How to deal with people who disappoint you…


I remember there was a t-shirt that was popular when I was younger that said, “beam me up scotty, there’s no intelligent life down here.” I think this is how leaders and world-changers in training can feel some times…  but Jesus won’t beam you up (go ahead and ask) because there’s work to do here, important work changing hearts and minds.  The biggest problem on this planet isn’t the environment, or Ebola, it’s people.  In science we have the resources to deal with almost anything, but no matter how many resources and how much technology we have it can’t seem to fix our core problem: our hearts and minds are bent.  But Jesus has a solution and YOU (reading this) are part of it.  So how do we deal with the people who make us think “Beam me up Scotty??” Continue reading

Top five ways to spot real Jesus followers…


Jesus taught that after He left there would be wolves and false prophets who’d come into the church.  It sounds extreme, but this is really practical.  I think the point is: Just because people look like they’re Jesus-followers, just because they claim to be Jesus-followers, doesn’t mean they are actually following Jesus.  There will always be people to look for churches to elevate themselves and make themselves feel important (like wolves), rather than looking to follow Jesus as their Shepherd.  And there will always be people who LOVE to give advice, and love telling other people what to do, and what they think God wants (because they love the feeling of importance this brings them), and they can be really convincing!  This could be me!  This could be you!  Or it could be that person (many of whom are my friends) who go to church year in and year out and just complain about the pastor…  So how can you spot actual Jesus followers? Continue reading

5 Marks of a Wise Person…

clockbroke5There’s a saying that even a broken clock is right twice a day… And so even foolish people can give good advice sometimes: so we ought to keep an open mind and be kind to people.  But in my life I have no shortage of people who want to give me advice about my life and what I should do, and people who want me to be more like them…  How can I know if someone really has some wisdom, if their way of life is something you should look to?  Here are the top five signs from Proverbs…
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Boring but good.


Sunday’s sermon was probably one of the most unsexy presentations ever… We talked about Prayer, and we talked about A-C-T-S, as a guideline we can use.  For people who’ve been around church both of these are so common-sounding that they might be phenomenally boring to you… But don’t let that trick you into missing the point!!!  If you had some hard-to-treat disease and someone came up with a magic pill that would gradually make you completely well – chances are, that when you first took the pill you would not feel any different.  It’s anticlimactic taking the pill.  You are exactly the same after taking the pill as you were right before.  And yet, if the pill does its job then gradually the disease will be done away with and you will become healthier.  The doctors and researchers did the hard work of coming up with a pill that could cure your disease, but it’s up to YOU to take the right amount and the right time, and to do so faithfully to give the pill the chance to do its work.  It’s the same with Jesus-prayer. Continue reading

Taking up your Cross…and other things we down play.


“So if you follow Jesus today…then what do you DO exactly?”  For the longest time I didn’t know how to answer this question.  My best answer was: It depends.  Because it does depend on who you are, what you’re doing, and what God wants for you…  After all God placed you where you are for a reason.  But the Bible has a really straightforward answer to the question that we like to ignore.  Jesus said, “if ANYONE would come after me…” (meaning this particular bit of advice applies to EVERYONE who wants to follow Jesus, past present and future…) “…let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me” (Luke 9:23).  So what does that mean?  If you’re like me, there’s a part of you that probably doesn’t really want to know… so read on if you dare! Continue reading

Christmas is complicated…


Like most of the beautiful things in this world, Christmas is bitter sweet.  Jesus who never needed to feel alone, to feel weak, to experience hate, to be hurt or feel shame…came to experience all these things first hand.  We spend so much energy trying to avoid these things, but Jesus came to fill up on them.  He came to get his heart broken because God’s heart was already broken over us.  So how is this a happy occasion?  He did it for us, He did it for love, and one small part of this is that we know that He knows EXACTLY what it feels like to be us.  Wherever you are in life, Jesus knows exactly what it feels like to be where you are. He’s been there too.  And He’s come to bring you home.

Sunday Night praise report, Dec 1, 2013


Okay it’s not Sunday night, but let’s pretend I got this in on time…  Today’s worship meeting was truly a gift!  If you weren’t there the teaching was about how Jesus taught His disciples to pray… in order for prayer to be real and really work in their lives…ask someone who was there if you’re curious!  But something you might not realize just from being there and part of worship is that the worship meeting, the people, the songs, the sermon, was all a powerful answer to prayer!  So if you were there, you cannot say (this week) “I don’t know if I’ve really seen prayer work.”  You have seen it.  Anyway, here’s why I say that, along with some other things I’m thankful for… Continue reading

Sunday night praise report, Nov 24, 2013


So it’s actually Tuesday afternoon and not Sunday night…  But when it comes to thanking God…better late than not at all!  Truth is it was a rough week last week, both Grace and I were tired, and we had some unsettled business between the two of us (married people stuff) that was weighing on me.  On top of that we couldn’t get any of our regular praise leaders for Sunday, and I was not up to leading the music part too this week.  Down down down.  Gravity pulls everything down doesn’t it?  So sometimes all we can do is cling to God’s promises and trust Him.  But God heard our cry and stepped in… and here’s what happened: Continue reading

Rejoice…Pray…Give Thanks.


I think yesterday’s sermon flopped with some folks, but I didn’t have much choice in the matter…  It is definitely something God wants (at least some of) us to hear, me most of all, but it’s something I’ve been bad at… so no wonder the sermon flopped!  But I’m really glad for the message (if I do say so myself) because in my life it’s been a missing link.  I can act happy just as well as the next guy, but rejoicing always (praying, and giving thanks under every circumstance) was not my thing.  Normally I’m cynical and negative.  If there are ten things right and one thing wrong, I can spot the one thing in under five seconds and have it ruin the whole experience for me.  It’s no wonder I couldn’t see God move often times; my mind is trained on seeing the human parts that are broken. Continue reading