Archive for 2015

The New Year Plan that Trumps All Others!

The Single Greatest Value for an Effective New Year Six years ago this week (2010), Dana and I were driving home from my chemotherapy appointment, listening to Christmas music. We were still recalibrating our lives and emotions to the seeming “invasion” of life-threatening illness. I was feeling sick, she was being supportive, but generally life was…

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Because of the Gospel…

Because of the gospel… The world can be falling apart, but my heart doesn’t have to. The world can persecute me, but that won’t destroy me. The world can mire down in political confusion, but I can press on in joyful clarity. The world can despair, but my joy can remain. The world can spite…

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Counter-Intuitive Church Development

“Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” (Matthew 5:13) I’m not a fan of the term “church-growth.” It’s God’s job to build His…

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Brand vs. Belief

Are You Perpetuating a Brand or Passing Forward Belief? What is your cause? What is your flag? What are you passionate about advancing? If it’s less than Bible truth, then perhaps it’s a “brand.” Belief is greater than brand. The perpetuation of biblical truth is far more critical than the perpetuation of a brand. And…

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A Deeper Thanks!

Jabez was a pretty awesome guy! He was born with name that means “sorrow” and sounds like the Hebrew expression of “ouch.” He could have accepted the fate that his name and family predicted. He could have let whatever sorrowful circumstances resulted in that name also determine his fate. From his disadvantaged birth, most would…

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Take-Aways from Idea Day!

Idea Day East is now history, and what a FANTASTIC day is was! It was a privilege to welcome about 100 Bible-believing, good-spirited pastors (and some of their wives) for a full day of fellowship and idea sharing. Together we spent eight hours covering six broad topics of church ministry—Evangelism, Media, Financial Stewardship, Ministry Growth…

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Tips for Enjoying Idea Day East!

In two days, EBC will welcome a group of pastors from around the country who are coming together for a single day of fellowship and encouragement. If you are planning to attend, I wanted to share some information for making the most of the day. If you are not attending, please join our church family in praying…

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A Gospel Testimony You Will Love to Read!

The gospel still works! If you ever get past the gospel, you’ve gotten past God’s Word—from the first page to the last, the Bible is about the good news of Jesus. One year ago, a terrified single mom stepped into Emmanuel Baptist Church, and her story of salvation and growth has encouraged me greatly. Perhaps…

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Life Lessons from 25 Years…

Twenty-five years ago, Dana and I were newly-weds starting out in ministry. Looking back, the time has evaporated, our family has grown, and God has given us more ministry joys and challenges than we could have ever imagined. I’m grateful to be married to Dana and to take this adventure with her. So here’s a…

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Thoughts on Engaging Culture

“Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him.” Luke 15:1  Jesus engaged his culture. Paul engaged his. We should engage ours.  If Christians don’t engage culture, we lose culture. Jesus engaged culture. The Apostle Paul engaged culture. (See Acts 17) What does it mean to “engage culture?” It doesn’t…

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What’s Worse than Falling Behind?

Several weeks ago, I walked into the office after a morning of study. Our pastoral staff men were finishing up a meeting in the conference room. I poked my head in and said with an exasperating sigh, “I feel SO behind!” The statement immediately struck two nerves—first the one in front of me. The faces…

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Why Spiritual Leaders Should Care about Criticism

Have you ever considered the value of helpful criticism? Have you ever known someone, who from your perspective, was too sensitive to criticism? I’ve been on both ends of this spectrum. At times, I’ve been the one criticized, and others thought I was too sensitive. At other times, I’ve seen friends criticized and thought they…

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He’s Never Even Dropped a Pizza!

(This is a repost from several years ago, I pray it will encourage you today!) Earlier this week I was drying my hands in an airport restroom when I overheard a conversation between a father and his two-year-old son. Dad was handling diaper duty and he had placed his son on one of those flimsy,…

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Expressing Gratitude on 9/11

The events of 9/11 drew our country into not just a “new war” but a “new kind of war.” That day was a catalyst that sent many into harm’s way over the past 14 years to preserve our safety and freedom. Yesterday, I had the unusual and unexpected privilege to sit and speak with one…

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Compromise, Liberal, Emergent, Repentance…

Some Thoughts on Important Words Like: Compromise, Liberal, Emergent, and Repentance. A friend in my church recently asked me “Pastor, what’s an emergent church?” It was a delight to answer him biblically and provide him with several good books I had read on the subject, in hopes to built his discernment and love of truth. That…

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Two Helpful New Sermon Series at EBC!

What are we studying this Fall at Emmanuel Baptist Church? This Fall we are launching into two helpful and encouraging new sermon series at Emmanuel! If you don’t have a church home, we would love to have you share in what we’re learning every Sunday. If you do, then we hope you will join us…

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What Christians Can Learn from Piranhas

When your Christian journey is complete and your ministry on earth comes to a close, what will you leave in regards to your relationships? Will you have spent more time building up or tearing down? Edifying or demonizing? Encouraging or discouraging? God’s Word warns us repeatedly about devouring each other, but it’s too easy to fall…

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My Favorite Sermon Preparation Software

A friend recently asked me to do a post about the Bible study software or sermon resources I use. Here’s a quick snapshot of that part of my world, for what it’s worth. I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I do benefit from posts like this written by others. Maybe I’ll share…

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Gratitude to EBC On Our 3rd Anniversary

Note: The following was shared at the beginning of Sunday’s message with our Emmanuel Baptist Church Family. You can hear that message by clicking here.) Less than a handful of times, in the course of your life, God intervenes with events and circumstances that are powerful, providential, and forever altering of the course of your…

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Five Reasons to Come to Idea Day!

Culture is a moving target. The gospel is not. Connecting the gospel to lost culture is a challenge that requires continual growth in grace and understanding. Are you a learner? Me too! I love to learn from others! Every chance I get, I spend time with other pastors—older, younger; larger churches, smaller churches; longer tenure,…

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