The Way Home: Ben Mandrell on leading local churches and Easter

In this episode of the special Easter series in conjunction with my book “The Characters of Easter,” I am joined by my friend Ben Mandrell, President and CEO of Lifeway Christian Resources. On this episode, Ben talks about the challenges and opportunities with Christian publishing, his previous role as a pastor for many years, and…

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The Way Home: Dean Inserra on preaching on Easter

In this episode of the special Easter series in conjunction with my book “The Characters of Easter,” I am joined by my friend Dean Inserra, founder and senior pastor of City Church in Tallahassee. In this conversation, we talk about what it’s like to preach on Easter. He talks about the importance of not shaming…

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The Way Home: Asheritah Ciuciu on rhythms of the resurrection

In this episode of the special Easter series in conjunction with my book “The Characters of Easter,” I am joined by my friend Asheritah Ciuciu, a bestselling writer and speaker. She is a gifted teacher and writer, and in this conversation, we talk about how she got started writing, why she loves it so much, how her…

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The Way Home: Sean McDowell on Evidences of the Resurrection

In this episode of the special Easter series in conjunction with my book “The Characters of Easter,” I am joined by Sean McDowell, an apologist who faithfully shares evidences of the Christian faith. Sean has written persuasively about the evidences of the resurrection. Join us for this conversation as Sean talks about some of the…

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Preparing Our Hearts for Easter

How should Christians prepare their hearts this Easter? I asked this of Andreas Kostenberger, research professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest and author of the new book, The Final Days of Jesus coauthored with Justin Taylor. It’s a terrific resource, harmonizing the gospel accounts of Jesus’ arrest, trial,…

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Easter’s Big “If”

What are we saying when we gather to worship on Easter Sunday? We are actually saying something radical, are we not? We’re saying that an itinerant rabbi who lived 2,000 years ago in a backwater town in the Middle East is actually God. But we’re saying more than that, aren’t we? We’re not only saying…

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Friday Five: Steve Mathewson

I’m thrilled to welcome my good friend, Steve Mathewson to the blog today. Steve is a fellow pastor in the Chicago area and also is a adjunct professor at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School where I’m studying for my Mdiv. Steve pastors Crosslife Evangelical Free Church in Libertyville, IL Steve received a Master of Arts Degree…

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Some Great Easter Links

Some great Easter Reading: “He’s Calling for Elijah! Why We Still Mishear Jesus” – Al Hsu in Christianity Today: A fantastic piece pointing Jesus’s last words to Psalm 22. Did God forsake Jesus or was Jesus telling the world that he was the fulfillment of Psalm 22? I preached on this passage last Good Friday,…

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Why Christians Are Not the Point of Easter

I’m studying for my Easter sermon. I have to be honest, sometimes I get intimidated by Easter sermons. It’s not that I don’t enjoy preaching about the pivot point of our faith: the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It’s just that I know on Easter there are those people sitting and listening to my message that…

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Easter Meditation: What Am I Doing With Jesus?

I’m writing this as I’m meditating on the most beautiful moment in the history of the world. It is the moment when the risen Jesus says, “Mary.” Jesus, the Good Shepherd, knows the names of his sheep. And Mary was a most earnest seeker of Jesus. She had a past to be ashamed of, baggage…

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Courage at the Cross

At Gages Lake Bible Church, we’re going through the gospel of John. This Sunday, we’re finishing up chapter 19, covering verses 31-42. This is an interesting part of Scripture where John describes, with great detail, the burial of Jesus. There are great themes here with Jesus fulfilling prophecy even in his burial, the symbolism of…

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