What we Miss about the Cross

This is what I am seeing I often miss about the cross. I like knowing I am forgiven, but am I too willing to forgive? I like knowing that despite being unworthy, Christ shows me undeserved grace; but am I willing to extend that grace to those in my life not “worthy” of it? I like knowing there is mercy for my sin; but am I willing to show mercy when others sin against me? I find it moving to know the length to which Christ went that I might have peace with him, but what length am I willing to go to to work towards peace with others? … More What we Miss about the Cross

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Smarter than Jesus?

And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward. -Jesus, Matthew‬ ‭10:42‬ … More Smarter than Jesus?

Authentic Christianity

In America, we have made everything about being “right” that we have failed to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15-16). In America, we have made our focus political rather than the person of Christ. In America, we have succumbed to fear, anger and outrage with those who disagree with us or hold a different worldview, instead of living a life of hope, joy, respect and gentleness. In America, we have failed to show this generation the goodness and grace of God by our attitudes and rhetoric. … More Authentic Christianity

The Life-Transforming Glory of Jesus

But until we turn to to the Lord and keep our gaze fixed on him, we are blinded to his beauty. His glory is veiled or hidden from us until we look to him in faith. But when we do, we discover the never ending awe and wonder of who He is. This in turn changes us, as God’s Spirit goes to work in making us more like Jesus; producing a life of joyful obedience and eternal worship of the Living God who alone is Worthy (Revelation 4). … More The Life-Transforming Glory of Jesus

The Heavens are Speaking

The heavens are pointing us to a reality greater than we can possibly imagine or comprehend. They are speaking to us of the vastness of God, the promises of God and the glory of God. They are pointing us to something (or more like someone!) beyond ourselves, beyond our own little worlds, beyond our “small” problems and even beyond the universe itself. It is speaking to us of the faithfulness of God to fulfill every good promise in our lives. It is speaking to us of an eternally glorious God; a God of beauty and delight who alone can satisfy the thirst of our hearts and longing of our hearts. … More The Heavens are Speaking

The Problem in the American Church

I was in a meeting recently where several people were sharing their efforts in different arena’s. One man shared about his efforts to address homelessness, another spoke of prison ministry and rehabilitation, and yet another missions work around the world. There was one more who spoke about political issues.

Want to take a guess who got the biggest applause and only standing ovation that day? … More The Problem in the American Church

Welcoming the Refugee

If anyone should be showing hospitality, regardless of political beliefs, it is Christians who claim to follow Jesus; the One who Himself was a refugee, forced to flee a bloodbath as a vulnerable child, and whose people have often been refugees, persecuted and forced to flee their homes. We are even called “aliens” and “strangers”, as this world in it’s present fallen form is not our true home. Our true citizenship is in heaven! We too are “refugee’s” looking and longing for our true eternal home. … More Welcoming the Refugee

An Honest Wrestling: Part 2

Wrestling with what is wrong, must turn into working for what is right. Anger must turn to action that brings forth positive change. Bitterness must be replaced with mercy and grace. Being hurt must lead to becoming more compassionate and sensitive to others hurting or feeling unnoticed. And being upset about all the “un-Christ-like” Christians out there must lead me to becoming more like Christ myself not less. … More An Honest Wrestling: Part 2

An Honest Wrestling: Part 1

This week I prayed an honest prayer in front of my staff. It was a little unnerving for me and I think uncomfortable for them. In that prayer, I was wrestling with God over an issue (without coming to a definite resolution) and wrestling with my emotions in a rather raw way that might not have sounded very “Christian.” Normally, I would save those “darker” prayers for private, but to be honest, I’m kind of tired of what seems like an only “positive” (and hence somewhat superficial or one-sided) Christianity in public. … More An Honest Wrestling: Part 1

Five Keys to Real Joy

Joy. Who isn’t looking for true, inner, and lasting joy? From an early age I have battled depression. I could also say I find myself deeply frustrated many times when things don’t seem to be going as I hope or happening as quickly as I might want. Joy is something that can seem elusive, but could it be because we mistake real internal joy with fleeting happiness? And more so, if that is true, how can we not only find, but remain filled with joy regardless of circumstances? … More Five Keys to Real Joy

Be Kind to Your Pastor

Pastor appreciation month is approaching. This concept started back in the 1990’s by Focus on the Family, largely because of all the pastor “burn-out” stories that were accumulating. Having been a pastor myself for six years, I can attest to the fact that being a pastor is can be one of the most emotionally draining … More Be Kind to Your Pastor

A World of Suffering

Where is God? What is He trying to tell us? Doesn’t He care? Why doesn’t He stop these things? Is He powerless? Unloving? Is it evidence that there is no God? These are real questions people have. These are real feelings people deeply feel. And Christians should not shy away from this issue. In fact, we often wrestle with these questions and feelings as much as anyone else. … More A World of Suffering

Restoring the Song

I’ve touched the darkness that lives in between the light. Seen the worst of this world, and the best. Seen the terrible things men do to each other in the name of hatred, and the lengths they’ll go to for love. Now I know. Only love can save this world. So I stay. I fight, and I give… for the world I know can be. This is my mission, now. Forever.” -Wonder Woman … More Restoring the Song

