Tag Archives: relationship with god

Pastors Need Friends

Pastors struggle to have deep and meaningful friendships. Note the words “deep and meaningful”. Most pastors would say they have lots of friends but often they are more shallow than deep and more superficial than meaningful. There are reasons for that. Deeper friendships can be betrayed. Deeper friendships take effort. Deeper friendships can cause jealousy. Lots of reasons.
I recently finished a Continue reading

In Praise of Encouragers

Encouragement is one of the most beautiful gifts we can receive. A kind word, a helping hand, a warm smile, an appreciative hug– these things are the currency of encouragement. And this currency is never devalued.
I officiated the funeral of a great encourager recently. In more than twenty years of being his pastor he encouraged me countless times without a single hint of discouragement. Amazing.
I cannot tell you how grateful I am for that wonderful gift. In a day when snark Continue reading

It’s a Christmas Miracle!

I’ve given birth to a new book. (Well, it was a different kind of labor than you mothers have.) It is called “30 Days to Acts: A Devotional Commentary”. You can get this devotional book at Amazon. (Just click on the picture.) Merry Christmas!

30 Days to Acts

Christmas Movies

Like so many, my family will watch some Christmas movies this year. It’s a fun tradition.
-We’ll watch “A Christmas Story” and say “adios, Bart” with a hard “a” on the adios while giving warnings about the danger of shorting one’s eye out.
-We will watch “Elf” and note that Francesco is indeed a fun name to say.
-We will probably watch “Christmas Vacation” and remember that the jelly of the month club is the gift that keeps on giving.
-“Home Alone” might slip in there as we ask Continue reading

Theology is Not the Goal

I’ve read a couple of books recently that taught me more about the life of J.P. Morgan, the famous banker. I didn’t know much about his life and work but he was among the most powerful men in the world for a time. He had great wealth, incredible influence and a massive art collection.
There was one thing that really surprised me about the man. He was Continue reading

Football and God

I love this time of year- warm days, cool nights and beautiful colors. But I also love it because it is football season! I’ve enjoyed football since I was a kid. Dad told me about playing football in the Army, we watched football together on TV (I miss my Dad’s arguments with Howard Cosell through the television screen) and played in the backyard.
I started playing football for real as a scrawny freshman in high school. I was unprepared for the pain and sweat associated with the sport. Somehow I survived and talked myself into playing again as a sophomore. I grew a little and got faster and found some success. I found more success as a junior and senior.
Small though I was, I played football at Wheaton College. I played a lot as a freshman, started every game the next three years and was captain my senior year. (The talent level was lower then!)
I can’t play anymore, of course. (I just pulled my hamstring typing that last sentence.) But Continue reading

7 Changes When Revival Comes

I was asked to write a couple of short things on revival recently. (One for the Illinois Baptist coming out in a few weeks and another for an update on “The Revival in Brownwood, TX and beyond” from 1995.) It has caused me to consider what happens when genuine revival comes to a person, church or region. By the way, I am speaking of a revival- a return to God among believers, not just a revival meeting or an evangelistic campaign- though I love them too.
I care about revival from two vantage points. First, I studied revival during my Ph.D. work. I wrote my dissertation on J. Edwin Orr, the greatest historian of revival and my mentor was Dr. Roy Fish, who taught and loved revival. Second, I have experienced a touch of genuine revival at several moments in my life- the time in 1995 being especially noteworthy. I’m not an expert, but I have some background.
Here are 7 things that change for us when revival come to our lives.
1. We Continue reading