Thursday, January 26, 2017


Ever made a commitment with your resources and you felt pretty good about it and then that week something big breaks at home?

Isn't that how it goes?

And the enemy of your soul says in your ear:  'See?  You shouldn't have given that.  You shouldn't made that commitment.  What are you going to do now?  You're so foolish.'

And we start to grieve what we'd already given or what we said we would give.

Imagine if I asked you for some money and after you gave it to me, I decided to give it in an offering.  I wouldn't be grieving that I gave that money.  You might be, but I wouldn't be.

Why wouldn't I grieve over it?  Because it wasn't mine.

The reason we sometimes grieve when we give is because we thought it was ours.

The reason we sometimes grieve when we give is because we thought it was ours.  But it isn't - not that first part.  It's God's.

In the same way the Bible says your body isn't your own.  It belongs to God, so what you do with it in all kinds of different ways is so important.

Same with your resources.  When we get the heart that we're giving back to God what is already His, we don't grieve over it any longer.

And be blessed.

Sunday, January 22, 2017


People are the Kingdom.  The treasure of the Kingdom of God is you.

Your neighbors are treasures to God.  The children of Haiti are treasures to God.  Women being trafficked in Thailand and Chicago and India are treasures to God.  Orphans and widows around the world are treasures to God.  You and your family are treasures to God.

And how much are you worth?

The value of anything is determined by whatever someone is willing to pay for it.

In 2007, Barry Bonds hit a homer that placed him at the top of all-time home run hitters, surpassing Hank Aaron.  In the stadium that day was a man who'd gotten up from his seat to get a hot dog and beer.  On his way back to his seat, Bonds hit that homer.  The man managed to catch the ball right there in the aisle of the stadium without dropping his hot dog or beer - the way a real man would do.  They whisked him and the ball off to a private room where they authenticated the ball.  They determined it was worth $5 million only because that's what someone would be willing to pay for it.

So what are you worth?

The highest price ever paid for anyone or anything was paid for you - the blood of another person.  Jesus gave everything for you.

You're the treasure of the Kingdom.

And be blessed.

Thursday, January 19, 2017


We're in a period of 21 days of prayer and fasting at Journey Church.

The evenings or prayer in the main auditoriums at our campuses have been awesome and passionate as people gather in groups, lifting hands, raising voices to pour out to God together.

A lot of us think prayer is some kind of means to get our personal needs met.  That isn't the core of it. It's a vehicle to praise and honor God - to get into His presence and be transformed by Him.

It's about putting God - as well as ourselves - in the right position.  He's the sovereign of the universe.  He created all there is.  He's almighty, all-powerful, all-present, all-knowing, all-loving, all-just.  He is.

In that moment we build an altar that God can pour His fire on to melt our hearts, soften our hardness, break down barriers and let His glory break through.

Tomorrow night - Friday - 6:30p worship at both campuses.
Day 5 of 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting starts tomorrow.

And be blessed.

Sunday, January 15, 2017


God's plan is for us to be a little unnerved and unsettled about the world around us.

There are people in our regular circles of influence we need to get a greater heart for.

It's great to celebrate when we come together as a church, but let's also be in some sorrow about what we could do but aren't yet doing.  If we never shed a tear for those around us, we're in trouble.

In fact, we should get angry about some things.  Right things.  Let's be angry that people are in sex slavery.  Let's be angry that our neighbors don't know Jesus - not be angry at them, but angry at the devil for the hold he has on people.  Let's be angry that there are thousands of children orphaned with no homes.  Let's be angry there are no thriving churches in communities all around us.  And then ...

We should get angry about some things.

Let's do something about it.

Have a burden for your city.

Have you noticed you hear your own child crying way faster than you hear other kids crying?  When it's your kid who crashes on his bicycle, you're running and crying and rescuing.  But when some other kid crashes, you're like: 'Oh, get up.  You're fine.'

Nobody will own the burden if we don't own it.

It's your child.
It's your community.
They're your friends.
They're your neighbors.
It has to bother you.  You have to own it.

It's OK to be a little angry at some things.

And be blessed.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


I love the team God has blessed Joelene and me and Journey Church with.  What a collection of gifted, talented, young, passionate, creative men and women who lead our student and children's ministries, young adults, serving, worship, community, offering hope, administration, counseling, communications, our school and college, and our Burlington and Lithuania campuses.

We could not be in better hands.

Recently we all had the opportunity to sit together under the ministry of Kevin Queen from 12 Stone Church.  He was our guest.  Kevin poured in to us for a 24-hour period and it was beyond amazing.  

Here are some quotes from our Bucket Filler weekend together.

‘You can have as much God as you want.’

‘God can only fill what you are bringing to Him.’

‘What are you liking that you shouldn’t be liking?
What are you loving that you should be liking?
What are you liking that you should be loving?’

‘What if it’s your prayer that's the key to revival breaking out in your city?’

‘Prayer isn’t the preparation for the greater work; it IS the greater work.’

‘Keep your head on a swivel looking for opportunities to pray.’

‘The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is the little extra.’

