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Practical Ways to be Reminded of Who God is and How that Affects the Way We Live

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By way of preface, the assumption I am placing on the reader is the fact that ultimately none of these things are possible to accomplish in a God glorifying way without being reborn, regenerated by the Holy Spirit of God. It is Him that moves us with delight in living out Christian Disciplines. Therefore, if you have been born again, here are a few practical steps to as reminders. We need these reminders or “ticklers” to remind us because while we do supernaturally desire God we also do still do have a sin nature and will continue to pursue other stuff over God apart from the Spirit of God.

 

Read your Bible.

While this seems extremely basic, I know that if you’re like me it’s not hard to “get busy” and prioritize “life” over getting into God’s word regularly. This is monumental. We have to immerse ourselves in the word by spending time in it. This could be opening a physical Bible and reading a passage or book. This could mean using a Bible app on your phone. This could be an audio Bible while you commute. For some, it might be following a twitter account that posts daily scripture. While technology certainly has its negative effects, it has also made a positive contribution to our devotional lives as Christians. Use it. Don’t not get in the word because a particular method doesn’t fit your lifestyle. Reading your Bible is paramount for practical steps to be reminded of who God is because it is the Primary source of information from and about Him.

 

Memorize your Bible.

As soon as folks read this subtitle, the natural inclination in your heart is to dodge this. It’s interesting because memorizing things that we delight in is natural, not something we have to work at. Just think about it…if your my age then about a decade ago you had at least about 50 + phone numbers memorized, addresses, directions and all kinds of other detail. Pray that God would give you such a hunger for His word that you would slowly begin to memorize small pieces of Scripture. It is through God’s word, primarily, that the Spirit is going to speak to you. For any small tips, feel free to reach out to me. There’s no magic method, but there are many to try and tailor to the way you’re wired. Therefore, when we memorize Scripture and we are put in circumstances to make a decision the Spirit will move in your heart and mind through God’s word.

 

Pray.

This is one step that I’m positive is constantly overlooked because of pride and/or lack of confidence in who God says He is. Prayer is not to move the hand of God (which is primarily what we see it used for), but it is to align our will with the Father’s will. Prayer is about relationship. If we are in constant and continual prayer (formal and informal) then we are going to be more sensitive to the Spirit and how He is directing our lives and resources.

 

Community.

It is beyond imperative for this to be a reality in every Christian’s life. It is only in small groups of close friends that we are able to allow others to speak into our lives honestly and lovingly. Don’t let this one slide, thinking that it can be “Just me and Jesus.” You need community. You need accountability and you need to give it. Get connected with 2-3 others who you are able to do life with and provide that level of friendship. Make it a priority. You eat so many meals a day and have so many weekends a month. Be intentional to use those times that you already have and repurpose them for your soul wisely as opposed to adding extra on your plate, which would only lead to despair and burn out. This is going to serve you well as you walk with Jesus in faith through this life.

 

Calendar.

Use your calendar. Schedule in times throughout your day to hop on a twitter feed or pull out your Bible. Schedule time in your day to pray and a few minutes of silence and solitude. Schedule time in to do the things that you won’t do unless you actually block time out to do it. Make this a priority once a week or once a month and be diligent in seeing it through and talk to your close friends about it, so that they are able to hold you accountable.

LENT

 

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No, Lent is not just for the Catholics. Lent can actually have a great impact on a person’s “walk with Jesus” if it is understood correctly from a theological perspective. Yes, just like anything else, Lent can be and has been abused and sometimes even made into a dead routine for some. With that said, the season of Lent can also be incredibly helpful for Christians who choose to participate in a meaningful, Gospel centered, God glorifying way.

As a preface, let me say that I am not saying that participating in Lent is something that all Christians should do. Acknowledging and participating in the season of Lent does NOT make one more or less spiritual. It is simply another tool that should be considered around this time of the year.

Just a few thoughts on Lent.

