Saturday, December 27, 2008
Tomorrow is the last Sunday of the year. I'm looking forward to preaching (especially since I didn't get to preach last Sunday because of the power outage).
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Monday, December 08, 2008
Friday, December 05, 2008
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
In ministry, I’ve had seasons of full blown passion for Christ and His Kingdom. At other times, my passion leaked and I was spiritually empty. Here are a few signs you might be a lukewarm pastor from my own life and experiences helping other pastors.
A lukewarm pastor:
Prays as much, or more, publicly than privately.
Is almost exclusively dependent on others’ sermons to preach than directly hearing from God.
Cares more about his church than The Church.
Preaches about evangelism but doesn’t practice evangelism privately.
Tolerates and rationalizes unconfessed sin.
Preaches for the approval of people rather than the approval of God.
Is overly sensitive to criticism.
Harbors bitterness and unforgiveness.
Reads the Bible to prepare sermons but not for personal devotion to God.
Is jealous or critical of someone else that God is blessing.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
If you don't know what is causing your momentum, you are only one
stupid decision away from killing it.
I said, "God, do something in our church. And God, 'that's why you're there.' I mean, who built the ark?" (God worked through a person).
Do anything short of sin to connect people to Christ.
Mark Waltz put some great notes on his blog (scroll down past his anniversary post).
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Born (Again) in the USA
Born again in the USA
(I was) Born again in the USA
When Jesus Christ washed my sins away
(I was) Born again in the USA
Karma Chameleon (I am not making this up)
Become a (come a come a come a) come a Christ-ian (in the Church of Christ or the Christian Church)
Your sins will be forgiven when you become a Christian
So come, let's go, c'mon let's go
WHAT were we thinking?
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Fellowship -- Why is It Important?
Because of the danger of isolation
Because of the joy of celebration
Because of the power of consecration
Because of the impact of inspiration
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Currently I'm preaching a sermon series called "Down to the Core" based on Acts 2:42. Tomorrow I will be talking about the apostles' doctrine. My friend Dave Willis posted this reminder on his blog. Thanks bro!
Phil Johnson wrote: "That’s why preachers ought to preach the Word instead of telling stories and doing comedy. That’s where the power for ministry resides: in the Word. It’s not in our cleverness or our oratorical skills. The power is in the Word of God. And our task is simple: all we have to do is make the Bible’s meaning plain, proclaim it with accuracy and clarity. And the Spirit of God uses His Word to transform lives. The power is in the Word, not in any technique or program."
Sometimes I'm tempted to trust my own cleverness, wit or skill and I need to be reminded to keep the Word central. I sure I'm not alone in this regard. Maybe you need this reminder too.
Friday, November 07, 2008
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
1. God is sovereign and still on His throne.
2. The local church is the hope of the world.
Sunday, November 02, 2008
God showed up in an amazing way at The Creek this morning. We had Dean Trune as our guest for a Going Deeper with God weekend. Last night Dean taught about developing spiritual roots, and journaling. Today he taught during Bible School about spiritual warfare. During the worship service he preached about prayer. At the end he offered an invitation for anyone who would purpose in their hearts to become more committed to prayer. Dozens of people came forward in the first service! It was incredible. Then God did it again in the second service! Clearly, the Holy Spirit was at work. I was so excited to see so many people expressing a desire to get more serious about their faith and their walk with the Lord. 95 people made a public commitment. Wow! I can’t wait to see what God is going to do in the lives of His people and His church.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
In recent months, she started to show her age. Her hearing was nearly gone and she didn't do much but lie around the house. The past few days, she had become very lethargic and was not herself. We took her to the vet today, fearing what we might have to do. The vet said she had a tumor on her spleen. Long story short, we had to say "good-bye." But we have lots of great memories.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Some of you know that I have been on a personal journey with regard to the issue of the Lord's Supper. See posts here. My friend Al Maxey has written so well on this subject. He asks many of the same questions I have been asking. Especially here and here. Enjoy!
Friday, October 17, 2008
This one is for all the parents of teenage boys. A couple of nights ago, Luke and his friend were coming into the garage with a spray can. I asked what they had been doing and they said they had been burning stuff. What?! (cue the fatherly lecture about playing with fire, especially while using an accelerant, "you could have burned the barn down", etc.).
Yesterday I walked into the house and it smelled like oil or smoke or something. I suspected that they had been in the barn. So I walked out to the barn and it was full of smoke (a chemical smell). Furious, I found them in Luke's room and got them to confess that they had been burning the old pool noodles. I can only imagine the noxious chemicals that stunt produced. I'll spare you the details, but the Wrath of Dad came down.
