Blog Posts

I Wait, He Works…

I’m sitting on my back deck—on a swing—taking in a breathtakingly beautiful day in the middle of a rather difficult week. (I won’t bore you with the painful details part.) The sun is smiling at my back, preparing to sign off for the day in a spectacular array of color. Psalms are playing in the…

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A New Book in the Works!

Following Jesus is sure to be a journey of unfolding surprises. He delights to delight! I continue to marvel at God’s providence and grace on this journey. One of my great passions in ministry is writing—attempting to communicate God’s truth in a way that compels others to love Jesus. Almost a year ago I took a…

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The Monday After Easter!

It’s Monday morning after Easter Sunday.  The first task on your task list is “Start preparing next Sunday’s message.” But hold on a minute. This particular Monday morning brings a collision of dynamics to your heart (good and bad), a psychological soup… Delight in the energy and life of Easter Sunday. Exhaustion from the adrenaline…

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Resurrection Week and Spiritual Battle

Each year, I share some thoughts leading into Easter regarding the predictable spiritual battle of preaching Jesus. This is for spiritual leaders and Christian servants who are engaged in gospel ministry this week and are simultaneously experiencing spiritual battle… Any time you tackle a big effort to lift up Jesus, you can buckle up for…

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Gawk A Little

Ernest Becker wrote in Denial of Death, “…By the time we leave childhood we have repressed our vision of the primarily miraculousness of creation. We have closed it off, changed it, and no longer perceive the world as it is to raw experience.” My first 18 months in Connecticut, I couldn’t believe the immersive beauty—everywhere all the time….

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How God Funds His Work…

Do you ever stress over ministry finances? Read on! This post was written three years ago. I never posted it, not sure why. But now, more than ever, I’m convinced of a few things: First, spiritual leaders are often the most afraid and paralyzed in ministry because of their fear of “financial provision.” I know…

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Faith Eats Feelings for Breakfast!

Have you ever faced a moment when you felt like you were “losing faith?” Almost always those moments are connected to times when God did not behave as we expected Him to. He didn’t come through “when,” “how,” or “as” we expected. In those times, we face a crisis of belief. Has God let me…

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A Value-Driven New Year

Proverbs 16:9 “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.” How about some “new year values” instead of some “new year plans?” Plans are fine, but over 30 years of ministry and life planning, my takeaway is plans are often overrated. Many years I over-planned. Some years I under-planned. Some years…

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10 Ways to Win Over Winter Emotions

Ready for winter? If you don’t live in a “wintery place” move along—there’s nothing to see here. For the rest of us—I happily send you these 10 ways to win over winter emotions (plus a bonus!): It’s taken me seven New England winters of experimentation to understanding the weather’s impact on my mind/heart. Perhaps you’re…

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My Most Powerful Deliberate Spiritual Practice

Are you ever overwhelmed by circumstances beyond your control? Do you, like me, tend to default to manufacturing your own solutions? When things go badly, my immediate instinct is to solve, avoid, escape, or forge my own solutions to my situation.   This is a really bad habit—for several reasons. Why is it a bad…

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A Letter to the Pastor Taking (un)Friendly Fire…

What story will be told ten years from today? Early this morning I read a long document from seven years ago journaling the turmoil of God’s disruptive will in my life. At the time, I was recovering from cancer, and God was plowing up my heart and calling me into a blurry, fearful future. That three-page document details deep…

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Eight Demons Pastors Fight…

To stay in the ministry any length of time, a pastor needs to learn to fight some predictable “demons.” For instance, Monday mornings for pastors and spiritual leaders are unique. They bring with them an adrenalin crash that feels like you got hit by a train (emotionally) during the night. Sunday’s expenditure of energy—physically, spiritually,…

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In The Gospel Podcast and Weekend

Today is exciting for our team at Emmanuel! When God brought my family to Connecticut six years ago, we were coming out of a battle with cancer, and were entering a difficult season of church revitalization. My health and the church’s health were both in a state of real question marks. At that time, I…

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What Changed at Emmanuel Over Six Years

A pastor-friend recently asked me this question, “What are the most essential changes made at Emmanuel over the last six years?” He urged me to shape my answer into a blog post, which I nervously submit to you at this time. The question was difficult to answer for several reasons. Jesus Really Leads the Change…

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How to Reclaim 40 Hours a Month

How would you like to find another 40 hours in your month? What could you accomplish with that time? Get an advanced degree? Read the books you’ve been wanting to get to? Develop an interest? Sharpen a skill set? Think about the impact of this. I’m late to the game on this, but still felt…

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Resurrection Week and Spiritual Battle

Can I share a few words for those spiritual leaders and Christians who are engaged in Gospel ministry this week and are simultaneously experiencing spiritual battle? Twenty-eight years into ministry I can tell you, any time you tackle a big effort to lift up Jesus, you can buckle up for some spiritual opposition of some…

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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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“Pastor, I’m Just Struggling!”

Why we struggle. How to struggle. Finding Hope in Struggles. On average, probably more than twice a week, I hear from another pastor who, in a moment of painful transparency reaches out to me saying, “I’m struggling.” It’s so common, I believe pervasive is a more appropriate word. I hear the same from church family…

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A New Year with Jesus as Center

I’m a “story buff”! From Narnia to the Shire to the planet Tatooine to Oz, I love a good story, and I’m not alone. It’s a human thing. Present-day Americans spend many hours every week consuming stories—from books, to movies, to TV—for good or bad, we are a story-craving people. Why? Often, it’s an escape…

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Jesus is Emmanuel—God with Us!

“Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” (Matthew 1:23) Jesus is…  God enough to judge, but good enough to save. Big enough to execute cosmic justice, but small enough to cry from a manger. Dreadful…

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