Blog Posts

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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How to Affirm Your Kids (Repost)

Not long ago, my son asked my wife, “Was dad proud?” Then he said,”I work hard to make that man proud!” His statement reminded me of the power of parental affirmation, and of how often I fail to let him know how proud I am of him! Affirmation is HUGE! The most hopeless young person…

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6 Simple Words to Navigate God’s Call

Are you facing the possibility of a call to ministry? Or a call to the pastorate? Are you wrestling with God at the depths of your soul? Entering the ministry or the pastorate is not a light thing, and discerning that call and its implications can be a gut wrenching process. It was for me….

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5 Simple Ways to Bring a Friend to Church Sunday

Everything you are about to read is based upon the assumption that you attend a church that is “guest friendly.” I’m assuming you attend a church where people are intentionally friendly to new faces and gracious in spirit; a place where the worship is Christ-centered, and the gospel is clearly preached in grace and truth….

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15 Encouraging Thoughts for New Pastors

Last week, and young pastor who is about to transition to New England wrote to me asking for advice. This post is simply the first random fifteen thoughts that came to mind when looking back on my own transition. I’m admittedly NO expert! I’m still limping my way along, trying to be faithful in all…

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Six Steps to Kill a Church

I recently came across a powerful quote from an 18th century English pastor named Job Orton. Ironically, he wrote to the ministers of his day about doctrinal compromise. The struggles of churches nearly 300 years ago are the struggles of churches today. Read what he says: “I have long since found (and every year that…

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The Church I Dream of Pastoring

Joy and optimism ought to characterize every Christian and every church family. The fact is, a lot of Christians are miserable and they show it—they project it. Their lack of joy is like a giant negative billboard for Jesus, the gospel and His church. The same could be said for many churches—they radiate defeat, judgmentalism,…

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Understanding Anointing…

Do you ever feel called to responsibilities that are BIGGER than you? Do you ever cry out to God, “I can’t do this!” You’re not alone! Think Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and others. Much of my Christian life I’ve heard the word “anointing” presented in public contexts. Few Biblical words are so skewed and misappropriated than…

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How God Revives a Dying Church

Recently, I fellowshipped with a missionary couple who served for more than 40 years on the foreign field. A huge portion of their focus, for many years in the UK, was to help restore dying churches. In post-Christian America, in this and coming generations, we must not only plant churches—we MUST see older churches renewed…

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