Is God Good? (Part 2)

In my previous post, I asked the question: “Is God good?” If so,

How can a good God allow bad things to happen to good people?

The Bible teaches us that God is good. And we’d like to believe that He is.  But it’s the presence of suffering in our world that causes us to doubt.  It’s as if the presence of pain proves the absence of God’s goodness. Continue reading “Is God Good? (Part 2)”

A Father after God’s Own Heart (Part 1)

We have three boys, each with a unique given name. Our oldest son is named Justus. We had his name picked out before my wife, Heidi, and I were even married. But when the moment of truth came 6 years later, we flinched and Justus was almost “Caleb.” But we swallowed hard and stuck to our guns, not knowing what others would think. Not that it matters, but the response was overwhelmingly positive. We’ve received many compliments on his name over the years. Little did we know that we were trendsetters. Justus is ever-growing in popularity as both a boy’s and girl’s name.

We wanted to continue giving our kid’s virtuous names, but we had trouble coming up with virtuous names for boys. We had a whole list of them for girls, but we had to have three boys. When our second son was born, we gave him the name “Tranquil.” I called my mother-in-law to give her the good news and tell her the name.

“What?” She responded.

“Tranquil,” I said again.

Long pause.

Then breaking the silence, “What are you going to call him?”

“Tranquil,” I said a third time.

“Yeah, I know,” she said, “but what are you going to call him?”

Again I responded, “Tranquil.”

Twelve years later we still get often get that response from people.

Continue reading “A Father after God’s Own Heart (Part 1)”

5 Types of Relationships between a Church and its City

Babylonian exile
Nebuchadnezzar destroys the temple

Picture this scene: King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon has attacked Jerusalem, defeated it, and taken captives back to Babylon to work as slaves. Now you have to understand that Jews thought that this could never happen. Jerusalem was God’s holy city where His temple and king resided. Babylon was the epitome of evil. As unthinkable as it is for us to imagine, say, Iraq conquering America and taking the vast majority of Americans back to the Middle East as slaves; that’s at least as unlikely as the nation of Judah thought about this happening. There’s just no way. But it did happen.

So now what?

Continue reading “5 Types of Relationships between a Church and its City”

4 Ways Churches become UNSTOPPABLE

unstoppable-pp-slide

Jesus promised that His Church would be unstoppable.

“Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.” (Matthew 16:18, NLT)

Unfortunately, in many cases it seems the church has been stopped. In my previous post, I shared “3 Ways Churches Stop Themselves.”

One of the primary issues is that we’ve taken church to be a noun when it’s supposed to be a verb.

Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”” (Matthew 28:18–20, NLT)

As followers of Jesus Christ, we are given one simple task: GO! That’s it. Two letters: G-O! And we can say whatever we want about what that means and what it looks like, but one thing is for sure – GO is a verb.

Francis Chan points out the disconnect for many Christians:

“Simon says, ‘Pat your head’ and we pat our heads. Jesus says, ‘Go therefore and make disciples,’ we memorize that verse.”

How can churches become the truly unstoppable force and presence that Jesus promised? 

HERE ARE 4 WAYS CHURCHES BECOME UNSTOPPABLE

Continue reading “4 Ways Churches become UNSTOPPABLE”

3 Ways Churches Stop Themselves

last_supper_stained-glass

Jesus promised that His Church would be unstoppable.

“Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.” (Matthew 16:18, NLT)

From the outset,

the Church has always been God’s Plan A for advancing His Kingdom Reign here on earth.

There is no Plan B.

But, somewhere, somehow something has gone horribly wrong. This Church that Jesus Christ said would be unstoppable has been largely rendered irrelevant and ineffective in the Western world. It appears, at least at times and in certain places that the powers of hell have prevailed and this once unstoppable force in the world has become stoppable.

Truthfully, however, Satan hasn’t stopped the Church. Christians have!

HERE ARE THREE WAYS CHURCHES STOP THEMSELVES Continue reading “3 Ways Churches Stop Themselves”