People Unlike Ourselves

In my weekly Friday Five interview for Leadership Journal, I had the privilege of chatting with Trillia Newbell, a prolific writer and author. One of the subjects she frequently writes about is race and the Church. I asked her how pastors and church leaders can promote racial diversity: Pastors and church leaders can begin by…

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5 Reflections on My First Year of Seminary

Even though I’ve been in ministry for several years, writing, pastoring, preaching, I made the decision last year to apply at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. By some miracle of divine providence, I got in and by another miracle of divine providence, I finished a year. Because I’m doing this while I’m pastoring and writing, it…

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Finding Joy In a Fallen World

I’ve been deeply convicted lately, about my own writing and interaction on social media. I enjoy keeping up with current events, politics, and movements in the Church. I like writing in reaction to news stories, helping people think biblically about what is going on in the world. I’d like to think I do a fair…

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Truth Matters, But So Does Our Attitude

Today I had the chance to interview one of my favorite pastors and authors, Joshua Harris. I’m a couple of years younger than Josh, so his books on dating I Kissed Dating Goodbye and Boy Meets Girl really helped me adopt a more Christ-centered view of dating and marriage when I was in high-school and in college.…

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The Grace of Radical Ordinariness

There has been much discussion in the evangelical world about the call to radical discipleship. Perhaps it began with Matthew Lee Anderson’s corrective to books by men like David Platt, Francis Chan, and others. I thought Matt’s piece was very helpful. On other hand, I have also been encouraged by the books and movements Anderson…

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My Prayer Before the Illinois General Assembly

I had the honor of delivering the convocation on Monday afternoon before the Illinois General Assembly in Springfield. I was graciously invited by the state representative whose district includes Gages Lake, Rep. Sam Yingling. I brought my eight-year old daughter, Grace. We are kindly hosted down in Springfield by my friends, Dan and Linda Anderson…

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God’s Purpose and Mental Illness

Today, for my weekly Leadership Journal Interview, I had the chance to talk with Amy Simpson, author of the new book, Troubled Minds. I asked her about some of the misconceptions we have about mental illness. Among her answers was this very hopeful one: Many people also mistakenly believe that people with mental illness are doomed…

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Why Going to Church on Sunday is An Act of War

Okay, so maybe that title is a bit melodramatic. But I wanted to get your attention, because I think faithful, weekly attendance at your local gospel-preaching church is important. It’s important for all the reasons we know, right? To hear the Word preached. To develop community in the body of Christ. To exercise your spiritual gifts. To…

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Why Your Spiritual Growth Matters to the Community

Last week I preached a Mother’s Day message from 1 Thessalonians 2:7-9. Paul compares discipleship to the actual practice of a mother nursing her child. In this, the mother is a source of life for her child. So it is that we as Christians, must be conduits of life-giving spiritual nutrition for those around us.…

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A Prayer for Moms on Mother’s Day

I wrote this prayer for the mothers in our church. I thought I would share it with you as you celebrate the moms in your life: A Mother’s Day Prayer Dear Father, we approach your throne on behalf of the mothers whom you have entrusted with the care of your most precious little ones. We…

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Loving Someone With Whom You Disagree

Today in my Friday Five interview for Leadership Journal, I had the privilege of interviewing Dr. Russell Moore, the newly elected head of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. I’ve long admired Dr. Moore for his clear, biblical teaching and his winsome perspective on the Scripture and politics. One of…

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Raising Little Pharisees

Prior to moving to our existing neighborhood, we lived in a small townhouse about 20 miles west. We lived there for 8 years and had great relationships with our neighbors. There was something about the physical closeness of our homes that fostered a closeness among the neighbors. I had thought that neighborliness was a dead art until…

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