Blog Posts

The Anatomy of a Great Decision

What do you do when the euphoria of a great decision suddenly vanishes? The journey between sowing a great decision and reaping a great outcome is more difficult than we expect. Last year I planted some peach trees in my back yard. Why? Because I’m crazy about peaches. But peaches aren’t instant. In fact, peaches…

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What the Long-Termers Get Right!

Have you considered the contrast between ministry that is impressive in the short-term vs. ministry that is effective in the long-term? What values possess the “long-termers?” What do they get right? This week I crossed the twenty-five-year mark of ministry—but I still feel like a beginner. Almost incessantly, I contemplate and attempt to learn from the…

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What I Appreciated about Spiritual Leadership Conference

The past few days, I had the privilege to attend the Spiritual Leadership Conference in Lancaster, CA. It was good to be back at LBC and to reconnect with so many people that we dearly love! Our hearts are full from the encouragement of seeing and fellowshipping with so many wonderful friends from CA and…

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The Life Story of Don Sisk—Now Available!

About ten years ago, Don Sisk and I first had a conversation about publishing his biography. At the first mention, in his typical humility, he laughed out-loud and said, “I seriously doubt anybody would want to read it.” About a year later, Dr. Sisk asked, “If we were to do that biography, would you be willing to…

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Family Traditions that We Cherish Today!

Families that PLAY together STAY together! I’m going to admit up front, this post is not my most spiritual, but it may be one of the most valuable and practical. Our “little kid” family years flew by like they strapped on a jet-pack! Much faster than I would have ever anticipated, and at a ridiculously…

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One Key to an Irresistible Marriage (Repost)

Recently, a young couple emailed me and asked an insightful question about their relationship. Several years into their marriage, they are discovering how “opposite” they really are in many areas. And that realization scared them. They asked if this discovery should worry them, or if all couples experience this. It occurred to me that most…

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How Healthy Pastors Build Balanced Weeks

A guy jumped off a ten-story building because he wanted to fly by flapping his arms. As he passed by, somebody on the fifth floor asked him how it was going. He said “so far so good!” Nobody wants to be that guy! Too many have gone “splat.” In an effort to avoid this, I’m addicted to…

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Five Great Books for Productivity

Are you striving to live a balanced life of good stewardship? Several times a month I’m asked “what are the best books on time or life management that you have read?” So here they are. Please note: this list is not a full endorsement of these writers or of everything these books contain. This is simply a great body…

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Five Reasons NOT to Overwork

Are you prone to working too much? Many are. Let’s face it—our present culture REWARDS overwork! And many ministry cultures reward overwork. Our identities crave significance and importance—so overworking temporarily salves our longing for meaning and the feeling of importance. Our bank accounts scream for more—so overworking provides additional living and operating funds. Our employers…

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Why Nobody Can Rationally Deny Jesus’ Resurrection

Here are TEN quick reasons why nobody can really, rationally deny the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The resurrection of Jesus is absolutely plausible… 1. Nobody expected it—not even His closest followers. 2. Nobody would have invented it—The cleverest fiction writer wouldn’t have contrived this story, and least of all a bunch of uneducated, perplexed disciples….

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Random Musings from a New Grandpa

Our first two grandchildren were born this week. Surreal! It’s given pause for some reflection—some humorous, some serious. I thought I’d share it with you… Here are TEN random musings from a new grandpa: 1. I’ve been waiting for 23 years to get my wife back. I think I just lost her again. She came…

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How to Bring a Friend to Jesus this Easter!

Resurrection week is one of the BEST weeks of the year to bring someone to hear the clear gospel of Jesus Christ. If you live in New England, 57% of the population said they would respond positively to a FRIEND inviting them to church. How cool! That’s an amazing open door. So, I challenge you…

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11 Ways I’m Trying to Grow in Bible Communication

Every Saturday I imagine how difficult it must be for regular attenders of my church to have to sit through another couple hours of hearing my voice again. It makes me both nervous, and cautious. It makes me review my entire message looking for things that need to “go.” It makes me critically listen to…

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A Standing Ovation to Younger Leaders!

The past three days, I have been privileged to spend time at a marriage retreat led by young pastors and relatively new churches. Call them younger leaders, millennials, generation whatever—the labels are irrelevant. What I marvel at is the moving of God’s Holy Spirit through these godly pastors and their kind! I hope I encouraged…

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Guest Post: Qualities of a Healthy Church Team

By Josue Ortiz A Guest Post—The following post is from a friend of mine, from whom I have learned much. Josue Ortiz and his wife Bekah are currently on deputation to plant churches in Mexico. They are heading to the field very soon. I met Josue a couple of years ago, and my respect for…

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When Voices Say “Don’t Think!”

(Note: The context of this post is in regard to reading Christian writing and material related to understanding God’s Word as well as the thinking of the world around us. It is not in reference to fiction, entertainment, and other reading contexts.) I have two adopted Cambodian brothers. Their family escaped communist genocide in Cambodia…

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The Dangers of Lording Leadership

What Lording Over God’s Heritage Looks Like? Bad leadership can be found in any organization or institution. It can be found in secular or religious groups. It can be found in families or corporations. Abuse of power and people is nothing new, but in Christian ministry it is especially hurtful and ugly. When it comes…

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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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