Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Lion Chaser’s Manifesto

As we look forward to a brand new year I thought I would repost one of my favorites from the archives.  Here is the Lion Chaser’s Manifesto adapted from Mark Batterson’s In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day.

Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. Set God-sized goals. Pursue God-ordained passions. Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention. Keep asking questions. Keep making mistakes. Keep seeking God. Stop pointing out problems and become part of the solution. Stop repeating the past and start creating the future. Stop playing it safe and start taking risks. Expand your horizons. Accumulate experiences. Enjoy the journey. Find every excuse you can to celebrate everything you can. Live like today is the first day and last day of your life. Don’t let what’s wrong with you keep you from worshiping what’s right with God. Burn sinful bridges. Blaze new trails. Criticize by creating. Worry less about what people think and more about what God thinks. Don’t try to be who you’re not. Be yourself. Laugh at yourself. Don’t let fear dictate your decisions. Take a flying leap of faith. Chase the lion!

Mark’s newest book, ALL IN, will be the launching pad for a brand new sermon series as we begin 2014.  It’s going to be a great New Year in God as we go ALL IN!

Sunday, December 01, 2013


We have entered the Advent season on the Church calendar.  “Advent” in Latin comes from a word that means “coming.”  We celebrate and prepare our hearts for the coming of our King Jesus.  We remember his coming in the past as a baby in the town of Bethlehem.  We celebrate the present as Jesus comes into our heart.  And we look to the future as He comes as King to establish His new Kingdom.

In the front of church we have an advent wreath with candles.  Each week we light a new candle which symbolizes the expectation of our coming Messiah.  

Week 1 - (Purple Candle) Represents HOPE, signifying the hope that we have in Jesus when we allow Him to lead us out of darkness into light.  

Week 2 - (Purple Candle) Represents PEACE.  Jesus came to bring peace.  From the words of Zecharias in Luke 1:79….”He will guide our feet into the way of Peace”.

Week 3 - (Pink Candle) Represents LOVE.  We are reminded that He is Love and that He loves us with an everlasting love and that we are called by Jesus to love others.

Week 4 - (Purple Candle) Represents JOY.  The angel in Luke 2:10, "...I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.”  As the day of celebration draws close we become excited with anticipation and joy. We are reminded that a life with Him is one full of Joy! 

On Christmas Eve a final white candle is lit.  

This Advent let us all prepare our hearts for the coming of the King.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  
1 Thessalonians 5:18

God, in His Word, calls and commands us to be thankful!  As we prepare our hearts for Thanksgiving week take a moment to reflect on Psalm 100 and then write a thank you note to God.  I know He’ll love it!

Psalm 100 (The Message) - A Thanksgiving Psalm
On your feet now—applaud God!
Bring a gift of laughter,
sing yourselves into his presence.
Know this: God is God, and God, God.
He made us; we didn’t make him.
We’re his people, his well-tended sheep.
Enter with the password: “Thank you!”
Make yourselves at home, talking praise.
Thank him. Worship him.
For God is sheer beauty,
all-generous in love,
loyal always and ever.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Lessons I’ve Learned From My Father

“Listen to your father, who gave you life...” Proverbs 23:22a


Today at Christian Life we celebrate my dad, Pastor Merrill’s, 80th birthday!  What a milestone!  His is a life worth celebrating.  A life of faith. A life well lived. There is something beautiful about a long life filled with persevering faith.  While the life lessons I’ve learned from my dad are numerous let me share a few of the ones that have impacted me the most.

Live with integrity. 

Be an example. 

Be prepared. 

Work hard.    

Be humble. 

Obey God.

Be generous. 


I believe that we reap from the seeds sown from past generations and that not only personally, but as a church, we are reaping the seeds of faith sown by my dad, Pastor Merrill and our founding generation.  Now it’s up to us to fulfill God’s purposes in our generation as we sow the seeds for a future harvest for our children and our children’s children.

