One suggestion for surviving fear and pain: look outward – Acts 6:8-8:3, Part 4

If you are feeling scared, anxious or even downright terrified by the news of the spread of the coronavirus, what should you do? I feel the weight of it myself. As a pastor of a small church, we’re having to rethink how we do everything, and it can feel like a heavy burden. We’re allContinue reading “One suggestion for surviving fear and pain: look outward – Acts 6:8-8:3, Part 4”

What to focus on when you are in pain – Acts 6:8-8:3, Part 3

When we’re in pain, usually we just want it to go away. At least that’s how I am. I can get very worked up emotionally, imagining that I’ll be in pain the rest of my life. So far, that thought of mine has never been true, as the pain heals. What it reveals is thatContinue reading “What to focus on when you are in pain – Acts 6:8-8:3, Part 3”

The only way to truly fulfill your longings – First Sunday of Advent 2019, Part 5

Have you ever thoughts that you be so happy if you hit the lottery? I have. I have dreamed of how I would spend the money. It sounds so freeing. I would be free from debt. My kids would have no college debt. I get excited just typing it. Many of us can feel thatContinue reading “The only way to truly fulfill your longings – First Sunday of Advent 2019, Part 5”

How Christian freedom should not lead Christians to behave badly – First Sunday of Advent 2019, Part 4

Have you ever heard Christians say that if churches or Christian institutions don’t have rules and regulations, people will go off the rails leading to anarchy?  So if we want to be good Christians, they say, then we should be making new rules, like the ones in the previous post: no wearing lipstick or smokingContinue reading “How Christian freedom should not lead Christians to behave badly – First Sunday of Advent 2019, Part 4”

Finding our way through the muddy waters of law and grace – First Sunday of Advent 2019, Part 3

Do Christians have Christian laws we are supposed to follow in order to be right in God’s eyes? Can you think of any? This is a tricky subject because Christians are called to live a certain way, so how is that different from following the Old Testament Law? We’re about to discover that this wasContinue reading “Finding our way through the muddy waters of law and grace – First Sunday of Advent 2019, Part 3”

Peer pressure and our longings – First Sunday of Advent 2019, Part 2

Have you ever been swayed by what other people think, even though you don’t really agree with them? Have you ever been influenced to act contrary to your beliefs because you feel pressure from others? Often we say that teenagers succumb to peer pressure, but the reality is that adults of all ages are justContinue reading “Peer pressure and our longings – First Sunday of Advent 2019, Part 2”

Reading other people’s mail – Titus 1:1-4, Part 1

Have you ever accidentally received mail for your neighbor? It happens to all of us from time to time.  The question is, what do you do with it? Usually just walk it over to their house, right? Do you ever just throw it away?  Please don’t!  It’s illegal! Most often misdelivered mail happens when youContinue reading “Reading other people’s mail – Titus 1:1-4, Part 1”

How the Winnebago can teach us something important about grace

Yesterday I introduced the new sermon series I’m giving at Faith Church this October. We’re pausing the Deuteronomy series in order to make way for the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.  Each week this month we’ll be looking at one of the Five Solas of the Reformation.  This week we start with Sola Gratia,Continue reading “How the Winnebago can teach us something important about grace”

Why does following the way of Jesus seem so difficult?

For those of you that are followers of Jesus, have you ever thought that that following the way of Jesus is difficult?  I think life itself can feel difficult.  But then add following Jesus, and there is another layer of effort, right? Ever think thoughts like this? I hear Jesus say “my yoke is easy andContinue reading “Why does following the way of Jesus seem so difficult?”

Advice to a new young pastor (and what all of us can learn from it)

On July 1, 2008 I became the senior pastor of Faith Church.  I was scared.  What had I gotten myself into?  I had been youth/associate pastor at the church for the previous six years.  The youth group was awesome, and I had a ministry umbrella over me, deflecting the rain of difficulty, responsibility, and leadership.Continue reading “Advice to a new young pastor (and what all of us can learn from it)”