All of My Recent Writings
Below are articles I’ve written on my other websites or across the web. If you want to see only posts I’ve shared here on my personal blog, click here.
Living by what I feel while forgetting what I know can be a dangerous choice. Listening to my feelings while making decisions based on what I know is a life-giving choice.
Jesus died for the church, was raised for the church, and commissioned the church to be light in the darkness and love to the lost until he comes back to fix it all.
It’s a matter of living to please and serve the King who sacrificed his own life to redeem us for an intimate relationship with himself.
Whether it’s saying a prayer, calling a friend, reaching out to a counselor or therapist… standing up and walking is the easy part. It’s the decision to actually do so that feels impossible.
As we kick off another year, don’t just write down goals, resolutions, or even habits you hope to form. Journal for a while about who you are and who you want to become. Out of that sense of identity will flow the habits that will shape your entire future.
It’s not about perfection. You’ll never get it all right. You’re human. You have physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual limitations that prevent you from living full throttle 24/7. You were meant to rest, to take breaks, to not achieve it all.
Grit, grace, and gratitude, when practiced consistently and in tandem with one another, might just prevent your utter demise.
God is incredibly compassionate about our pain and patient with our doubt. It is his patience and goodness that draw us back into deeper levels of relationship with him.
Nothing stirs the fire of God in our hearts more than worship, praise, and prayer. The best place to start raising the temperature of your church is in your own heart.
The presence and reality of God necessitate the replacement of despair with hopefulness – the belief that “tomorrow” (whether literally tomorrow or a random day several generations into the future) will be different. That suffering has an end. That the world will be set right.
Lean into your calling. Keep growing bolder. Be ready to suffer. Live under grace. Keep it about the gospel and commit it all to Jesus. Trust the Word and walk in the power of the Holy Spirit.
I’m a sucker for Holiday nostalgia. This morning, I made my 13- and 10-year-old boys listen to these two albums (on Apple Music because you can’t buy an electric Honda with an 8-track player). My grandmother, who will turn 103 next month, used to play the Smurfs...
We get to become love and get better at relationships now. And while you wait, remember that you’re waiting hopefully and expectantly for God to finish his work of redeeming and renewing all things.
When people see in you the qualities and marks of a follower of Jesus – joy, love, hope, and generosity – they’ll offer thanks and praise to God.
Sincerity matters in preaching. It’s a key value, a core component of effectively representing the gospel and communicating God’s truth in this present age. In fact, we need it more than ever!
All five of these attitudes create a bit of shock and awe in our relationships. And if you’re a believer in Jesus, then the Holy Spirit has re-shaped you with the capacity to show these attitudes on a daily basis.
If you’re a leader walking into or through a season of burnout, you must address the pain and tend to the wounds, and you will almost always need help doing so. It’s hard to be, as the late Henri Nouwen termed it, a wounded healer.
Are we living through a collective ‘dark night of the soul?’ Is this a season in which we, as the human family in the current cultural climate, are profoundly lonely and abundantly anxious?
In our modern era, particularly in America (and perhaps the West as a whole), leaders are burning out at an increasing and alarming rate. There are many factors leading to this trend, but at the forefront are certain cultural issues that have affected the way we do church and church leadership. There are four issues, in particular, that have invaded our thinking in toxic ways.
We don’t choose our circumstances. We don’t choose the weather, the direction of the economy, what people around us will do, or the direction of world events. But we do get to choose our attitudes.
I know, as a Pastor who has trudged through the valley of burnout, that church growth can be a powerful drug for a church leader. The temporary “high” of a well-attended event, a high-attendance Sunday, an influx of new members or baptisms, etc. can have a numbing effect that keeps us distracted from the brokenness deep within us that needs to be addressed.
You and I don’t have to make things happen. We should certainly work hard to become faithful leaders and shepherds, but the enormously impossible task of generating real spiritual change is left in the hands of the very capable Holy Spirit, for whom anything is possible.
There are a ton of commandments in the Bible, but when Jesus launched his new movement, he boiled God’s expectations down to one – love.
I recently asked myself, if I were starting a church again today, what would be the values that I would consider most pertinent and timely in our current cultural moment in which the nonbelieving world is asking so many hard questions about the church. These four came to my mind rather quickly…
If you want to become who you’re supposed to become… do the dailies.
Here’s a vision for us. When we all begin to see and feel and notice and appreciate the image of God in the pictures we see of those who suffer, the world immediately around us will become a softer, slightly warmer, safer place.
You can’t save the world. That’s Jesus’ role and he has fulfilled and is continuing to fulfill it perfectly. But Jesus wants to involve YOU in his work of restoring, renewing, and refreshing those around you. Read the Full Article
Some moments in the life of the church ought to stand out from the rest as especially significant, but between these, we need to breathe, rest, and recuperate. People will thank you in the end.
Real freedom is when you’re able to spend your time on that which is meaningful. That includes self-care, family time, volunteering, worshipping, and working in a way that makes a contribution to the larger human community.
I’ve found lectio divina to be one of the most beautiful and productive ways to ingest the words of the scriptures and to hear from God.