The Danger of Secrets

We want to be known for something. We have an idea of how we want to be known versus what is real. That can cause a huge problem. It causes to have secrets. If you’re married you know this you argue on the way to church and when you pull in the parking lot, you put on your happy Christian face. If you have kids, it multiplies. You warn them that if they cut up that you are going to kill them when you get them home.

I have to be honest with you. I really do not like this topic. This is tough for me because I have secrets of my past. I hid secrets from my parents. I have a secret I haven’t shared with my wife or my kids. I have secrets that my friends don’t know about. There seems to be very fine  line between secrets and confidentiality. The secrets I have lean more towards confidentiality that I have had to keep in the context of ministry. There are some bone headed things I have done in my life that my extended family will never know about, but my wife and kids have full knowledge of.

Then there is the secret that my wife and kids don’t know – I have secretly wanted to learn to play an instrument and be good enough to play with an orchestra. I love music, but I do not have musical bone in my body.

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Managing Your Time Well

A time management expert was teaching a seminar for executives. He placed a large, clear open-mouthed jar in front of the group. Next, he put seven or eight large rocks into the jar until it was full. “Is the jar full?” He asked. Everyone nodded. Then he took pebbles and filled up the jar with the small rocks until they reached the rim. “Is the jar full?” By now, they didn’t answer. So, he poured fine sand in. “Is the jar full?” Some nodded. He proceeded to take a pitcher of water and filled up the jar again. “What’s the lesson about time management?” he asked. Hands shot up, and everyone agreed “No matter how busy you are you can always fit more things into your schedule.” “Wrong.” he replied. “The lesson is: unless you put the big rocks in first, they never will fit in. You must figure out what the big rocks are for you.” What are the big rocks in your life? Giving time to God? Giving time to your marriage and to your children? If you don’t put those big rocks in first, someone else will fill up your jar. Understand:

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A Critique of T4T for Disciple Making


Most churches today are searching for the next magic pill, the next great program or the pastor who seems to make it look easy as a way to grow their congregations. What they seem to neglect is the power of the Word of God and the Spirit of God to make an impact. Why do churches struggle with making disciples that make disciples? It’s not that hard. I want to introduce you to the beautifully simple method of making disciples that make disciples through a church planting movement that is happening around the world today in every continent on the planet.

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The Danger of Electronic Miscommunication

With the advent of texting and email, I would venture to say that you have sent out or received a message where the content was taken the wrong way. When this happens, you experience all kinds of emotions ranging from hurt, anger, confusion, and frustration. The art of communication, especially face to face communication is quickly disappearing in an world driven by electronic communication.

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Will Christians Ever Be Happy With The Government?

I want to start off by saying that I have been attending church nine months before I born, if you know what I mean. Personally I made the commitment to follow Jesus and be known as a Christian some forty-three years ago when I was a boy of nine. To be honest, I had no idea what that meant and in my teenage years drifted into things I should not have which meant I drifted from Christianity. It wasn’t until several years later after I married my wife, that we both made comprehensible decisions to follow Jesus and dedicate our lives to serving and loving him.

I am about to hit a raw nerved with both my liberal leaning and my conservative leaning friends when it comes to our government and the decisions that are made in the Executive, Judicial, and the Legislative branches of our government. I believe that Christians will never be happy with the government and we should stop trying to pin our country’s hope on politicians.

Here’s why:

If you are wanting the government to be filled with Christians who believe the way you do, and pass laws that dictate Christian values, you are putting your hope in the wrong place. We cannot and should not legislate personal morality. What happened with the SCOTUS in Hobby Lobby case this week is definitely a win for religious freedom, but don’t we as Americans have that anyway?

We want the government to do what Jesus left the church to do – change the world with the gospel of Jesus. It almost makes me nauseous to think that Christians today are in many ways similar to the Jewish zealots of Jesus day. They wanted rulers in high places to overthrow those who would lead the charge to cleanse their country of those wicked godless Romans.  We think God in government is going to solve our problems? Dear friend, that will only happen, when the King of Kings sits on His throne. Remember the words of Jesus, “If the world hates me, it will hate you also.” I have news for you, if you are a bleeding heart liberal or a die hard conservative, the government is not your Savior.

If the Christians I know on Facebook would spend as much time sharing Jesus with those who do not know him instead of knocking the Democrat or Republican parties, then we would fulfill the Great Commission. Jesus didn’t say that he left the organization of government to change the world, he left his church – “I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

Sometimes I think there are knuckle head Christians who don’t read and understand the Bible.  If you are like most evangelical Christians I know, you believe Jesus will return very soon. If that’s how you believe, guess what? Then you believe it is going to get worse before Jesus comes back. Look around!

