In 2009 I had a radical encounter with God. Prior to that I had given up on church and spent several years living aimlessly. But God was faithful to me even when I was faithless. And in 2009, as I was reading the Gospel of John, God gripped my heart and invited me to come back home. It was an incredible experience that I will never forget.
And in that moment I remember God saying to me, “I’m not done with you. I have a plan for you. Follow Me.” That invitation began a spiritual journey in my life that literally changed everything. And I remember thinking to myself, “If God’s going to use me, then I’ve got to get better at following Him.” And I wondered to myself, “What do people who follow Jesus do?” Not long after that I discovered the spiritual disciplines.
Faith matters. It matters to my blog because the purpose of this blog is to help you connect your faith to your life. But it’s more important than that. The Apostle Paul says, “By grace you have been saved through faith” (Ephesians 2:8, ESV). In order to find salvation in Christ, you must believe. But what does it mean to believe?
You’ve heard the phrase “take a leap of faith.” That’s how most people think of faith. It’s a step off the ledge into uncertainty. It’s not really reasonable. You can’t really prove it. There is no evidence. You just have to believe.
But is that what faith really is? Is that how the church has historically understood the nature of faith? I don’t think so.
Below you will find the three aspects of genuine faith.
My wife and I love to read together. We try to make it a daily habit to get up before the kids do, spend time reading the Scriptures, praying, and then reading together. Typically we read books on marriage. That’s because our marriage relationship is important to us, and reading about marriage is a way for us to connect, to think about the same things and to grow in how we serve one another as husband and wife.
Below you will find a list of our top three. These books have made the greatest impact on our marriage relationship, and we highly recommend them.
This week the world lost an incredible man. August Charles Brockenbush, Jr. You may not know Charles personally. You may not have ever met him. But so many loved him. And for good reason.
I knew Charles for about three years. And in those three short years he impacted my life greatly. He showed me what it looks like to love without condition and to stand by your people always–even when they didn’t earn or deserve that kind of loyalty. He showed me what it looks like to live generously. And how to stand for what you believe is right even when you’re standing alone. This man was one of a kind. And he impacted more people than I will ever know. And I will miss him dearly.
Right now I’m grieving over his passing. I’m realizing now more than ever how special of a man he was, and how lucky I am to have known him.
Maybe you didn’t know Charles. But you probably know what it’s like to lose someone who matters to you. To realize today is not going to be the same as it was yesterday and neither will tomorrow because someone special, someone significant to you has passed on.
It’s the harsh realization that death hurts that I wanted to address today.
Here are three truths about death that everyone needs to know.
A couple of weeks ago I received a copy of the new Christian Standard Bible Study Bible. It didn’t take long for me to realize that this new resource would quickly become one of my favorites. Below I outline all the reasons why I love it and how it could benefit your in your own personal study of the Scriptures.
When I was 18, I walked away from the church. I became a prodigal child. It was a shock to my family and friends because not only did I grow up in the church, I loved being a part of the church. Unfortunately, I had allowed bitterness from a past experience to well up inside of me until it had total control over me. And I walked away.
I remember sitting in my parents house with the pastor of their church explaining to him my laundry list of grievances against the local church. And I told him I was never coming back.
And I didn’t. For about five years. Then, by God’s grace, I came back more passionate about Jesus and His church than ever before.
It’s not uncommon for teenagers to walk away from the church. In fact, it’s a serious problem. I thank God that He brought me back into the fold. And I’m sure if you are a parent of a prodigal child, that’s exactly what you want to see too.
My parents played an instrumental role in my coming back to church. And you can too.
Here are four things you can do to love your prodigal child.
This past week I was in sunny Phoenix, Arizona for the 2017 Southern Baptist Convention. Walking through the exhibit hall I ran into Andy Addis, pastor of Crosspoint Church in Kansas. He gave me a copy of his recent book Blotch: A Tale of Forgiveness and Grace. It’s an illustrated children’s book designed to help you teach your kids the gospel. And it’s fantastic.
Parents, read this book to your kids!
Today is Father’s Day. It’s that one day each year that we honor and celebrate our fathers. I’m blessed to be a dad to four little ones. And there isn’t a day I wake up that I don’t feel blessed to be a dad. But there isn’t a day I wake up that I don’t feel the weight and responsibility of being a dad.
Dads Make All The Difference
Research shows that the impact a father makes lasts a lifetime. In fact the most important factor in your child’s development is the quality of relationship he or she shares with you. It’s more important than their relationship with their grandparents, their friends, coworkers or anyone else for that matter.
Dads make all the difference.
So, what can you do?
I just got home from Phoenix, Arizona where I attended the 2017 Southern Baptist Convention. In a lot of ways Southern Baptists get a bad rap. We’re criticized for fighting with each other about tertiary issues. Many people consider us behind the times on issues such as racial reconciliation and the role of women in ministry among other things.
Some of these criticisms are valid. But sometimes the SBC is just misunderstood.
But despite the legitimate criticisms and the misunderstandings, I still love the SBC. And I’m glad to be a part of it.
Here are four reasons why.
The ocean fascinates me. It’s so big and mysterious. It’s full of life and surprises. Sometimes it’s calm. Sometimes it’s fierce. But it’s always beautiful. Probably what I love most about the ocean is that no matter how many times I visit it, it never ceases to amaze me.
The Bible is a lot like the ocean. Like the ocean, the Bible is big and mysterious. It’s full of life and surprises. You could read the Bible every single day for the rest of your life and still never unveil all of its beauty and mystery. The Bible never ceases to amaze.
And the crazy thing is that we get to plunge its depths.
Here’s four steps you can take to dive deeper into Scripture.