What the Church Can Learn From Star Wars

Don't worry, no spoilers. I'm sitting down to write this 30 minutes after watching Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. I have no doubt that it will shatter all opening weekend box office records, and with good reason. Go watch it.Like millions other kids, I grew up on Star Wars. I wanted to be a rebel like Han Solo; I wanted to be a hero like Luke Skywalker. The story of Star Wars helped define my generation. Like so many others, I was more than disappointed with the prequels. Perhaps … [Read more...]

Story of Hope: Carlie

Here's a beautiful story of a life changed by the gospel. Have a great weekend!https://vimeo.com/135576506 … [Read more...]

Story of Hope: Lincoln

Our three-year-old son (Happy Birthday!) Lincoln isn't supposed to be here. If you look at our life now you would laugh at the narrative, but Robin and I used to be the couple who couldn't have any kids. Robin was a school teacher and I was a youth pastor. We were a good young Christian couple doing good things for good people. Life was good.But we couldn't have kids. Miscarriages, check. Thousands spent on fertility treatments, check. Robin had school kids getting pregnant and I had … [Read more...]

Story of Hope: Michael and Emily

Need some hope to start your weekend? Watch this baptism video and celebrate with Michael and Emily!https://vimeo.com/124518695 … [Read more...]

Story of Hope: Brad

Don't overlook that kid on the margins of your youth group. Here I tell the story of one of the elders of our church and how a youth pastor stood up for him when he was at a critical crossroads growing up.https://vimeo.com/123976800 … [Read more...]

Hope Story: Zeke and Tomas

There are a lot of similarities between Zeke and Tomas. Both are boys born in the same year. Both love to play sports, learn, and play with their friends. At 8 years old, they are both full of life and bursting with energy.Zeke and Tomas have never met, but their lives are forever intertwined. Tomas lives in a slum community in the Dominican Republic. He's a Haitian refugee that had no chance at an education or a way to better his life. But then Zeke entered the picture. As part of our … [Read more...]

There's a Story Behind Every Tragedy

The ladies I get to work with at a local in-treatment facility are nothing but statistics (at least in the world's eyes). They're the broken ones, the addicts, the relapsers, the drains on society. Early in ministry it was too easy for me to smugly judge them for messing up their life while on my way to my next Bible study (Good Samaritan, anyone?). And then I got to know them. The outcasts, the broken ones, the failures. I got to know their names. More importantly, I got to know their … [Read more...]

This is Why the Church Exists

Sometimes we forget. Sometimes we get caught up in the urgent and forget the most important. Here's a little reminder: the church doesn't exist fill a community social calendar. The church doesn't exist to pander to the preferences of who's dropping the most cash in the offering plate. The church doesn't exist as a museum to preserve a cultural ideal of days gone by. The church doesn't even exist merely to platform solid biblical teaching.The church exists to reach people who need hope. People … [Read more...]

Blessed to Tell Your Story

Monday we talked about the fact that we all have a God story to tell. A story that is in fact a blessing, although we might not see it as such. In Mark 5 we read the story of a demon possessed man being healed by Jesus. After he was healed, the man wanted to go with him.18 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. 19 Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has … [Read more...]

Why You Don't See Your Story as a Blessing

You have a story to tell. Your God story. The story of how God intersected your life at key moments, in pivotal circumstances, with providential relationships. The story of how God intersected your life and you walked away forever changed. As Christians, our God story is a blessing, something given to us to bless others with. But many of us don't see our story as a blessing. Perhaps we see our story as:Too flawed. You don’t think your story is a blessing because all it reveals is just how much … [Read more...]