Dan Allender, in his book, Leading with a Limp, asks a question, “Is living out the gospel in this world meant to be marked by an inverted, paradoxical, mysterious twist on what most people expect of a leader?” He answers with a resounding “yes,” saying that the paradox of biblical leadership is that the chief leader must be […]Read More Paradoxical Leadership
I want to remember today that I can’t change or fix anyone. And neither can anyone change or fix me. That is the role of the Holy Spirit alone. But I can pray. I can ask. In my weakness, I can go to the Father, my strong Abba. He is able to do “immeasurably more […]Read More Immeasurably More Than All I Can Ask or Imagine
God chooses and uses the weak things of this world to accomplish supernatural results in ministry. I think we need to emphasize “supernatural,” because there can also be “worldly” results in the church. Numbers. Programs. Energy. Fame. And so we look for leaders like Saul. Big. Impressive. Powerful. But God’s model for a leader would […]Read More Unschooled, Ordinary Men
The Bible talks about “walking with God.” I suppose this means that as I live each day, I am to be in conscious fellowship with him who is with me—really with me, as if we were walking down the road together. It’s better than a “Quiet Time” (as very profitable and essential as focused, daily […]Read More Walking with Jesus
“The death of the Lord Jesus is absolutely unique. It is subsitutionary. There is no death like Jesus’ death… His substitutionary death on the cross, in space and time in history, had infinite value because of who His is as God. Thus nothing need be added to the substitutionary value of His death, nor can […]Read More Jesus + Nothing
In his book, Soul Talk, Larry Crabb says, “Religion is the invention of the Devil.” Steve Brown agrees, saying, “I hate religion.” That was the discussion for last week’s Caston Family Discipleship gathering after dinner. I asked my kids what makes the Gospel different from all other religions. I was delighted when they answered, “Grace!” Of […]Read More Losing My Religion
Why go to church? Not a bad question, actually. To make the answer reasonably short, we could say that there are two possible options: we go to give or to get. The law says go to church that you may give to God. But the gospel says that we go to church so that we may […]Read More Why Go to Church?
I am a recovering Pharisee who falls off of the wagon all of the time, slipping back into a mode of self-righteous pride (when I think I do well) and insecurity (when I fail, or if someone else does well). So what I need is radically grace-centered preaching to keep my heart in line with the gospel. That […]Read More And That’s It?
When the light of the gospel was turned on in Martin Luther’s mind and heart, the Protestant Reformation was given a huge dose of momentum. Some say it began in that moment, but that is to miss the whispers of Reformation that had been taking place for over one hundred years. But that is a […]Read More Luther’s Struggle is My Struggle
In Ken Sande’s book, The Peacemaker, he outlines the four promises of forgiveness. In other words, this is what I am saying to someone when I say, “I forgive you.” “I will not bring this incident up against (ie, to use against) you again.” (Of course, if someone is struggling with an ongoing pattern of […]Read More The Promises of Forgiveness
Check out this paraphrase of Philippians 3:7-9 from Eugene Peterson’s, The Message. For those who are looking for something to do today as they follow Jesus, here ’tis. The very credentials these people are waving around as something special, I’m tearing up and throwing out with the trash—along with everything else I used to take credit […]Read More Time to Take Out the Trash
“Grant that I may always weep to the praise of mercy found and tell others as long as I live that thou art a sin-pardoning God, taking up the blasphemer and the ungodly, and washing them from their deepest stain.” From a prayer, The Great Discovery, in The Valley of Vision, p. 62.Read More The Great Discovery
I read a blog post from Bill Kynes this morning that was really helpful. It encouraged pastors to focus on the one thing that they can uniquely contribute to the church—their role as a physician of the soul. The medicine, of course, is the gospel, and it must be dispensed in every possible way—from preaching, to […]Read More Good Medicine
Reading this moring in The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers, one struck me as particularly helpful for re-aligning the heart with God’s sufficient, sustaining grace at the beginning of a day. It reflects the heart of Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:7-12: 7 So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing […]Read More A Prayer for the Morning (and All Through the Day)
The gospel gives us freedom to be honest. Honest with ourselves, with others and with God. Psalm 13 describes an anguished David, wresting with his present life experience and the role of God in it. His emotions are being tossed like a dinghy on the waves of a storm. But when his heart finds anchor […]Read More An Anchor of Hope for the Dinghy of Despair
Thanks to Melisa Woznicki for posting this on FB. It hits the nail right on the head. 🙂Read More Some Marriage Advice