Yes, I get mad at the way the spineless politicians run our country. It makes me angry that men and women have died for four hundred years to protect this country and we have wimps in state capitals and in Washington DC called politicians who are more interested in their net worth than the worth of the people of the United States.

But, I am called to show grace and mercy. To focus on what really matters. To spread the good news of Jesus and his forgiveness to everyone who will listen and pray they turn to him and turn away from their sinful life.

Is America A Christian Nation?

I have on several occassions made the comment that I believe that America is no longer a Christian nation. I based that comment and belief on the documented research of The Barna Group and The MIssional Research Center. Basically, we are a nation with a population of 300 million plus people and it is estimated that the large majority of the population are not Christian as defined by evangelical standards. Those standards which are rooted in biblical scripture include, but are not inclusive: the belief in a Creator – God, the belief in the existence of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit existing as one entity in the form of three individuals, that the Son Jesus came to earth to atone for men’s sins, that Jesus is the only way to the Father and thus eternal life in heaven, the belief in a literal heaven and hell, the belief that Jesus will return and judge humankind, and the belief that we re to follow and imitate Jesus and live out his teachings.

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The Passion Killers

Yesterday I wrote about what happens when we lose our passion and promised that today I would share some passion killers and how to get past them. You’ve fallen prey to one of the passion killers of life. I want you to use this as a checklist and ask, “Why have I got the blahs? Why have I lost my zest? Why am I not passionate like I used to be? Where have my expectations and enthusiasm gone for the Lord and everything else?” Chances are it’s one or more of these passion killers.

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When We Lose Our Passion

In America, we are passionate about sports. We are passionate about movies we watch. We are passionate about fashion, the clothes we wear. We are passionate about certain kinds of cars. We are passionate about restaurants—some of us more than others.

The amazing thing in our culture is it’s ok, even appropriate, for you to be passionate about anything as long as it’s not God. I can go to any sporting event and yell, scream my head off, jump up and down, raise my hands in the air and when we lose I can cry and when we win I can dance around and people would say, “There’s a fan!” But if I came to church and did any of that, they’d say, “There’s a fanatic!” It’s like it’s appropriate to get excited, be enthusiastic, have a passion for anything in life, as long as it’s not God. Yet Jesus said, If you’re going to follow Me, you’ve got to do it with passion. With all your heart.

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Using Technology In Church Planting

I am sure that most of you have seen the classic movie Napoleon Dynamite. At the end of the movie, Napoleon’s brother Kip sings an original song he wrote to his bride Lafawnduh titled, “Yes, I Love Technology.” If you haven’t seen the movie, do yourself a favor and spend some time watching this movie that has a cult like following. Many of us love technology to do our jobs or make our lives earier. Technology is a tool to be used in church planting, whether it be a website, a blog or social media site that promotes what your church is about.

One word of wisdom – Don’t over do it or rely on technology to spread the word about your church, church plant, or ministry or to spread the Word.

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Putting Words in God’s Mouth

It always scares me when I hear someone say, “What Jesus meant was… or What Jesus was really saying was…” I understand very well first hand how this can be played out having served as a pastor, church planter and missionary. While well meaning in trying to help people understand the Bible, God’s Word, we can inadvertently put words in God’s mouth that in reality are not in the Bible.

Pastors, teachers, seminary professors and any Jesus follower need to heed the warning of scripture.   Regardless of biblical scholar’s interpretations and commentaries, scripture tells us, “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” Isaiah 40:8.  Regardless of our attempts to explain scripture, it will be around long after you and I pass on from this world.

This is a very subjective area, as those who preach, teach, and share from God’s Word feel the need to expound on what is written in the Bible and rightly so. We are told to rightly divide the word of truth so we can correctly teach it to others. My guess is that one hundred percent of those who teach, preach, or just have every day conversations about the Bible don’t believe they are putting words into God’s mouth. Growing up in church my entire life and having served as I have, trust me, I have heard people put words into God’s mouth. I must confess, I too stand  accused of having done so. While trying my best to expound and expose what is in scripture, I am sure I have added my, “What Jesus really meant was…” many times. So, I hope you understand I am not pointing my fingers at anyone, because I am certainly to blame as well.

So, next time you sit down to talk about what is written in the Bible, make sure not to put words in God’s mouth and I promise not to as well.