I can’t tell you how excited I am about our next series at Cross Point. Whatever you do don’t come alone!  You can CLICK HERE if you want to send someone an Evite. You can also join us HERE for our online campus if you’re out of town.

As I told you, in Week One we’ll be talking with Todd Burpo and his son, Colton. Todd wrote the widely talked about book Heaven Is For Real . The book has been number one on the New York Times Best Seller List for 20 weeks now! Here’s a quick preview of the interview.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/24864163″>Burpo Interview // Trailer</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/crosspointchurch”>Cross Point Church</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>


Burpo Interview // Trailer from Cross Point Church on Vimeo.

Can you give me a little peace?

Posted: January 7, 2011 in Girls, parenting

I’ve been asked to be a guest blogger today for a great friend of mine named, Chris Spradlin. He’s an incredible pastor at Euzoa Bible Church in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.  He’s recently started writing some honest and on the edge ways to raise kids at his new site: http://www.epicparent.tv/ If you’re a parent, its a must-read!  Here’s a little bit of what I came up with over there…

PEACE.  What is it?  When I think of peace I think of sitting by a babbling brook with some hot tea!  I think of tranquility, serenity, comfort ability, and maybe the absence of conflict.  We are all in search of it…just a little peace and quiet…right?  I have four girls at the age of 8, 10, 12, and 14…so I am the only man in an all women’s sorority!  J  As you can imagine…it’s usually loud in my house…Taylor Swift playing, the sound of Wii, the screams, the hairdryers…something!  As a father, I am always wanting to create an environment where everyone is “getting along” and where we are together and laughing.  Its not easy to do and something that I’ve realized is that I have to fight for peace!  See…peace never just happens… we don’t just naturally drift into peacecontinue reading here…

This past weekend I was given the opportunity to speak at Cross Point, while Pete got to take his kids to Disney!!  I was given the task to speak on God’s Sovereignty in 30 minutes. :)  In my studies and preparation I was often overwhelmed on how to communicate such a massive subject.  Now, I know that I’ll spend the rest of my life learning and trying to understand God’s ultimate authority, power, and command, but this was a small window into how I tried to make a very large subject into something small enough to breath!

Please let me know your thoughts…


Posted: October 12, 2010 in Uncategorized

Something I was taught as a young believer by my friend Brian Crall is that RATE X’s TIME = GROWTH.  In other words, the amount of time that you spend X’s the rate at which you grow equals Growth.

So this is what that looks like for me.  I am often perplexed by the amount of immaturity from believers in Christ who are much older than me!!  People who have not applied the spiritual knowledge and/or fruit that we find in the scriptures.  I would have a conversation with an elder in my church and think…“I’m not sure if they even know Jesus at all!” They would be so stinkin mean and critical of everything that I was doing.  I finally built up the courage to ask one of them how he thought he was  really encouraging me as a young pastor and he lashed out even more harshly.  He was in no place to learn from someone or be questioned by someone that was younger than him.  He was an “elder”…he knew better…but the only thing lacking in his life was any sort of resemblance of Christ!

I know that sounds hyper-critical or judgmental but the scriptures teach us that we will know people by their fruit.  I am not trying to dishonor him or be disrespectful, however, I also have a responsibility to make sure and challenge all believers – young and old – to follow after Christ.  I remember feeling so inadequate, fearful and scared of the authority that God had placed above me.  How was I supposed to honor men that were less spiritually mature than I was??  See…the time that I spent with God and the rate at which I was growing equaled a lot more spiritual maturity than people 3 and 4 times my age.  I realized that just because many people had been in the church their entire lives does NOT equal spiritual maturity.

There are way too many people who have forgotten to actually apply the truth of the scriptures in their lives and consequently Jesus is represented  as judgmental – hypocrictical – lazy believers.  The gospel wasn’t written to allow us to become apathetic and lazy…there is always something to work on in your character…there is always something that you need to spend some time looking at to grow…there is always more to learn about God.  Please don’t allow yourself to age and to become grumpy and less gracious.  People who follow after God become more grace-filled, more gentle, patient, kind, loving, caring, peaceful and compassionate.  The more you understand how much you have been forgiven…the more you long to give it away.

Many of you reading this today need to be reminded of the fact that you should not “allow people to look down on you because of your youth”. You can only fake it for so long…either you are spending a lot of time with God or you aren’t.  Eventually, you will be known by the fruit that is in your life and that fruit is only found by your knowledge of the truth and your intimacy with the Father!  NOTHING can replace that or manufacture that.  

Would you say that you are growing spiritually??

I am in a season where my character is really being shaped by God and it has been beautiful and brutal at the same time!  Its hard to be honest with yourself about who you are becoming.  I am having some of the most truthful conversations with my wife and accountability partner that I’ve ever had and in the process the truth is setting me free! (Jn. 10)

When I was a youth pastor in Owensboro, KY I had a friend named Bill Barron who spoke a lot of life into me.  His family was very good to us during the five years that I served at Owensboro Christian Church as the high school pastor.  I’ll never forget the day that he loaded me up into his car and took me to a weekend retreat that he scheduled without me knowing.  My wife was in on this and I did not like it at all.  It was called, “Walk to Emmaus” and that weekend proved to be life changing for me.  I’ll never forget something that Bill said to me while I was there.  He said,

“Love without discipline is hypocricy but discipline without love is brutality.”

