Ministry, Worship

Let the Children Come to Me, and Do Not Hinder Them

A couple of things here that our churches really need to remember: First, when it comes to the children, you need to back up. When they are coming to church, you need to get out of the way. Furthermore, you need to make sure there are no obstacles between them and Jesus. Let me make this perfectly clear: […]

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Ministry, Scripture

Love Fulfills the Law

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love […]

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Ministry, Scripture

A Disciple is a Learner, a Student

At the sermon on the mount, the disciples came to Jesus, and he began to teach them (Matthew 5:1). It seems to me that there is a danger in Christians not seeing themselves as disciples, as students. However, the truth is our learning is just beginning the day the Holy Spirit reveals the truth to […]

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Ministry, Scripture

The Wheat Among the Weeds

I saw a meme once that stuck to me that said, not going to church because of the hypocrites is like not going to the gym because of the out of shape people. News Flash: The church is full of sinners. I find it interesting when people tell me they would go to church, if it […]

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Ministry, Scripture

The Great Commission: To go or not to go

I might upset a lot of people wth this, but here goes: I don’t believe the “Great Commission” applies to all Christians. I don’t believe that we are all called to go and make disciples. Some may get upset with me for saying this, while others will agree with me and not understand the boldness […]

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Worship

Question Your Pastor

News Flash: Your pastor is not perfect. Your pastor doesn’t have all the answers. Your pastor is, at best, a sinful person who has been saved from the penalty of their sin by the grace of God through the finished work of Christ Jesus on Calvary. After years of pastoring churches, I discovered a widespread misunderstanding throughout every church […]

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Ministry, Scripture

There is so much more than simply being Christian

I am a Christian. This is a deceitful phrase. If misunderstood, this is a dangerous phrase. It can be misleading in a way that leads to destruction. How is something so simple, and so often said, and said in a positive way, so dangerous? My specific concern with this statement is the use of the verb […]

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Scripture

In a word: Love

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Matthew 22:36 As a teacher, I have heard this type of question many times over the years. Since I teach photography and journalism, it usually presents itself as – what aspect of my photos or my article is essential or required, or what is the one […]

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Ministry

Monday

Ezra 8:21

At the conclusion of each weekend, do you charge headlong into Monday, ready to take on the week? Or do you take some time to get going on Monday, lamenting the end of another weekend? Perhaps the weekend is just two more days of work for you, and Monday is just the start of another workday? Or maybe you have so many additional projects stacked up at home for the weekend that Monday his a sweet relief from two straight days of chores?

No matter which of these situations fit you, or if none quite encapsulates what Monday means for you, we as Christians tend to move forward into a new day, a new week, a new season in our lives on our own power. No matter how we feel about this new beginning, we tend to take it on ourselves to make it into what it shold become.

I often find myself heading out into a new week on a Monday morning with plans for the day and the week playing out in my head: things to do, people to talk to, blocks that need to be checked, meetings that need to be attended, calls that need to be made. I resolve that I am going to be productive this week. I will accomplish what I have set out before me, and I will get past any obstacles that present themselves.

It sounds so ridiculous to me even just writing that down. It is so arrogant, so presumptuous of me. “I” this, and “I” that. Good plans to do good things that “I” will accomplish. It is all sounding more and more silly.

Personally, one of the things that I have grown increasingly aware of as I have grown closer in my understanding of God’s will in my life is that my plans are rubbish and my power to accomplish even them is nil.

I believe it was Woody Allen who said, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.” I have taken from that my current understanding of the meaning of blessing or curse.

We are blessed when we follow God’s plan. We are cursed when God shrugs and says, “Ok, have it your way.”

I amaze myself when, time after time, I forget this and think, I know what I’m doing, I know how to do it, and I can get it done.

Thankfully, God often gives me those sweet, sweet reminders, through a song, a sunrise, a random thought, or a word from a friend: God’s ways are so much greater than our ways, and God’s plans are so much better than our plans (Isaiah 55:9).

As we prepare for a new season in our lives, or just a new week, or even simply a new day, let’s take a moment to seek out God’s ways, and move forward in His will, knowing by doing this, we will succeed through the power of the Holy Spirit.

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Worship

It’s not about the sermon

The Rich Young Man

When do you normally feel the Spirit of God move during the worship service? Some preachers may think too highly of the importance of their sermons. There are many aspects of the worship service, and the exposition of the Word of God is one of them. I, being a preacher myself, do not want to […]

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