• My Gaze Ahead

    In 2019, I am leading the church I serve to better understand what it means to be the Body of Christ. I began this past Sunday by laying the groundwork for the series and sharing that we, as a body, need a head – and that head is Jesus (see Colossians 1.18). This series is not just theory, but rather is meant to be practical. It is meant to help us become a healthier body because a healthy body makes a healthy church. (That is the series title, “Healthy Body, Healthy Church.”) The idea is that just like a healthy human body is generally capable of doing more than one…

  • A Gaze Ahead

    As we begin a new year, it is a time when most people take inventory on the past year and look ahead to the coming year. Here are a few questions and a key thought to help us consider what is truly important. What are your primary goals this year? Why are those goals important? How will those girls impact your life’s purpose? What can you do this month to begin fulfilling those goals? What will you do today towards those goals? How does my relationship with God influence my response to the questions above? And finally, here is a thought in the form of two more questions. If Jesus…

  • The Gift of Talent(s)

    For the final scheduled post this year, I will conclude this brief series on the gifts of our time, treasure, and talents. I have previously posted on time and treasure, so this post will be on our talents. For those who have a biblical background, a mention of talents will likely lead to thoughts of the parable Jesus taught on the talents (see Matthew 25). From this parable, we read what I call, the Great Commendation – “Well done good and faithful servant.” It is a phrase that every believer should long to hear, but let me point out two thoughts related to what I quoted. First, the phrase is…

  • The Gift of Treasure

    In last week’s post, I gave a bit of an account of the gift of time that God has given us. The reality is that time is the only gift we all have that is completely equal for all of us – at least on a daily basis. We all have twenty-four hours in a day. The question is: what we do with the time we have each day? Of course, because of our humanity (i.e. sinfulness through Adam), we have illness, disease, early deaths, etc. So even though we all have the same number of hours each day, the length (and quality) of our lives is often quite different.…

  • The Gift of Time

    As we approach the end of the year, many of us take an inventory of the year we are leaving behind and begin to make plans for the year to come. With only three blog posts left for this year, it would seem to be the time to do this on this blog. But rather than a generic look back, I want to structure my focus on three gifts that God has given to each of us, with the focus being on how these gifts have impacted me this year. I will cover each of the three gifts in a little detail over each of the next three Fridays. (These…

  • Stepping Ahead of God

    This past Sunday, the Sunday School lesson was about Jacob receiving the blessing from Isaac (Genesis 27, LifeWay’s Explore the Bible curriculum). The blessing was intended for the firstborn (Esau) as was the custom of the day, but God told Rebekah (the mother) that the older would serve the younger (Gen 25.23). The story has many elements to it. We are reminded that Isaac was the younger brother of Ishmael (both born to Abraham whose wife was also barren – at least for a while). We see the challenge of when parents play favorites with their children (Gen 25.28). We see that Isaac followed in his father Abraham’s footsteps by…

  • Armistice!

    Each year, on November 11, most Americans take time to honor our veterans. The day has been known as Veterans Day since 1954. Prior to that, the day was known as Armistice Day and was first celebrated in 1919 one year after “the war to end all wars” came to an end which ended at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. President Wilson declared that all Americans “should be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service.” Eight years later, Congress passed a resolution requesting President Coolidge proclaim an annual celebration of the day, and would…

  • Nothing New Under the Sun (Go Vote)

      “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.” -Ecclesiastes 1.9   These words were written approximately 3000 years ago by The Preacher (Eccl 1.1; ESV, NASB, etc.; or the Teacher as some other translations use), who many consider to have been King Solomon. Of course, the writer did not mean that the world would not see innovation; rather, the nature of man and of relationships would be unchanging from a birds-eye view. That is true in so many areas, including the one on which I rarely post or comment publicly – politics.…

  • Learning to Give It All

      This past weekend, I preached from the last portion of Acts 5. My sermon was on the emphasis of our need to revere (worship) Jesus and how true reverence will cause us to live our lives in a constant state of worship. That does not mean singing songs constantly; rather, it means everything we do is done with the intention of bringing God glory. But as I have reflected on the message over the past couple of days, I have realized that the full chapter (Acts 5) is a perfect contrast of being “in and of the world” versus being “in, but not of the world.” The chapter begins…

  • The Equippers

    Everyone who is in vocational ministry knows the words of Paul in Ephesians 4.12: “to equip the saints.” Paul’s statement is about those whom God has given to the church (v.11) to help the church “for the work of ministry” and “building up the body of Christ” (v. 12) until complete unity has been achieved (v.13). These verses represent both a charge and a challenge to those called to serve in churches. We are called to encourage others to serve. We are called to inspire others for service. We are called to partner with others to serve. But who equips those who equip? The easy answer to that question is…