How are your gospel plumbing skills?

If your marriage has a clog in the drain and you feel stuck, you need gospel plumbing skills. My wife, Kristy, and I have learned these skills the hard way. In the video below, I share about how a real clogged drain taught us a powerful lesson about how to deal with our marriage junk. At some […]

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Do you have a marriage staff meeting? Here is why you should and how you can.

One thing my wife and discuss in marriage seminar is the importance and impact of “the marriage staff meeting.”For example, what if our church staff never connected to meet? Even just to discuss the calendar? The result would be predictable: confusion, isolation, tension, and frustration. It is any wonder that our marriages experience the same […]

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Dandelions of Grace: 3 Perspectives on “Sending”

Quick Navigation Introduction – Our MoveA Partnership Saying GoodbyeA Dandelion of Grace1. THE PROBLEMS WITH SENDING   Fear of the UnknownFeelings of Loss and Heartache2. THE PURPOSE OF SENDINGSending = ExtendingA Lesson from Biology3. THE PLACES FOR SENDINGA New PerspectiveWe All Have Been SentGospel conclusion – William Borden  Three Famous PhrasesSending Requires Receiving Introduction – Our MoveWhen […]

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[For Pastors] How to Prepare for an Effective Hospital Visit: the 4 Questions to Ask

Table of Contents 4 Questions1. What happened? 2. How are you feeling? 3. What is the next step? 4. May I pray with you? Follow Up I stack most of my annual vacation into June, taking off 4 Sundays in a row every summer. During those weeks, I am pretty much off the grid.It is a break I look […]

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Planning in Pencil: A 3-Part Plan for Flexing with God’s Providence

Table of Contents Introduction. 1. Hold Expectations LooselyAn Example from the World of TennisHow can I know?But the deeper issue is why. 2. Trust God CompletelyTandem Sky-DivingLife as a Path. A Journey. A Story.Implications of Trusting What Our Children Need3. Engage Opportunities WholeheartedlyGod’s TimingClosing Time is in 15 Minutes!Present Moments, Opens DoorsWhat if… Conclusion. Inconvenient, but not RandomSeeing […]

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Does Your Repentance Feel Like Death Yet?

Table of Contents Repentance is DeathRepentance and CrucifixionNo More Plastic Bananas A Dangerous QuestionExactly Fessing and FeelingOwning It Repentance is Death”Repentance should feel like death.” I’m not sure where I heard that. But it is true because repentance is a death. Not a literal, physical death, but a very real, present, painful and active execution, nonetheless. It is chemo […]

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A 3-Part Process for Facing Fatigue: A Message for Tired Mamas (and Anyone Who is Exhausted)

Table of Contents Introduction. 1. ACKNOWLEDGE MY WEARINESS Mothers with Young ChildrenMothers with Older Children2. RECEIVE GOD’S RESTWearing a Yoke Understanding a Formula3. RESPOND TO JESUS’S INVITATIONThe surface burdensThe core burdenConclusion.  Introduction. A couple of weeks ago Kristy, Sarah Wynn and I drove up to Chattanooga to help our eldest move into a new house for […]

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7 Things Every Mother Needs to Hear

Quick Navigation Intro: A Confession and a Deep Desire1. Being a mother is not a step down from your other career.2. The mundane matters.3. There are seasons in every mother’s life.4. It’s okay to be tired.5. Lower your expectations.6. You were never meant to be a Jesus-replacement for your kids.7. Your children’s success or failure […]

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facing death with hopeful joy

How Can We Face Death with Hopeful Joy?