You can listen to or watch the full presentation of these thoughts from our celebration weekend at

Sunday, November 03, 2013

No More Fear

The number one way the enemy enters your life is through fear.  It’s important that we confess the Word of God when fear attacks us.  Here’s some scriptures to help you break free from the power of fear.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

God has come to save me.  I will trust in him and not be afraid.  The Lord God is my strength and my song; he has given me victory. Isaiah 12:2

Perfect love expels all fear. 1 John 4:18

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.  Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you.  I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.  I have called you by name; you are mine. Isaiah 43:1

The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me? Hebrews 13:6

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6

You shall not fear them, for it is the Lord your God who fights for you. Deuteronomy 3:22

God has come to save me. I will trust in him and not be afraid. The Lord God is my strength and my song; he has given me victory. Isaiah 12:2

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27

Sunday, October 27, 2013


But blessed are those who trust in the Lord
and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
They are like trees planted along a riverbank, 
with roots that reach deep into the water. 
Such trees are not bothered by the heat 
or worried by long months of drought. 
Their leaves stay green, 
and they never stop producing fruit. 
Jeremiah 17:7, 8

I love fall.  This week I took my day off to drive north to see the changing of the leaves.  This fall the colors were gorgeous.  The yellows, reds, and even the various shades of browns were beautiful.

The Bible is clear that when we put our trust, hope, and confidence in the Lord we are like leaves that will always stay green, producing fruit.  Even in times of heat and drought we can remain strong.  We need to plant the promises of God deep inside of our hearts.  We need to become so convinced of God’s promises that no one can talk us out of it.  

This week meditate on the promises of God for your life.  Begin by believing the promises found in Numbers 6:24-26... God’s blessing, protection, grace, favor, and peace.  When you plant the promises of God in your heart you will reap the abundant life God promises.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Abram believed (had faith) the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness. 
Genesis 15:6

Without faith it is impossible to please God.
Hebrews 11:6

The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!"
Luke 17:5

Can you imagine that first conversation between Abram and Sarai?  “I don’t know, exactly. But I can’t get away from the fact that God has told me we need to go.”

The Bible says, “We walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7)  This is obviously easier said than done.  When we look at the circumstances of life we can be easily overcome by what we see in the natural and our faith is zapped.  I believe we need to pray for spiritual sight to see what God sees.  To not live by how we feel, but according to God and His Word.

The bottom line was Abraham just had to believe in God and His promises. Hudson Taylor once said, “We do not need a great faith, but faith in a great God.” Like Abraham and many other champions in the Bible we have to put our faith, whether strong or weak, into our Almighty God.

Sunday, September 29, 2013


If you know me and have been around Christian Life you know that I’m a fan of Joel Osteen and Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas.  We’ve known of Lakewood back when his father, John Osteen, was pastor and ever since the transition to Joel as pastor years ago I have prayed for Joel and watched God exponentially expand his ministry.  Each weekend tens of thousands pack out the Lakewood campus and tens of millions tune in to their weekly TV broadcast.  

While the numbers who attend are quite different (to say the least), Christian Life and Lakewood are very similar in many ways.  Our histories are alike, our services follow the same flow of ministry, and we share the same core convictions and beliefs including the power and Baptism of the Holy Spirit.  

Through his preaching and writing Joel is committed to casting a wide net to see many come to know the love and life transforming power of Christ.  This week Joel releases his latest book, BREAK OUT: 5 Keys To Go Beyond Your Barriers And Live An Extraordinary Life. I’ve had a chance to review the book packed with illustrations and Bible stories designed to take you to the next level in God.  This five part book include sections entitled:

  • Believe Bigger
  • Consider God, Not Circumstances
  • Pray God-Sized Prayers
  • Keep the Right Perspective
  • Don't Settle for Good Enough 

We want to do something we’ve never done before.  We are going to give away a free copy of BREAK OUT to every family who visits our church for the first time.  And if you invite and bring someone to church, we’ll give you a copy too.  We were able to secure copies of Joel’s new book at a very low cost so we want to sow a copy to anyone who comes to check out what God is doing at Christian Life Church.  So, PRAY that many will come and be blessed.  INVITE someone to church.  And BRING someone next weekend to hear about the Good News that we have in Christ!

Sunday, September 22, 2013


But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says.
James 1:22

Our team has returned from Russia after a week of ministering with Mission Possible (  The trip was packed with powerful ministry on the streets, in the shelter homes, and in the churches.  Countless lives were impacted, including our own.

My relationship with Missions Possible began in the early 1990’s when I was asked to write some curriculum for the International Education Fellowship.  This is MP’s school to educate pastors for planting churches after communism crumbled in the former Soviet Union.  Since then tens of thousands of leaders have gone through the IEF courses and thousands of churches have been birthed.

