April 18, 2019

I do enjoy the elimination rounds of America's Got Talent.  Occasionally, you will find a character or two who perform in costumes or makeup and are unrecognizable to those who work with them in real life.  When asked what they do for their day job they always say something like "I'm an accountant and no one would believe that I can do this because I'm so quiet" or "I work at a retail store but feel like I can only be my real self if I put on the makeup."

When Jesus walked this earth, he had many people wondering exactly who he was.  Some thought he was a prophet, some thought he was just a teacher, some thought he was crazy and a heretic.  Before we...

April 15, 2019

Food has an incredible allure.  I know for me, a great tasting meal is very satisfying.  A great tasting meal with friends is pure joy.  Most meals with friends are full of conversation but probably are not very surprising.  During one particular meal, Jesus surprised the Disciples by how he served part of the meal.  Take a look:

Mark 14:17-26 New Living Translation (NLT)
17 In the evening Jesus arrived with the Twelve. 18 As they were at the table eating, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, one of you eating with me here will betray me.”

19 Greatly distressed, each one asked in turn, “Am I the one?”

20 He replied, “It is one of you twelv...

April 14, 2019

Asking questions is okay.  A few years back, my wife Amanda and I were stirred to begin asking God what was next for our lives.  We had felt that God was releasing us from our current post in Springfield, but we had no idea where he would lead us to next.  We were sure that a call from an established church was coming.  When it did, we thought for sure that we were headed there.  After a couple phone interviews, a date was set for us to meet the congregation and to see the church facility.  When we arrived, we found a charming congregation, a beautiful place to worship in, and a growing community.  Everything seemed great.  However, towards the end of th...

April 12, 2019

A few years back on a Thursday morning, I remember unlocking the door, walking in and seeing broken glass all over the carpet.  As I further investigated, I saw a couple of offices that had been completely trashed.  I realized that our church had been broken into and vandalized.  Then I called 911.  I often wonder what causes people to bring so much destruction, even sometimes, to the place of worship.

After Jesus road into Jerusalem on a donkey, he made a trip to the Temple where he discovered crimes against God happening as well.  Take a look:

Mark 11:15-18

15 When they arrived back in Jerusalem, Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive...

April 10, 2019

Death of a loved one is something that you cannot ever be fully prepared for.  No matter the prognosis nor timeline, there is never enough time to capture all the moments you would like.  Loved ones are usually called loved ones because they were someone who inspired you, spoke encouragement into you, showed you how to live, and sacrificed for you.  In Mark 10, we begin our "road to the cross" journey by getting a snapshot of a conversation that took place with Jesus and His disciples as they were making their way toward Jerusalem.

Mark 10:32-34

32 They were now on the way up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them. The disciples were f...

April 3, 2019

A couple years back, I attended a Bethel concert.  It was a new level of a worship experience for me.  The music was incredible, the words were meaningful, and the crowd unified in worship was awesome!  Sometimes when I think about how I should worship God, I imagine a beautiful song.  Singing praises to God is always a great way to worship our Creator.  However, there is another way to truly worship Him that does not include lyrics nor melodies.  Check out this verse from Paul's letter to the early church in Rome:

Romans 12:1 
12 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has...

March 27, 2019

There we were standing in the dark night, in the middle of a 3,300 acre state park.  We could hear the large animals around us, the thud of hooves on the ground as we walked down the paved road.  However, we could see nothing.  There were no street lights, there was no moon to light the night.  This night was very dark.  We had no phone and no flashlights.  There is a bit of fear in the unknown.  If we would have had a flashlight, we could have walked further.  But instead, we turned around and headed back to the safety of the lit cabin.

King David wrote an amazing verse in the Psalms that talks about this very thin...

March 20, 2019

I'm a numbers guy.  And believe me...somedays the numbers are better than others.  Yes, of course I'm talking about money.  When I match the money in our personal accounts with how hard I think we've worked, I have to admit that I often times get discouraged.  It seems that we are running a marathon and the finish line will never be in sight.  Thankfully, the success factor of this life isn't determined by how much money we have accumulated before we die.

There is a pretty humbling story that Jesus tells in the book of Luke.  Check this out:

13 Then someone called from the crowd, “Teacher, please tell my brother to divide our fathe...

March 13, 2019

When our daughter Abi had turned 3, she was just about out of the whining/crying stage that all 0-3s go through.  It was a great couple of months of somewhat regular sleep schedules and quiet nights.  Then Clay was born.  For the next 3 years we would be trying to get him past the whining/crying stage.  During those six consecutive years of sleep deprivation and irregular schedules from when Abi was born to when Clay was finally on a good sleep schedule, there were definitely times that I needed to get away by myself.  

I am not the only one in history to feel the need to slip off to an isolated place.  In Matthew 14:23, Jesus doe...

March 6, 2019

Back when I had some older video game systems and older computers, I would love playing games of conquest.  One particular game called Cid Meier's Civilization, evaporated a lot of my time when I was in my early twenties.  I could sit and play this game for hours trying to figure out how to rule the world.  I would try to create the most powerful army, collect the most gold, and race my way to being the most intelligent civilization.  There is just something alluring about power, wealth, and wisdom.

In the Bible, there is a book written by the Disciple Matthew.  Matthew walked with Jesus.  In his writings he records a time when Je...

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