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Let’s Fight FOR Worship!

Everybody worships. Not everyone believes in God, or in gods, or in the God of the Bible, but everyone worships. Everybody ascribes worth to something, which is one of the basic definitions of worship. My favorite book about worship, outside the Bible, is Warren Wiersbe's Real Worship: Playground, Battleground, or Holy Ground?. Wiersbe offers this concise definition of worship... Worship is the believer’s response of all that they are—mind, emotions, will, and body—to …

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Getting Explicit About the Gospel

Rick Warren said, "If you read only one book this year, make it this one. It's that important." The gospel is a message that never loses its relevancy and always needs retelling. I found Matt Chandler's The Explicit Gospel to be an awesome retelling of it. Chandler's explanation of the gospel is ultra-clear, and while I detect that hint of his Reformed leanings (to which he alludes a time or two), his book avoids extremes, stays between the theological rails, and at least …

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Finding the Right Path In Life – Jesus

Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no man comes to the Father except through me." I remember a Bible college professor paraphrasing what Jesus meant with these lines: I am the Way... walk Me. I am the Truth... know Me. I am the Life... live Me. Jesus, paraphrased by Dr. Jesse Thomas I love that! I wrote last week about getting off the wrong path, but that can never be the end of the story. To jettison ourselves from any path, we need a new path to …

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Approaching Easter Sunday As a Pastor

Easter Sunday is special. In spite of the competition from little furry bunnies who deliver colored eggs and sugar-induced hyperactive episodes among children, it's still a holiday that is fairly "religious." That is to say, Jesus still gets a fair amount of attention, possibly because it's always on Sunday and churches draw such attention to the resurrection. This is good. As a Pastor, I know that Easter Sunday excites me because I'll see new and unfamiliar faces in our …

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Was the Grinch a Christian? Exposing the Real Grumps of Christmas

One of my favorite holiday movies is How the Grinch Stole Christmas, especially the new Jim Carrey version. Dr. Seuss invented a character that became so wildly popular, he's now a cliche (i.e. "Don't be such a grinch!"). Anyone who puts a damper on the holidays falls into the grinch category. As a Pastor, I'm immersed (often beyond my own comfort level) in what I've come to think of as the Christian subculture. This is the realm in which Christian believers live. We have …

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When Police Pepper Spray Peaceful Protestors… There Is Hope

I just watched a video of police pepper spraying peaceful protestors at UC Davis, which led me to investigate further into why people are occupying Wall Street (and plenty of other streets too), which further led me to read some of the testimonies of people who are suffering in this present economic recession. That last link is a collection of hand-written notes about where people are financially. Most are drowning in student loan or medical debt. Many work very hard for …

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Can You Just Heal My Boy?

"I begged your disciples to cast out the spirit, but they couldn't do it." (Luke 9:40 NLT) The disciples had plenty of great experiences to boast about. They were in the inner circle. They had been hanging out with one of Israel's most popular rabbis. But on this day, they were powerless. They had religious solutions to offer, but this man wanted just one simple thing... "Can you just heal my boy?" Sometimes we have a ton of great answers to offer, but no one is asking …

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My Church Planting Model Is Better Than Yours

Not really. Or at least I'm not sure. Church planting is a hot topic right now in western Christianity, and it needs to be with the spiritual condition of North America and western Europe. And when anything is a hot topic, it creates tension. Tension can be good. Out of tension flows a creative discussion and differences of opinion that force us to re-evaluate our viewpoints and emphases to ensure that we're thinking biblically and effectively. Right now, the tension …

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What I Really Deserve

This week, I'm staying in a nice hotel in Ocala, Florida, driving around in a rented Camaro, and eating fresh fruit - all sweet gifts from The Church at the Springs where Pastor Ron Sylvia and others are hosting Nuts & Bolts, a conference for church planters. I feel very blessed to be here. I don't deserve it. What I do deserve is the full weight of the wrath of God toward sin for my rebellion against God. I learned a huge lesson a long time ago from my friend, Bobby …

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What Good Is Your Church Anyway?

I recently read the quote of a skeptical unbeliever that stopped me in my tracks... The church is a parasite. It owns the best property, doesn't pay any taxes, and doesn't help anybody. As a Pastor who loves the local church rather deeply, everything in me wants to argue. Who does this anonymous skeptic think he is? He's just never been to the right church! But sometimes arguing with someone's perspective is rather pointless. In the end, it's better to be introspective …

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