Beyond working with pastors and churches, Mission Possible has reached out the “least of these”.  MP and its teams are working tirelessly to help children and families lost in crisis and poverty. You can see the impact Mission Possible is making by visiting

For a number of years I have served on the board of Mission Possible.  I have heard the stories, know just about everything bring done through the various ministries, and have even acted as a spokesperson in various media outlets.  I knew and spoke a lot about the organization.  But after this trip, I have experienced first hand the ministry taking place.  The whole ministry seems bigger, better, stronger. Now its real to me. Its not just something I’ve heard about, its something I’ve seen and experienced.  

What are you doing to experience God?  You may know a lot about Him.  You may even talk about Him with others.  But what are you experiencing first hand that makes God seem bigger, better, stronger in your life?  Step out in faith.  Take a risk.  Get involved.  Make it real this week!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Top 5 Reasons NOT to Tithe

Top 5 Reasons NOT to Tithe

  • You think tithing is a lottery - meaning you're expecting a 1000 fold     increase in 30 days or less.
  • You expect God to honor you with a BMW because of it.
  • You think you might not get into heaven if you don't.
  • You do it grudgingly.
  • You don't believe God will do what He promised regarding it.

“As base a thing as money often is, yet it can be transmuted into everlasting treasure. It can be converted into food for the hungry and clothing for the poor. It can keep a missionary actively winning lost men to the light of the gospel and thus transmute itself into heavenly values. Any temporal possession can be turned into everlasting wealth. Whatever is given to Christ is immediately touched with immortality.”
A.W. Tozer

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Sowing and Reaping

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.
Galatians 6:7

God honors those who honor Him.  Don't be deceived into thinking other wise.  So what do you do when you're sowing and nothing is happening?

Keep sowing.

Keep giving.

Keep praying.

Keep believing.

Don't you dare quit!

Bible scholar Rick Renner points out the Greek word used for sowing depicts a continual process.
The Greek tense does not denote a single, one-time sowing; rather, it pictures a person who continually, habitually sows. Therefore, it could be translated, "Whatsoever a man sows, sows, sows, and sows - and keeps on habitually sowing and sowing and sowing...." In other words, this describes a constant, steady, perpetual sowing of seed. And if you sow this seed steadily and faithfully, God's promise is that you will reap a harvest. The word for "reap" is in the same Greek tense, meaning that it could be translated, "You will reap, reap, reap, and reap - and keep on habitually reaping and reap­ing and reaping."

For more Greek gems from Rick Renner...

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Pray For What You Need

Have you ever noticed that the Bible asks you to so some seriously counterintuitive things?  Look at some of these statements from the New Testament.

When troubles come your way, consider it...great joy.
James 1:2

Do not be anxious about anything.
Philippians 4:6

Don’t worry about tomorrow.
Matthew 6:34

When people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you...Be happy about it!
Matthew 5:11, 12

Really God?  When you think about it, it just doesn’t make sense to our natural mind.  You feel like saying, “God, that’s not how it works.”  

The reality is His ways are not our ways. (Isaiah 55:8-9)  And if it was easy, it would come naturally.  But it doesn’t.  Our flesh doesn't want to do things God’s way and that’s probably why the Bible has to remind us again and again how to live life God’s way.  

We are called to walk according to the Spirit rather than the flesh. (Romans 8)  God sometimes asks us to do the difficult things in our spiritual walk.  We have to remember that no matter how hard it may be, His ways are best.  God calls us in His Word to come, wait, and ask of Him all that we need.  We need the help of the Holy Spirit to listen and obey the Word of God.  The good news is He is always more than eager to help us.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Positive God Thinking

...let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.
Romans 12:2b

Thoughts control our lives.  Our thoughts give birth to our moods, our words, and ultimately our actions.  God’s Word is clear that right thinking leads to right living.  We are told to stop thinking and acting like the world and to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”  We are to replace negative human thinking with positive God thinking.  What does God want us to think about?  All you have to do is look at His Word.

Here are a few verses to meditate on this week to change the way you think.