Quick Navigation Introduction – 1 Corinthians 15:50-571. The Certainty of Resurrection (vv. 50-52)2. The Glory of Transformation (v. 53)3. The Security of Redemption (vv. 54-57)Conclusion/Gospel focus.   Introduction – 1 Corinthians 15:50-57You have heard it said that the only things that are certain in this life are death and taxes.  I trust that most of […]

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waiting and wondering

Passion Week/Saturday: Waiting and Wondering

Quick Navigation The Burial of a DreamQuestionsSabbath SignificanceResting and Trusting The Burial of a DreamIt’s Saturday.  Jesus has been buried with Roman centurions posted by the tomb to protect it from tampering.  At the arrest of Jesus, the disciples all had “deserted him and fled.”  Where they went that night, I do not know. Eventually, they did regroup, […]

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great friday

Passion Week/Friday: Great Friday

Quick Navigation A Torturous DeathHumiliationA Closer LookSubstitutionA Shadow of JesusThe Tables Turned A Torturous DeathIt’s Friday. Jesus has been betrayed, arrested, judged, scourged, and is now hanging from a cross, each breath requiring searing pain to shoot from nailed hands and feet as he would be forced to pull himself up upward against gravity to refill […]

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washing feet

Passion Week/Thursday: A Shocking Moment

Quick Navigation An Ancient CustomThe UnthinkableThe Power of IdentityMore Than Pouring WaterThe Driving Motive It is Thursday evening.The disciples have gathered with Jesus to celebrate Passover together in “the upper room.” Jesus would not sleep again until the sleep of death that he would enter through suffering upon an executioner’s cross the next day. And he […]

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brutal honesty

Passion Week/Wednesday: Brutal Honesty

Quick Navigation Silent WednesdayPreparing and PlottingPrayer in the GardenThe Problem with Pre-Washed LanguageTransparency and Trust Silent WednesdayWith so much focus in the Gospels on Passion Week, there are no recorded events or sayings that take place on Wednesday.  We do know this. Jesus was preparing and the Jewish leaders were plotting.  Tomorrow would be the Last Supper, […]

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Passion Week/Tuesday: Readiness

Quick Navigation Kingdom ParablesReadinessChristian AtheismWaking Up to Infinite Joy Kingdom ParablesOn Tuesday, Jesus has an encounter with a group of Pharisees and teachers of the law, men who will be the final opposition force to Jesus as the Christ. He begins to teach about the Kingdom of God with parables.   In Matthew 21, we read, […]

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holy violence

Passion Week/Monday: Holy Violence

Quick Navigation An Unexpected PortraitUnrighteous Anger Holy ViolenceRough-Hewn Beams Today’s Scripture for day one of Passion Week is Matthew 21:12-13, a scene from Monday of Passion Week. 12 And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of […]

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5 step sermon intro process

A Simple 5-Step Process for Creating Compelling Sermon Introductions

Here is a 5-step process for creating a compelling sermon introduction. The goal is to have people wanting to hear your message–feeling a deep need for what you are planning to say because you will be answering a burning, practical question with a biblical solution (that is tied and tethered to the cross). Those who preach […]

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the secret of the 50 year marriage

The Secret of the 50-Year Marriage

Quick Navigation Longing for a Shared StoryThe Covenantal vs Consumeristic MarriageVows are not a FormalityThe Importance of FoundationsA Better QuestionLet’s Apply ItDiscussion Guide Longing for a Shared StoryBoth sets of my wife’s grandparents were married for over sixty years. What a legacy! Isn’t that what we want to look forward to. Enjoying long life together […]

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how to start a message so that people will listen

How to Start a Message so that People Will Listen

The problem with sermons today isn’t with those who listen. The problem is with those of us who preach.  I am as guilty as anyone. In fact, it is my culpability as a preacher that has spurned me to study, learn, and discover as much as I can about how to best communicate the gospel in a […]

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what if jesus is still buried

What if Jesus is Still Buried?

Introduction – 1 Corinthians 15:12-32 “Christianity, if false, is of no importance, but if true, is of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.”In that statement, C.S. Lewis, the Oxford professor and author of the Narnia books, challenges us to re-evaluate our assumptions.  What would make Christianity either true or false? What is […]

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living within limits

Six Ways to Slow Down and Live within Limits

This post is a snippet from a longer article on slowing down. If you’d like to read the full-length post, you’ll find it here. If you’d just like the take-a-ways, here they are — the six ways to live within limits that I am discovering for myself. I hope this will help you, too.Set a reasonable […]

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