  1. Reminds us of our mortality. The season on Lent is a great way to remind the Christian of his or her mortality. It’s a sobering thought. The season of Lent kicks off every year with a type of a worship service known as Ash Wednesday and culminates on Good Friday, the Friday before Easter Sunday. Typically, at an Ash Wednesday service there will be a time where the participants are asked to come forward only for the pastor to dip his finger in oil and ashes and then swipe an ash mark (sometimes in the resemblance of a cross) on the person’s forehead. While the pastor puts the ashes on the person’s head, he will say something of this nature – “From dust you were created and to dust you will return.” The person normally wear’s this black smudge throughout their day. It is a picture of our mortality. It is a reminder to be more intentional with every move we make in this life. It is a reminder to love now. It is a reminder to listen now. It is a reminder to follow Jesus NOW, not later. Remember your mortality.
  2. Helps us to create a new habit. During the season of Lent, one is encouraged to “give something up” for Lent. In other words, the Christian is to choose one thing that is a staple in their everyday life to “give up” in order to point them to Jesus. For example, for me it could be coffee or social media. The thought is that anytime my mind and body gravitate towards one of those items I am to refocus that energy onto Christ through prayer, reading the Bible, or just thinking about His grace in general. You can make it whatever you want. That’s the good thing. This is not some Bible ordained rule for Christians. It is a tool that is available to use if one chooses. With that said, the season of Lent is a great time to create new habits. Do you have trouble finding Bible time? Prayer time? Jesus time? Give up something for Lent and give those moments to Jesus. After 40 days, which is the length of the season of lent, you will have created a new habit. Create a new habit of intentional worship this year.
  3. It can be a great witnessing tool. I remember as a teenager working at Einstein Bagels (a local bagelry in Tampa, FL) when people would walk in every year with a dark mark of ashes on their heads. I’d laugh. I’d poke fun. I thought they were weird. The first time I encountered the big black dot I felt bad for the girl and politely told her she needed to wipe her forehead off. That’s when she explained to me that the smudge was intentional. My thought is that someone more mature probably asked that same girl throughout her day what the purpose was. For her, and any other Christian who participates, this could be a great way to ask God to open doors to talk to people about their mortality and whether they have a relationship with Jesus.
  4. It teaches us to more easily forgive. The fact is that the first time you choose to participate in the season of Lent, you will fail. You won’t be able to go a whole 40 days straight without social media, coffee, sweets, carbs, or whatever it is that you choose. The point is to choose a staple in your everyday flow of life. So, don’t choose donuts if you don’t eat donuts. When you and I fail it can be a great teacher for us to more easily forgive others when they fail to live up to our expectations of them. It helps us not to elevate our faithfulness over another and gives us the perspective that we all fall short and that Jesus never falls short.
  5. Ultimately, it’s all about Jesus. When we are reminded of our mortality, we are pointed to Jesus’ eternality. When we are reminded of our imperfect nature that tends to fail often, we are pointed to Jesus perfect nature that never fails. When we are reminded of our inability to follow through, we are pointed to Jesus and His finished work on the cross on our behalf. It’s not about us, but it is all about Jesus.
  6. It can be a great way to lead your family in devotion. Take the season of Lent to walk through with your spouse and/or kids a time of devotion every evening (or weekly). Give up 30 minutes of television for a family devo time.

Contentment in the Wrong Context Can Actually be Evil

a holy discontentment

This year, on Christmas morning, my daughter said something that made me reflect on an important reality particularly for me and in general for all Christians.

 

After opening gifts for about 15 minutes my wife and I hit the pause button on our morning gift exchange in order to get some breakfast going. Once we returned to the living room I told both of our kids that another gift would not be opened until all of the trash on the ground (wrapping paper and such) was picked up. “I’ll be your garbage girl,” my daughter joyfully exclaimed. It made sense. She was willing to do whatever she needed in order to pursue the fullness of her satisfaction: opening the rest of her gifts.

 

The truth is that she, nor her brother, are ever that excited about cleaning. In fact, they have an apathetic attitude towards it because they don’t believe at this point in their stage of life that it brings them any joy. The reality is that satisfaction and contentment in their fullness lead to complacency, apathy and the end of pursuit.

