What Do You Think of Jesus?

Recently, I had the opportunity to take my two sons and two of their friends to see the movie Run the Race. My favorite scene was (don’t worry. . . this is not a spoiler) when the main character was invited to dinner at his new girlfriend’s home. The two of them shared a meal with her parents. Before the meal began, the girl’s father asked the high school senior two questions: “What do you think of my daughter?” AND “What do you think of Jesus?” I mean, whoa. What incredible questions to ask a high school boy! (Or any age...

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42 Life Lessons (Opinions? Thoughts?) on my 42nd Birthday

In no particular order, below are 42 thoughts on life on my 42nd birthday. Life is composed of seasons. Seasons of life don’t last long. Enjoy the season you’re in. Pastoring is hard. Pastoring is incredibly rewarding. Pastoring can take your soul hostage. Every single individual is hurting. Every single indiviidual has issues. Mental illlness is real. Mental illness is impossible to recover from. Jesus makes impossible things possible. Parenting is far more difficult than I imagined. I learn more about my own heart through parenting. My childhood wasn’t perfect. My childhood was as close to perfect as one could...

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No Take Backs

“So all the officials and people who entered into this covenant agreed that they would free their male and female slaves and no longer hold them in bondage. They agreed, and set them free. But afterward they changed their minds and took back the slaves they had freed and enslaved them again.” Jeremiah 34:10-11 Did you ever have that friend growing up who would convince you to trade something he wanted from you, for something he had that appeared of value? That friend who would convince you your life would be better if the trade happened? That friend who grew up to be...

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Target and Flag Football: My Two Boys

I am sitting in my car watching my youngest son play a scrimmage flag football game. Forty-give minutes ago, I dropped him off here so I could go to Target and the hardware store to get supplies so my oldest son can redecorate his room. I am watching my youngest son having the time of his life, soaking up every second of being the quarterback with some of his best friends. I imagine my oldest son trying to wait patiently at home, wondering with great angst if I picked up the right materials. One son would rather be playing a...

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#blessed AMIRIGHT?

“They were even more astonished, saying to one another, ‘Then who can be saved?'” Mark 10:26   The rich young ruler walked away grieving (Mark 10:22). Jesus told him to get rid of everything and follow Him (Mark 10:21).   Jesus said it was hard for the rich to get into heaven (Mark 10:23). As a matter of fact, He said it was easier for one of the largest land animals to enter the tiniest of spaces than for the wealthy to get in (Mark 10:25).   As He was prone to do, He shocked the disciples with His words....

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Listen to Him! Part Three

Read Part One Here and Part Two Here. Why do we have such a hard time listening? Why do we have such a difficult time really hearing what Jesus came to do? Why do we want to keep Jesus from going to or “rescue” from the cross? Third and finally, we do everything we can to avoid SUFFERING. There’s a reason Peter wanted to build tents on top of the mountain. He didn’t want to come back down. Life was easier up there. Life was more glorious up there. Life was less stressful up there. There’s a reason Peter rebuked Jesus...

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Listen to Him! Part Two

Read Part One Here. Why do we have such a hard time listening? Why do we have such a difficult time really hearing what Jesus came to do? Why do we want to keep Jesus from going to, or try to “rescue” Jesus from the cross? A second reason is that it simply sounds TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE.   Recently a gentleman stopped me after the second worship service to tell me there’s got to be more to it. He had just overheard someone talk about what they would say to God after they died and stood before Him. The...

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Listen to Him! Part One

“A cloud appeared, overshadowing them, and a voice came from the cloud: ‘This is my beloved Son; listen to him!'” (Mark 9:7)   Moses. Elijah. A transfigured Jesus.  A mountain. A cloud.  James. John. A terrified, talking Peter (Mark 9:2-6).   A voice with a command: Listen to Jesus.    Earlier in the week, Peter rebuked Jesus to quickly be rebuked stronger by Jesus (Mark 8:32-33). Peter didn’t want to listen. Peter couldn’t imagine a Messiah being arrested, beaten, crucified, buried. “Rising from the dead” had no categories in his brain (Mark 9:10).  Peter, like all of us, didn’t want...

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This is My Story, This is My Song

“Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone.” Mark 7:36a Notice Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. Not him. Them, not him. That’s important. Jesus just healed a deaf and mute man. When the healing occurred, not only could he hear . . . but he could also speak (Mark 7:35). Think about that. He had never heard a word or a sentence or a paragraph in his life. Immediately, he was able to understand conversations and contribute, with understanding, conversations happening around him. Immediate ability to use language – understandably – with those around him. It would be the equivalent of me...

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Look Up. Breathe. Be Opened.

“He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, ‘Ephphatha!’ (which means ‘Be opened!’). Mark 7:34 Jesus does everything well (Mark 7:37). He pulls a deaf man aside, in private, and uses signs to demonstrate His understanding of the problem (Mark 7:33). Then He gives the deaf man the Gospel. Jesus looks up to heaven. The deaf man would have naturally looked up with Him. Jesus indicates that something divine is going on. Something outside the man is needed to give help. Something outside the man (God) is aware of his situation and is doing something...

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