2020-02-26 to 28 Pictures: Charleston, South Carolina

One of the few upsides of having to cancel our Spring Break trip last March at the onset of the pandemic is that we are "stuck" with a rather large voucher from one of those discount airlines. Last autumn, Tricia and I spent a weekend in Savannah, Georgia and had a...

A John 3:16 Craft for Kids

John 3:16 is one of the most well known and reassuring verses in the Bible. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.John 3:16 (NIV) The following is a little craft I threw...

2020-03-01 Pictures: Lyndsey’s College Signing Day

This afternoon Lyndsey made it official, signing her letter of intent to play college basketball for the Hiram College Terriers starting next year. While she made the decision and committed to Hiram before Christmas, she has been looking forward to this day since her...

2020-02-13 Pictures: Lyndsey’s 18th Birthday

I am little behind on posting photos. These are some of my favorites from a couple of weekends ago when we got a chance to celebrate Lyndsey's 18th birthday. It's hard to believe that my little girl is officially an adult. It was nice to have the family all back...


Introduction I love working with kids, and I love teaching them hard concepts in ways they can understand. To that end, for years I have been working on a dictionary of theological terms for kids and teens. In sharing those definitions, there seemed no better place to...

If You Want It Done Right

In all likelihood, you know how the phrase ends: If you want it done right, DO IT YOURSELF! This is a bit of a mantra for me, and frankly, something that I struggle with daily both in leadership and in my Christian walk.  In theory, this is easy to accept. ...

What Does God Hate?

This is the little and humble post that started it all. I happened to be reading through my Bible, and this passage impacted me so much that I posted a little blurb about it on Facebook. That was July 28, 2008, and I've been writing and sharing ever since. (Maybe...

My Three Bucket Theory

BucketsLots of people have a bucket list.  You know – that list of things you want to accomplish before you die.  In particular, lots of people my age start to think about their own bucket list as we age and start to think about things we want to do in our lives while we still have the time.  I started to think about buckets a few months ago.  The buckets I was thinking about were a little bit different.  I started to think about buckets in terms of classifying the zillions of issues that we face as a society.  I started to wonder if there was a useful way to classify or categorize those issues, or the cause of those issues.  As much as I like to think in terms of black and white, I didn’t imagine that any sort of rigid system of classification would work, but I did think that perhaps (just maybe) I could “shove” those issues into different buckets.

There are lots of issues that we face as a people and as a society.  Talk to anyone on the street or at a party about what they think the biggest problem we face as a society are, and each one is certain to have their own take.  Give them a few minutes and most will talk your ear off giving you their insights and take on what really lies behind all of those stories of woe you see on the news every night and hear from people at your church, at the neighborhood barbeque and at your kids’ sporting events.

As I started to think about all of those issues and the problems we face in our culture, I wondered more and more if there wasn’t a pattern to them. The more I thought, the more I started to sense some threads that ran through many of those issues. That’s where the buckets came in. I concocted this theory that all of these problems (or at least most) that take so many different forms can be broadly classified into three buckets.  Why three? At the time, there was no particular reason except that two didn’t really seem like enough and four seemed like too many.  I wondered if I thought through the issues and the causes of those issue if I could devise a system of three buckets (no more, no less) that would be specific enough to make sense and broad enough to cover 95-98% of the issues people may raise if asked (I left room for the idea that certain problems would not be classifiable even after thorough analysis).

So, how do these buckets work? The buckets are not mutually exclusive – meaning that one problem or issue could exhibit elements of more than one bucket (and potentially all three), but in some form these three buckets can account for most of the issues people would mention as the biggest problems facing our culture today.  So what buckets did I come up with?  Here they are:

  1. Radical autonomy
  2. Rampant materialism/consumerism
  3. Rabid busyness

Over the course of the next three posts, we will look at little closer at each bucket and some examples which fit into each one.

This is still a theory in process.  I’ve tested it a little but would love your input. What issues don’t fit into one of the three buckets?  What buckets would you have?  leave a comment below and let me know.