Archive for 2013

What Mary Teaches Us About God’s Will

In Luke 1, Mary’s world is disrupted by a Heavenly call. She had well-laid plans and dreams. Love, engagement, marriage, and a future. She had a good name and a gracious character. But God shattered her world with “His will.” You know, that fearful interruption to “our plans.” Why are we so scared by those…

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10 Ways to Strengthen Your Church this Christmas

Do you love your church? Jesus does! Jesus loved the church enough to die. Do we love Him and His church enough to live? To give? To really make His bride a high priority in our lives? Here are ten simple ways that you could greatly strengthen your church this season and in the new…

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10 Lessons from Snow

A beautiful white blanket of fresh snow fell last night—which means there was a collective GROANING among the human population. It’s actually audible if you go outside—what sounds like wind, is actually people bemoaning the storm all over the North-East. People think I’m nuts—but I really do like the snow. Other than the timing being…

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Pathological Encouragers?

I’ve heard of pathological antagonists before—people who are addicted to conflict, confrontation, and contention. They thrive on it. They love it. They create it, they fuel it, they fester it… and they HATE to resolve it. Resolution to a pathological antagonist is like a kid getting kicked out of his sandbox. It’s where the love…

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Partnering with New Hope Baptist!

Many readers connect with me often about how they pray for Connecticut and the gospel in New England! We are grateful—beyond words! Thank you for sharing the vision and for asking God to guide and bless. Recently the Lord opened a door for Emmanuel to launch out by faith in a new effort. I wanted…

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Can the Gospel Reach North-East Intellectuals?

The North East has a reputation of being hardened and closed to the gospel. Many in this part of the country take pride in their intellect, their academic prowess, and their financial achievement. New England has been documented as the most biblically illiterate part of the country. Read more about that here. At the same…

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Cancer (Hardship)—A Gift of God’s Grace?

Are you facing a hardship? It’s a gift. Sounds crazy, I know. But go with me for a moment. It’s been 29 months since my last cancer treatment. But the fruit (the effects of the journey) are visible nearly every day. Somehow in the middle of that battle, God said, “Your life will never be…

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Lincoln’s Original Thanksgiving Proclamation

By the President of the United States of America. A Proclamation. The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added,…

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Top Ten Thanks!

Here are the top ten things that come to mind when I think of giving thanks! 1. Jesus—Saviour, Redeemer, Counselor, Mighty God, Creator, Healer, Advocate, and Friend. The best thing in life is to know Jesus, rest in Him, trust Him, and enjoy His unconditional love and absolute acceptance. “…and his name shall be called…

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27 Ways to Communicate Better

ne of my greatest passions in life is to communicate God’s Word more effectively. I have a very long way to go, but here are the things I see effective communicators do to strengthen the impact of Bible preaching or teaching. All of this is assuming that prayer, dependence upon God, and integrity are already…

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Shattering Pastoral Caricatures…

Every day I meet people from a variety of religious and non-religious backgrounds. They all define “pastor” with different mental caricatures. As a pastor, I am “mantled” with these caricatures before I even know it—subtly, silently, in the background of each new relationship. I don’t get to have my own persona. Every new relationship is…

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Repost: Skeptics, Spectators, and Servants

In John 11, the amazing story of the raising of Lazarus unfolds. Not long ago, I was studying this passage and it occurred to me that there were three distinct groups of people at this resurrection, and those groups are still pretty much “alive and kicking” in today’s local churches. Picture the scene—Jesus has waited…

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The “Heaven’s-Eye-View!”

Looking into a fog? Struggling to see a solution? Confused, frustrated, wanting God to “make the crooked places straight?” Facing a difficult decision? Trying to untangle a messy place in life, marriage, family, or ministry? Is it complicated? Be careful. Wait. Step back. Breathe. Pray. Pray some more. Respond—don’t react. Oh, how we hate to…

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The “Luxury” of Disunity…

It’s the first century. James is Jesus brother. He’s pastoring the church at Jerusalem. It’s big. Lots of people have believed in Jesus—and a very diverse group. (You’ll see that in Acts.) James was a leader—a religious man, well-connected and well-respected. The politics of the day were complicated (to say it simply)—more like a hornet’s…

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Setting a Sustainable Pace…

How long can you sustain the pace at which you are living and leading? If you are sprinting through life, then probably not long. How often have I tried to run ahead of God—impress Him with my ability to “get His work done.” Funny when I think about it. I seriously doubt He’s ever been…

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Do You Have a Problem Saying “No?”

Do you ever real trouble saying “no”? Many people do. And those same people are often overwhelmed with commitments to others and expectations of others. Saying “no” for some people is nearly impossible. If this is you, take a moment and consider a few things: Why do you say “Yes”?  There are likely several reasons…

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Getting Out of the Gospel’s Way…

(Note: Lengthy post—I apologize in advance. But it’s important!) In December we hung a Christmas banner at the street. ECA students hosted a Wednesday night concert. Because of that concert, a young lady  named Emily visited EBC with her family and her fiancé, Gerry. They all heard the gospel. They stopped in the lobby, we…

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New Life in New England

Yesterday was Emmanuel Baptist Church’s second Open House Sunday! Guests were welcomed, the gospel was lovingly presented, and God worked in people’s hearts. It’s an incredible blessing to see God bless the faith of the EBC family. It’s appropriate to share the victory in hopes that your faith will be encouraged. As I reflect on…

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Influence Trumps Authority

Note: This article is directed at parents, but the principle applies to pastors and leaders as well… Do you want your children to love God? Do you want them to truly enjoy living life with and for Jesus Christ? There’s an unspoken principle that many parents or leaders miss. It often goes ignored, unrecognized, and…

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New Sign, New Vision for God’s Glory…

This past Sunday at EBC marked a major moment of renewal and vision for our church family. God allowed us to dedicate a new sign for His glory! It was a moment of celebration, worship, and rededication of our campus. We are asking God to renew His work of preaching the gospel, loving Jesus, loving…

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