All posts in family

Still Off Script—A Thanksgiving Reflection

Seven years ago, today, I was one treatment into nearly a year of chemo and radiation, wondering what God was doing. I was praying treatment would work. Six years ago, today, cancer treatments were successful and cancer was in the rear-view mirror; but God was calling weak-me to follow Him away from everything I knew….

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Lessons from Five Years at Emmanuel

Celebrating a Five-Year Journey… Five years ago yesterday, we officially began our journey of renewal and gospel ministry with the Emmanuel Baptist Church family. The months prior had been laced with many late-night wrestlings with God over His call and a lot of biblical counseling with godly, objective advisors. By May 2012, His word and…

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When You Don’t “Feel Like It…”

Do you ever have moments where your heart sort of just “crashes?” You hit a wall spiritually. Suddenly, you don’t feel like going to church. You don’t feel like reading God’s word. You don’t feel like caring. You don’t feel like exercising. The list goes on. What do you do in that moment? Do feelings…

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10 Ways to Strengthen Your Church This Christmas!

Do you love your church? Jesus does! Jesus loved the church enough to die. Do we love Him and His church enough to live? To give? To really make His bride a high priority in our lives? Here are ten simple ways that you could greatly strengthen your church this season and in the new…

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Live Lighter, Love Better is Available!

It is exciting to announce that Live Lighter, Love Better is available tomorrow morning! (Nov. 30) What a privilege it is to work with the Striving Together publications team to make this project available! I’m grateful for their excellent work. I received my advance copy this week and was excited to see the beautiful quality of…

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10 Habits of Healthy Families

Is your family close? Do you tolerate each other? Or do you actually enjoy each other? Do you love spending time together? Can you laugh with each other? Every family has its “moments”—but I’m surprised at how many Christian families really don’t cultivate family health. Many have long seasons of distance, anger, division, or fracture….

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How to Down-Size Your Problems

“And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.” (Luke 6:12) Have you felt overwhelmed by problems you can’t solve? Have you struggled to find solutions to issues you can’t wrap your brain around? Have you been crushed by…

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Remember and Pray—Reagan On Memorial Day

On May 26, 1986, President Ronald Reagan shared these stories: “Here in Arlington rests a sharecropper’s son who became a hero to a lonely people. Joe Louis came from nowhere, but he knew how to fight. And he galvanized a nation in the days after Pearl Harbor when he put on the uniform of his…

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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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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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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….

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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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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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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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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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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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Best Books for Christian Parents!

Frequently someone asks what books I would recommend on youth ministry or parenting. They are generally the same books. While there are some good books on youth ministry, the most helpful to youth ministry are those on the family. Whether you are a parent, a youth pastor, or a pastor, I would urge you to…

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Manage Your Exhaustion for Other’s Sake!

Exhaustion is a physical, emotional, intellectual, relational, and spiritual state. It’s not just one, but all of these. We make a big mistake to think it’s just physical. Responding properly means responding biblically to each dynamic. Exhaustion impacts others—and not in a good way. If you are serving God, raising a family, or meaningfully engaging in…

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