 

More popular is the subject of contentment, which is biblical and obviously important. Perhaps more popular because it makes us seem more mature than we really are. So, we cloak ourselves with being “content” in front of others, yet in our hearts we envy so many others for what they have and we don’t. Contentment is an important spiritual discipline, but it is only one side of the coin and should never be over emphasized at the expense of another biblical reality. Maybe just as important as contentment is a holy, or a right, discontentment.

 

A holy discontentment causes us to continue to pursue hard after a deeper level of satisfaction and contentment. After marrying your spouse how hard and consistent is your pursuit for her/him now that you’ve won them in marriage? Now that you’ve received your degree how hard and consistent is your pursuit toward continuing education?

 

Once we are satisfied with what we’ve attained we become complacent and apathetic towards a further pursuit of something we already “have.” Sadly enough this is a reality in our pursuit of God as well. We get comfortable with where we are at with God and become apathetic in our pursuit of Him. I’ve heard more that two dozen times, “I’ve been a Christian for 30 years. I’ve heard it all, but it’s good to be refreshed with the way different preachers preach a passage.” That, my friend, is apathy. We are never to old, to smart or too mature to not grow more in every area of our lives.We have never “heard it all” or have arrived at some place spiritually where we can stop intentionally pursuing God and just passively grow when it’s convenient.

 

Too many Christians all of the sudden reach some status of perceived maturity in some Christian discipline and then become complacent and judgmental towards others who may not be in the place that they are at. Oh, that’s great, you’ve read the Bible 30 times? Well you must be super spiritual. Read it again. Oh, that’s great, you have made over 20 disciples? Well you are the best disciple maker out there! Make more. Oh, that’s great, you give 18 percent of your income to your church? You are so mature and spiritual! Give more. Every Christian, from pastors to non-member, regular attenders of a local church is being sanctified in these different areas of spiritual disciplines and much more. Your status of where you land in any of these areas does not make you any more spiritual or more mature than another person. What is important is that we continue to develop a holy discontentment with where we are at so that we continue to press harder and grow more in every area as opposed to getting comfortable with where we are at.

 

The more satisfied we are with ourselves, we become less satisfied with God because “WE HAVE ATTAINED SUCH A GREAT STATUS.” This holy dissatisfaction causes us to press forward to continue to pursue a higher level of knowing Christ and to find our satisfaction in Him.

 

In addition to developing a holy discontentment is to remove anything in our lives that is hindering our relationship with God. While for some complacency is birthed out of past success or current status, for others it comes from being bound to past hurts and failures. Some are so chained to their past hurts and failures that they have lost their pursuit of God. They have accepted defeat. In both instances, we are called to wage war on and remove anything that hinders us from our relationship with God, which can only truly happen in community for the sake of accountability and encouragement.

 

The apostle Paul would go as far to say that those who do not have a holy discontentment consistently and are satisfied and content with where they stand in their relationship with God are enemies of the cross (Philippians 3:12-21). Meaning, if there is not a continual pursuit that flows from a holy discontentment and your satisfaction is in your won achievements than there may not be a real relationship to begin with.

 

My prayer is that you and I would either begin or continue to develop a holy discontentment in order that we would press in harder towards knowing Christ. Being content and satisfied with where we are in our relationship with God is a dangerous place to be. Moreover, be encouraged. Fix your eyes on Jesus. Lastly, in the coming days I will update this post with a link to the sermon I preached this past Sunday titled A Holy Discontentment from Philippians 3:12-21 where I explain more thoroughly on this topic.

Sermon link:  http://bldg28.com/sermons/28-sermons/

Crux mihi ancora

10 Tips for Spending Time With Your Kids

10 TIPS

By way of preface, let me say that I am sharing these tips as a dad still learning. These are lessons that I have learned along the way that I hope will be helpful for you. Also, by spending time with your kids I mean Daddy Daughter Dates, Daddy Son Dates, Mommy Daughter Dates, Mommy Son Dates. My wife and I are huge proponents of each parent having special time set aside for each child individually.

