The Plurality of Elders Protects a Pastor (and a Church) from Disaster

I’ve been listening to Christianity Today’s podcast titled The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill. It’s insightful, compelling, and really well done. It’s also concerning, painful, and tragic. Coupled with introspection, the podcast is humbling me and teaching me some good lessons. Mark Driscoll was someone I really looked up to. I listened to his sermons. I read some of his writing. I listened to the worship bands from his church. I didn’t agree with everything Mark taught, but much...

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Five Essential Gifts to Give Your Kids: (5) Connect the Dots with Relationship

What do you want your kids to see more than anything else? I hope you would say the beauty, majesty, and glory of God. Don’t you want your kids to be awestruck at God and his mercy and grace for them? Creation can show them God’s eternal power and divine nature, but not his justice, judgment, mercy, grace, and love. Only in the Bible does God reveal his redemptive character, nature, and works. If our kids are going to see the beauty, majesty, and glory of God, they will need to see it by...

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Five Essential Gifts to Give Your Kids: (4) Daily Family Worship

Think about what you do every day, the things you do because you need to, the things that benefit you. I sleep every day. Sleep is vital for good health. Sleep deprivation can lead to mental issues, a compromised immune system, high blood pressure, poor balance, and more. Sleep is good. I also eat every day. Good nutrition is vital for good health. Malnutrition can cause awful side effects like unhealthy weight loss, slowed healing of wounds, fatigue, and depression. Food is good. Breathing...

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Five Essential Gifts to Give Your Kids: (3) Weekly Corporate Worship

The other day I was driving one of my kids to piano lessons in Manheim. We were heading down a street when I saw something interesting. An electric car parked on the street was recharging. I had seen the car before but was curious about how it was hooked up. Then I saw it. It was plugged into a tree. Talk about green. I guess the owner converted the tree into a charging station. Electric cars need to be regularly recharged or they won’t run. What do your kids need most to grow spiritually...

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Five Essential Gifts to Give Your Kids: (2) A Basic Theological Framework through Catechization

Imagine your son or daughter sitting at the lunch table with friends at school. The conversation moves from the weekend movie release to first-period health class to religion. One kid is an atheist who says he believes in science. Two kids admit they’re not sure what they believe. Two more admit they go to church but have little more to say. One girl is into meditation and crystals. Then, the atheist kid turns to your child and asks, “What do you believe?” Eyes shift from tater tots to...

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Five Essential Gifts to Give Your Kids: (1) Your Prioritization of Their Discipleship

As parents, we devote calendar space, gas, mileage, money, texts, camera clicks, social media posts, late nights, and much attention to what we value and prioritize for our kids. While dedicating much, we also sacrifice much for what our kids want to do and what we want our kids to do. What we say yes and no to, what our kids are allowed and not allowed to do, says much about our priorities for them. Our planners, cars, bank accounts, phones, and homes showcase what we think is foremost for...

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Five Essential Gifts to Give Your Kids: Series Introduction

My parents gave me some fantastic gifts through the years including stuffed animals, a mini basketball hoop, cold cans of soda after pitch and putt golf, and a Yamaha MX175 dirt bike. They even helped me financially through college. But the best thing my parents gave me was discipleship. They led and nurtured me spiritually. I heard about God’s law and my sin, the gospel of Christ crucified and risen for my salvation, and how I should live for God first from my parents. They took my...

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Am I An Image-Bearer of God?

Every human life has value and meaning, from the fetus in the womb to the unresponsive senior citizen in hospice, precisely because God is Creator of all human life. At least that’s the view of Christians. The predominant view of culture and society is different. According to culture and society, humans are products of chance, Darwinian evolution, and primordial soup; humans are beasts. God says otherwise. He has told us in His authoritative Word that humans bear His image; He made them after...

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Champagne Towers & Loving Others

If you’ve ever been to a wedding or party with a champagne tower, it was probably an elegant and expensive affair. You were probably wearing a nice dress or suit. Maybe Versace. Maybe Armani. There was probably really good food. I wasn’t invited to that party. Actually, you don’t need a lavish party for a champagne tower. You could buy a cheap bottle of champagne for $7 and use plastic glasses from Party City. You can get a 32 count for $8. Not as extravagant, but frugal. I recommend you...

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Everyone Is Awesome?

This past week, I took my oldest son, Jeremiah, to Baltimore for a father-son trip. It was a special and memorable time together that included sharks, black light mini golf, arcades, jogging, junk food, cicadas, Lord of the Rings movies, episodes of Darknet Diaries, meaningful discussion, and indoor skydiving (ask Jeremiah about that one). But it was while perusing the Lego Store that I saw an intriguing 346 piece LEGO set. On the front of the box was a picture of the set – a striped rainbow...

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