Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Our move...

Reports are coming out that 80% of evangelicals voted for Donald Trump. Those that were pulling for Hillary Clinton are not commenting that they are afraid for those in the LGBTQ community, immigrants, refugees, and all manner of people.

We are the people of hope and love. We must choose the best choices that we can that reflect that we love the people of the world, yet that we are citizens of another kingdom. As the world divides, let us be the people who bring others together under the banner of Jesus Christ, spreading His hope and love.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

All Things

"His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence..." 2 Peter 1:3 

What "things" were granted? "ALL things that pertain to life and godliness..." 

I have every thing my heavenly Father knows that I need to accomplish His will in my life. I lack nothing to be obedient to Him, if I do it in His power.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

You may be the occasion, but you are never the cause.

"You make me so mad!" "Look what you made me do!" These are familiar words. But are they true? Not even close!

Paul Tripp states, "Your words and behavior are more formed by what is inside of you than what is outside of you. Other people may offer the occasion for our sin, but they are never the cause."

What a powerful insight into our day to day interactions. I can never control what a person says or  does. I can, through the power of the Holy Spirit, control my response.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Worth a Try...

We live in a society today, where if something looks difficult, most people steer clear from attempting it. After all, who wants to fail? But what if we are missing all of the instruction and beautiful lessons in the failing that God has for us. Even more, we are commanded to try. (Exodus 20:1-17; Leviticus 20:26; 1 Peter 1:16) "And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments." (1 John 2:3)

If you're a Christian, you're not going to life your life perfectly, that's exactly the point. Jesus Christ came not to heal the well, but the sick. We were sick with sin. But in the forgiveness we enjoy and adoption we walk in, we are called to holy living and empowered by the Holy Spirit to do what God has called us to do. So, in God's grace and strength, we should be trying to live a life that honors Him. 

How will we do what He has commanded, if we don't know what He has commanded? How will we seek to be Holy, if we know nothing of holiness. God has not left us without wisdom or knowledge. He gave us his written word, the Bible, to understand what He asks from us. How will you know what he desires for you if you don't read the Bible and seek to obey it? "

So if we are claiming to be Christians, but show no fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), no desire towards repentance, and no desire to do what God has commanded, then we must seriously question our relationship with God and work to reconcile with Him immediately. (Philippians 2:12) There is grace, mercy, forgiveness, but only for those who bow their knee to Christ in this life. That takes effort, but it's a noble cause. 

Thursday, September 17, 2015


I recently read an interesting article in the Leadership Journal on multi-site churches and why one pastor felt led to abandon that model, despite great success with it. You can find the article in its entirety here.

I don't claim to know everything about church plating strategy, and as the pastor of an average congregation, I can see why my voice may not carry weight in the conversation, however, my uneasiness with that particular model boils down to one of the 3 points by the author. Namely, my concern lies with the pastor-teacher not knowing his sheep. This is something, I believe, that the multi-site minister cannot accomplish.

What is difference in a member of a multi-site congregation staying home with a few friends and watching one of several great pastor-teachers on television or listening to them on the radio and them attending the service? Would that not be the similar in experience? The message would be no more or less specific than what they would experience in either venue. In a multi-site setting, a pastor-teacher must continually be thinking of preaching based on the larger context and mission. If something particularly tragic or scandalous happens at one campus, the pastor-teacher cannot entirely address the issue from the pulpit for concern that it is not something happening across all campuses.

Pastors should smell like their sheep, their sheep should know their voice, and he should know them by name. This is not possible in the multi-site context. We must stop and evaluate if that model is driven by scripture, or by the fame of the pastor-teacher. If it is the latter, we must re-evaluate and go another way.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Where we live...

I've been thinking a great deal about where we live lately. The television has been filled with news of attacks on the military in my country, continued attacks on the unborn in the womb and the sale of their dismembered bodies, and the wholesale slaughter of Christians around the world. On an international and national scale, things are deeply troubling to say the least. In addition to that, in my small circle of friends and family, the tales of brokenness and suffering abound, the reality of consequences of sinful behavior, and the unrepentant hearts of believers has been breaking mine. 

As I've been feeling a real pain and discomfort grow in my chest, costing me sleep and peace of mind over these events, I've been drawn back to two truths: 1) this place I live is not my home and 2) this place I live is in desperate need of the truth of God. 

God never intended for this world to be the way that it is or for things to be so broken. We wrought this with our words and deeds, yet it still seems nearly impossible to understand and even more difficult to take our own share for the blame and hurt we have caused. God made the world perfect and beautiful, we broke the perfection. But God didn't leave us where we were in brokenness. He condescended and transcended all of the ugliness and through His death, burial, and resurrection, has made a way for the us out of a broken home and into an eternally perfect one. 

Remember where you live, and live in such a way as to prepare for your real address in a better world. As a Christian, you will struggle because you will be trying to do the right thing in the wrong world. Don't give up. You're headed for a far better world. Persevere. Brokenness is everywhere. Jesus still reigns. Cling to Him. 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Quest for Holiness

Everyone today is on a quest for something greater, a purpose, or a plan to achieve what they believe to be the ideal for their circumstance. Everyone. But who determines what is ideal or better? Psalm 112 gives great insight into the what happens when the believer seeks the best by God's standard. Psalm 112:1 begins with the psalmist rejoicing in the facts of God's character. We find that the person that is "blessed" by the Lord shows himself to be in active pursuit of of wisdom through a reverent fear of God and by delighting in His commands (Psalm 1:2). 

Of even more substance to the believer is the knowledge that there are blessings to be found in adversity (Psalm 112:4). Here, "darkness" is a metaphor for adversity implying that "even in darkness [the] light [of the Lord] dawns on the upright." This person is gracious and compassionate, seeking to relieve the suffering of others. And it plays out in practical ways in v. 5 with the believer giving freely without expectation of interest on a loan, simply believing it just to help others in need (Psalm 111:5). 

These blessings that come in adversity carry the believer through the hardest of times. Because the wise man holds to the precepts of God that are "steadfast forever and ever (Psalm 111:8), he is "steadfast" (v.7) "He will never be shaken" (v.6), "he will have no fear," "his heart is steadfast" and "his heart is secure." We can expect that we may experience any number of surprises in life, but for the believer will persevere in doing good. He does not waver and is not easily tossed about, but he "perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him." (James 1:12) That means that no matter if he receives "bad news" and has reason to "fear" or has problems with his adversaries (Psalm 112:7-8), His trust is in the Lord, so he can stand.   

Doing the will of God is motivated by a desire to be like God. The word godliness stems from the idea of God-like-ness. If the believer would seek to do the will of God, it must be motivated by a desire to be like God. Jesus said in John 14:23 that if we truly love Him, we will obey His commands. So to delight in His commands (Psalm 112:1) presupposes a grateful and generous heart. (James 2:14-20) 

      C.S. Lewis beautifully said in The Great Divorce, “ Only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says in the end “Thy will be done.” If we would seek a quest for greatness and purpose, we must first seek to humble ourselves and obey the will of our Heavenly Father, even though doing so will often take us completely counter to the surrounding culture.