Archive for 2013

Blessing the Bruised Generation…

A few weeks ago I had a wonderful lunch appointment with a fantastic young couple. They don’t attend our church and aren’t planning to, but we were thankful to spend time together. During the course of the conversation we were sharing our stories—our journey of faith and growth in local church life. At one point,…

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The Power of Your Words…

Have you thought about your words lately? They are powerful! They either build or destroy. They either encourage or discourage. They either pick up or put down. Words are weighty—powerful influencers. Words stay with people—for a long, long time. James compares words to fruit and water—things that are consumed and digested. What takes seconds for…

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Your First Year at a New Church…

The First Year at a New Church… Recently a new pastor emailed me and asked, “What do you know now that you wish you knew when you arrived at EBC?” That’s a challenging question to answer briefly. I’m a beginner. God knows what He’s doing, but I don’t. This year, I got some things right…

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When You Don’t Know What to Say…

A friend of ours has gone through unthinkable hardship in recent years. In fact, this hardship is so massive and so devastating that, when I see this friend, I really have no idea what to say. And so the temptation is to avoid the conversation. To say nothing. Don’t ask. Don’t call up the emotions….

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When God Leads Change…

Note: Please don’t read into this post that people are resisting change at EBC. In fact, they have embraced change, and seen God glorified by that change for the past year. This post is just my effort to help others release the strangle-hold that “SAME” has on their church. If you call a new pastor,…

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How to Survive a Tough Transition

One year ago, our family began the most difficult transitional challenge of our lives. God called us away from comfort and security, and into a journey of seeing a hurting church revitalized by His grace. We were terrified. In many ways, we still are. But a nearly a year into it, God’s grace has sustained…

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Stewarding the “In Between Places”

The vast majority of life is lived in the “in between places”—the space between the mountain tops. The “in between places” are flatlands of life where we don’t visibly see God doing something miraculous. These are the places that follow the mountain tops—they stitch the high points together with mundane redundancy. Last night at EBC…

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Does Position Really Trump Disposition?

Sometimes cliche statements reflect bad Theology. Growing up, many times I heard (and disagreed) with this statement: “I’d rather have the right position and wrong disposition, than the wrong position and a right disposition.” To me, that has always sounded like a veiled way of saying, “Believing the right things gives me permission to act…

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How Cancer Changed Me for Good

(Note: Perhaps this post will be an encouragement to you or someone you know who is presently in a trial… especially if they are fighting cancer.) Today marks a major milestone in the cancer battle. Two years ago today I walked out of Kaiser Sunset Hospital in Hollywood, CA with a set of well-cooked lungs—the…

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Tools for Breakthrough

In my last post I talked about breakthrough. In this post I simply want to share some tools and how they have helped me with breakthrough. Here are the top software resources that have proven useful to me in a major way: Evernote—I started using Evernote as soon as it was released. Now that I’m…

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Do You Need Breakthrough?

Do you find yourself hitting your head against a ceiling in terms of your work-flow or organizational world? You’re not alone. This is a series of three posts on resources that have helped me have “breakthrough” at different times in organization or workflow. First a quantifier… Blogs really bother me when they seem to say,…

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If Only We Refused to Play Games…

Note: Hopefully this post doesn’t apply to you. It’s a bit of satire with a serious message…  Let’s play a game… should be a lot of fun. Anybody can play. It’s sort of like “Family Feud”—let’s call it “Ministry Feud”—or “Pastor Politics!” Round One: The First-Blood Round Either one of us can go first. The…

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Wedding Day Words…

These are the words I shared with my son and his bride today—their wedding day. Perhaps they will encourage you: Eighteen years ago, it was just another normal Tuesday night in the high desert of Southern, CA. My partner and I drove to Palmdale to make a follow-up visit on a family that had visited…

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When Your Son is Getting Married (Random Observations)

When your son is getting married—random observations… 1. You feel old. 2. You sit around, replaying all the memories, wishing you could go back and relive a few. 3. You should just say “ok” to all the ladies helping with the wedding. DON’T get involved! 4. You thank the Lord for giving you a chance…

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What Happens to Our Youth Group Grads?

It’s the time of year when many of your teenagers are graduating from high school and from the church youth group! What’s next for them? I mean—what’s next for them at your church? What’s next for them in ministry? Some go away to college. But many stay close to home. Is there ministry for them…

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Is New England Reachable?

According to 57% of unsaved New Englanders—YES! I shared these stats previously, but in case you missed them… Recent surveys of New Englanders and religion have been published by Lifeway. Here are the HIGH POINTS! 1. Church attendance in New England has dropped over 10% in the last four years. That sounds like bad news, but…

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Why I’m Thankful for My Dad

Today is Father’s Day, and I couldn’t help but take a moment to reflect on why I’m thankful for my dad. Here are the big values and investments that resonate in my life on a daily basis: 1. He loves Jesus and truly committed himself to Christ. In 1977 when my dad and mom stepped…

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12 Thoughts On Spiritual Battle

Are you dealing with some spiritual oppression or hardship? Do you feel resistance as you are trying to press forward in faith? You’re in good company! Here are some things God has been teaching me about spiritual battle: 1. It always follows after your step out in faith—Satan hates faith expressed! It’s like saying “sick…

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WAIT! Before You Step Out…

God’s will—how do you know when and how to step out in faith? God’s will is big. It’s also unknown. It’s wonderful. It’s also scary. And being certain that you are in God’s will is critical having the confidence to go forward. Perhaps you’re standing on the shore-line, looking out at the vast unknown that…

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The Power of Biblical Affirmation

Have you ever felt “in over your head?” Have you sensed God calling you to do something—and you hope you’re wrong!? Those are precarious moments, and one thing changes them dramatically. Someone else’s belief and biblical affirmation! Let me explain. Everybody responds to others “cheering them on!” We all need godly voices compelling us to follow…

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