My first case of homesickness struck in the Missouri foothills. I was a ten-year-old at Camp Soaring Hawk and one of the few campers staying for both multi-week summer sessions. Although I had never been away from home before, things were okay while camp activities were taking place all day with new friends.Then they left.And […]Read More Homesick: My Longing for Things to Be as They Should
Quick Navigation A Torturous DeathHumiliationA Closer LookSubstitutionA Shadow of JesusThe Tables Turned A Torturous DeathIt’s Friday. Jesus has been betrayed, arrested, judged, scourged, and is now hanging from a cross, each breath requiring searing pain to shoot from nailed hands and feet as he would be forced to pull himself up upward against gravity to refill […]Read More Passion Week/Friday: Great Friday
Here is a 5-step process for creating a compelling sermon introduction. The goal is to have people wanting to hear your message–feeling a deep need for what you are planning to say because you will be answering a burning, practical question with a biblical solution (that is tied and tethered to the cross). Those who preach […]Read More A Simple 5-Step Process for Creating Compelling Sermon Introductions
Quick Navigation Longing for a Shared StoryThe Covenantal vs Consumeristic MarriageVows are not a FormalityThe Importance of FoundationsA Better QuestionLet’s Apply ItDiscussion Guide Longing for a Shared StoryBoth sets of my wife’s grandparents were married for over sixty years. What a legacy! Isn’t that what we want to look forward to. Enjoying long life together […]Read More The Secret of the 50-Year Marriage
The problem with sermons today isn’t with those who listen. The problem is with those of us who preach. I am as guilty as anyone. In fact, it is my culpability as a preacher that has spurned me to study, learn, and discover as much as I can about how to best communicate the gospel in a […]Read More How to Start a Message so that People Will Listen
Introduction – 1 Corinthians 15:12-32 “Christianity, if false, is of no importance, but if true, is of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.”In that statement, C.S. Lewis, the Oxford professor and author of the Narnia books, challenges us to re-evaluate our assumptions. What would make Christianity either true or false? What is […]Read More What if Jesus is Still Buried?
This post is a snippet from a much longer article on slowing down. If you’d like to read the full-length post, you’ll find it here. If you’d just like the take-a-ways, here they are — the six ways to live within limits that I am discovering for myself. I hope this will help you, too. […]Read More Six Ways to Slow Down and Live within Limits
What are we to do with our emotions when people leave the church we lead?Read More When People Leave the Church We Lead: a 5-Part Coping Strategy
How can a flawed sinner be an effective leader? Psalm 32 shows us.Read More How Can a Flawed Sinner Be an Effective Leader?
Table of Contents 1. Facing the Inevitable2. My Typical Reaction to Criticism3. The Message of the Cross4. Embracing the Grain5. Grace Flows Downhill 1. Facing the InevitableI have a special love for young pastors. So idealistic. Oh, how I remember those unicorn and butterfly days of long ago. Those were my days as an assistant pastor. […]Read More Pastors, Imagine Facing Criticism in View of the Cross
Quick Navigation INTRODUCTIONTHE MOST IMPORTANT THING: 3 Things1. IT IS A GIFT TO RECEIVE (vv. 1-2)Faith is central.Reminders are crucial.Ongoing faith is pivotal.Application: It is the same way with standing firm in the gospel.2. IT IS A TRUTH TO BELIEVE (vv. 3-8)It is a truth predicted in the Scriptures.It is a truth verified in history.Application: […]Read More The Most Important Thing
Table of Contents Marriage Will Not Fix the ProblemMarriage Needs Ongoing MaintenanceThe Human ConditionThe Two Options for Ending a WarThe Critical QuestionA Lesson from the Master’sThe Way of ReconciliationUnclogging the SinkApply the Principle 1. Suspect yourself2. Take a Look in the Bucket3. Change the Oil4. Let Defensiveness be a Red Flag5. Read It TogetherResolving Conflict […]Read More How to Resolve Marriage Conflict
Quick Content Navigation 1. The Impact We Crave2. A Moment of Sanity3. A New Metaphor4. No Little Places, No Little Pastors5. The Pastor’s Primary Work6. Your Next Step 1. The Impact We CraveHello, fellow pastor. Do you ever struggle to believe that your ministry is making any difference? I do. Does your emotional fullness meter ebb and […]Read More For Pastors Who Struggle to Believe that Their Ministry is Making a Difference
Quick Links to Message Notes INTRODUCTION1. THE PRIORITY OF PROPHECY (14:1-5)Three primary benefitsAn important distinctionHelpful definitionsApplication2. THE VALUE OF TONGUES (14:6-25) As a public sign (Acts 2)As a personal gift (1 Corinthians 14)For private prayer (personal edification)Not to be used in gathered worship 3. THE NECESSITY OF ORDER (14:26-40)Order in the use of giftsOrder for expressing questions, […]Read More What Role Should Speaking in Tongues Play in the Christian Life?
Last Sunday night I received a call at 1:30 a.m. It was my son, Schaeffer. Those are never “good news” calls. A little back story. It was the last night of his spring break. He and some friends were enjoying a late night slice of pie at the City Cafe’ in Downtown Chattanooga. His Jeep had been […]Read More 4 Essentials for Your Broken World Survival Pack
Last week, we covered most of chapter 12, where Paul addressed was how the church is like a body, or a team, with many parts working together to achieve a common purpose. Each part has a gift to use — a grace gift given by the Holy Spirit that enable each believer to play his or […]Read More 4 Stops on the Road to Loving Like Jesus
Quick Navigation Introduction1) The Holy Spirit, as the Source of All Spiritual Life, Endows Each Believer with a Spiritual Gift.2) There is a Vast Diversity of Gifts Among Believers.3) Just like Parts of the Human Body Function Interdependently, Spiritual Gifts Function Interdependently (for the accomplishment of a common purpose).4) Each Gift is Necessary, Valuable, and […]Read More It Takes a Team: 4 Foundational Truths About Spiritual Gifts
AN IMPORTANT MESSAGEBefore you listen to the audio message or read this post, I want to make it explicit that there is absolutely no room whatsoever to excuse any form of marital abuse (emotional, physical, financial, verbal, etc.). In a day when domestic violence and abuse is at epidemic levels, we need to let abused women […]Read More A Goalie’s Sacrifice: When Authority is Responsibility and Submission is Grace
My older two kids probably will tell you that I blew this conversation. There are several factors that contributed to my lack of paternal initiative to have this conversation. One, I was scared. Two, I was scared. Three, I was scared. Maybe you will find my struggle encouraging, knowing that you are not alone. When the day […]Read More 4 Talking Points for Discussing Sex with Your Kids
Have you ever seen yourself as a model? Not a magazine model but a role model.Fathers know they are role models.Mothers, too, and grandparents. Teachers and coaches have a sense of their influence in the lives of their students and players.What we discover in our passage is that every Christian is a role model in how […]Read More 3 Lessons Every Role Model Needs to Learn