Why Church? Because of This Picture.

Why church?  It’s a question I’m hearing more and more.  Honestly, even as a pastor, it’s one I’ve asked myself a number of times. Church is such a hassle, isn’t it?  First it’s too ragged and sloppy where anyone’s aunt Bertha can sing a wobbly-voiced solo that tests the boundaries of everyone’s brotherly love.  Then […]

You might be perishing, and why that stinks.

Are We Missing The Point? John 3:16. Everyone knows it, right? This verse is predominantly printed on highway billboards and signs held high in the end zones of football games. Why? Because John 3:16 gets used pretty much exclusively in the context of “getting people saved.” It’s a part of any gospel presentation worth its […]

God’s only motivation? God’s love.

If you grew up in the church, or have hung around it for any length of time, or even attended a football game for that matter, you’re familiar with John 3:16. This is the most famous verse in the Bible. “For God so loved…” It’s #1 on Bible Gateway’s most read verses. It’s been memorized […]

Born Again & Letting Go.

Holding Tight Didn’t Bring Peace. My story led me to a place where control and peace were linked together. I wanted peace. I imagined that meant less stress and emotional strain. The path there was through more control. By controlling my emotions, containing and suppressing them, I’d feel less pain. By controlling the world around […]

Jesus’ Cure for Anxiety

Too many things all at once. That’s the problem I’ve had this past month. Unexpected stressors have been pushing from too many directions. Complicated relationship and work issues. Financial struggles. Complicated parenting issues. None of these have a good clear solution. Maybe you’ve felt the same kind of stress and anxiety. I’ve been flooded with […]

Worship Styles? It’s Not About the Shoes.

For several years beside my front door, we had two small baskets of shoes. This was our compromise. We had a shoe rack where my wife and I put our shoes, but try as we might we could not get our children to use it. Lucas was nearly five. Emerson, six-going-on-twenty. They’ve always taken off […]

Break Bad Habits? You Need More Than One Brain!

The good news: You want to change and grow. You have a vision for your life. You want to break bad habits. You’re thinking about it. Maybe you’ve read a few books. You’ve started looking for resources. Maybe that’s why you’re reading this post. The bad news: You won’t change. Not if you’re normal. In […]

You Won’t Find Something Better if You Can’t Let Go

I wrote this post sitting at a picnic table in exactly the right amount of shade, looking out over a classic rock fire pit on a sandy bank of the Hood River. By sandy bank, I mean an actual beach. I was camping with my family at the best campsite we’ve ever seen. It may […]

Trust God: Take The Flying Leap

The ground was seventy-five feet below. I was standing on a precarious platform lashed to the trunk of an enormous jungle tree. The platform itself was some kind of plastic grid that I could see right through; I was standing more on air than on substance. Looking out into the jungle I could see a beautiful, […]

Need to Change your Life? Find some Unreasonable People.

The odds are stacked against you.  It’s 9-to-1 that you won’t change.  That’s not a made-up internet statistic (85% of statistics quoted on the internet are made up on the spot.  Really.)  That statistic comes from research on patients diagnosed with heart disease, cited in the book Change or Die by Alan Deutschman. These patients were […]

Change your life? Then find these 3 things.

What would you do if you learned that unless you change your life, you were going to die? What if the message came from a trusted authority, bearing verifiable information, drawn from the data of your own life?  This isn’t some over-hyped exaggeration from your pastor or boss, trying to make a point.  This is […]

Need Hope? Avoid These 3 Sources of Empty Hope.

So, you’re feeling in desperate need of hope?  You just finished reading my last post about how important hope is (not having it might kill you!) and you’re ready to find some. This is an important search.  Having hope is necessary for getting up in the morning and moving your life forward. When we’re in […]

Warning: Without Hope You Won’t Grow

There’s one quality that you must have if you’re going to grow. Without it your emotions will turn dark and heavy. Your spiritual life will become dry and ineffective. Even your body will begin to show signs of wear. This quality is a fundamental building bock for faith. It’s necessary for an intentional life. Quite […]

Stop Stress by Thinking About Stressors

I was in a Facebook conversation with a friend about the stress she was under.  Her husband had helpfully suggested that perhaps she should “just not feel it.”  Sensing that this was probably not the best advice he’d given her in their marriage, she was crowd sourcing ideas about how to deal with the emotional […]

You Are God’s Poem (That’s your Identity & Purpose.)

My daughter, Emerson, was sitting in her carseat in the back row of the van as we drove home from dinner one evening.  She was four at the time.  Discipline was not her strong suit that day, and as evening came she got more and more out of control.  She was angry with me because […]