 

1. Be excited.

Don’t make the date as if you are doing a favor for your kid. This mentality treats your time together as a task. Get excited, so that they can see you enjoy it just as much as they do. Show them that it’s a treat for the both of you.

 

2. Plan the date and be consistent.

It’s easier to cancel because something else comes up if you don’t have a plan in place. Plan your time together and then talk about it with your kid leading up to the date, so that your kid is also planning on the time together. Even as young a one year old, my daughter loved looking forward to Daddy time…and demand it now.

 

Even more, be consistent. There’s no magic number of times (e.g. once a week, once a month) that is best. The key is to make this time consistent, so that you and your kid can look forward to the time together.

 

3. No distractions.

On your way in the car and even once you get to your destination, don’t spend time on your smart phone looking at social media, email, or other stuff unless it is directly related with your date (e.g. sharing a picture of the both of you, tweeting how much fun you are having). Talk to or sing with your kid while driving instead of giving them your phone to keep them quiet. Make everything about your time together and different from the norm.

 

4. Teaching moments.

The best time to take advantage of a teaching moment with your kid is when they are doing something they love to do. For example, one of my daughter’s and my favorite places to go on a date is to the park. When Amber was only 1, I was able to capture a teaching moment that made her think for a moment. She asked me to put her Minnie Mouse doll down the slide and when I did she said, “That was perfect dad.” My response to her was, “God is perfect.” The rest of our time together she would randomly say, “God is perfect.”

 

5. No negative terms.

While on your date, try your best to refrain from negative terms such as no, you can’t, and don’t. This doesn’t mean allow your kid to act like a monster either. If they begin to act inappropriately or want something they can’t have, direct their attention to something “better.” Make it positive. For example, instead of “you can’t jump off of that, you’ll get hurt” say, “you’ll get hurt silly, let’s do this instead.”

I am not opposed to saying “no” in general; in fact, I would say it is necessary. Although during this special time the goal is that overall you want it to be a positive experience. So, if you’re able to use a more positive way to redirect I would encourage that.

 

6. Lot’s of hugs, kisses, high fives, and cuddling.

On your date, make sure you show affection. Constantly tell them you love them. You can’t kiss them enough. You can’t hug them enough. You can’t high five them enough.

 

7. Let them lead.

While on your date, let your kid have the license to make decisions and lead. Keep in mind that you want this time to be special and different then the norm. Give them a chance to show you what they want to do and they will.

 

8. Laugh.

Laugh a lot when you’re on your date. Have fun. Your kid will love that you are having as much fun as they are. Be goofy.

 

9. Talk.

Be sure to have conversation while spending time together. Ask questions. Tell stories. Make conversation.

 

10. Remember

One thing I love to do while on a Daddy Daughter date is take a bunch of pictures. It’s always fun to look at the pictures that night and remember the fun we had together. It also helps Amber remember and make connections in her mind with where we went, what we did, and the fun that we had.

Theology: General & Special Revelation

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Over the past 8 weeks, I have had the opportunity to spend time with and co-lead a group that we just called Foundations of the Christian Faith. In essence, the intention was to offer some sort of 101 class for those who were wanting to either learn for the first time and/or for those who wanted to be reminded of the foundational beliefs of the Christian faith in order that we would be led to worship.

A couple weeks ago, I taught on the doctrine of God. It was during this time that we had some great discussion and a few wanted to go a bit deeper. For the sake of time in the class we can only cover so much material, so I’ve decided to build upon what we covered in the class here.

By way of preface, this is still by no means an exhaustive study of God, but it does offer some additional information that is beneficial for us to revel in the beauty of the one true God. I’ll cover these things in a small series of posts moving forward.

It is helpful for us to begin with the question, “Why Theology?” What does that even mean?

Theos = God

Logos = word or discourse

Therefore, Theology is a “discourse about God.” So, by studying theology, we are saying that there is, in fact, a way to know God more…that God communicates with us about himself. So, how does that work?

