Taken at face value this statement is absolutely true. You don't have to go to church to be a Christian. Actually, there is nothing that you can do that will make you a Christian. Your status as a child of God isn't determined by how much money you drop in an offering plate, or how good … Continue reading You Don’t Have To Go To Church To Be A Christian
"You have as much laughter as you have faith." - Martin Luther I like that quote. I've searched long and hard and have been unable to determine where it comes from, but I hope it's genuinely from Martin Luther. For far too many people, the word "church" conjures up images of people sitting in … Continue reading It’s OK to Laugh in Church
In a world of discouragement, choose to encourage. There are plenty of reasons to be discouraged. Judging by the results of last November's Presidential election, about half of the country's population is discouraged with the direction of our country. Others are discouraged by the direction their lives are taking. We can become discouraged with our … Continue reading Encourage One Another
I'll never forget the parting words of one of my pastors to me as I left to attend seminary. On my final Sunday in the church, there was a big celebration as the people sent me off. There was a great service, a shared meal, some gifts, lots of embarrassing pictures from my years there, … Continue reading It’s A Great Time To Be A Pastor
On our way home from running errands one afternoon my kids and I watched from the car as a gosling waddled across the road in front us. It was about the size of a small cat and was still covered in yellow down and had no feathers. From the backseat, three small voices pipped up, … Continue reading Are We All God’s Children?
Good Friday always sounds like such an oxymoron; at least at first glance. I was reminded powerfully this morning about why that "good" in Good Friday is there. I was visiting one of our church's shut-ins, bringing communion. We began in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. … Continue reading Putting the Good in Good Friday
There are plenty of important days to celebrate as followers of Jesus. But the events of the last week of Jesus' life, known commonly as "Holy Week," are arguably the most important in the life of a Christian. Here is why: 1. History The claims of Christianity are founded in history, not philosophy. I recently … Continue reading Three Reasons The Week Before Easter Is The Most Important Week To Celebrate
Life is a constant balancing act. You can’t have it all. That is particularly hard for me to write, because I want to have it all. I want to be a great husband, and a great dad, and a great pastor, and a great coach, and to improve my woodworking skills, and win the road … Continue reading You Can’t Have It All
Every church wants to be known as a welcoming church. And I would say that most churches fancy themselves to be welcoming; whether a guest feels the same may be an entirely different matter. I was recently involved in a discussion about how people should act in the sanctuary before the service started that got … Continue reading What All Welcoming Churches Know
With all the books on parenting out there now, I sometimes wonder how anyone managed to grow up OK before all these books. I don't think there is anything necessarily wrong with getting as much insider advice on parenting as possible. Raising kids can be tough. Raising good kids can be even tougher. I just … Continue reading How Long Is Your Shadow?