  • “I (Jesus) have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  John 10:10
  • “...whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”  Philippians 4:8
  • “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
  • “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:13
  • “...there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1
  • “...we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8:37
  • “Be strong and very courageous.” Joshua 1:7
  • “This is the day the Lord has made.  We will rejoice and be glad in it.  Please, Lord, please save us.  Please, Lord, please give us success.” Psalm 118:24, 25
  • “Always be joyful. Never stop praying.  Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Sunday, June 30, 2013


But John tried to deter him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" 
Jesus replied, "Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness." Then John consented. 
Matthew 3:14-15 (NIV)

John’s Baptism was a baptism of repentance.  Jesus requested a baptism of repentance.  But why?  Jesus was perfect. He knew no sin. 2 Corinthians 5:21 testifies, “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.”   Jesus is baptized with a baptism of repentance so that he could identify with us as the sacrifice for our sins.

Fast forward to Christian Baptism.  In Christian Baptism we are identifying ourselves with Christ, His death, burial and resurrection as we go down into the water and then come up again.  Romans 6:4 teaches us, “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”

Just as Jesus identified Himself with our sinfulness, we identify ourselves with the abundant life He gives us through the victory He won for us on the cross.  He identifies with our weakness and we identify with His strength.  What a wonderful picture of God’s love and power shown to us in baptism.

Baptism is an important step in our Christian walk.  It is a requirement for the obedient disciple.  Acts 2:38, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”  1 Peter 3:21, “this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also--not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God.”  We celebrate with those obedient to God following Him in water baptism!

Sunday, June 23, 2013


He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. 
Ephesians 4:16 (NLT)

The largest trees in the world grow in northern California.  Some of the giant Sequoias grow over 300 feet tall and more than 30 feet wide.  What makes these trees unique, besides their sheer size, is their root system.  Most trees have roots that grow as deep and long as they are tall.  While you would assume a Sequoia would have massive roots the reality is their roots are quite shallow and short.  The Sequoias survive because they only grow together in groves where the roots intertwine and connect feeding and stabilizing the entire forest.  Their “togetherness” allows them to grow big and strong.

God provides all the spiritual resources we need to grow up “to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” as we are “rooted and built up in Him.” (Ephesians 4:13)  We are like the Sequoias when we gather together and are involved with His church.  Embrace your gift and play your part.  Our roots are too shallow if we live the Christian life alone.  Together we are encouraged, intertwined, strengthened, and stabilized. 

I’m look forward to spending time fellowshipping after the services this weekend.  We’ll have ice cream on Saturday and pizza on Sunday.  Please introduce yourself to me if we haven’t met yet or you’re new to the church.  Let’s take some time to connect together with old and new friends.  We’ll all be stronger for it.

Friday, May 24, 2013

I’ve aways felt safe.

My whole life, I’ve aways felt safe.  Maybe I’m sheltered?  Maybe I’m naive?  Maybe I’m too “suburban”?  I don’t know but I’ve always felt protected.

I began to wonder, in a world full of danger, why have I felt this kind of safety since childhood.  I believe it has to do with family.  I always felt safe with my mom and dad, grandpa and grandmas, even with extended family we would only see once in a while.  I’ve always had family around.  I felt they loved me, they were watching out for me, that I could count on them, and they would take care of me.

I know that many reading this haven’t had this same experience with their family.  For some family wasn’t a safe place.  For others family was outright dangerous.  But it’s not supposed to be this way.  Even in our fallen world, God intended our families to be safe places where we are able to become the people we are called to be.  

God calls His church the FAMILY of God.  And no matter what kind of family you grew up in, your church family should be a safe place where you are loved.  When you surrendered your life to God He made you a part of His family.  There are no orphans in God’s family.  You’re called to be a part of a local church family. 

In our Activ8 series one of the steps of discipleship is being an active part of your church family.  Being a part of a great church family...
  • protects us,
  • keeps your fire burning for the Lord,
  • leads to maturity,
  • helps you grow and produce fruit,
  • is obedience to the Lord, and 
  • helps you and the rest of your family be a part of God’s Kingdom work!

Sunday, May 19, 2013


When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. 
Acts 2:1-4 (NKJV)

It’s time to celebrate the birthday of the church!  It is Pentecost weekend!  This week take time to read Acts 2 to see how it happened.  Christ had talked about building His church in Matthew 16.  He had promised the Holy Spirit throughout the Gospels and in Acts 1.  At Pentecost the 120 were baptized in the Holy Spirit, Peter preached, and 3000 members were added to the church.  What a glorious beginning!  And the power of Holy Spirit continues today as Christ builds His church.