Revelation of God

Revelation = unveiling or disclosure. Historically, we understand God revealing himself to us in two primary ways.

General Revelation. God has revealed His nature to ALL mankind, so that all humanity is aware of God’s existence. This is general in the sense that it is not unique to only believers. This unveiling of God is evident to all of humanity. Every person in every place is a recipient of general revelation (Psalm 19:1-6; Romans 1:18-21). Therefore, there is no excuse for any individual anywhere to not seek out the one true God that is evident to them by way of his beauty and intricacy in all of creation. While a person does know that God exists through general revelation, they cannot know the Gospel through general revelation.

Special Revelation. Special revelation is much narrower than general revelation. While all mankind is a recipient of general revelation, not all are recipients of special revelation. Special revelation is unique to the believer and is communicated in a very specific way. I would say that special revelation is the equivalent of saying the Gospel. The Gospel is not an intuitive message. This is something that has to be revealed and/or communicated to an individual or group through either verbal or written communication (Hebrews 1:1-3; Romans 10:11-21).

Special revelation is two-fold.

  1. Revelation through the Scriptures
  2. Revelation through Jesus Christ (John 1:18, “explained/exegesis = to draw out or explain)

It is through special revelation that a person comes to know and love the person and work of Jesus Christ. Therefore, we share the Gospel and do missions so that hearts and minds are opened through special revelation to the story of redemption through God sending his son, Jesus.

to be continued…

“Good Dads”

Good Dads

We become “good dads” to our own kids as we seek to treat them as our perfect dad treats us, His sons.

As a dad, I am learning as I go. I’m growing each and every day in my understanding of what it means to be a good steward of this weighty responsibility entrusted to me and also to some of you.

When it comes to parenting my children well, it’s helpful for me to look at the relationship that my dad cultivated with me and recognize the time and effort that he put into being a good dad to his kids. It is the ability to appreciate what he did for me, as well as and more importantly recognizing the way in which God, the Father, relates to His children.

I have included the links to the top 6 “Dad” posts that have had the most traffic on my site. My hope is that you, like me, would be encouraged and challenged. Mihi Crux Ancora

1. 7 THINGS EVERY DAUGHTER NEEDS FROM HER DAD

2. 7 THINGS EVERY SON NEEDS FROM HIS DAD

3. DAD, 10 PRACTICAL WAYS TO LOVE YOUR KIDS

4. 5 THINGS EVERY DAD SHOULD KNOW (SERIES)

5. DADDY, DADDY?

6. 10 TIPS FOR PARENT CHILD DATES

6 Kinds of Words to Say to Your Wife

6 KINDS

Words can be an exceptionally powerful tool and/or weapon. Our words can either bring life or death. I know people today that replay, over and over again, in their minds something that a person said to them decades ago, but it still festers in their heart and mind daily. It paralyzes them from living in the freedom that God has called them to. The words spoken to them have literally brought death to a certain aspect of their life. Sadly, spouses tend to get the brunt of harsh words, many times creating deep wounds that will never go away and many times even progressing to the death of a marriage. God intended that we would use our words to build people up and bless people. That we would say things to encourage and give life to those around us. When it comes to marriage, here are 6 kinds of words to say to your wife often…

Words of Affection

Tell your wife that you love her, multiple times a day. Tell her that she’s beautiful, daily. Comment on her style and her personality. Use words of affection to build her up often. Talk affectionate to you wife because she desires that.

 

Words of Consideration

Your wife wants to know often that you are thinking of her feelings, thoughts and opinions. Ask her what she’s thinking. Ask her what the best and worst part of her day was. Ask her where she would like to eat. Ask her what she would like to do on Saturday morning. Ask her if she feels like you are leading her well in the areas of marriage, family, finance, church life and ministry, friendships, spiritual disciplines, etc.

 

Words of Initiation

While your wife does enjoy knowing that you are being considerate of her, she also enjoys a healthy balance of you taking the initiative to make decisions. Tell your wife that you would like to cook dinner once a week. Tell her that you’ve planned a date for the two of you. Tell her that she’s going to love a new spot to take her. Tell her to plan a Saturday morning out while you care for the kids and clean the house.

