October 24, 2018

A few months ago, I walked through the cemetery where my father is buried. It would be impossible to count the number of times I have walked or driven past that place in my lifetime. It sits next to my old high school. You could throw a rock to it from the house where my grandparents lived in until I was almost thirty. My mother still lives in the house we moved into before I could walk, it’s only half... Read more

October 22, 2018

Followers of Jesus hear hundreds, if not thousands, of sermons in our lifetimes. We often think about what makes a “good” sermon. Is it biblical? Is it interesting? Did it proclaim the Gospel? Did the pastor apply it to real life? However, we spend little time thinking about how to be good sermon listeners. We assume that we show up, sing, listen, and maybe take notes, but that is not all there is to it. Listening is a matter of... Read more

October 12, 2018

Do you have a Bible verse that jumps off the page at you every time you read it? No matter how many times you have come across it, you always stop to ponder it. This verse is a never-ending wonder to you. You might be encouraged by it, convicted by it, or perplexed by it, but you always stop when you see it. 2 Corinthians 11:28 is that verse for me. To understand what is so startling about it, you... Read more

October 9, 2018

A few years ago, our family was at the beach when a little girl ran up to my seven-year-old daughter and said, “My name is Isabella. Do you want to play?” My daughter yelled “sure” and they ran off as if they had known each other for years. I wonder at what point we stop doing this. When do we get afraid of rejection and become suspicious of people? While our children are not sinless, their lack of cynicism is... Read more

October 4, 2018

This week, Tim Keller released his latest book, The Prodigal Prophet. In it, he shows the radical grace of God that saved a city from destruction, frustrated a prophet, and changes our lives. In the first half of the book, he walks through the text of Jonah, showing the structure and meaning of the text. Then, he goes through the book a second time to help us understand how the message of Jonah should change our relationship to God’s word,... Read more

October 1, 2018

While our culture seems obsessed with rooting out fake news, my social media feeds are filled with it. With the bitter partisan divide gripping our land, each side seems bent on demonizing the other in the worst way, even if it means spreading lies to make it happen. I’m sure most of the people sharing lies on the Internet don’t know that they are, but that’s what makes it even worse. To share an untruth because you did not take... Read more

September 25, 2018

Have your children ever struggled to get your attention because you were looking at pictures of other people’s children on Instagram? More than ever, parents struggle to give their children the attention they need. If you have children who are 10 and under, they have never known a world in which their parents did not spend a portion of their day staring at the phone. In parenting, there is no substitute for focused time and attention. This is difficult in... Read more

September 20, 2018

As Christians, we often grasp the Gospel in theory while failing to understand how it should change our lives in practice. This is especially true when we think about how the Gospel transforms the way we treat other people. In his book The Gospel: How the Church Portrays the Beauty of Christ, Ray Ortlund shows us what happens when we understand the Gospel and live in light of its transforming power. He emphasizes how a right understanding of the Gospel... Read more

September 17, 2018

Every Sunday, when I finish preaching and come back to my seat in the second row, my ten-year-old daughter gives me two thumbs up. She probably knows that I need the encouragement because of how often she has heard me get in the car and say, “That was terrible.” Every pastor is prone to self-loathing and exaggeration about how poorly he preached on Sunday. Sometimes, we are telling the truth and the sermon really was that bad. Every pastor will... Read more

September 12, 2018

Hurricane Florence’s march towards the Carolinas caused me to reminisce on some of the hurricanes we dealt with when I was growing up in south Alabama. There’s one incident that I think about every hurricane season. It happened a few months after I came to know Jesus during my sophomore year of college. Hurricane Danny hit south Alabama on a Saturday morning. At one point, its winds drove most of the water out of Mobile Bay. Then the storm stalled,... Read more

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