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
Words are powerful. The tongue is a small but influential instrument. And it is incredibly difficult to use that little instrument in a good, beneficial, and God-honoring way. Recently I spent some time reflecting on James 3:2-12 and what it says about the use of speech in the Christian life and found eight truths in that passage worth meditating upon. In this post, I’d like to share those 8 truths with you.
James is About Consistent Christianity
The letter of James is about the importance of living out a consistent Christian faith and the sad tendency for all Christians to contradict our faith by the lives we that we live. And in this sobering passage, James (one of Jesus’ younger brothers) exposes one of the most common and most troublesome ways in which Christians contradict their profession of faith in Christ, which is, by the words that come out of our mouths.… Continue reading
I am in the midst of doing something, I have longed to do for years. I am preaching through Paul’s letter to Ephesians and more specifically I just finished preaching through what I consider the most beautiful, glorious and precious passage in the New Testament, Ephesians 2:1-10.
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And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? (Psalm 56:8)
Yesterday evening my heart was grieved to read the news of the death of Jarrid Wilson; a high profile, 30-year-old pastor from California, who took his own life Monday evening after a long battle with depression. News like this is as tragic as it comes. The darkness of depression is very real, and Christians are in no way immune from experiencing it. Neither are pastors, as Wilson’s death demonstrates.
I didn’t know Jarrid Wilson or know much about his ministry, but I have experienced something of the darkness of depression and deep discouragement in pastoral ministry, and I know that depressed and discouraged pastors are far more common than many understand. One of main reasons that depression, despondency, and discouragement become very real possibilities for those in pastoral ministry is that ministry is filled (as all of life is) with innumerable sorrows that no one in this life will ever see or acknowledge, but God.… Continue reading
Our oldest child just crossed into the teenager years. The emotions are high, logic off, and at times I’m dealing with an adult while other times a kid. This is par for the course. But as a friend of mine once told me, “Parents are not teachable when it comes to their kids.” Ouch, this is not what I want describing me. Unfortunately I have too many blind spots in my life to assume I always know what is best for my child. This reality prompted me to ask two different Youth Minister friends, in different parts of the country the same question.… Continue reading