There are 3 baptisms spoken of in Scripture.  Make sure you have participated in all 3.

The baptism into God’s family.  “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body…” 1 Corinthians 12:13

The baptism in water.  “Then Peter said to them,...’let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins...’”  Acts 2:38. “...and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also-not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God.” I Peter 3:21.  “Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Romans 6:4 

The baptism in the Holy Spirit.  “I (John the Baptist) baptize you with water, but He (Jesus) will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” Mark 1:8.  Take time this week to study the following verses concerning being baptized in the Holy Spirit... Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8; 8:14-17; 10:44-48; 19:3-6; Ephesians 5:18.

Sunday, May 05, 2013


Here’s a bible study for you this week...

My Identity in Jesus 
  • Beloved - Jeremiah 3:13
  • A Child of God - 1 John 3:1
  • Delighted In - Zephaniah 3:17
  • Forgiven - 1 Peter 2:24
  • Washed Clean - Isaiah 1:18
  • Free - Galatians 5:1
  • A Temple of the Holy Spirit - 1 Corinthians 6:19
  • Adopted into God’s Family - Romans 8:15.
  • Co-Heir with Christ - Romans 8:17
  • Righteous - 2 Corinthians 5:21
  • New - 2 Corinthians 5:17 
  • A Saint - 1 Corinthians 6:11
  • Set Apart - 1 Peter 2:9
  • An Ambassador of Christ - 2 Corinthians 5:20
  • A Co-Laborer - 1 Corinthians 3:9
  • A Sweet Aroma - 2 Corinthians 2:15
  • Never Alone - Deuteronomy 31:8
  • A Masterpiece - Ephesians 2:10
  • Wonderfully Made - Psalm 139:14
  • Bold - 2 Corinthians 3:12
  • Having Guaranteed Victory - Psalm 18:35
  • Holding a Secured Future - Jeremiah 29:11
  • Whole in Christ - Colossians 2:10

Compiled by Ben Malcolmson, Assistant to the Head Coach, Seattle Seahawks

Sunday, April 28, 2013


“Follow me...”  - Jesus

It’s simple.  Jesus is looking for disciples.  People who are willing to follow, listen, and obey.  Making disciples is the heartbeat of the church.  Christ was crystal clear about His Great Commission for us in Matthew 28:18-20, “And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."

As a church, we have a big job that we need to take seriously.  According to the Great Commission we must be about the business of making disciples and teaching people to keep all the commands of Christ.  A couple of years ago as a church we set out to see what it meant to be a modern day disciple of Jesus.  I dug in the Word and met with the pastors, staff, and leadership team as well as a wide variety of individuals from our church family to get to the heart of what it meant to follow Jesus.

There were eight principles that kept coming up again and again in our talks and study, and it wasn’t good enough just to know about these eight principles of discipleship, we needed to be active in each of these as we followed Christ.  So the name of our discipleship study became Activ8 and I look forward to sharing each of the eight principles with you in the weeks to follow.

Sunday, April 07, 2013


For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.  Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Ephesians 2:8, 9

In his book Transforming Grace, Jerry Bridges talks about the two different kinds of bankruptcies: Chapter 7 and Chapter 11.

Chapter 11 is a temporary financial reorganization that keeps a company’s creditors at bay until it can get back on its feet financially. Chapter 7 is a total and complete erasure of all debts, with no further requirement to repay, nearly always leading to the dissolution of the company.

Whats the comparison to the Christian life? Grace is a Chapter 7 experience, but many believers treat it like Chapter 11. We make the mistake of thinking that the mercy received at salvation is a temporary reorganization of the mess we have made with our lives, providing relief only until were able to live in the strength of our own goodness.

That’s not how it works. We’re saved by grace and we live by grace. The same grace. It comes through faith, and this not of ourselves; it is the gift of God. We live the Christian life the same way we begin it: by grace.

For this reason, rather than promising again and again to do that which we are incapable of doing, it’s better to start each morning with a simple prayer, requesting that the same grace which saved us will sustain us throughout the day, so that by this grace we may grow closer to Jesus in all we do.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

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!

