Blog Posts

3 Simple Pastoral Priorities

I wrote this blog post two years ago, but never published it. Recently, a friend encouraged me to publish it regardless of my hesitations. I’ve rewritten it six times, so here goes. Twenty-nine months ago, I became the ninth pastor (in the past 30 years) of Emmanuel Baptist Church. God thrust our lives together by…

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Repost: Qualities of Unjust Criticism

Anyone who serves the Lord is going to face criticism. Some of it just. Some of it unjust. Just criticism is helpful, coming from a loving friend, handled personally, and can produce great strides of growth and maturity in your life. It flows between healthy relationships where hearts are like iron sharpening iron. No criticism…

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A Fresh Perspective on Your Hardship

Andrew Murray wrote the following thoughts about the Christian’s response to hardship… I believe it will encourage you! “First, He brought me here. It is by His will I am in this strait place: in that fact I will rest.” “Next, He will keep me here in His love, and give me grace to behave…

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Just Pedal…

Sunday morning I shared a short essay with our church family. A friend gave it to me. I cannot find an author for it, though I did discover that author Tim Hansel used it in a couple of his books. It was too good NOT to share it with you… enjoy and pass it a long!…

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Escaping Bad Motivations, Embracing the Best One!

(Note: I apologize that this is a longer post than normal—I hope you will read its entirety.) Motives matter. There are really great reasons to do right, and really bad reasons. Right is still right, but if you aren’t driven by right motives, you’re on a collision course as a Christian. And if you aren’t…

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8 Priorities that Will Transform Your New Year

Psalms 90:12 “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” The new year offers us a new opportunity to look forward, put the past behind, and chart the course anew. It’s a fresh start. Last year is in the books. There’s nothing we can do to change it….

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Clarifying Your Life Vision

Could you articulate a God-given vision for your life? Not your own agenda that you “hope God will make happen.” Can you express God’s reason for giving you more heart-beats? Could you write your reason for living in a sentence or two? Can you take every life-role, every responsibility, and every opportunity and filter it…

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Jesus for You!—7 Christmas Observations

The characters of the Christmas story are a diverse lot, and reveal to us the heart of Jesus for us today! Jesus is for you and He loves you more than you can imagine. Look with me for a moment at seven Christmas observations: 1. Mary—Jesus for Dreaming Hearts. Mary was a young girl with nothing…

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The Ironies of the “Goliath Matter”

Can you picture the Jerusalem press in the days of 1 Samuel 17? I picture the headlines something like this: “Day 15 of the Goliath Matter.” I picture media swarming the hills on the allied side of the Valley of Elah. I can see them airing Goliath’s rants over and over, showing photo ops of…

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Things I’m Thankful for Today

To a healthy Christian, Thanksgiving is not merely a holiday, it’s a lifestyle. How I long to grow in gratitude! Don’t you LOVE Thanksgiving Day!? This list could be SO long, but I’m going to do my best to keep it short! Here are a few things I’m thankful for, and why:   The Spiritual Stuff…

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Four Simple Ways to be More Thankful!

Have you ever considered where gratitude comes from? What produces it? Should I “work at it?” Or is it the overflow of something else? Can I “try” and be more thankful? Or is there a way of thinking that simply grows gratitude? I believe the latter. Rather than TRYING to be thankful, I believe thankfulness…

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3 Emotions that Oppress Difference-Making Christians

Do you ever feel overwhelmed as a spiritual leader or growing Christian? Do you ever wonder if you’re making any real difference? Do you battle with feelings of failure, impatience, and awkwardness? Read on… I recently read a fantastic book entitled “Prophetic Untimeliness” by Os Guinness. It’s a small book of incredible depth. (As a…

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Why Teens Lose Their Way Sexually

There’s no debating that we live in a generation of sexual and moral confusion. This confusion is hitting our kids at earlier ages than ever! It seems that the center of Satan’s target for our young people is their sexual purity and identity. If he can cause them to lose their way sexually, then he can misdirect…

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Spiritual Weapons for Wayward Kids (Repost)

What can you do when your grown children begin to stray spiritually? I’ve seen a lot of parents hurt, mystified, and shaken by sudden and radical spiritual changes in the lives of their adult children. I realize, one day I may be one of them—and so could you. In these moments, some parents grasp for control—trying…

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If Following God Scares You…

Twenty-six months ago our family began serving the Emmanuel Baptist Church, in answer to God’s call. We were scared to death! Truly, this was the most fearful, most difficult, and yet most exciting thing God ever unfolded in our lives. One reason I write about this journey is that God has taught us much through…

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What to Do When You’re Down

Are you down? Ever? If not, this is not your post. If so, God gets it! He really does. In fact, He expects it. Fighting discouragement is a part of the fallen human experience. Sin stinks and it’s condemned us to a less than perfect world where emotions persistently try to get the best of…

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An Open House Sunday Update

This past week the EBC family came together to magnify Jesus Christ and love people toward the gospel. These past few days, my heart has been overwhelmed at the joyful, hospitable, Christ-honoring spirit of our church family. Looking back on God’s blessings this weekend, here are the things I’m most thankful for: 1. A Praying…

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The Land Between Frenzy and Apathy

A rubber-band was designed to be stretched. Yet every rubber-band has a limit—a red-zone of danger and breakage. So long as you stretch a rubber-band within its safe-zone, you’re good. But cross into that red-zone, and breaking the rubber-band is only a matter of time. When rubber-bands break they become unusable for their intended purpose, not to mention the…

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The Power of Solitude with God

Flourishing through Solitude with God Have you watched any news lately? It’s numbing isn’t it? Is it possible to flourish in a world that is truly floundering? Is it possible to abound with joy in a world that is abounding with chaos and confusion? The Psalmist in Psalm 92 believes so. “The righteous shall flourish…

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No Generation Gap!—What I Learned from Don Sisk

Dr. Don Sisk just spent two days with me and our church family. For many years, my office was about six feet from his office, so we talked and visited often. I have missed him. Few people have had as profound an impact on my life as this godly man. These past two days, he preached…

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