All posts in christian life

How to Encourage Your Heart

Down days are part of every Christian life. Every spiritual leader, every pastor, every growing Christian wrestles with times of discouragement. Should it surprise us? No. Should we feel alone in it? No. Should we pretend we never deal with it? No. We should simply respond biblically and patiently. Emotions are shape-able. The heart is…

Top

10 Ideas for Enjoying God’s Word

Do you want to read God’s word consistently? More importantly, do you enjoy reading it? Or perhaps, like most Christians, you get stuck in the “duty and obligation” of the “ought to” attitude. Sure we “ought to” read God’s word, but there’s a better way! Reading, understanding, and applying the Bible is a “get to”, “want…

Top

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…

Top

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…

Top

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…

Top

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…

Top

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…

Top

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…

Top

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…

Top

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…

Top

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,…

Top

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…

Top

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…

Top

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…

Top

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…

Top

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…

Top

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,…

Top

The Value of Good Break

As I write this, our family has just returned from two cherished weeks of vacation. I’m speaking to a group of pastors and their families, not far from home, but reflecting on our family time together. Word associations from our trip—Solitude. Rest. Family. Laughter. Reading. Photos. Sand. Silly games. Quiet mornings. Golf. Sunsets. Thunderstorms. Shopping. Twins….

Top

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…

Top

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…

Top
1 2 3 4 5 13 Page 3 of 13

[email protected]

Thank you for reading Encouraging Words!