A picture really is worth a thousand words. I saw this infographic below and I felt its message is quite powerful.Read More
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5:9)
What is peacemaking and why is it so important? Who exactly are we trying to make peace with? And why did Jesus connect “peacemaking” with being a “son of God”?
All that and more in the final installment of our series HAPPY.Read More
"That’s impossible… no way... no one can do that… there’s no way I can ever reach that high a bar."
That’s the most common reaction to whenever I preach a message about God’s standard for our purity - a standard that can be summed up in one verse:
“But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.” (Ephesians 5:3)
NOT EVEN A HINT! Not even a hint of impurity in your habits. Not even a hint of impurity in your relationships. Not even a hint of impurity in your thoughts. Not even a hint of any kind of impurity!
IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE? CAN WE EVER ATTAIN SUCH A STANDARD?Read More
We’re in Part 4 of our HAPPY series and this week we’re looking at Matthew 5:7, which says “Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.”
Unfortunately, too many people today are allowing their happiness to be held captive for former hurts. In doing so, we end up enslaving ourselves to our past. But Jesus offers a way out - that is FORGIVENESS. Forgiveness frees me from the torture of resentment and it allows me to experience true freedom and true happiness within.Read More
luminary: 'a person who inspires or influences others, especially one prominent in a particular sphere'
That's the best way to describe a man who departed this world 1600 years ago, but whose life continues to influence people to this day. Across the world, that man is known simply as Anthony the Great (gotta love that name!).
Before his death in the 4th century, St. Anthony left us with a wealth of spiritual wisdom in the form of several letters he wrote. Below are 7 of my favorites from that collection. I hope you’ll appreciate them as much as I do.Read More
“Blessed are pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8)
We’re talking about purity this week, but not the kind of purity that we usually think of. We’re not talking about pure eyes or pure thoughts or pure words; we’re talking about something much more significant to your happiness in life: PURITY OF HEART!
What is purity of heart and how do I attain it? Check out part 3 in our series HAPPY and find out for yourself.Read More
Waiting, waiting, waiting. No one likes to wait. I certainly don’t and I’ll bet you don’t either. Waiting at the doctor’s office, waiting for the cable guy, waiting for a job, waiting in traffic…WAITING WAITING WAITING. Sometimes it seems like we spend more time waiting than actually doing what we were trying to do in the first place!
It’s because of my disdain for waiting (aka, my impatience) that I don’t really enjoy going out to eat. If there’s one thing that my wife would change about me if she could, it’s this. I’d always prefer to stay home and eat leftovers out of the fridge as opposed to going out to eat – especially at a sit down restaurant!
Why? BECAUSE I HATE WAITING.Read More
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4)
We’re in Part 2 of our series HAPPY and this week’s topic is a hard one to grasp. That’s because - according to Jesus (pretty reliable source) - we discovered that MOURNING can actually be a pathway to HAPPINESS. Who knew?Read More
Inheritance comes from promise. Possession comes from obedience.
Have you ever heard a sermon about God’s promises and felt a little discouraged? Have you ever read a book or an article about God’s faithfulness and felt just a little bit cheated? Have you ever heard someone else tell the story of how God fulfilled a promise to them and had a little gnawing voice inside you say “why not me too?”
We all have. It’s not easy to appreciate the beauty and splendor of God’s faithfulness when you feel like God promised you something (healing, success, victory over a certain temptation, etc.) and He hasn’t yet provided it.Read More
We kicked off a brand new series yesterday and the title is sure to peak your interest: HAPPY.
The series is based on the Beatitudes in Matthew 5 where Jesus gives us 8 ways to be blessed (or happy). But not in the way you’d expect! You must mourn to find comfort. You must hunger to be filled. You must be poor to find riches.
Because Christ gave us victory through His suffering, we too can find hope and victory in life’s hurts and pains. God willing, through this series, we can also discover the path to true, long-term healing.Read More
“Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” Matthew 19:4-6
Several years ago, I did something that I strongly encourage every married couple to do – I attended a Weekend to Remember marriage getaway hosted by FamilyLife. I had heard many good things about the getaway, but I had no idea how beneficial and needed it would be.
