On November 30, a 7.0 earthquake rocked Alaska that left roads crumbled, houses damaged, tsunami warnings issued, and treasured items shattered. By December 3, more than 2,600 aftershocks had taken place. As of December 10, they passed the 4,000 mark.
While the rest of the country has moved on from the news, Alaska residents are worn out from the continuous shaking. They’re on edge, waiting for the next one to strike. It doesn’t help that with an earthquake of such... Read More
Most people I know no longer make New Year’s resolutions. Maybe they’re tired of the dieting fads. Maybe they don’t really know what they want. But most likely, they’re sick of failing.
I get it. I’m still carrying some of the love handles that I promised to lose. And I haven’t hit all my financial goals either.
But I’m going to do it again.
I’m going to make New Year’s resolutions in 2019.
Why? Because Jesus died for us so... Read More
I love to read. You?
I’ve heard, “Readers are leaders!” and “Five years from now you’ll be the exact same person apart from the books you read and the people you meet.”
I’ve found that to be true. Sermon series are birthed out of the books I read. Habits are started or stopped based on the words I study and highlight at night. How many ideas can you gather, mistakes can you avoid, and Scripture passages can you apply with... Read More
He’s always there, but seems to be hovering in the background. He humbly looks upon the baby in the manger, giving plenty of space to the shepherds and the misplaced wise men (who, although not actually there on the night of Jesus’ birth, seem to dominate many manger scenes with their rich garb and gifts).
In this scene, Mary often shines with the post-pregnancy glow that’s reserved for movie stars and the mother of Jesus. But Joseph seems to be... Read More
There are single-digit days left until Christmas. Can you believe it?
This past summer, our church staff decided Christmas was not going to sneak up on us in 2018. We were going to plan our music and messages and outreach strategies months in advance. We were going to be ahead of schedule.
At least, that was the plan . . .
But at a recent staff meeting, the calendar mocked us. Christmas was just around the corner, and we still... Read More
I never ignored any of my children the day of their birthday parties. The planning and preparations were all done with the child in mind. The day of the party, he or she was the object of everyone’s attention.
Why then is it so easy to spend a month or more getting ready for the celebration only to miss spending time with Jesus at Christmas? Instead of celebrating Jesus’ descent to earth, we easily make the day about the festivities,... Read More
One of the Christmas story accounts is found in the book of Luke, chapters 1 and 2. Luke claims he’s writing a historical account of Jesus with complete accuracy and integrity so we may know the certainty of the things we’ve been taught.
As he begins, Luke makes it sound like he’s writing a history:
“In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah . . .”
Luke mentions King Herod. We know Herod was... Read More
This past October, I talked in church about sex. For four straight weeks.
If you’re doing the sermon math, that was over two hours of me opening a Bible and talking about sex and God in church. To singles and couples. Toddlers and teens. Dating and divorced. Widows and newlyweds. Everyone.
As I reflect back on that month with our church family, there are a few lessons I’d love to share with you:
-God’s People Talk Back—Very few people in... Read More
In the United States, we’re not used to children dying—and that’s a good thing. From 1980 to 2016, the death rate in the United States for children ages 1-14 dropped significantly, so we’ve become accustomed to declining death rates. While that’s a good thing, each one of those deaths still represents a devastated family who hates being part of the statistics.
(And let’s be honest, miscarriages and adult-child deaths aren’t part of these stats, so there are even more hurting... Read More
Christmas is a popular time for lists.
Children are making their wish gift lists. Parents are making to-do and to-buy lists. Even Santa is making his list—and checking it twice.
I think we should be making another list too. A list of people who need Jesus—and, therefore, need you!
At Christmas, we see the baby Jesus in the manger and know that he “did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom... Read More