Blog

Moving when God speaks

Moving when God speaks

It is so frustrating to speak and have no one move! Typically, my children respond by yelling “we hear you mom” while comfortably sitting carrying on with whatever they were doing. Hearing without action is incomplete. My response to God is usually incomplete when his...
Becoming less

Becoming less

“He must become greater; I must become less” (John 3:30). As I was pondering the above statement from John the Baptist, it brought back a memory of a day when God used one of my sons to humble me just a bit and remind me of who is important and who isn’t. I was...
Biblical illiteracy isn’t funny, it’s scary

Biblical illiteracy isn’t funny, it’s scary

Last week biblical illiteracy in the news media was put on display like never before. First, the Wall Street Journal misquoted Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu as saying that “Moses brought water from Iraq.” What the prime minister actually said was that...
Send well

Send well

Then He said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest” (Matthew 9:37-38).  Every day FedEx sends over four million packages to valued customers. FedEx’s delivery...
God’s gifts to us

God’s gifts to us

Don’t you love candlelight services? I especially enjoy those in which the leader lights the candles of a few, who then light other candles until the room is filled with light. It’s beautifully symbolic. Jesus is the light who enlightens us to share with others. In a...
A new chapter begins

A new chapter begins

There are people you encounter in life whose presence you just want to be in. They’re people who are excited, passionate and informed and they want you to jump in and be excited too. Keith Drury and Robert Black are these kinds of people. I recently had the...
Opportunity and obstacles

Opportunity and obstacles

I’ve been thinking lately about the connection between opportunity and obstacles. Years ago I read that the Chinese word for “crisis” is composed of two characters, one meaning “danger” and the other meaning “opportunity.” Sounds about right. It seems like anytime you...
Forsake the phone

Forsake the phone

I read recently about a study that showed 71 percent of Americans go to bed with their smartphone and 25 percent admitted to falling asleep at least once with the phone still in their hands. Researchers asked more than 90,000 participants to wear a wrist-work...
What mutual submission looks like in practice

What mutual submission looks like in practice

Many Christians, certainly most egalitarians, are familiar with Ephesians 5:21, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (NIV). But as well-known as this passage is, it’s still common to wonder what mutual submission actually looks like in practice. Here’s...
Do you have to believe in Jesus to be saved?

Do you have to believe in Jesus to be saved?

“Pastor Mike … ” He paused for a moment with tears welling up. “I grew up in the church and lately I am having a hard time believing that all this could be true. Don’t hear me wrong, I want to believe! I just can’t. It all seems too good to be true. I feel like I am...
God honors your NO

God honors your NO

I’ve learned in my journey with God that every single time I say no to something that would interfere with what I believe God’s call in my life is, he honors that “no” with taking care of my needs. I want to share about my most recent ministry transition from...
Suicide in America

Suicide in America

Several years ago, there was a mediocre movie made by M. Night Shyamalan, called The Happening. It was a horror-thriller sort of film, involving hundreds of senseless murders. Yet the twist in The Happening was that the linked-together killings were committed not by a...
Come fill me again

Come fill me again

I opened the door to a familiar place. Although it’s dark, I know it so well I make my way to the windows instinctively. Pulling back the curtains, the sun streams into the room highlighting a million dancing dust particles taking flight. I grab the sheets covering...
Bearing witness

Bearing witness

Have you ever felt paralyzed by the injustice of this world? I have. There are days when I just want to stand up and scream with the inequality all around me. As I listen to people sharing their struggles, I often feel powerless to make a difference. It sometimes...
We all bow

We all bow

Often, when I hear God, I look at my life and allow his Holy Spirit to search me, then bring confession and repentance to him. I have to say lately, God has been speaking to me on the issue of worship. And I know why. My people, he says, have made me different from I...
Did you expect your call to include power and authority?

Did you expect your call to include power and authority?

I am frequently asked the question, “How were you called to ministry?” Most people ask that and expect the St. Paul experience—a light from heaven, thrown off my horse, blind and now I see. They also want a short, sweet and definitive response. Frankly, I dread that...
The emperor moth

The emperor moth

L.B. Cowman was a missionary to China in the early 1900s. Her missionary service was cut short when her husband became very ill, causing them to return to the United States. She cared for him for more than six years before he died. In her devotional book, Streams in...
Hurt or harm

Hurt or harm

Jesus likened the relationship of those who follow him to that of a relationship between a branch and a vine. Branches do not live independently of the vine. An organic union exists whereby the vine nurtures, supports and facilitates the growth of the branch....
Ink marks and crimson stains

Ink marks and crimson stains

The telephone rang at 7:00 a.m. and the staff hurried to Mamie Eisenhower’s bedroom. When they knocked and entered, they discovered big black spots all over the sheets, covers, pink dust-ruffle, headboard, everything. To be exact, they were “dabs and blotches and...
Why “walking” with God?

Why “walking” with God?

You have probably heard or read this somewhere before now: “walk with God,” or “walking with/in the Spirit.” There are plenty of resources that thoroughly describe what this means. Even more, there is an abundance of voices that list steps on how to do this in your...
One great distinction between managers and leaders

One great distinction between managers and leaders

All great leaders are good managers, but not all great managers are good leaders. This is not an article that lifts up leaders and devalues managers. Management is an essential function, and managers are highly valued members of the team. There are differences,...
Where is God leading me to change?

Where is God leading me to change?

Where is God leading me to change? If we don’t know the answer to this, then it’s difficult to move forward towards wholeness in the discipleship journey. In his book, Failing Forward, John Maxwell provides a helpful insight into the reasons why people change. People...
Living in the “what is”

Living in the “what is”

I couldn’t stop pacing the floor of my son’s hospital room. It was Sunday night and Andrew, age four, hadn’t eaten since Friday. Everything he put in his mouth, including ice chips, came right back up. At this point, he had nothing left in his...