See Why Faith Hurts — And That’s OK

As a father of six children, I’ve dealt with more than a few cuts and bruises–and the most dreaded of all – splinters. Before a splinter was pulled, the fear of pain was almost always greater than the pain itself. For this reason, each of my children resisted attempts for healing. This resistance to healing reminds me of our spiritual lives. There is a widespread belief in modern Christianity that walking by faith should be pain-free. This lie, coupled with our fear of pain, keeps us… Read more

How to Be Truly Thankful this Thanksgiving

We all know that Thanksgiving is about much more than turkey and football. We know that the true purpose of Thanksgiving is just what the name suggests: giving thanks to God for His goodness to us. But I think sometimes we like to think we’re more grateful than we really are. I mean, how many times have I thanked God for the food before the meal out of shear habit without an ounce of real gratitude? Please tell me I’m… Read more

Natural Disaster Relief: Why a Portable Church Has an Advantage

Water can sure do a lot of damage. A typhoon in the Philippines, a tsunami in Indonesia, or closer to home, a superstorm in New York and New Jersey. We’ve all seen the pictures — a tree that crashed through the middle of a house, a boat sitting lopsided in the middle of the a pile of wreckage, and houses flooded up to the second story. But the pictures don’t even do it justice. Having personally seen the aftermath of… Read more

How to Be Great in God’s Eyes (Part 2)

We continue exploring how to be great in God’s eyes. If you didn’t catch step one, start here: How to be Great in God’s Eyes (Part 1). Step 2: Taking Risks for His Kingdom You know the parable Jesus told of the talents. Three servants were assigned chucks of money to steward – significant amounts. Two were rewarded and one was cast into outer darkness to a horrific fate. But what did he do wrong? It wasn’t that he didn’t… Read more

How to Be Great in God’s Eyes

My son flirted with greatness not long ago. It happened during a recent trip we took to Stone Mountain here in Atlanta. For those unfamiliar with the attraction, picture a 600-foot-high rounded rock surrounded by flat land for at least 70 miles in all directions and you’ll start to get the idea. Apparently, about 90% of the mountain is underground. Don’t ask me how that makes it a mountain, but its geographic label is hardly relevant to the story. What… Read more

Why Do Kids From Good Families Walk Away From the Faith?

This post originally appeared at Teach 4 the Heart and has been re-posted here with permission by the author. What causes Christian teens from good churches and good families to leave the faith as an adult? This question plagues parents, teachers, pastors, and youth workers. And I’ll be honest – I don’t know what the answer is. I do know I’ve seen too many of my friends and classmates either slowly drift away and get out of church or disregard… Read more

Raising Hands in Church a Distraction? One Pastor’s Perspective

My post Why I Don’t Raise My Hands in Your Church may have had some readers doubting that any Christians could possibly have a problem with a practice that has become standard worship procedure in worship — raising hands. Let me stress, I don’t have a problem — provided our focus is on worshipping God sincerely in Spirit and truth and not on conforming to external pressures. I thought one pastor’s perspective on this issue was worth discussing as it… Read more

Why I Don’t Raise My Hands in Your Church

I know what you’re thinking. If I don’t raise my hands in your church, there’s probably something seriously wrong with the state of my soul. Clearly the Spirit ain’t moving if my hands aren’t lifting, right? [See my post Why I Left Your Seeker-friendly Church.] OK. So I don’t know what you’re thinking exactly, but after having experienced countless Evangelical worship services and having been harangued by worship leaders to clap more, turn and greet total strangers as if we were… Read more

With U.S. Government Shut Down, Churches Step Up

NOTE: I came across this inspiring report of churches stepping up to serve the community in light of the US government shutdown and thought I’d share about it directly from the press release. Feel free to share, link, pass along — whatever works to inspire others to do the same. Let’s get this service party started! With up to 31,000 employees being furloughed and over 190,000 small businesses affected directly by the government shutdown, New Jersey residents and businesses are… Read more

Praise for the Promise

Today I am pleased to feature the thoughts of Kendall Lyons, a talented youth pastor, cartoonist, and writer. Kendall supplied the fun illustrations for my e-book Finding the Curve: The Secret to Explosive Personal Growth — still available for free here. Grab a copy of Kendall’s delightful collection of short stories today at his site here or find him on Twitter here. You’ll be hearing much more from this talented leader in the years to come. He Told You! He… Read more

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