Wednesday, December 31, 2014


As we stand on the verge of another new year, allow me to suggest seven worthy resolutions that will make your life richer and your church stronger.

I will meet together with my church family to worship God, to share my life, and to grow in ways that would never happen alone.  "And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together . . . " (Hebrews 10:24-25).

I will experience prayer every day.  "Pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 1:17).

I will minister in the way that God has gifted me as needs arise.  "As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God" (1 Peter 4:10).

I will bask, bathe, and bury myself in the Bible each day.  "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path" (Psalm 119:105).

I will enlarge the Kingdom of God by sharing God's good news. "Go out into the highways and along the hedges, and compel them to come in, so that my house may be filled" (Luke 14:23).

I will resource the church through my tithes and offerings. "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house" (Malachi 3:10).

I will sense the supernatural activity of God. "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner" (John 5:19).

“Tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.”  ― Brad Paisley

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Write it Down!

"Write down for the record everything I have said to you" (Jeremiah 30:2).

I don't like to write.  I like to talk. I like to pass along new information.  I like to teach. I like to inspire life-change.  I  just don't like to write.

The one exception to my reluctance to write would be journaling.  I have been writing a spiritual diary for many years--more regularly at times.  The purpose of the journal is to record impressions from the Bible that I pick up on during my prayer-time.

When I read the Bible, I am listening for God's perspective on my life. I am listening for direction and for understanding of the events of my days.  I am listening for promises. I am listening for rebuke and correction.  I am listening!  Writing what I hear seems to force me to listen a little more closely--to pay attention to what I'm reading.  My attention to the discipline of being in the Word is enhanced by the expectation that I need to find something to write down.

Write it down!

Thursday, July 31, 2014


"The purpose of my instruction is that all the Christians there would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and sincere faith." --Paul (1 Timothy 1:5)

Think about the early part of that verse for a moment, Paul says, "The purpose of my teaching is that Christians would be filled with love". Remember, Paul wrote around 2/3 of the New Testament. With that in mind, the purpose of the New Testament (at least 2/3 of it) must be that Christians be filled with love. Now my question is this, "Are Christians today known by their love?" And is the church known by its love?, or rather by what and who it's against?

Let's work on it today. Find a need and meet it! Find a lost soul and share from your abundance. Live the Good News: God's not angry with us any more!

If you want a recipe for love, then Paul shares it. Love comes from a "pure heart", "a clear conscience", and "sincere faith". The ingredients are just a prayer away. Go ahead! Try it!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Let the Writing Begin...

I am so very happy to announce that Tina and I have signed a publishing contract with Kregel Publications to write a new book.  We have been working on a project for quite some time and we are thrilled that Kregel is going to partner with us on the project.  Pray for us as we move forward and as we seek to create something that will have a big impact on broken and wounded lives.  Kregel published Tina's first book, Wounded Women of the Bible, and so it is fitting that we continue together.  This is my first attempt at writing and so Tina will have her hands full keeping me on task.  I look forward to sharing more with you in the near future.  Thanks for your support and I can't wait to share this book with you.  I don't believe anything like this has ever been written before.  We're believing that lives will be changed through this resource.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

AWSA Nonfiction Book of the Year!!

Congratulations to my beautiful and talented wife who was today awarded The Golden Scroll Award for 2014 Nonfiction Book of the Year!  Tina shares the honor with her long-time friend and coauthor Dena Dyer.  I couldn't be prouder!

Monday, May 26, 2014

El Shaddai

It's been my habit for several years to focus on one of God's names or one of His character traits as a daily spiritual exercise of praise.  Today, I'm taking a look at a name that God reveals to Abraham in Genesis seventeen--El Shaddai.

I have to admit the first thing to pop into my mind when I hear "El Shaddai" is Amy Grant's classic song by that title from the early 80's.  I like the song and I like the song writer--Michael Card.  As a high school student, I frequented a small coffee shop in Knoxville, Tennessee where Michael Card was a frequent artist.  I graduated from high school in '81 and so "El Shaddai" is included in the soundtrack of my life as a staple of those late teenage years.

The meaning of the word, "El Shaddai" is a bit uncertain.  "El" is simple enough to translate. It means "God".  The "Shaddai" part is a little less cut and dry.  Depending on the word origin that you go with--it can either mean destroyer or it can mean sustainer.  That's a pretty big divide between the two options.  To sustain and to destroy are pretty much opposite ideas.  The biblical translators seem to try to split the difference and opt for God Almighty as the preferred translation.

God first reveals himself as El Shaddai in the Bible when He makes a covenant of blessing with Abram, "When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty.’ Serve me faithfully and live a blameless life.  I will make a covenant with you, by which I will guarantee to make you into a mighty nation" (Gen 17:1-2, NLT).  Just a few verses later El Shaddai promises, "I will make you the father of not just one nation, but a multitude of nations!" (v4).  In verse 5, God changes Abram's name from Abram (exalted father) to Abraham (father of many). In verse 6, God promises, "I will give you millions of descendants who will represent many nations."  In this same passage, Sarah's name is also changed and a baby is promised.

I was taught in hermeneutics class in seminary that context is huge when interpreting scripture. That said, the context of Genesis seventeen seems to point to sustainer as the best interpretation of El Shaddai.

One more interesting perspective to add is that acclaimed biblical archaeologist William F. Albright suggested that "Shaddai" comes from shadayim, the Hebrew word for "breasts".  This option gives us a wonderful metaphor of God as provider, caregiver, and nurturer.

Let me invite you to join me in worshipping God as "El Shaddai" today.  How marvelous it is to realize that God is nurturing me and nourishing me even as a mother feeds her baby.  I will thrive today because of God's great and gracious care.

I've included links to a couple of videos that might prove inspirational as you worship today.

For further study:

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Sin of Being Stupid

I'm fond of saying, "God's not mad at you". And the Bible insists that when we're under the blood of Jesus, He isn't mad!

Apparently though, suppressing and denying the truth really ticks God off! ...

Note this verse:

"But God shows His anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who push the truth away from themselves" (Romans 1:18 NLT).
Those who push the truth away are labeled as sinful and wicked and are, as a consequence, the object of God's wrath. To push the truth away--to refuse reality--to embrace ignorance--is to enrage God. Thus, it is a sin to be stupid!

The Bible tells us to "speak the truth in love" (Ephesians 4:15) and we spend a lot of time talking about how to do this effectively . . . but maybe it's time we learned how to "hear the truth in love". It's been said, "You can't fix stupid!" Well I've got news for you--Jesus can fix anything--even stupid!

If you're tired of stupid, take a look at James 1:5 and James 1:19-25.