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I Wait, He Works…

I’m sitting on my back deck—on a swing—taking in a breathtakingly beautiful day in the middle of a rather difficult week. (I won’t bore you with the painful details part.) The sun is smiling at my back, preparing to sign off for the day in a spectacular array of color. Psalms are playing in the…

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A New Book in the Works!

Following Jesus is sure to be a journey of unfolding surprises. He delights to delight! I continue to marvel at God’s providence and grace on this journey. One of my great passions in ministry is writing—attempting to communicate God’s truth in a way that compels others to love Jesus. Almost a year ago I took a…

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The Monday After Easter!

It’s Monday morning after Easter Sunday.  The first task on your task list is “Start preparing next Sunday’s message.” But hold on a minute. This particular Monday morning brings a collision of dynamics to your heart (good and bad), a psychological soup… Delight in the energy and life of Easter Sunday. Exhaustion from the adrenaline…

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Resurrection Week and Spiritual Battle

Each year, I share some thoughts leading into Easter regarding the predictable spiritual battle of preaching Jesus. This is for spiritual leaders and Christian servants who are engaged in gospel ministry this week and are simultaneously experiencing spiritual battle… Any time you tackle a big effort to lift up Jesus, you can buckle up for…

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Gawk A Little

Ernest Becker wrote in Denial of Death, “…By the time we leave childhood we have repressed our vision of the primarily miraculousness of creation. We have closed it off, changed it, and no longer perceive the world as it is to raw experience.” My first 18 months in Connecticut, I couldn’t believe the immersive beauty—everywhere all the time….

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How God Funds His Work…

Do you ever stress over ministry finances? Read on! This post was written three years ago. I never posted it, not sure why. But now, more than ever, I’m convinced of a few things: First, spiritual leaders are often the most afraid and paralyzed in ministry because of their fear of “financial provision.” I know…

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My Most Powerful Deliberate Spiritual Practice

Are you ever overwhelmed by circumstances beyond your control? Do you, like me, tend to default to manufacturing your own solutions? When things go badly, my immediate instinct is to solve, avoid, escape, or forge my own solutions to my situation.   This is a really bad habit—for several reasons. Why is it a bad…

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What Changed at Emmanuel Over Six Years

A pastor-friend recently asked me this question, “What are the most essential changes made at Emmanuel over the last six years?” He urged me to shape my answer into a blog post, which I nervously submit to you at this time. The question was difficult to answer for several reasons. Jesus Really Leads the Change…

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Opportunities to Serve at Emmanuel

Over the last five years, God has been restoring His work of grace at Emmanuel Baptist Church and Emmanuel Christian Academy. This year, God has opened two doors of opportunity for those seeking placement in a Christian School environment. We are presently accepting resumes and applications for two positions in Emmanuel Christian Academy: Secondary Teaching…

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Leading Healthy Change Part 7

We’re talking about leading healthy change. In Part One we discussed discerning “good change” and “bad change.” In Part Two we discussed the starting point of appreciating “what is” and managing the tension between “what is” and “what could be.” In Part Three we began discussing the first two of six steps in the process—building healthy relationships and communicating effectively. In Part…

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Losing Our “Learned Helplessness”

Psalm 81:6 begins with these words “I removed his shoulder from the burden.” This is God speaking regarding his deliverance of the nation of Israel. What’s amazing about it, is that God’s deliverance often had temporary negative aspects or impact. Think about it. He took Joseph to Egypt through slavery and prison, only to elevate…

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Strengthened In Your Storm!

Has God led you into a storm? Are you seized with worry, fear, confusion as the winds howl around you and water builds up in your boat? Feel like you’re sinking? Read on. This post just might be for you! This past Sunday we marked our 4th anniversary at Emmanuel Baptist Church. It’s hard to…

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If You’re Suffering, Jesus Knows How You Feel

The week before Easter, for most pastors and Christians, is a week of meditating upon the cross of Jesus Christ. Our next three church services will be focused on the suffering and sacrifice of Jesus. There is not a topic more sobering. This week, I hope you will consider deeply what Jesus suffered for you. Isaiah prophesied,…

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Help Your Guests Overcome Fear at Church

Stepping into a church for the first time is a terrifying experience for an unbeliever. Recently, I was on my way to connection group when I saw a young a single mother coming into our lobby. Most people were already in class, except for the greeter at that door, so I walked over and said,…

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Counter-Intuitive Church Development

“Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” (Matthew 5:13) I’m not a fan of the term “church-growth.” It’s God’s job to build His…

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A Deeper Thanks!

Jabez was a pretty awesome guy! He was born with name that means “sorrow” and sounds like the Hebrew expression of “ouch.” He could have accepted the fate that his name and family predicted. He could have let whatever sorrowful circumstances resulted in that name also determine his fate. From his disadvantaged birth, most would…

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One Key to an Irresistible Marriage (Repost)

Recently, a young couple emailed me and asked an insightful question about their relationship. Several years into their marriage, they are discovering how “opposite” they really are in many areas. And that realization scared them. They asked if this discovery should worry them, or if all couples experience this. It occurred to me that most…

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Why Nobody Can Rationally Deny Jesus’ Resurrection

Here are TEN quick reasons why nobody can really, rationally deny the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The resurrection of Jesus is absolutely plausible… 1. Nobody expected it—not even His closest followers. 2. Nobody would have invented it—The cleverest fiction writer wouldn’t have contrived this story, and least of all a bunch of uneducated, perplexed disciples….

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Random Musings from a New Grandpa

Our first two grandchildren were born this week. Surreal! It’s given pause for some reflection—some humorous, some serious. I thought I’d share it with you… Here are TEN random musings from a new grandpa: 1. I’ve been waiting for 23 years to get my wife back. I think I just lost her again. She came…

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Things I’m Thankful for Today

To a healthy Christian, Thanksgiving is not merely a holiday, it’s a lifestyle. How I long to grow in gratitude! Don’t you LOVE Thanksgiving Day!? This list could be SO long, but I’m going to do my best to keep it short! Here are a few things I’m thankful for, and why:   The Spiritual Stuff…

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