 

Words of Spontaneity

Take your wife by surprise when you tell her that you would like to take her on a walk or bike ride instead of watching the weekly game. Every now and then get out of your normal habit to show her that she is more important than whatever you would normally be doing. Your wife is very familiar with at least one thing you plan to do each week – use that time every now and then to lay your plans aside and focus on her instead – or ask her to be a part of it with you.

 

Words of Repentance

Tell your wife you were wrong. Sometimes, even when you’re not. Tell her you’re sorry. Ask for her forgiveness. When you mess up or when she thinks you’ve messed up acknowledge it instead of getting defensive. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. Don’t allow your flesh to control you – that will only end in pride and despair. Be led by the Spirit, which will always end in humility and reconciliation.

 

Words of the Gospel

Most importantly of all, speak words of the Gospel to your wife. Remind her of the depth of the grace of God. Remind her that Jesus was perfect for her. Remind her that God loves her and is willing to lead her each moment of the day if she’ll trust Him. Remind her that God is good and in control. Therefore, she can rest in knowing that Dad has it all together even though she may not.

Most importantly, live a life that expresses and emulates the words that you say to your wife. You can use kind words until you’re blue in the face, but if your life doesn’t match what you say than it’s all just talk.

Holy Week: in Context

holy week

Last year, Crossway published a series of short videos – one for each day of Holy Week, the final week of Jesus’ earthly life. The videos are extremely helpful in understanding the biblical, historical, cultural and theological context surrounding each day of this intense week of Jesus’ life. Understanding the context to these important events helps breath life into the narrative. Subsequently, we are then able to apply to our own lives the theological weight of Holy Week.

I’d encourage you to watch one per day throughout your week as you acknowledge and remember Holy Week. If you’re a couple videos behind – don’t be discouraged. They are short and I promise you won’t want to stop.

PALM SUNDAY

MONDAY

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

MAUNDY THURSDAY

GOOD FRIDAY

SATURDAY

RESURRECTION SUNDAY // EASTER

Pastor’s Wife Appreciation Month: An Open Letter

An OPen Letter

March is Pastor’s Wife Appreciation Month. I have many women to call, express my gratitude and send gifts to this month. More than that, as a pastor, I want to express my gratitude for my wife – as she stumbles to the Lord’s feet daily in her role as a Christian, pastor’s wife, and mom.

Brooke,

Thank you for your willingness to “live in front.”

The one thing that many people perceive they “want” is the very thing that those who have it do not want. Living in front is not easy. In fact, it can be brutal. With all of the misconceptions of what a pastor’s wife should look like and how she should live her life – the pressure on her to live in front of others can be extremely weighty, discouraging and life-taking. Laura Chandler, wife of Matt Chandler, the Lead Pastor for the Village Church in Texas has published a wonderful article titled Pastor’s Wives: 5 Misconceptions that I would encourage every church member to read. In addition, another beneficial article relating to pastor’s wives, 9 Secrets Your Pastor’s Wife Wishes You Knew, is a great reminder for us all.

Thank you for your willingness to sacrifice most every holiday.

Most Christmas dinners for us are to-go orders at the random Chinese place that happens to be open on Christmas Eve at 11 PM. That is because while all of the church families are meeting with their families to enjoy a big Christmas dinner before or after the service, the pastor’s and their families are usually at the church all day setting up and breaking down. Most Mother’s Days, pastor’s wives are acknowledged last by their husbands because Mother’s Day is on Sunday. Therefore, Mother’s Day for us is generally us celebrating hundreds of other mothers. Usually surrounding Thanksgiving, the church is serving hundreds of homeless families rather than sitting in our home preparing a grandiose meal. I can go on and on, but don’t miss the point. This is not a guilt trip for those that enjoy their holidays differently than we do. This is a thank you to Brooke for her willingness to sacrifice the “Traditional American Holiday” and making our holidays enjoyable and honoring to the Lord in the midst of all of the chaos and serving others.