‘We’re born on third base thinking we’ve hit a triple.’

‘Reputation may get you to the table, but character keeps you there.’

‘It’s better to eat Dunkin’ Donuts with friends than to eat broccoli alone.’

‘Martha was making sandwiches Jesus didn’t order.’

‘The best way to fight weary is with worship.’

‘Honor is saying, “Your name is safe in my mouth.”’

‘You can miss the now by focusing on the then.’

And be blessed.

Sunday, January 8, 2017


God loves you and God is for you and God will provide for you, but the motivation behind all that isn't your awesomeness.  Rather, it's all for God.

What God wants is that His name be eternally praised in the universe.  He's the reason everything exists, to display His infinite perfection.

Every media ad is pointed against that.
You earned it.
You deserve it.
Why wouldn't you take all you can get?
Have it your way.
You're exceptional.

But you aren't.  I'm sorry.

Every time we say we deserve it or say how amazing we are, we're one step closer to presuming to be the center of the universe.

But you aren't.

God is the center of it all.  Here's why that's the best news you'll hear all year.

God being about God is infinitely better than God being about you.  Because nobody is a greater threat to you than you.

Have people jacked with you?  Absolutely.  But how you've responded to that is all you.  You're the greatest enemy of your own joy, not God.  Not anyone else.  You are.

The good news is, if you aren't the center of the universe, that frees you in a thousand ways.  Because if I'm the whole point, then I have a long list of things Joelene needs to start doing for me.  And last time I checked, though she's a great wife, she isn't doing a lot of them.  I'm just saying, she isn't.

If I'm the point, then my kids need to get back here and complete the list I had for them that they never finished before they traipsed off to college and got degrees and husbands.

If I'm the point, then I need to store all my money and never give any of it.

If I'm the point, when you cut me off in traffic, I'm going to have to follow you home and punch you in the face.

If I'm the point, I'm easily offended, because it's my universe, so you should never look at me the wrong way.

Because I'm the point.

But if I'm not the point, I'm free.  Really.

If I'm not the point, it's hard to offend me.

If I'm not the point, I'm liberated to love Joelene and not have a list of things she'd better do for me.

If I'm not the point, I don't have to be constantly worried about what I have or what I give.

If I'm not the point, every church gathering doesn't have to serve every single one of my needs or preferences.

If I'm not the point.

But if everything is about me,  all that is very difficult.

Fortunately, all of this isn't about you or me.  It's all about God and His mission is that His glory be displayed in the universe.


And be blessed.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017


Some people teach that if you have enough faith you'll always be well, you'll never have problems, you'll never be sick, everything will be great.

The only problem with that theology is ... life.  The Bible doesn't teach that and that isn't your own experience.

God is far more interested in your character than He is your comfort.  He's more interested in making you holy than He is in making you happy.  So God isn't going to give you whatever you ask.

But here's the truth:  God hears and answers every prayer you pray.  He just doesn't always answer the way you want Him to.

Sometimes when you pray, God says NO.
Sometimes when you pray, God says YES.
Sometimes when you pray, God says NOT YET.
Sometimes when you pray, God says I HAVE A BETTER IDEA.

If God gave you everything you wanted - everything you prayed for - you'd be a spoiled brat.  And you'd be weak.  But God wants you to have strength and maturity and character, so He lets you go through some things instead of removing them and He gives you courage to walk that walk.

Anybody can trust God when things are going great.
Anybody can give when they have extra money.
Anybody can persist when they see the finish line a couple of feet away.
Anybody can believe when it's right there in front of them.

Real faith is built in the valleys of life - even if you don't get what you want.  Especially then.

And be blessed.

Monday, January 2, 2017


2017 is here.  Exciting.

I know a lot of people are glad to see the '6' roll to a '7.'  Last year was not a good year for them.

Time and opportunity to start fresh.  The opening to change the world together is on us.

- You are the salt of the earth.
We aren't called to blast the world this year with everything we believe is wrong with it; we're just called to keep our virtue and pray for open doors of opportunity.  That will change the world.

- You are the light of the world.
The greater problem today isn't the presence of darkness, it's the absence of light.  Shine this year without malice; shine without judgment; shine without shame.  That will change the world.

- If God is for you, who can be against you?
Revolution doesn't just happen when you're in the majority.  History has proven that.  Someone said to me recently, 'Down thru the annals of time, the majority has always been right.'  That statement could not have been more ignorant or more wrong.  Even the secular world knows that isn't so.  Castro began a revolution with 82 men.  Jesus did it with even fewer.  It matters not how small you are if you have faith, vision, heart, passion and a plan of action.  Stay on God's side.  That will change the world.

- Do not be overcome by evil; overcome evil with good.
Let's not be mean-spirited in 2017, even when those who oppose us may be.  If we are, we have already lost the battle.  A soft answer turns away wrath.  Fight against pride in 2017.  Reach out instead of attack.  That will change the world.

- In this world you will have trouble; but take heart, Jesus has overcome the world.
Just as Jesus conquered every obstacle, so can you.

Be a worldchanger.

And be blessed.