Wednesday, August 16, 2017


Have you ever wondered or asked yourself:  'Why am I here?'

I don't really mean, 'Why am I here on earth?' although that isn't a bad question to ask and answer.  I mean, 'Why am I here ... at a church ... your particular church ... when I could be home on the couch getting ready to binge watch some Netflix flick.

In fact, have you ever asked yourself, "Why are there people all over the globe worshipping God every single weekend?"


It can't be just to hear a message.  I mean, that's great and all, but honestly, aren't there better ways to do that these days with way better communicators than the one you have to sit and listen to every Sunday? Come on ... you know that's true.

We come to worship and sing.  Sure.  We do.  Something happens when we sing collectively that doesn't happen when I'm by myself at home listening to a song.  But again, aren't there just as effective ways to do that these days too?

I don't need it, but the kids need it.  OK.  But couldn't you just homeschool all that Jesus stuff into them and let them (and yourself) stay in their PJs to do it?

I go to make someone else happy.  Now we're getting somewhere.  That's why some people go to church to gather.  Admit it.  She's pretty cute and you're going out for brunch afterwards, so that's why I go.  Got it.

But if I'm a skeptic looking in from the outside and those are all the reasons why we gather, I'm going - REALLY?

And yet, God goes out of His way to say exactly the opposite when He tells us through the writer to the Hebrews:  'Don't neglect meeting together, as is the habit of some, but encourage one another and al the more as you see the Day approaching.'  (Hebrews 10:25)

I love that.  The closer we get to the coming of Jesus and the more it would seem less necessary to meet, as some would suggest, we're told instead, "Don't meet less; actually meet more."  Increase your meeting together.  And the reason we're told that is because there's something inherently valuable in the gathering itself that has impact.

Don't meet less; meet more.

And be blessed.

Monday, August 7, 2017


Governor Mike Huckabee
We're at the Biennial Gathering of the General Council of the Assemblies of God this week.  Thousands of pastors from across our fellowship gather every two years somewhere in the country - this year it's Anaheim, California - to worship, vision, have community and do the business of the denomination.

Tonight, in a pre-Council meeting, Joelene and I had the distinct privilege of being invited to the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda to tour the facility, including Nixon's boyhood home, followed by a gala dinner featuring former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee as speaker.

Richard Nixon Presidential Library
Governor Huckabee is an engaging man and spoke with self-deprecating humor, closing with a serious and heartfelt challenge to us all that what we do makes a difference -- and if not us, then who?

Challenge accepted, Governor.

And be blessed.

Saturday, August 5, 2017


Panama 150+
It has taken me a good week to fully process the full impact of our Journey Church Kingdom Builder trip to Panama at the end of July.  It was radically life-changing for me and for the 150-plus folks who went with us.

God put a challenge in front of me a year-and-a-half ago:  Put the summons to Journey Church -- 200 people on a Kingdom Builder trip to change a church and to change a generation.  In the end 150 took me up on it and we headed out divided into 9 teams, each with its own leader.

Gerritt & Tara Kenyon - Panama Missionaries
The missionaries:  Gerritt & Tara Kenyon
The mission:  Panama
The target:  Boys & Girls of Panama City

Every day we made our way into schools, performing assemblies with dramas and speaking - at other times playing volleyball/basketball/soccer with the students - still other times passing out free tickets for the main event coming at the end of the weekend.

Four days into the trip we spent our time transforming the Panama City Convention Center into an inviting atmosphere for girls -- cutting thousands of paper flowers -- making flower garlands and giant flower stalks and little flower petals and 'everything flowers' -- blowing up 30,000 balloons -- learning dance routines -- setting up nail polishing stations ...



In another part of the building we constructed a Fun Zone for the boys -- areas for interactive video games -- arm wrestling -- soccer -- an obstacle course -- darts.

The following day the doors to more than a thousand girls and 700 boys bussed in from all over the city who worshipped and heard the Gospel preached.  All of our team members had the opportunity to see and lead scores of students to Christ -- lay hands on them to pray for the baptism in the Holy Spirit -- and give encouragements and hugs through both smiles and tears.

At the end of our time we were thoroughly exhausted but those 12 hour days were worth it - to be part of building the Kingdom of God.

And be blessed.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017


I loved the article I read from Outreach Magazine written by Brady Boyd about what pastors should not neglect in their time in front of their congregations on stages all across the country every weekend.  I loved it so much I thought I would share his main points here for us all:

1. Preach the entire counsel of the Scriptures.

Do not skip over the difficult texts or focus only on your favorite topics.  With this as your guide, the Holy Spirit will help you cover all the significant issues in due time.

2. Love your people, but do not fear them.

Criticism is part of the job, but so are the miracle stories of lives changed. 

3. Hang around smart, mature and positive people.

We always need the encouragement and the wisdom.

4. Listen intently to opposing views.

That’s how we learn empathy.

5. Preach with boldness but not with anger.

God is not mad at us, even when we’re wrong. We should not be mad, either.

6. Do not neglect the marginalized.

The widow, the unborn, the orphan and the stranger often cannot help or speak for themselves.

7. Preach Jesus. A lot.

We need His words, His way and His life in the church — more than ever.

And be blessed.