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Preacher on the Run…

Faith, Family, Ministry, and Everything in between

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Jesus

Get to Know People (Feature Friday 09/06/19)

Being a friend is inconvenient, takes time, and is often difficult. It was true of friendships when I was 9 years old and wanted to play baseball, but my friends wanted to ride bikes. It was especially true in college when a friend and I realized we liked the same girl. And being a friend to others as an adult is hard on so many levels. But being a friend is part and parcel to following Jesus.

As Craig Etheridge shares, “Jesus was called a ‘friend of sinners.'” And if you want or claim to follow Jesus you will need to work on being a friend as well. We are surrounded by people who simply need friends and ultimately need Jesus. The reality is that people may never know they need Jesus until they have a friend who is a friend of Jesus. This is exactly what Craig is getting at in his article, “Friend of Sinners“.

Jesus instilled in his disciples a heart for people and his followers today should still be evidencing that heart. How are you doing at it? Comment below some routine ways to develop friendships around you.

Enjoy the article and your weekend and as always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Kingdom Following (Feature Friday 08/02/19)

We were going on an adventure. My kids were excited and couldn’t wait to get started. They love “adventures”. This was no different. I hadn’t told them exactly where we were going, but they expected great things. There was just one hitch…they had to follow me. To get to our destination and experience the adventure all my kids had to follow me.

There is similar teaching from Jesus that often gets overlooked. We love the idea of experiencing the journey, reaching the destination, and enjoying the coming perfect kingdom Jesus promises. However, to get to the destination and experience the adventure with Jesus it requires more than just praying a prayer at some point. It is very clear that God’s Kingdom and Following Jesus go hand in hand.

Bill Hull explicitly challenges the idea of getting the kingdom without following the king and what is often missing in gospel presentations today. Enjoy the article and as always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Photo by Stacey Gabrielle Koenitz Rozells on Unsplash.

Feature Friday (07/06/18)

It’s hard being different. This statement is true in more than one way. First off, in western culture today being different is the new normal. Everyone is to be unique. Be yourself. You do you. So if different is what you are trying to be, different is the last thing you will be.

But there is another way in which being different is difficult. When you are different you tend to stand out. You can be ridiculed, mocked, and even persecuted. And there is not many ways in our world that can get you ridiculed, mocked or persecuted than standing up for your beliefs, especially when your beliefs go against the cultural norm. But take heart, you are not alone. Nor are you the first one to be different in this way.

Jesus called all those who followed Him to be different. To be distinct. To be in the world, but not of the world. I recently preached a sermon on why being different, being in the world and not of the world, being a follower of Jesus is so difficult. One of my points was “following Jesus is harder than you think”. Which is why I loved Benjamin Swift’s article “More Than a Fish Sticker“.

Check out the article be encouraged and challenged realizing that, “living as a Christian involves more than placing a fish sticker on your car…” And as always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Photo by salvatore ventura on Unsplash

Feature Friday (06/01/18)

It’s a word I get tired of hearing. It’s a word used all too often and at the same time, not enough. It can infuriate parents beyond belief. And yet the same word can enlighten a situation in such a way no other word can. As a parent of 3 preschoolers, I hear this word far too often. However, as a leader, I use this word far too sparingly. What’s that word?

Why! A word that parents get tired of hearing and answering an endless litany of reasons. Why? The question that great leaders ask before making decisions, changing course, or starting anything new. Why? But a question that is so vital and core to the faith of every Christ follower at the same time. Why?

Why really is a foundational question to answer and rest on as a Christian! John Stott had a great insight on this one question in his classic work The Cross of Christ. But For The Church does a great job of summarizing Stott’s answer to the why question in their article, “Why did Christ Die?” The best part is: the question is answered from two different perspectives and both are necessary to understand the gospel of Jesus!

Enjoy the article and as always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Feature Friday (04/06/18)

Rest. We could all use just a little bit more of it. Maybe, I am the only one who feels that way. Or maybe it is because I have 3 (about to be 4) kids age five and under. But the more I talk to friends, family members, co-workers, and others, the more I am affirmed in my belief that we could all use just a little bit more rest.

