Archive | April, 2017

Parents: It’s time to LEAD

17 Apr

There is a dangerous trend in parenting.  Working in my field, I’ve actually seen it for years.  Each year it gets a little stronger … A little worse.  We have molded parenting theory and reshaped our society to accommodate it.  And we are starting to pay a price.

And, simply, here it is:  PARENTS, you need to BE PARENTS.  YOU need to take charge.  YOU need to call the shots.  YOU need to open your eyes and see the reality of your child’s life.

How did we become a society of the entitled?  By trends just like this.  And I know some will read this and be angry with me.  That’s okay.  As a pastor, I have a job to do as well.  And it is not always popular.

As a parent, you have experienced far more life than your child.  Probably by now you have experienced the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.  You have experienced good fortune and times when life just wasn’t fair.  You have seen the ups and you have seen the downs.  Do you want to prepare your child to face REAL LIFE?  Teach them about all of this.  (Especially the part about life not always being fair…)

Make them go to school!!  Make the live up to their commitments!!  (One of the worst trends I see in North American culture RIGHT NOW is the trend of being committed until something better comes along.  Teach them to be a person of THEIR WORD by being a person of YOUR WORD.)

Teach them to face up to problems and work them out instead of running from them.  I am the CHIEF of hating confrontation, and yet now I see that it is necessary at times.   But I know with all of my heart that the best thing I can teach my family is to face up to problems instead of running from them.

And, for goodness sake, BRING THEM TO CHURCH.  If I could’ve talked my mom and dad out of making me go to church, I would’ve done it every time.  Now I look back and I am thankful they could see through that!!!!

This is hard.  And there will be times when you won’t be able to be their best friend.  And that’s okay … That is part of being a parent.  If you trust the Lord, use His Word as your guide, do your very best, and band together with other believers who are parents and facing the same work, YOU WILL MAKE IT.  And you will NEVER regret it.

I am praying you will start TODAY!!!!


11 Apr

We’ve all been there.  We’ve all seen success and we LOVE IT.  We LIVE FOR IT.  And we’ve all experienced failure and most all of us hate it.  Period.

And, most all of us work hard NOT to experience failure a second time.  Well, guess what?  NONE of us are perfect.  We will all fail.  We will all make mistakes … Sometimes small ones.  Sometimes COLOSSAL mistakes.  What can we do?  Where can we go for help?

First of all, we need to level the playing field.  Because our nature gravitates towards the image of a perfect life.  We do not want to admit failure and imperfection.  Somehow we think it lessens our value in the eyes of others.  If we all slowed down enough to see that we all face the same issues and that, in reality, NOT ONE of us is perfect, our world would spin a little smoother.  But pride stops us from doing that.  To make matters worse, we demand perfection in others and yet allow ourselves to be imperfect.  As if we deserve a break, yet no one else does.  The nature of humanity is interesting to say the least …

Whether you realize it or not, someone in your realm of influence TODAY is struggling.  Perhaps with failure.  Or disappointment.  Or, maybe they are just hurting.  And the best thing you can do for them is to be a BARNABAS.  Paul’s famous missionary sidekick was probably the greatest encourager in the New Testament.  His name literally means “Son of Encouragement.”

Someone near you needs encouragement today.  Pray for them.  Speak a word of healing to them.  Remember that you will need the same word some day!!!


10 Apr

If I asked God for His wisdom, would I accept it?  If I asked God to show me the things in my life that have become stumbling blocks (both to me and to others), would I have the strength to remove them?  If I asked God to show me the baggage from my past that prevents me from being everything He has called me to be, would I trust Him enough to put that baggage out of my life?

As we enter this Holy Week, we pause and think about all that the Crucifixion and the Resurrection means to US as followers of Christ.  As we come face to face with all of this, we must grapple with the above questions.  When we see more clearly Who He is, we realize more clearly who we are.

IF ….

The Devil Plays Chess

3 Apr

I’m certain of it … I see it every day.  The devil does play chess.  He uses strategy, influence, popular opinion, and everything else he can use to derail us.  To stop us from properly functioning in the Kingdom of God.  He will do it to you  He will do it to me.  He is crafty.

And, it is working.

As a pastor, I see it now more than ever.  I see how he tries to convince us to use God’s word to justify our sin.  He turns us against each other over the most minimal things.  He works hard to keep us at odds, because he knows that a church which is not unified will not experience the blessings God intended for us.  He tries to keep us in this state so we will not impact the world around us.

He wants us to be afraid to tell others about Christ.  He wants us to disengage and fail to serve God, because the difference we make will hurt his agenda.  He wants us to lack a trust in God with our future, with our resources, and specifically with our money.

Money is a funny topic.  When I talk about it, as a pastor, some immediately choose to see me as a televangelist, thinking they need to hold on to their wallets when I am around.  And I have never picked a man’s pocket!  But the stereotype is powerful, and the devil knows he can weaken the church if he can sustain that lack of trust.  And he doesn’t want any of us to know the freedom of TRUSTING God with it all!!

And he certainly doesn’t want any of us to teach our children what God expects, not only with our words, but also teaching them because WE TRUST GOD and THEY SEE IT IS REAL!!  Because, have mercy, if we all served, if we all told others about Christ, if we all tithed, the Kingdom of God would advance like nothing we had ever seen before!!

So … The ol’ devil wants us to stay right where we are.  And he give us every excuse NOT to tell others, NOT to serve, and NOT to give.  Because if he can weaken our generation, WE weaken the next generation.

And he wins.

The only question left to ask is this:  Do you want him to win?  You will decide by what you do with these very words.