Get free email updates as I write new articles (no more than once a week):

Pentecost Plus Persecution Equals Church the Way It Ought to Be

I know this is a strange assertion, but I've been studying the book of Acts all morning and the thought hit me that Pentecost plus persecution produced the mightiest change agent in all of history - the local church empowered by the Holy Spirit. We are never commanded to purposely try to duplicate either, but we certainly ought to live in the warmth and glow of that early New Testament flame. …

Keep Reading

God Justifies by Grace through Faith, but Works Justifies Faith

I'm a Baptist with a long history of defending the doctrine of justification by grace through faith. Nothing has changed there. I simply want to point out something that James says. (I am studying through James in my personal quiet time because I need His truth-telling.) He basically says that works justify faith. …

Keep Reading

Rising Above Status Quo Leadership

Seth Godin commented today on the question, "Is everything okay?" His conclusion is that we spend way too much time focusing on making sure everything is okay and end up losing the opportunity for positive change. This caused me to reflect on one of the great challenges of being a Pastor. We want to keep people happy and harmonious. We want things to be okay because of all of our insecurities, but we end up forfeiting the opportunity to throw off the equilibrium of people to …

Keep Reading

Preaching by the Numbers

In April of 2007, I began preaching through the entire Bible, book-by-book. Yes, I am committed to speaking God's truth in a culturally relevant way, but I also think God knew what He was doing as He inspired His Word, so we're hearing all the subjects God speaks about, one by one. Numbers is presenting one of the greatest preaching challenges I've ever faced. It's not so much that the book is difficult to understand as it is that the entire book is about failure. …

Keep Reading

Questions to Ask Each New Year

Donald Whitney has a way of putting things in perspective. He's listed 31 great questions to ask at the beginning of each new year. Here are my favorites... What's one thing you could do this year to increase your enjoyment of God? What's the most humanly impossible thing you will ask God to do this year? In which spiritual discipline do you most want to make progress this year, and what will you do about it? What's the most important way you will, by God's grace, …

Keep Reading

Spread the News through Social Media

News flash: news spreads faster through a crowd than to a crowd. If you want to break news, whisper it into an ear and see what happens. If there is a positive word that describes our age, it's community. Seth Godin knows this. Chris Brogan understands it. Motrin learned it the hard way. People talk. …

Keep Reading

Chris Brogan's Three Words for 2009

Chris Brogan is one of the very few people whom I would say "get it" when it comes to social media. I read him daily and soak up all I can about how to communicate with the world at large. He's written an excellent post about finding three words that express your goals for 2009. His are pretty cool. Mine, more general. They were Focus (on the future). Love (people and show it). Serve (in ways that require effort and sacrifice). Read his article and comment (there, not here) …

Keep Reading

Mary v Martha, Serving v Solitude, & Finding Better Balance in 2009

Tonight, I'll be talking about Luke 10:38-42 and using it to make a significant point about life. We live in a Martha world. Martha busied herself preparing a meal for Jesus, Mary sat at His feet and learned. Martha was upset about Mary's lack of activity, but Jesus commended Mary for doing the more important thing. Why is it that we have such a tough time getting at the feet of Jesus? Everybody's busy in a multitude of ways... …

Keep Reading

God’s People Past Midnight

I recently watched one of the great Christmas classics of the past... Gremlins! When you feed the cute, cuddly little magwi's past midnight, what happens? They turn into little green monsters with big claws and try to eat you. Way off subject... what happens to God's people after midnight? They keep on loving each other. Yesterday, Louis Shults, one of our Deacons had open heart surgery. The surgery was longer than expected, but successful. They did have some issues with …

Keep Reading

Four Ways I Want to Grow

Download the MP3 Based on Luke 2:52 ONE GREAT TRUTH: Instead of issuing New Year's "resolutions," I prefer to focus on some areas in which I want to grow in the upcoming year, and those areas are modeled by the growth of Jesus Himself. There are no printable notes for this message, just the audio above. …

Keep Reading