Preferences. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, a preference is “the fact that you like something or someone more than another thing or person.” I prefer hamburgers, pizza, hotdogs, or BBQ at every meal. I prefer to watch the NFL over College Football (Go Broncos!). I prefer to watch a movie of a classic novel than read the book (looking at you Lord of the Rings). I prefer to be outside during a thunderstorm than be inside. I prefer vanilla over chocolate. I prefer to study late into the night over getting up early. I prefer the mountains over the beach (unless I’m on the Oregon coast, then I can have both at the same time).… Continue reading
Before you think this is going to be a diatribe against Contemporary Christian Music and radio, sorry to disappoint, you’re reading the wrong blog.
Attend a biblically-solid Christian conference and many things will encourage you. Powerful preaching, rich fellowship and robust congregational singing. At different events such as T4G, Shepherds’ Conference, Sing!, Ekklesia, or my own church’s Steadfast Conference, what often strikes people is not the caliber of musicianship, but the glorious sound of voices exuberantly working together to drown out the musicians. Some events have full orchestras and bands, while others simply have a piano.… Continue reading
Working in ministry—and particularly youth ministry—the one question that I get asked often is “how do I grow in my walk with Christ? What practically can I do to grow in my faith?” Every time I am asked this, I give the same response. “Look at your hand.” What does this mean? Let me show you.
I could just give you a list, but a list might not be helpful, because lists are in and of themselves usually forgettable. So, to make this more memorable (at least for me), I use my fingers to help me remember how spiritual, godly growth happens.… Continue reading
From time to time, we all need to reassess various areas of our lives. It is good to take a step back, take a breath, and re-assess a situation. We all need to do this in our own personal lives with Christ (2 Cor 13:5; Ps 19:14). And we all need to do this with our church life. We need to be very careful that the church we are actively involved in is still a faithful church; a church that Jesus sees as faithful. We need not to stay in a church simply because we grew up there nor because it is comfortable nor because we don’t want to mess with the hassle of finding a another church nor because “we have invested so much!” The church is a precious, vital part of your spiritual maturity in Christ.… Continue reading
What is the greatest commandment? Jesus answers, “YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’” and “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” (Matthew 22:37 & 39). Although the Pharisees tried to box him into a situational answer, to set him up for failure,  Jesus both corrects and dodges them pointing out the foundational reason for every commandment: devotion to the Lord.
Jesus answer addresses the true reason for every commandment: worship. The use of ‘love’ in this text, conveys the idea of worship and devotion. To live is Christ.… Continue reading