Marriage isn’t easy. Anyone who says it is probably isn’t married. We all dream about marriage and have ideas about what it will look like one day, but rarely does the reality ever line up with the expectation. That could be due to a myriad of reasons, but the point is that marriage isn’t easy. It's hard work and if you want to have a successful marriage, you’re probably not going to stumble upon it by accident.Read More
It’s hard to believe but next week Marianne and I will be celebrating our 18 year wedding anniversary. I know what you’re thinking - it’s hard to believe that two people who look so young have been married so long - trust me, we hear that all the time :)
So I thought it would be appropriate to repost something I wrote a few years ago about my wife and what it is that makes her the greatest gift I could have ever asked for. As you’ll see below, this isn’t to say that she’s perfect or we’re perfect; but it’s my way of sharing some of the specific characteristics that she brings to the table that have contributed to our success thus far.
Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!Read More
“Who is my neighbor?” A simple question with a not-so-simple response. This question was originally asked to Jesus in response to His command to “love your neighbor as yourself” (see Luke 10:27-29).
In our finale of Living Hospitality, we examined Jesus’ response and saw 3 potential “neighbors” that might be in our lives and in need of some hospitality right now.Read More
It’s sad but it’s true. The trend is clear. The studies all say the same thing. Despite the clear Biblical mandate to share our faith with others… despite a sincere desire to advance the kingdom of God… despite the deep concern we might have for our friends and family who are far from Christ… despite all those things, the fact is this:
The longer someone attends church, the less likely that person is to have a meaningful spiritual discussion with someone who is far from Christ.
Why is that? How can that be? Shouldn’t it be that getting closer to Christ and attending church more frequently would lead to MORE evangelistic discussions? More times of sharing our faith? More times where we take a risk and invite a co-worker or neighbor to church? Isn’t that how it’s supposed to be?
My experience tells me that the graph above is right on the money. Here’s how it works:
Last week, in part 1 of Living Hospitality, we saw the importance for personal hospitality and how our hospitality is connected to judgment and the end times. This week, we look at how that same principle applies to US - the church.
What role does/should hospitality play in our weekly gatherings? What are the consequences if we do/don’t practice it? And what are some simple ways that we can make our churches more hospitable?Read More
It’s time for another ASK ME ANYTHING scope, today at 12:30 pm EST. So get your questions ready and I’ll do my best to answer them. You ask it and I’ll answer it. No topic is off limits!Read More
"Be hospitable to one another without grumbling." (1 Peter 4:9)
That’s the command St. Peter gives to a group of believers who were undergoing severe persecution and who believed that the end was near. To them he speaks about the importance of true, Christian hospitality.
Why? Is hospitality really that important? What does it mean to be hospitable? Does it mean merely inviting people over for dinner parties?
That’s the topic of our latest series at The Well called LIVING HOSPITALITY. We’ll explore the meaning and importance of hospitality and what it means to open up our homes and our hearts to others in need.Read More
Christ is risen!!!! Yes, He is risen indeed!!!! And in case you didn’t realize it, that is the greatest news ever!
Why? Because it means that death has been defeated! Through His own death and resurrection, Jesus abolished the power of death and granted us victory over the one enemy that we thought could never be conquered...DEATH!
Therefore we will/must REJOICE! WOOO-HOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!
Below is a slightly more eloquent way of saying what I just said – an excerpt from a sermon preached by the great St. Athanasius (patron saint of STSA):Read More
We wrapped up our series on the life of Abraham this week, First in Faith, and this week our hero faces his toughest challenge yet: the offering of his son Isaac. But as we’ve seen throughout the series, Abraham faces his challenge with faith and trust and because of that, he ends up reminding us of our key lesson in this series:
The reward of faith will always OUTWEIGH the cost, but it will never PRECEDE it.Read More
Ever been in a pit? Ever been stuck in the miry clay? Ever felt like you are sinking deeper and deeper as the days passed by?
I’m not talking about a dirt pit on the side of the road. As bad as it would be to get stuck in one of those, the pit I’m talking about is much scarier and much more dangerous. It’s the pit that King David speaks about in Psalm 40.Read More