The Miracle of Thanksgiving

First penned twenty years ago for Lifeway.com. the story and message below captured a moment in my life when the act of thanking God became a deeply personal and profound act of faith. I have never viewed my problems in the same way, as each has become a fresh opportunity to trust Him... and to …

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A Brief Apologetic for Doing Life Together

While you have begun meeting again as a church, there are dear ones staying at home... they don't believe that there is a need for them to be physically present when the church gathers. They argue that their relationship with God is “private” and no one else’s business. But we know that the gathered church …

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How Every Ministry in the Church is to Fulfill the Great Commission

A small group of senior adults met early at the church on Sunday mornings to pray for the classes and worship services that would follow. Theirs was a ministry of prayer for the pastors, deacons, Sunday School teachers, and workers who would soon be filling the church hallways and walkways. One week they invited me …

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On Hearing a Sermon

When I was young in the Lord — without being told that I should — I listened eagerly to preachers as they picked up Scripture. It was rarely because I knew the speaker and who they really were as people, but rather it was because I anticipated that He was about to speak to me. …

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Escape from Exceptionalism

Does God love me? Have you ever asked yourself that question? I have. Some will find that odd because I have been speaking and serving in churches since I was seventeen. You would think that someone who has spent so much time in ministry would not struggle with believing God loves Him. But I have. …

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How to Support Your Pastor and Your Staff in the Ministry You Lead

“How can I help you, Pastor?” The man served in our church as a ministry leader. He ran a large business with several employees. He was a busy man, and yet he wanted to know how he could help me! I invited him to pray for me. Immediately he stood up, walked next to where …

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How to Saturate the Ministry You Lead with Prayer

As a leader you can easily be overwhelmed by the demands of ministry. The good news is that you are not alone! Jesus never intended that you do ministry in your own strength, relying on your own ingenuity and resourcefulness. He taught disciples to maintain a vibrant, inner fellowship with Him, “because you can do …

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The Master “Group Plan” of Discipleship

“(Y’all) Go therefore and (y’all) make disciples of all the nations, (y’all) baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (y’all) teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you (i.e. y’all)…” ~ Matthew 28:19-20 PRV (Pucik Revised Version) In Greek and Hebrew and …

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Those Flowers Aren’t For You

"I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; the humble shall hear of it and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together." ~ Psalm 34:1-3 A former church member shared …

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Time Alone with God: Lessons I Learned at a Fence Post

Not long after I began to follow Jesus in the late 70s, I was invited to take a Sunday evening class at the church designed to help new believers grow. As I joined the group, they handed me a small study book focused entirely on “the devotional life.” I still carry it in my Bible …

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