Relationships: Why They Are The Most Neglected But Important Resource In The Church

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Most of the time when someone feels disconnected, disappointed or discouraged in the church those emotions can be traced back to a lack of relationship with others in the church. Relationships help us to bend and work together when times seem tough but they also strengthen the church body in such a way that when working together they provide shelter for others in the storms of their lives.

Guilt vs. Shame and why every Christian should know the difference

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And now, little children, abide in him, so that when He appears we may have confidence and not shrink from Him in shame at His coming. – 1 John 2:28 ESV The most destructive aspect of sin is not simply the act of sin itself but often the shame that accompanies it. Shame entices us to believe that we have not just failed but are in fact failures. It calls to us to accept we are loved but not fully loved and that even in the smallest of ways we must fix ourselves in order to be made whole. Our sin does not hide God from us but causes us to hide from God and cover ourselves when He calls our name out …

3 Easter Sunday Failures That Guarantee Visitors Never Come Back To Your Church

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Easter is just a few days away and church organizations all over are finishing up their final preparations for what could be described as the Super Bowl of church services. People from all over our communities will show up for services, cookouts, and easter egg hunts… and then just as quickly as they arrived, the majority will never be seen again, until perhaps next year. The majority of us know this but what do we do about it? I don’t think the answer is in better services, music or sermons. It’s not in a community easter egg hunt, hot dog roast or picnic. It is however in what happens during all these things and it comes down to two words: …

When Your Ideas For The Church Become a Problem

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We all have ideas. And, if you are like me when you are smack in the middle of having an idea you have this euphoric feeling that it’s the best idea ever known to man… Sliced bread, move on over ‘cause there’s a new sheriff in town. You get gitty with excitement and start planning all the needs and scenarios. Then it’s off to do the hard work of bringing it into reality. Any idea worth its salt requires sweat equity and hard work. So, if you deem the idea “good enough” and worth the investment of time, money and other resources… you pursue it to make it a reality. At least that’s a very paired down explanation of how …

What You Do Matters

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What you do matters. Taking the time to appreciate and reflect on the work of your hands is something I think we, all too often, forget to do. Whenever I finish a new project and all the dust has settled, I have this habit of staring at my finished work while saying nothing at all. My wife pokes fun at me about it because of how often she finds me doing it. It’s almost like a ritual for me. Bringing Ideas Into The Light A project is not fully finished until I take the time to stand in silence, looking it over and taking in what I have just completed. I find myself going through all the steps I took …

Out Of The Dark: Finding Hope In the Silence

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As I sit here this morning I can’t get around the erroneous feeling that I have absolutely nothing to say. I have found myself in this situation from time-to-time. Most writers refer to this as the dreaded “writer’s block”. I suppose over time I’ve come to appreciate the process writer’s block brings. It forces me to dig deeper inside myself to find answers and at other times to just relinquish myself to being silent. It forces me to search harder for God in the silence by not cluttering my search with words. Being Still Is Ok It reminds me it’s ok to be still and wait. Everything around us moves so fast and we live in a culture where we …

12 Stones: It’s Easy To Forget The Heart of God

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I’ll go ahead and admit it. I’m forgetful. My wife, Lindsay, on the other hand, has a memory so good she should wear a ballcap that has blinking LED’s and a Wester Digital logo on it (only you computer geeks will understand this joke). It seems like she always remembers the important stuff. Like people’s names, birthdays, special occasions and what day of the week any random, upcoming, date falls on. Me, not so much. What Did I Just Forget? I’ve always wanted to be great at remembering names and such but what I have found is unless I write it down or mentally insert it into some scenario, I have a 76.32% chance of entirely forgetting. While I’m hard …

Real Talk: Does Going To Church Service Really Matter?

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So, does going to church service really matter? In a roundabout way, I see this topic come up quite often. I’ve even asked myself the same question a few times. But, I always come back to a few key points that help “clear the water” on this topic. I’d like to share those with you today. 1. Church Service Is About Much More Than “Service-ey Stuff” The first few things that come to mind when most people think of “church service” are getting out of bed early on Sunday mornings, worship music, preaching, offering and then lunch. Generally in that order. While these are all things that happen during a Sunday service they are not really what’s important. Before you …

Everything Changes

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Being a pastor’s kid as a child I became very accustomed to moving around and in turn that meant becoming accustomed to change; because everything changes, especially when you’re a pastor’s kid. Change meant new schools, new friends, new church, and a new house with a new bedroom. Most of the time the new house was really just an old run-down parsonage that the local church body thought was God’s gift to the pastor and his family. Save Us From The Parsonage I saw them more as a mediocre, human-sized dog houses conveniently located close enough to the church building that the local church trouble-makers could show up at all hours and spew their stale coffee scented venom whenever they …