Later, my repentant son said, "Dad, teen boys like to burn stuff. Just to see what it will do." I know son. I once was one.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
The local Christian bookstore had its annual ministers appreciation breakfast this morning. We had a nice breakfast, then listened to some publishers hawk their new books, then we walked away with 8-10 freebies. LeaderShift by Don Cousins. Ed Young’s book, Outrageous, Contagious Joy. A sampler of the ESV study Bible (the book of Luke). The Blazing Center by John Piper. A workbook companion for Hybels’ Holy Discontent. A few others that I can’t recall right now. We always have a good time at this event.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
The new ESV Study Bible debuts next week. It has been getting a lot of hype in the blogosphere. Crossway has been doing a good job of promotion. I have been enjoying reading through the ESV this year, so I'm curious to see what the Study Bible looks like. I have not been a big Study Bible fan in the past (Mrs. Soren has the NIV Study Bible and it's HUGE), but it is hard to ignore the hearty endorsements from people whom I respect.
Although I have some very good Bible software, I've always been a "book guy." I would rather read a printed commentary than read it off a computer screen. But it's easier to take my laptop to Starbucks than all my books.
Okay so this is probably the most boring post of the week. You get what you pay for.
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Sunday, October 05, 2008
Friday, October 03, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Seven Things I'd Like to Say to the Men of America
I have a bone to pick, a frustration to voice and here it is. Where have all the men gone? I’m not talking about Neanderthals who drag their knuckles along the ground and beat up women and small children. I’m talking about good men, strong men, godly men; men who stand tall in the saddle.
I’m seeing way too many wimps and whiners; men who cop out and walk away at the first sign of trouble. So here is what I want to say to the men in America based upon what I see in them.
1. Do everything in moderation. Whether it’s drinking, sports, work, or exercise; the watchword is moderation. Everything is good in moderation. There’s nothing wrong with a glass of wine, everything wrong with a bottle. There’s nothing wrong with attending a football game, everything wrong with turning your car into a helmet. Exaggeration and going overboard are what gets us in trouble.
2. Sweat the small stuff. You hear people say glibly, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” I say you do sweat the small stuff. That’s where integrity is won. That’s where trust is kept over time.
3. Fight for your marriage. I’m absolutely amazed at how many tough guys run away at the first sign of a marriage getting hard. Your wife nags you or something doesn’t go your way. You get frustrated and tired and you give it up. If you’re not going to fight for your marriage, what in God’s name will you fight for? And I might add, that’s worth fighting for. You fight for your job, you fight for your team, and you fight for your parking spot. You need to fight for your wife and your kids; to love them and take care of them, to be their hero, and to be there for them.
4. Stop whining. Yes, times could be better but this is a business cycle and if you’ve lived more than 20 years, you know that this has happened before and it will happen again. Things come and they go. Markets correct themselves. That’s the wonder of democracy in an open market. It’s called capitalism. It’s a good thing. You might even say, it’s a God thing. It’s the way life works. So stop whining about how bad things are. You’ve never seen them that bad. Well, you’re 25 years old. Look around at some guys who have a few scars and they’re still swinging. Stop whining and start working. Work hard. Work hard at something you’re good at. Work hard at something you’re good at and that matters.
5. Man up. This simply means be a man. Live up to your responsibilities. Be tough and strong, and most of all, smart. Real men don’t walk away or run away when the going gets tough. Man up.
6. You’re always one bad decision away from wrecking your life. We are people who get up after they’ve wrecked their lives and say, “I made some mistakes.” No, you made bad choices. Every decision has an effect on your future. The smallest thing can open you up for ethical, or moral failure from which you may never recover.
7. Your wife is not your mommy. You didn’t marry a maid or a housekeeper. You married a woman, a good woman, with strengths and talents and abilities who, in many ways, is far superior than you are. You don’t need a mama. You need a lover, a leader, and a good companion. Stop expecting your wife to do for you what your mama did and do it for yourself. Here’s a novel idea: start serving her and loving her. If you want a good example of that, go watch the new movie “Fireproof.” It illustrates it well.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
I got an iPod a couple of years ago and I love it. I do have lots of music on it, but I have several podcasts on it as well. Mostly sermons and stuff dealing with church leadership. I thought I would share some of my faves:
The Relevant Podcast
ESPN Daily Podcast
Napkin Scribbles (Len Sweet)
Savannah Christian (Cam Huxford)
Rochester Church of Christ (Patrick Mead)
Recently someone told me about the Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast. It's new (only one episode posted so far). If you are a church leader, you MUST listen to that podcast about assumptions. Good stuff.
So who are you listening to these days?