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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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When We Disagree, We Should Declare…

There are a few options here, but typically we fall to either declaring war or declaring love for those with whom we disagree. Some causes are worth fighting for and many issues demand a debate, but when Christians choose the wrong battles, it gives the distinct impression it's an "us vs. them" situation. The better alternative is "us FOR them." That is, us laying down our self-interests and even our very lives for those with whom we disagree, and especially for those who …

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Cages Are Lonely

... so break free. In Jesus, be free indeed. …

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Jesus’ Crystal Clear Theological Affirmations

Jesus wasn't always clear. He told parables not for the purpose of simplifying and illustrating truths to make them more understandable, but to present the mysteries of the kingdom to the few who would catch the underlying meanings. Jesus is the greatest philosopher the world has ever known. He could go deep, get confusing, and be abstract anytime He chose to do so. But... Jesus made certain truths very, very clear. For example... …

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What You Should Know About Rick Warren’s Worldview

For some time now, I've been serving as a Pastor to Saddleback Church's correspondence team, a group of dedicated staff and volunteers who answer over 100,000 emails per year about a range of subjects. Not a week goes by that I don't see an email (or twenty) asking for Pastor Rick's response to what someone said in criticism of his views on a variety of subjects. …

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My Christmas Greeting to You

The angels opened the portal of heaven and their sound and the brightness of their glory was overwhelming to the humble shepherds in the field. But their message was that Jesus wasn't to be found in that throng of angels. He would be found in a manger in a stable in the sleepy hamlet called Bethlehem. Jesus isn't hard to find, unless we're looking for the wrong thing. My greatest hope for you this holiday season, more than anything else, is that you will FIND …

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My Second Birthday Matters Even More

My wife and I turn 33 today. Yes, we were born the same day, 500 miles apart, and she has a twin brother, Josh. I will point out that I'm about nine hours older, so I get to be the leader! We mark birthdays as milestones, as if surviving another year is a great accomplishment. To me, this is kind of like the trophy all the kids on the baseball team get whether they played well or not. In the grand scheme of things, 33 years is so little. That's what I wanted to address …

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