Dreams and Visions 

When we begin to delight ourselves in God and his heart becomes our heart; when our prayers align with his will and He pours out His Spirit upon us and shows us what He has in mind for us, amazing things begin to happen! God calls us to good works done in His Name, by His power, just as Jesus went around doing good where there was need and his Father was working. And this can happen to any of us and all of us! … More Dreams and Visions 

A New Thing

God wants to do a new thing in your life. More than that, He delights in and finds great pleasure in doing new things! Did you ever stop to think about the power and joy of that reality? We hear and use the word “new” all the time, but take a moment to let the definition of the word “new” sink into your spirit in a fresh way. The word new speaks of bringing into existence something that has not existed before, or that is discovered for the first time. … More A New Thing

Live to Fight Another Day

Nathaniel Greene’s life (and the Revolutionary War in general) remind us that life can be a battle at times, but victory (and peace) is possible even in situations that are not ideal or “superior” to our abilities. Facing constant “defeats” in certain “battles” also doesn’t mean we can’t still win “the war.” Think long-term. Take the high ground. Work with what you have. Get back up. Know when to “retreat” and “rest.” Realize life has battles that must be fought. Conflict sometimes comes before peace. Live to fight another day. … More Live to Fight Another Day

Slum of the Soul

He said that as he was looking at this picture it struck him that while that was an outward, visible and physical slum in a third world country, there are millions of people all around us right here in America who live in a very different kind of slum; a slum in fact that is not on the outside, but inside of themselves. A slum or poverty of the soul. … More Slum of the Soul

Knowing God, Marriage & Sex

Marriage is meant to be one of the most profound and clear pictures of the kind of relationship God desires to have with us, and how it will be in eternity with him. Psalm 16:11 in fact says: “In your presence is fullness of joy and eternal pleasures forevermore.” Sex in marriage is a foretaste of even greater joy to come in the presence of God. There are eternal pleasures that supersede any earthly pleasures. God is not a cosmic kill-joy, but a life-giving joy giver! … More Knowing God, Marriage & Sex

Overcoming Distractions

It is up to each of us to discern distractions in our lives in each season of life. We all have a race to run that has been marked out for each of us by God. I recently recorded a little message about this on my podcast site (You can listen to it here: Keeping Focus). A race requires focus. And this race is not a sprint, but a marathon. We can’t simply have “spurts of passion” for God. We need to stay on the track he wants us to be on, not being distracted by other paths that might seem easier, more attractive or are of our own choosing, but are dead-ends. … More Overcoming Distractions

4 Ways to Become More Childlike

I don’t know about you, but I know it’s true of me, and even Jesus’ first disciples, that it is easy to lose that sense of child-likeness. I know first-hand and in very deep ways, how easy it is to become cynical, jaded, even bitter, due to the disappointments, hurt and things you see or experience in dealing with people and in ministry on a very intimate level. Here are four ways Jesus calls us to become more childlike. … More 4 Ways to Become More Childlike

How Stones are Rolled Away

Many of us do nothing for God because of “stones” that exist in our mind. There are obstacles that hold us back from even moving towards those situations. We feel called to serve but we see no way that we can do it, so we don’t even attempt. And because we don’t attempt, we never witness the resurrection power and reality of our Living Savior! … More How Stones are Rolled Away

In Between Friday & Sunday

It’s the day in between death and resurrection. It’s the pause between the promise and the fulfillment. It’s the space between our dreams being shattered and hope being restored. It’s when we bury what has died but have yet to experience new life from the seed that is planted. It’s the day when, well, nothing seems to be happening. It’s the day when we are caught in confusion, despair and disillusionment; an end has come but new life has not yet begun. … More In Between Friday & Sunday

The 3 “It is Finished” Statements

However, did you know this is not the last time the phrase “It is Finished” is used? While the sacrifice for sin to make possible our salvation, redemption, forgiveness and reconciliation with God was finished; the reality is there are many still living apart from God, evil still is at work in the world and heaven has not come to earth. There are more things “yet to be done.” … More The 3 “It is Finished” Statements

God is not in a Hurry

We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. -Hebrews 6:12 This is not an easy article for me to write. I hate waiting. I live in a culture that is also very fast-paced, expects immediate gratification and is results oriented. I … More God is not in a Hurry

Serving Refugee’s

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world…I was a stranger and you invited me in… “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you a stranger and … More Serving Refugee’s

2017 Ukraine Mission Trip

I just returned from leading a team of 10 from the US (including my wife and oldest daughter!) on a fantastic mission trip to Ukraine. What made this trip more meaningful for me as someone on the “inside” of ServeNow, was the fact that we witnessed a literal miracle revolving around the 7,000 Christmas Gifts that … More 2017 Ukraine Mission Trip

Family/Ministry Update

“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.” -Psalm 107:1 Happy Thanksgiving! I’ve had it on my heart to write a little family/ministry update…as we truly do have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season. God has been good and it is comforting to know his faithful … More Family/Ministry Update