The resurrection of Jesus is the foundation of the Christian faith.  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 click here Evidence for the Resurrection to get the whole story.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Easter Invite

With Easter coming up next Sunday, now is an excellent time to invite people to church.  Our mission at Christian Life is to Connect People to God.  Each of us is called to share our faith and what better way than to invite a friend, family member, or neighbor to the place where you connect with God.  Here are a few helps for inviting someone to church.

  • Big days. Days like Christmas and Easter are perfect times to invite someone to church.  Also, watch for other days throughout the year that lend themselves to inviting someone.
  • Special events. There maybe a breakfast, seminar, outing, etc. that peaks someone’s interest.
  • Kids. We have an stellar children’s and youth ministry at Christian Life with a wide variety of regular and special activities.  
  • Lunch. Don’t forget to take your guest out to eat after the service.
  • Share a card.  Take a blue card from the lobby and let them know how they can connect with the church for a service, online, or on the radio.
  • Check out our website.  Share our new website in order to let people know about our church.
  • Just ask.  Research teaches us that most people will come to church if they are invited.  Just ask!
  • Pray.  Pray about who you should invite and that God would make their hearts hungry for Him.
  • Keep asking.  God honors perseverance.  

AND, remember the A, B, C’s of inviting people to church.

  • A - Always look for opportunities to invite others. 
  • B - Be ready to seize the opportunity when it arises. 
  • C - Communicate in such a way that says you care. 
  • D - Don’t be pushy; there will be future opportunities.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Perfect Heart

The Bible tells us it is possible to walk before the Lord with a perfect heart.  God said to Abraham, “I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.” (Genesis 17:1)  God told Israel, “Thou shalt be perfect with the Lord thy God.” (Deuteronomy 18:13)  David said, “I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way...I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.” (Psalm 101:2)  Solomon fell short of having a perfect heart, “...his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father... (He) went not fully after the Lord, as did David his father.” (1 Kings 11:4, 6)

The command to be perfect continues in the New Testament.  Jesus said, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)  Paul wrote, “That we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.” (Colossians 1:28)  Later Paul added, “that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.” (Colossians 4:12)  Peter wrote, “The God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle you.” (1 Peter 5:10)

How is this possible?  Can we obtain this perfection?  Obviously a perfect heart does not mean a sinless heart.  David was said to have a perfect heart toward God all the days of his life and yet his life was marked by failure, most notably, adultery and murder.  

So what then does it mean to have a perfect heart?  The biblical definition of perfect (both in the Hebrew and Greek) begins with the idea of “completeness,” “maturity,” or being “totally obedient.”  John Wesley thought of perfection as “constant obedience.”  In essence a perfect heart is a responsive heart.  David Wilkerson said a perfect heart, “reacts to the Lord’s wooing, whispering and warnings.”  The perfect heart says, “Speak Lord, your servant is listening.  Show me the path, and I’ll walk in it.”

For more on having a perfect heart listen to our podcast from last Wednesday’s prayer service at

Monday, March 04, 2013

Stage of Life

A BIG thank you to everyone who came to last week’s Ignite Spaghetti Lunch.  You helped raise above and beyond $2,600 to send our students to the upcoming Ascension Convention (  THANK YOU!  We are blessed with a great group of middle and high schoolers and a great team of leaders headed up by Mike Bell.  More and more they continue to come, bring friends, and grow in God.  I’m proud of our Ignite youth ministry.  

At each stage of life we have so much to learn.  I read this week from H. Jackson Brown Jr.’s delightful book, Live and Learn and Pass It On.  It’s a fun compilation of life’s little learning curves.  From the cradle to the grave, Brown reveals what we learn and when we’ll learn from them.

  • Age 11, if you’re in trouble at school, you’re in more trouble at home.
  • Age 13, just when you get your room the way you like it, your mom will make you clean it up.
  • Age 24, nothing brings on an emergency as fast as putting money aside for one.
  • Age 29, wherever you go, the world’s worst drivers are going there too.
  • Age 32, the time to read the instruction book is before you put the swing together.
  • Age 39, if your children feel safe, wanted and loved, you are a successful parent.
  • Age 46, children and grandparents are natural allies.
  • Age 48, there’s no elevator to success; you have to take the stairs.
  • Age 54, you can’t hug your kids too much.
  • Age 61, you can inherit wealth but never wisdom.
  • Age 76, the best sleeping pill is a clear conscience.
  • Age 81, even when you have pains, you don’t have to be one.
  • Age 88, the days may be long, but life is short.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Expectation Matters!