Wow…what a huge thought!  It rocked me as a father and as a pastor.  I had viewed discpline the wrong way.  I had a very strict father who taught me to have a healthy fear of him.  In response to that, I had been a  father and youth pastor who allowed way too much too happen without saying a word.  It was in rebellion to such a ridgid set of rules that I had to live by.  I wanted my family and my ministry to be a place that was just a stinkin blast.  I have always been the kind of person that has aired on the side of grace instead of justice because of my upbringing.  However, during that week, I realized that I really wasn’t loving because of my lack of discipline.  I realized that “discipline is the purest form of love.” You can find that in the scriptures in Hebrews 12:5-12, where the chapter heading is:

“God’s Discipline Proves His Love”

.5And have you entirely forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you, his children? He said,

“My child, don’t ignore it when the Lord disciplines you,
and don’t be discouraged when he corrects you.

6 For the Lord disciplines those he loves,
and he punishes those he accepts as his children.” F54

7As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Whoever heard of a child who was never disciplined? 8If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children after all. 9Since we respect our earthly fathers who disciplined us, should we not all the more cheerfully submit to the discipline of our heavenly Father and live forever?

10For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always right and good for us because it means we will share in his holiness. 11No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it is painful! But afterward there will be a quiet harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.

In order for me to live a life that produces a “harvest of right living” it appears as if we have to be disciplined by a God who loves us.  In order for that to happen..I have to long for the discipline, reproof, and correction of a righteous God even when I don’t think I need it.  Today…I want to challenge you to not be a hypocrite and continue loving those around you without discipline and/or any correction.  Carefully admonish and correct those around you in honest and sincere truth!  In other words, have the courage to love deeply!!

Do you agree??  Is love really not love if there is no discipline involved?

So…right when we got to the airport in Moshi, Africa, I started making friends with everyone.  I learned quickly that the way that you say Hello in Swahili is by saying, “Jambo”, which means hello!  Well..I thought they said, “Jamba” with an A…so I went around the first couple of days saying “Jamba” to every person I met.  It turns out that means something completely different!!  It means “FART!” The bad part is that it was commonly known that I was a pastor because the staff of TUSKER had shared that with all our people.  So there I was MR. Pastor guy walking around to everyone and smiling real big and saying, FART instead of HELLO!  My mouth is continually a source of trouble for me-no matter what language I’m speaking!!  I hope that one day I can stop with the slippage of the tongue!!

Your turn…share a  story with me about something you wish that you could take back…

I can be so stinkin arrogant…

Posted: October 6, 2010 in Uncategorized

I’ve always struggled with Pride.  I have always liked Blake Bergstrom way too much.  My appreciation for myself has always served me well.  I can usually get what I want because of my confidence and charm.  I am charismatic and contagious to be around and I love that about myself.  I love me.  I really do.  I like being me and I like my life.  The problem is that that is my biggest problem.  I hate that part of me as well.

Yesterday I got a phone call from a church member who has been very upset with me and left the church because of something I said to him on the phone over a year ago.  I remember that phone call well.  I had been speaking to a group of addicts and after I was done they all wanted to talk individually about their struggles.  I stayed very late and was mad I didn’t get to put my girls to bed.  I had been poured out that day–I was vulnerable and weak.  I was driving home at 1030 pm and I got the phone call.  He was telling me about how bad of a pastor/friend I was being at the time and he was right.  I replied flippantly.  I said, “it was an honor to have my cell phone and to be careful how much he used it.”

WOW!  I am such an arrogant punk!  I can’t believe I said that to him…but I did.  I am so grateful he had the courage to finally call me and remind me.  After so much time w God on the side of a mountain…he has exposed so many things in my character that I have to work on that it couldn’t have come at a better time.

I communicated so much in that sentence:

I am more important than you.

I am busy.

Don’t bother me.

You are such a pain.

I hate that I did that to him and I feel awful.  My immediate response was, “I’m so arrogant and I am so sorry -please forgive me.  Thank you for calling and loving me enough to have this conversation!!” I asked for his grace and said I was very sorry.  I hope he comes back..I really do miss him.  I am so grateful he shared that with me.

God has been working on that part of my heart all my life and it doesn’t seem like I’ve had much progress over the years.  Sometimes my greatest strengths are my greatest weakness.  Today I feel weak and discouraged from a battle over my heart that seems to never end.  Discouraged that I can be so prideful and arrogant after all these years of being a follower of Christ and a leader in the church.  I’ve never longed to please God more in my life than I do today.  I am praying for His humility and love to change me…will you join me in that prayer??  I’d like to publicly apologize today if I’ve ever made you feel that way!  If I have…would you have the courage today to tell me??  I am working on it…and only by the power and grace of God do I have a fighting chance.

Are there things in your life that you feel the same way about??