Resting is hard to do in a busy, frenetic paced culture like we have in the world today. Especially, when busyness is like a badge of honor and well-rested slower paced life people tend to be labeled as lazy. Yet the idea of rest is all throughout Scripture. And not only that, but “abiding” is one of the few descriptors Jesus gave as a mark of a true disciple (John 8:31-32; 15:4-8). What does it mean to abide? I am glad you ask because Sinclair Ferguson answers that question in this article.

So go abide and get some rest this weekend while enjoying the Lord’s day with the Lord’s people!

Photo by Nik Lanús on Unsplash

Feature Friday (3/30/18)

Certainty! We all want it. It is needed quite often. Yet it is so elusive. Concrete certainty seems to be a waining reality in our world. Even well-known facts, like the earth being round, are yet again under attack and cynicism.

Skepticism, cynicism, and uncertainty seem to be praised in our day and age. Although we all seem to have this deep longing and desire for something definite, something we can be sure of, something we can believe! Which is why I love Brandon Higlemann’s timely article, “7 Reasons I Believe Jesus Rose From the Dead“.

The resurrection is one of the greatest attested to historical realities of all times. Rebels and religious people all agree, there was a man whose name was Jesus who died, was buried, and the tomb where they laid Him is now empty! Praise the Lord for this reality!

As always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day. And if you are in our neck of the woods, we would love to have you join us Friday, Saturday, or Sunday!

Photo by Evan Dennis on Unsplash

Feature Friday (12/29/17)

It’s Friday afternoon. I sit in my office contemplating the meaning of hope. What is it? How does it impact my life? And what do I put my hope in? It seems like every end of the year I go through this. I contemplate the last year. Look forward to the next and ask some important and intentional questions.

Questions like: what do I want to accomplish next year? Or what could I improve upon personally, spiritually, vocationally in the coming year? I realize all of these questions have to do with hope. And even as a follower of Jesus, finding and maintaining hope can be difficult in our day and age. But thankfully Joe Henegan offers some help.

In his article, “What 2018 Holds For Us: The Upside”, Joe offers 4 important positives 2018 will give us. As Joe says it, “There’s a lot to be excited about as we face a new year of Gospel growth worldwide.” I need to hear that and I agree.

I hope you will enjoy the article and as always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

*Photo from featured article.*

Feature Friday (12/22/17)

Merry Christmas from myself and my family! I hope that you will find this weekend and this Christmas a refreshing, refocusing, and rejuvenating one. As many of you know my greatest joy and passion is to make Jesus known through my life, including my blog. It is because of Jesus I have life, both temporal and eternal, breathe, and all good things. If you do not know the Savior Jesus Christ personally, there would be no greater joy to me than to begin a conversation with you about how you can know God.

Since the greatest gift Giver already gave the greatest gift, here is a simple gift from me to you: “The Collected Best Christian Books of 2017”. If you’re a reader this is a great link to bookmark and come back to throughout the year as you finish one book and look to start another. If you are not a reader, well why not start in 2018 with one of these titles.

As always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day. And Merry Christmas!

Feature Friday (11/25/16)

With the tryptophan wearing off by now and hopefully arriving home unscathed by the Black Friday near “Purge” experience, maybe your mind has already beginning gear up for Christmas. There is of course the possibility that you (much like my wife) have been gearing up for Christmas since December 26th, 2015. Either way with Thanksgiving behind us, we can now look forward to that “most wonderful time of the year”.

If you have ever felt like a “Christmas Failure” as a parent, you are not alone. I have as well. At a time of the year when there are a multiplicity of ways to keep Jesus at the center, remember this one truth: take a deep breath, the perfect Christmas will not make or break your family,  this season is just an extension of who you already are and the love He has for
you the other 364 days of the year. With that said, you may still be looking for that perfect way to focus on “the reason for the season”, insert a great Family Christmas Advent Activity book.

Whether you have babies, toddlers, elementary kids, tweens, or teens, this e-book is for you. Centered around the names of Jesus, this book provides you with 25 days of a simple short family devotional time, activity, and quick reminder card to hang in a prominent family location (like the bathroom mirror) to help all recall that days activity.

Enjoy and as always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day.

 

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