6pm on Thanksgiving because consumerism is so much in our veins we will sacrifice our time with our families for that deal, for that rush. And I’m preaching to myself, I’m just as susceptible to the drug of more, or a good deal. All of us are at risk of being consumed by consumerism. 

Maybe it is good to go get the deals late Thursday and early Friday, and even the left overs late Friday night. I don’t know. I do know that as we pillage the sales this holiday season we are in deeper risk of having our souls pillaged. As we seek our material gain we are more likely to look less human and care less for our fellow human. 

So may you pillage the deals as your conscience allows over these next few days. But beware, and be on guard, that your spirit isn’t pillaged in the process. Or as Jesus said it, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” (Luke 12:15)

May you resist the lie that your life exists in the abundance of deals provided over these next few days. 

And may you remember that thankfulness is the posture we are called to in this season, so find ways to grow in gratitude and share that reality with others. 


The Engle Evangelical Octagon

Perry Engle gave a talk today titled, “Charting a Course to Rediscover the ‘Evangel’ at the Heart of Evangelicalism” at the 2018 Sider Institute Study Conference. He shared his eight ways that Evangelicalism can be a Prophetic Witness in the world today.


I made this fun graphic to help Perry further convey his points.

Voting & The Image Of God

Today I voted.

As I was waiting in line this morning to vote, I was reflecting on the past couple years and all that has gone on in our country and in my own spirit. While reflecting, I thought to myself, “Voting should never surpass my call to see the image of God in ALL people.” This thought isn’t profound, it is just perspective on a day and season that often lacks so much perspective.

As followers of Jesus we believe that ALL people are created in the image of God. We believe that God deeply loves ALL of creation. What this means is that ALL people have unsurpassable worth in the eyes of God. If we desire to see the world as God sees the world then maybe the most difficult discipline and practice is to challenge ourselves to see ALL people the way God sees them.

May you come to know that Clinton, Trump, Obama, and every other political candidate, no matter what party or policy they represent, is an image bearer of God with unsurpassable worth in the eyes of God. And if this news is hard for you to hear, as it has been for me at times in the last few years, then maybe election day is an opportunity for us both to consider what this reveals about our own spirits.

Maybe we can actually take an often divisive day like election day and grow in love and care toward each other despite our many differences. And who knows, it could be that our vote has a lasting impact, but there is no doubt that loving people, even difficult people, has a lasting impact.