Your Inner Circle

Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed. Proverbs 15:21 (ESV) Whenever you watch the news or read an article about a leader, such as the President or perhaps another world leader or a CEO or someone we think is significant, inevitably they will talk about their “inner circle.” These are the people…

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Unbroken – The Remarkable Story of Louie Zamperini

I just finished an extraordinary book, Unbroken, by the immensely talented Laura Hillenbrand. I’m not sure what is more remarkable–the improbable life of Louie Zamperini or the improbability of Hillenbrand writing this story. She suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome, a debilitating illness that leaves her confined to her bedroom most days. Somehow she managed to bring the…

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Friday Five – Susie Shellenberger

If you are a Christian teenage girl (or were within the last two decades), chances are you know Susie Shellenberger. That’s because she was the founder of the wildly popular, Brio Magazine, published by Focus on the Family from 1990 until 2009.  She’s written more than 40 books, including many for teens. Her latest is Girl…

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21st Century Discipleship

If you are familiar with the Great Commission verses (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-49; Acts 1:8), you’ll know that the imperative command by Jesus is to “make disciples.” Evangelism is the simple part in many ways, but building up strong believers is the hard work. So how is a person discipled? Well, we first…

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God of Scars

Because I grew up as a classic Christian good kid (a heritage for which I am grateful), I used to look at folks who bore a few scars of their previously worldly life and sort of think, “Well, God bless them, but they can’t be used for Christ as much as I am, because I’ve…

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Great Reads on Heaven, Hell, and Universalism

I’ve been talking to quite a few pastors, both online and off, about the issue with Rob Bell, Love Wins, and the whole issue of universalism, hell, etc. Some are lamenting this as a unnecessary controversy in the body of Christ, but I view this as a great opportunity to discuss some basic Christian doctrines.…

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Friday Five – Toni Birdsong

A few weeks ago I attended the National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Nashville, TN–my first time–and met quite a few terrific gospel communicators, who are faithful in sharing the gospel across old, new, and emerging mediums. I came away greatly encouraged at the increasing ways in which 21st Century technology is allowing Christ to be…

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The Gospel Isn’t This Hard

I’m amazed at the conversations that Rob Bell’s book, Love Wins is provoking in the mainstream media environment. I think Bell’s book is tragic for a variety of reasons, articulated most thoughtfully, in my view by Kevin DeYoung. But, I’m amazed at how gospel-centered questions are being asked in environments not normally reserved for these…

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Update from Awana in Japan

I got this update from one of our Awana Missionaries: Awana Praying Friends: My friend Jess Curabo, Awana Director for the Philippines, reported the following in Japan:   Pastor Sato of Fukushima Ist Baptist Church was able to locate around 150 of their people but more than 50 are still unaccounted for. He was able…

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On Showing Up

Yesterday I attended a ministerium (meeting of pastors) for the church fellowship of which Gages Lake is a member. (IFCA International). We meet every other month. I enjoy these times, opportunities to meet other pastors in the region and glean wisdom from those who’ve been doing this way longer than me. As a young pastor,…

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Friday Five – Eric Metaxas

    Eric Metaxas penned one of the most celebrated books of 2010, a thorough and gripping biography of German pastor, Deitrich Bonheoffer. It’s a powerful book that is a must-read for serious Christian leaders, with life lessons spilling out of the pages of Bonheoffer’s highly courageous life. Metaxas is also the other of several…

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Books I’m reading

Here are the books I’m either reading or on the verge of reading: Spiritual Rhythm by Mark Buchanan Sticky Jesus by Toni Birdsong and Tami Heim Unbroken by Lauren Hillenbrand St. Patrick by Jonathan Rogers More Than an Aspirin by M. Gay Hubbard Podcasts I’m listening to:   The Village Church – Matt Chandler Coral…

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