June 6, 2013
It was a sunny day in Israel and sweat was dripping down his brow as he worked in the fields. The young man was working tirelessly on his father’s land despite the fact that just a short while ago something remarkable had happened. He had been anointed to be the king of Israel!
You may think you know who this young man is. If you guessed a guy named David, you’d be right. But only partially right. I mean, the description fits him too, I guess. But that’s not who I’m talking about. (more…)
June 4, 2013
“That just doesn’t seem really healthy to me. I mean, if I had my supervisors giving me a performance review every week I would probably go insane,” said a concerned youth leader of mine. He was referring to a loosely structured meeting I would have weekly with a couple of my youth leaders. His understanding was that this was mostly to review and talk about the previous week. (Actually it’s to just do some “heads-up” for the coming week.) But all of this got me thinking about how, in a sense, my friend was right. Pastors can be really unhealthy in this way. (more…)
May 28, 2013
God said “fear not” quite a bit throughout the Bible. Nearly every great leader that God chose to raise up had a similar pep talk: “Fear not! Be courageous!” But there’s a certain kind of fear that He is talking about here and I think it’s unfortunately different than the one most of us face and pray against much of the time in our lives. (more…)
May 20, 2013
Today is my birthday. It really is just another day for most everyone else. But birthdays tend to be pretty introspective days for many of us, don’t they? (Do you like how I used “introspective” rather “self-absorbing” to make us sound better?!) So I hope you’ll let me indulge a little and just think back on these 28 years I’ve had doing this thing called life. I’ve learned quite a bit, and yet have so much more to learn. And of course, I wish I’d learned so much of it so much earlier.
Hence, in no specific order, here are 28 things I wish I’d learned earlier than I did (though it didn’t take exactly 28 years for me to learn ALL of these!):
May 15, 2013
For Moses it was the injustice being served to the Hebrews at the hands of the Egyptians. For Abraham Lincoln it was the slavery issue in early America. For David it was the insolence of a man named Goliath and the Philistine people he represented. For Martin Luther King Jr it was the racial inequality in an otherwise progressive society. For Mother Teresa it was the plight of the impoverished in Calcutta. For Jesus it was the certain demise of a people He loved.
For these and countless others throughout the course of history, anger has actually been a key ingredient in motivating them to change that course of history. So as much as anger can be a destructive force at times, it can also be the reason for massive restoration. It’s all about what you do with your anger. As an emotion it is neither inherently good or evil, though we sometimes tend to assume it is the latter. It’s just like any tool, use it correctly and it can be used for good or use it incorrectly and you may cause a lot of pain. (more…)
May 10, 2013
Honest confession time, most of us Christians don’t read the Bible like we ought to. Maybe we don’t read it enough as we feel we should, or maybe it’s that we just don’t seem to be having the “aha” moments that some preacher guy seems to always be having when he reads it.
Plain and simple, some of us just seem to stink at reading the Bible regularly. So I wanted to take a bit of time and come up with why it is that we have such a problem with something that we probably think is pretty important. Why is it that we can want to read the Bible regularly but then sometimes find that we’re not doing too good at that? (more…)
May 8, 2013
Last month I published and released my first book. It’s a lifelong dream come true! People have been so supportive and encouraging throughout the process. But one thing began standing out to me in my many conversations about the book. It felt like nearly every conversation would eventually involve them asking me this question: “So how long did it take to write it?” (more…)
May 7, 2013
In the days following a youth service I’m always wondering whether the sermon I gave stuck or not. I worked hard (usually) to prepare a message that would bring the truths of the Word of God right to where these students are at in life. The idea is that this stuff should apply immediately to where they’re going to be at that week, in most cases. But what I’ve found in my years of youth ministry is that I’ll never be as good of a communicator of these messages as my students can be. (more…)
May 3, 2013
“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength!” What an inspiring verse to those who have their hope in the Lord! It was first penned by the apostle Paul as he encouraged the Philippians that whether things went well or not for him, he’d be alright. “God’s got this” was essentially his point.
Unfortunately though, I think we may have misinterpreted this verse to some degree these two thousand years later. (more…)
May 2, 2013
Let’s just admit it: Life’s tough. It’s full of challenges. And each and every one of us knows this truth in different ways as it’s touched our lives in different places. Some of us have experienced much pain and yet some of us not as much. But what does that matter? Pain is experienced in perspective. And I continue to find that what some people can think is a huge challenge and difficulty would seem like child’s play to others. But pain is pain. It hurts when it hurts. And we all know that, because to varying degrees, we’ve felt it. (more…)