Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Happy Easter

It truly is a happy Easter! God blessed us at the Ascension Convention (thanks to everyone for your help… you guys are awesome!) and today we get to celebrate our risen Lord and Savior!

Some may ask what is the historical evidence that Jesus actually rose from the dead? Christian apologist Josh McDowell provides six facts that prove the resurrection of Jesus Christ in history.

Fact 1 – The broken Roman seal
Fact 2 – The empty tomb
Fact 3 – The large stone removed
Fact 4 – The Roman guard goes AWOL
Fact 5 – The graveclothes
Fact 6 – The appearances of Jesus after His resurrection

I don’t have room to go into all of the powerful details of each of these facts, but if you’re serious about looking into this evidence or know someone who is, please visit http://www.leaderu.com/everystudent/easter/articles/josh2.html to get the whole story.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


You use steel to sharpen steel, and one friend sharpens another.
Proverbs 27:17 (The Message)

On a recent flight I read the book Release Your Brilliance by Simon T. Bailey. Even though I wouldn’t call this a religious book, I enjoyed his message that we were each created by God for a purpose only we can fulfill in the world. Simon likened our lives to diamonds. Every diamond is rated on the 4 C’s: clarity, color, cut, and carat. The purpose of the book, in diamond language, is to take you from dull to dazzling in your journey of life. I believe we can all benefit from books that help us to develop our God-given potential.

One of the fascinating insights that came from the book for me was the story of the brillianteer. A brillianteer is the person early in the process that grinds and polishes the diamond preparing it for its ultimate purpose. It’s not quick and easy. This is a long strenuous process that begins to bring out the brilliance of the diamond.

When I thought about the role of the brillianteer I thought about the relationships in my life. Life happens so fast. There are so many events that affect our lives. We need to surround ourselves with the right people with whom we can share our lives. The right crowd will help in the polishing process, bringing out our brilliance, helping us become the person God has called us to be.

What intentional groups of people are your brillianteers? Are you involved in some kind of small group or an accountability group? If you are, good for you! If not, why not? We need other people in our lives. I have three rules for great groups.

  • Be safe. If we are going to share the secret things of our life with others we need to feel free and safe to do so.
  • Be honest. Your level of honesty in the group will determine the impact of your group.
  • Be quiet. Simply put, what is said in the group stays in the group. This is what keeps things safe and honest.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Ever feel less than special?

This weekend Leslie and I were asked to speak at a banquet for Deer Ridge Ministries. Deer Ridge is a retreat ministry for pastors and their spouses. Leslie and I have been blessed by these retreats over the years and are thrilled at the chance to give back to this ministry that has meant so much to our lives, marriage, and ministry. And I must admit it feels good, out of all of the potential pastors, to be the one chosen to speak.

But I have been feeling less than special recently. I wasn’t quite sure why until I read an article in Outreach Magazine, a popular periodical for pastors. The article was about the top 25 largest and most influential churches in the nation. As I read the article I realized that over the past couple of weeks I have had the privilege of meeting and spending quality time with 3 of the pastors in the top 15. Each was kind of a chance meeting. Each were amazing men doing great things for God. In the process of meeting these great men of God, I began to feel small.

One of pastors Leslie and I got to meet and spend time with was Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback and author of the all-time best-selling book, Purpose Driven Life. See why I feel small ;-) I told a little about our meeting with him a couple of weeks ago in a previous Bible Blog. But he said something profound during our time with him. “In your life of ministry you can try to impress people or you can try to impact people.” You can try to impress people, but spend enough time with somebody and at some point you will stop being impressive. We instead need to live lives of impact; touching, healing, changing, etc. as many lives as possible.

Don’t worry, I worked through my feelings of inferiority with my accountability group ;-) I must admit, I am profoundly thankful that God has allowed me to be a part of what God is doing at Christian Life Church. And quite honestly, if God can use me, he can use anybody. Let’s stop trying to impress people with our lives and do our best impact as many lives as we can for the Gospel!

And one more thing this weekend, Happy Birthday Leslie!

Sunday, March 02, 2008


As we chase lions in our life we can sometimes get overwhelmed and discouraged. How do we avoid burnout in our already crazy busy lives? It seems like the winter weather is more unpredictable, our schedules are out of control, and we never can catch a break.

How do we recover from feeling overwhelmed? We begin by spending time with God. Read the Psalms. David knew that he needed God in his life. When David was overwhelmed the Bible tells us… David found strength in the LORD his God. 1 Sam 30:6b (NIV)

Here are some practical steps to recover from burnout, motivational speaker Snowden McFall, author of Fired Up, offers her clients, as reported by foxnews.com:

Laugh. "It's been shown to boost the immune system," says McFall. Toddlers laugh several hundred times a day, but the average adult laughs just four times, she adds.

Give back. "When you volunteer to feed people who are starving or stop off at a homeless shelter on your way home from work, it can really put things into perspective and make you think about how well-off you are. And you feel better when you help nurture other people."

Deep breathing. Taking a break and looking inward helps people both mentally and physically, McFall said. "It increases your circulation," she said. Deep breathing also increases your circulation, cuts the duration of hospital stays and leads to fewer business errors.

Exercise. "Sixty percent of Americans do not get enough exercise to keep their immune system functioning properly," McFall said.