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Dad – Be This!


14.06.2014

It’s an amazing thing to have a great dad like I have!  I’m painfully aware, however, that all don’t have this.  But here’s what one looks like:

*He’s THERE.  My dad made sure he was at all my important events as a kid. Ball games, the lake, CHURCH, in the hospital when I broke stuff, and watching me work at the jobs HE came up with.  BE THIS!

*He’s a RESCUER.  I could count on dad to be there when I was in trouble – and I was!  He “delivered me from evil” more than a few times. He set me straight A LOT, with patience, not anger.  BE THIS!

*He’s an EXAMPLE.  My mom and dad carried on in front of me.  It was PG, but it was there.  I know how to love a woman because he showed me. He was an example in a ton of things, but this comes to mind.  He said, “I love you” a lot to his family.  BE THIS!

*He’s REAL.  I saw my dad cry more than once – for all the right reasons. Spiritual reasons. Disappointment and pain-type reasons. BE THIS! …more

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“Grab a Hoe, Pick a Row”


12.06.2014

When I was 14, my father enlisted me to work with a peanut farmer, hoeing peanuts in a hot Oklahoma summer.  There were a dozen or so of us working in those fields, with a huge and intimidating foreman keeping us at it.  I had never hoed peanuts.  I’d never worked in any fields.  I had no idea what to do.

I thought maybe that big foreman might show me what to do.  So, when I arrived, I asked him, “How do you do this?”

He just looked at me without expression for moment, pointed to the big pile of wooden-handled hoes next to him, then to the field behind us, and said,  “Grab a hoe, pick a row.  It’s that simple.” …more

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2014 SBC Annual Meeting Convention Sermon [Summary]


11.06.2014

Today, I had the amazing privilege to preach the Convention Message of the 2014 Southern Baptist Convention in Baltimore, Maryland. Upon being invited nearly a year ago to preach this message, God began to speak to me in prayer. “You won’t preach an ordinary message. You’ll preach what you live.”   And what a year it’s been.

Message Title: “The Impossible Quest”
Message Text: 1 Chronicles 11:3, 9, 10-14.

…more

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5 Things Leaders Can’t Make a Difference Without


09.06.2014
Things NEED change. In the kingdom. In the churches.
Otherwise, we keep getting what we’ve BEEN getting.
But the kingdom won’t change until churches do. And churches won’t change until leaders do.  That’s why God is in the business of changing, challenging, growing, squeezing, breaking and re-making leaders. Every great move of God is preceded by a leader’s personal transformation.

…more

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Healing and the Sovereignty of God


08.06.2014

Resting Under His Sovereignty

Sickness happens. We’re sure of that.

The question is, “At whose hand does it happen?” Is sickness merely part of the human condition in which all of us are potential victims? Is my sickness from sin, present or past, and a consequence for what I’ve done or failed to do? Is it Satan whose diabolic cursing bring us into physical ruin and weakness? Or is sickness from God, in whose Sovereign purpose and plan it is brought for my good and His glory? …more

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Exposed On the Front Lines


07.06.2014

“Until you know that life is war, you cannot know what prayer is for. Prayer is for the accomplishment of a wartime mission.”
John Piper

Life is war.  Have you discovered this yet? If not, you’re in a losing battle already.  Like the German citizens who ignored the horrors of Nazi Germany, who chose to look the other way when all the signs of atrocity that accompanied the Holocaust were evident – we are in danger of missing the huge kingdom conflict all around us, living outside of reality. …more

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Do Dogs Go to Heaven?


11.02.2008

“Will there be dogs in heaven?”

Set the scene in your mind. I was studying about the new heaven and new earth and as I shared this during a lunch meeting, I was met with the question above. Now, I’m on the spot. Maybe 60 or so eyes looking my way.

Respected scholars are split on the subject. Some say, “no.” Dogs don’t have souls.
Some say, “yes.” There were animals in Eden – and the tree in Eden will resurface in heaven. They have a point.

But my answer THAT moment: “Well, if there are dogs in heaven, I know one that won’t be there – MINE.”

But in seriousness, I was reminded that even though my dog is rebellious, selfish, dirty, a moocher, and even far worse than those descriptors on her most disobedient day, she still is no more disqualified for heaven than I am. In fact, upon further reflection, I realized my own stubbornness and rebellion, selfishness, etc., are uglier than than the dogs. I have a head start on being intelligent, reasonable and capable of knowing better than to offend my Maker and Master. And yet, I am still disobedient. Not as bad as I once was, but still…

I don’t know if dogs are in heaven, but because we are all in the same boat, I am ever thankful for the ocean of grace.

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Perspective Check: Fixing Your Focus on Heaven


08.02.2008

Few of us really know what we’re looking forward to. God has something very, very special planned! Revelation 21 and 22 are amazing in the details of heaven. I’ll summarize the first five verses of Revelation 21, but you really have to read it.

God tells us what we will EXPERIENCE – and specifically we’ll watch the old earth and heaven pass away with fire and noise and every other awesome sensory comprehension and then we’ll watch as God creates a brand new earth and heaven – far more glorious than the first. Imagine the most beautiful place on earth. Now magnify the beauty by a million times. Add to that the fact that it will never spoil. That’s a start.

God tells us what we will EXPLORE. Verse 2 speaks of the New Jerusalem – the place where our mansion is being built – yep, individual mansions for the redeemed. I estimate (and others, as well) that your mansion will be huge. The holy city, after all, is 1500 miles wide, deep and tall. It can house 20 billion people and give them enough space to have 75 acres each – in all directions! Out of 100 billion estimated population of earth in the past, present and future, if we guess that 20% come to know Christ (yes, that is optimistic) these are the numbers. What’s more, as John explored, you will also explore the BRILLIANCE, the BIGNESS, the BEAUTY and the BLESSING of heaven. Get ready.

But the best part of heaven in the ability to ENJOY His Presence. I can’t wait to see Jesus. This is really what heaven is all about and He will be AMONG us (three times this is mentioned in one verse). Every pain, heartbreak and disappointment will be reversed by the healing balm of Jesus’ presence.

This is so good for our perspective. My understanding of heaven is flavoring how I feel about earth. I’m not clinging quite so tightly. I’m not expecting quite so much. The greatest things are ahead of us.

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“You meant… but God meant”


08.02.2008

Joseph has one of the greatest lines in the Bible, “…you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good…” (Gen. 50:20)

I’ve remembered it as life hits me like a bus – or quoted it when someone else felt thrown under the same bus.

It means that evil doesn’t triumph, even though it sometimes looks that way.
It means that the worst motives on earth don’t rule, God the Ruler with the best motives does.
It means that all the wickedness, scheming and hatred has restraint, for it cannot thwart God’s purpose.

 

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Living with a Limp


25.01.2008

Jacob wrestled with God.

That is not an easy subject to get your arms around, but the Bible actually forms that exact word picture, “…for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed.” He endured 20-some years of struggle over 4 chapters. Not only did Jacob have an exhausting physical push-and-shove with the angel, he had a whole family thing he struggled that unfolds, particularly with his father-in-law, Laban.

…more

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