Thank you for your willingness towards counter cultural stability and security.

Young pastors have the tendency to move around a lot. I am no exception. Sometime the moves are healthy and sometimes not. In all of the transition we are confident that God has been at work in us and through us. Within the last 10 years I have moved our family to 5 different homes and 5 different churches. I think I finally found my niche: selling car insurance…just kidding. The reality is that while most find their stability and security in longevity or owning a home, we have been able to find those things in God and in His providence. “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” + Jim Elliot. We believe that every move has been us chasing after the Lord and what He is calling us towards.

Thank you for making me look better than I really am.

If I show up to a leadership training event or meeting with cute snacks and great food it is only because Brooke made it happen. If I seem like I have it all together it is only because I have a wonderful wife that is constantly asking questions and holding me accountable. I have been asked dozens of times how I balance all that I do. My answer is simple: I have an amazing wife that makes it easy.

Thank you for loving our home and being hospitable.

Brooke writes, “If God has gifted you with a home, he wants you to love it. He wants you to enjoy it. Have a heart for your home. When you do that, your home will become a fun place for the whole family, as well as your guests. It’s contagious when you walk into a home that you can tell the mom has a heart for. Is your home like that? Have a heart for your home. Be hospitable. Use your home that God has gifted to you to be a gift and a blessing to others.” Read the rest of her article, 4 Tips for Young Moms, HERE.

Thank you for spending most of your days with our kids.

At the age that our kids are at, their minds and hearts are like sponges – soaking up every last drop of affection and knowledge that they can get. While not every parent has the opportunity to do what Brooke does, I am thankful that she has chosen to be the primary teacher in our kid’s lives for this season.

Thank you for supporting my teaching, preaching, and writing ministry.

After preaching as a guest earlier last year I walked back to my seat to sing with the congregation and Brooke put her arm around me and gave me a kiss on the cheek. After the service concluded an older man walked up to her and commended her for her support for me. I love to teach, preach, and write. Thankfully Brooke enjoys when I do those things.

Thank you for pursuing Jesus daily.

Brooke’s humility would never allow her to admit this, but she is constantly pursuing Jesus. She is the living example for me of Paul’s words in Philippians 2:12, “… work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Brooke is repenting of her sin daily and giving it to Jesus as she pursues holiness.

Thank you for living a life of prayer.

Brooke is SUCH a pray-er. She loves to pray. Again, she is the living example for me on how to live a life of prayer. She realizes that we can do nothing apart from the Lord and so she is always talking with Him about whatever it is that is happening. She keeps posted notes of Scripture all around our home so that it keeps our hearts focused on God’s word, which is a conducive atmosphere for continual prayer.

Thank you for understanding the spiritual battle of pastoral leadership.

This comes over time and with maturity. Brooke is in a spot now that she sees and understands the weight of the spiritual battle of pastoral leadership. In that, she is able to compliment me in whatever area I am dry or need help. She is constantly standing in the gap for me when I am down (i.e. physically, spiritually, and emotionally).

Thank you for enduring wounds that will forever be scars.

With as much transition as we have had, Brooke has been “shot at” many times. Brooke bears scars from ministry that will always be there. I’m thankful for her willingness to walk this road of ministry with me and her ability to give those hurts to the Lord.

+ crux mihi ancora

5 Things Every Young Pastor Should Know

REFORMED SOCIETY

5tips.tv

This is the second post in a series called 5 Things Someone Ought to Know. The first post was Your Pastor is Not Jesus: 5 Things Every Church Member Should Know About Their Pastor.

It is obvious that there is much to learn from those who have done well in ministry. For clarification, I am not saying, “done well” as if visible results are the only indicator of doing well. I am simply using the term in a general sense.

On the other hand, there is also much to learn from those who have not done so well. These leaders have a different type of wisdom and perspective on ministry. These leaders have learned how to do ministry primarily out of failure and mistakes. Sometimes the best wisdom of all is wrought through failure and mistakes.

Here are 5 tips for every young pastor that I have…

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