The Seasons of Life

After over 40 years in full time ministry, I have made the decision to retire. Over these 40+ years I have had numerous joys as well as several sorrows. I’ve witnessed the power of God in people’s lives but also gone through some very dry, wilderness times spiritually. I guess with age and experience comes wisdom (hopefully) and what I’ve learned these many years is nothing ever stays the same. Just like the weather, and don’t get me started on the latest winter weather we’ve been having here in the Midwest, we all go through seasons of life. And guess what? That reminds me of a scripture!

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What are YOU looking at?

No, I’m not trying to be confrontational. I’m just curious – what are you looking at? I know, I know, I’m not supposed to end a sentence with a preposition, but just ignore that for a moment. As we begin this brand new year, what are you looking at? Some people are looking back, with regrets, missed opportunities, mistakes made, failures. And with that look comes guilt, shame and a feeling of despair.  Others are looking back, seeing their accomplishments, achievements, fulfilled dreams. And with that look often comes pride, arrogance, and self satisfaction. So, I ask again, what are you looking at?

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The Glory of the Lord

As I usually do at Christmas time, I was reading again the story of the birth of Jesus in Luke 2. Isn’t it amazing that this story never gets old? I’m in awe of how God chose to send his promised Messiah to earth. Never in a million years would I have thought of doing it the way he did it! And yet, it’s absolutely perfect! I mean really, a young virgin girl, an honorable Jewish carpenter, humble shepherds minding their own business, a world totally unaware of the amazing thing that was happening, an evil king who had to be outwitted by a group of wise men from the east, a bright star that led those same wise men to see the Christ-child, and a proclamation by a host of angels. These are the things of which movies are made! But let’s take a closer look at those humble shepherds….

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A Living Hope

I’ve been reading the book of 1 Peter lately. What a great book! (Spoiler alert! I plan to preach a series out of 1 Peter after the holidays) I want to focus on 1 Peter 1:3-9 in this article. As I was reading this passage, I began to see several highlights that I want to share with you today. Before you read this, I would encourage you to read this passage yourself and let God speak to you…. Okay, ready? Here goes!

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Sustainable Passion for God

There’s been something on my mind and heart the past few weeks that I wanted to share. It has to do with how we as followers of Christ can realistically sustain a passion for God for the long haul of life. I’ve heard people say that life is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Well, I believe that’s true. We’re in this thing for the long haul and we need to figure out how to sustain our passion. I’ve seen too many Christians fall by the side of the road exhausted, burned out, with nothing left in the tank to finish the race. So what’s the answer?

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Our Words Have Power!

I know you’ve heard the old children’s taunt, “Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me!” And as an adult you know that nothing could be further from the truth. Words DO hurt, and usually the hurt lasts much longer than any physical hurt from sticks or stones. Our words really do have power. Power to encourage, strengthen, help, enlighten, and motivate, but also power to destroy, discourage, belittle, and yes, hurt deeply. The Bible has much to say about words. I would like us to consider some scriptures here.

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Why Do People Go To Church?

Recently, a friend of mine who has just planted a new church in our area went on Facebook and asked this question: Why do people go to church? It got me to thinking. Why DO people go to church? If you go to church, do you know why? Have you ever asked yourself that question? If you don’t go to church, what are the main reasons you don’t go? I think these are important questions that not only need to be asked, but also need to be answered. 

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Is American Christianity Real?

Over the past several weeks, I have been troubled in my spirit. I am questioning much of what America calls Christianity. I am having problems justifying what I see in our churches and even our pulpits with what I see in the Bible, especially the New Testament. I mean, is it possible to be so “on fire” for Jesus that our lives are completely devoted to serving him and proclaiming him to a lost world? Because that’s what I see the Bible telling me, and frankly, I fall short and I believe we as a Church fall short as well. This bothers me!

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Bear One Another’s Burdens

We find in Paul’s letter to the Galatians this verse: Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
(Gal. 6:2)  Have you ever thought about how well we who call ourselves Christians carry out this command? I mean, do we really bear one another’s burdens? People often ask me why Christians attend church so often. Most secular people just don’t see the need and certainly don’t think they have the time to “waste” sitting in a dull, boring church service Sunday after Sunday. After all, Sunday is the only day for some families to do activities together. At least that’s what they tell me. When I hear questions like that, it reminds me how little people understand the purpose of church. So I’d like to break it down for you, at least this is what I think….

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Does God Really Make a Difference?

This coming Sunday, I’ll be preaching about being in step with the Spirit of God. In our series on Freedom in Christ in the letter to the Galatians, Paul takes us to what I would call the crux of the Christian life…. how to actually be effected by the Holy Spirit who lives inside us, in other words, how to allow God to make a difference in our lives. As a a follower and disciple of Jesus Christ, we all believe that the Spirit of Christ dwells in us. This is repeated several times in scripture. (Read Romans 8:9-11 to see what Paul says about it) So if Christ’s Spirit dwells in us, it should make a difference in our lives, right? Then why are so many Christians living in defeat, despair, discouragement, sin and all the rest and look no different than any other person in the world? Good question, read on!

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