“You have not, because you ask not.”  James 4:2b

This weekend we welcome our special guest and friend Steve Sampson to minister at Christian Life.  A consistent theme of Steve’s prophetic ministry has been expectation.  Steve often says, “Our expectation puts a demand on God.”

I believe that miracles pass by millions daily because no one is expecting their arrival.  Satan has convinced many to "wait on God", instead of wrapping expectation around an already given scriptural promise.  

God is not only moved by our need, He is moved by our faith.  Our faith in His promises.  Our faith in His Word.  Our faith in our covenant relationship with Him.

The woman with the issue of blood did not wait for an instruction, she simply declared her expectation... “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed." (Mark 5:28)

Faith always requires an action.

God is listening.  What are you expecting?

Say it often.

Say it aloud.

Say it with expectation!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

God has created you to be you.

The LORD has made everything for His own purposes.
Proverbs 16:4 (NLT)

Have you ever wondered why “The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren was one of the best-selling books of all time?  Could it be deep down we all desire to know that we were created for a purpose?  We all want to be great.  To leave our mark.  To do something significant with our life.

In a TED talk a while back Rick Warren said, “Some people have the misguided idea that God only gets excited when you’re doing “spiritual things,” like going to church or helping the poor, or, you know, confessing or doing something like that. The bottom line is, God gets pleasure watching you be you.”

God has created you to be you. Regardless of what you think or feel about yourself, God has created you with value, worth, and a purpose. He has given you talents. He has given you gifts. He has orchestrated your life. He has provided you with various experiences, opportunities, creativity, and a circle of influence that is unique to you.

What are you doing with what you have you been given by God? Are you seeking to make yourself great, or are you seeking to make Jesus great by serving him and others?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Life of Faith

And whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus and in [dependence upon] His Person, giving praise to God the Father through Him.
Colossians 3:17 (AMP)

At Christian Life we are embracing Colossians 3:17 as our verse for 2013.  We need to highlight it in our Bible, memorize it, and even more importantly LIVE it out in every area of our lives.  We are beginning this new year with a series called Life of Faith.  Our Christianity has to work in every part and parcel of our life.  We must live ALL of our life for Him.  We are called to be Colossians 3:17 people.

I’m sensing an urgent expectation in our congregation as we gather together for worship and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for us in the weeks and months ahead.  Let’s equip ourselves to draw near to God.  Let’s take even greater steps in a new year to grow as disciples.  Along with worshipping together every weekend we have added a prayer service, along with children’s and youth ministry, on Wednesday nights at 7PM.  Sunday school meets every Sunday at 8:30AM in Room 111.  There are a wide variety of resources, ministries, and special events for you to grow in and serve God with others in our church family.  Read through the bulletin.  Visit the church website.  See where you can be involved.  And after worshiping and being equipped at church we need to take Jesus, His love. and the Good News to every part of our world.  It’s time we live ALL of our life for Him!

Sunday, January 06, 2013


And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!”
Revelation 21:5

I recently received a poster in the mail from Joel Osteen Ministries.  Its message for the New Year is perfect.  Let me share the acrostic for FRESH that was colorfully displayed on the banner.

Forgive those who have hurt you.  Holding onto the hurts and pains caused by others will limit the new thing God wants to do in your life.  Forgive the person who hurt you and move forward.  Trust that God will make it up to you.

Refuse to look back.  Whether something happened twenty years or twenty minutes ago, learn to let it go and move on.  If you’ll let go of the old, God has promised He will bring you a new beginning.

Expect God’s best today.  Expectation is a catalyst for miracles.  Declare God’s favor over your life and expect to see His goodness today and everyday.  By faith declare, “I’m expecting God to do something amazing today.”

Stay in faith and move forward.  Don’t let circumstances, naysayers, or the enemy steal your joy.  Stay in faith, knowing that God’s promises are “yes and amen” in your life.  Today is a new day!  Believe that now and enjoy all that God has in store for you.

Hope for tomorrow.  When you have hope, obstacles become opportunities and setbacks become comebacks.  A fresh start in God begins with hope in His Word.

Finally, Joel wrote, “Today can be a new beginning.  Press forward to the great things God has in store.”