Showing posts from January, 2015

The Naked Gospel

I began reading The Naked Gospel by Andrew Farley last week.  I discovered Farley's book after reading a fiction book he wrote called Operation Screwtape. I loved C.S. Lewis' Screwtape Letters and enjoyed Farley's fiction book despite the fact that I don't read much fiction. Here are a few quotes from the first several chapters of The Naked Gospel:

Hope began with grasping an important distinction between two operating systems-one Old and one New. There is an Old way that forever leads to disappointment, no matter how much"holy" effort is exerted. There is also a New way that comes free of charge and changes everything. And yet there is also a third option--a hybrid of Old and New that you find in many churches today. Whatever the New is, it somehow causes people to remain faithful, even when their own strength fails them. There was really nothing wrong with the Old in itself. It should still be esteemed as holy and good. The issue with the Old was that no on…

New Book Friday


Get Air Wichita

Tonight fuzion students who said half of their memory verses went to Get Air in Wichita. Here are some pictures:

Promises of God from Hosea

“I will show love to the house of Judah; and I will save them—not by bow, sword or battle, or by horses and horsemen, but by the Lord their God” (1:7).

“I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion.I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord” (2:19-20).

“I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings” (6:6).

“I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love; I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them” (11:4).

“I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death.Where, O death, are your plagues?Where, O grave, is your destruction?” (13:14).

Dating Anniversary

Do you remember your first date with your spouse?  I do.  It was today (January 28, 1995) when Bethany and I had our first date.  I remember it well because as a man I was a little slow knowing it was even a date. Interested?  Keep reading.

Bethany and I met the first day of orientation at Sterling College in front of Culbertson Auditorium.  We spent a lot of time together because Bethany knew my roommates.  I would have started dating her immediately, but she was not as easily convinced.  Therefore, I determined that dating was out of the picture.

However, during interterm we had a class together called "Civil War" and we were out of class before any other interterm class so we spent a lot of time talking, playing ping pong and pool in the snack bar, and sitting on the couches in the Student Union.  I had a job interview in Wichita and so I had asked Bethany (since she lived in Wichita) if she would ride along to get me to my interview and for her kindness, we would go out …

You are reconciled

“All this is from God,who reconciled us to himself through Christand gave us the ministry of reconciliation:19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:18-19)

God's love for you is deep

As I prepare to head to the ocean for Liberate 2015, I thought it would be fun to share pictures from the ocean with verses from Scripture that relate to them. I don't know how many posts this will be, but here is the first one.

so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:17-19 ESV)

Bad News, Good News

Below are my notes from message today at Hesston MB titled, "Bad News, Good News".  It was part 2 of a message that I began during advent on Romans 5.  See previous message notes here

Introduction: Has someone ever said this to you? I have bad news & good news.Which do you want to hear first?How do you respond?
This is part two of a message I began during Advent with only one point:Give More Grace
What is grace?
·Grace = One Way Love, it is for all of life.
·We are brought into God’s kingdom by grace; we are sanctified by grace; we receive both temporal and spiritual blessings by grace; we are motivated to obedience by grace; we are called to serve and enabled to serve by grace; we receive strength to endure trials by grace; and finally, we are glorified by grace. The entire Christian life is lived under the reign of God’s grace. (Jerry Bridges)
Read Romans 5:18-21
·Bad News, Good News
oVs. 18-Bad News: Sin=Condemnation for all men.
§One trespass (Adam’s sin) is contrasted wit…

Wonderful Grace of Jesus

As I prepare to preach tomorrow on the good news of grace, I am reminded of this hymn.  Enjoy Ernie Haase and Signature Sound sing about the grace of Jesus.

New Book Friday


Returning to the ocean in 27 days

Below you find a post that I shared about a year ago.  It was written after returning from Liberate 2014 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  I leave for Liberate 2015 in just 27 days.  I cannot wait to hear good news on the theme, "It is finished." Another bonus is the time to spend at the beach and ocean. The picture below was taken last year.  Enjoy my thoughts on grace and the ocean again:
Grace is like an ocean because: It is deep.  When we think we have understood its depths, there is more. It is far reaching.  No matter what you have done in your past, God's grace can reach you. It is free. Isn't it amazing that you can go the beach for free?  No admission fee. It draws you in.  Just like the undercurrent in the ocean, God draws us. It is rest. Listening to the waves is relaxing and peaceful. It is unpredictable. You cannot predict the pattern of waves. You cannot predict how grace will affect a person. It is bitter.  We avoid drinking it.  To those who want to live by law …

Promises of God from Daniel

Below are selected promises of God from Daniel.  These were compiled by Kenneth Boa.

“He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him.His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed” (7:14) “The saints of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will possess it forever—yes, for ever and ever” (7:18). “Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High.His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him” (7:27). The Lord is “the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with all who love him and obey his commands” (9:4).

You Are New

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

God Has Decided

Be reminded of what God has done for you today.  Below you find a portion of a blog post from Zac Hicks explaining this song:

It is this same impulse that led us to take a beloved sung prayer like “I Have Decided,” turn it on its head, and re-give it to the Church. How will people actually be motivated to love and follow God, to commit to Him, and to not turn back? Well, the counter-intuitive message of the gospel is that it isn’t by singing about what we’re doing for God, but by what God has done for us. Our security in being able to follow God is grounded in the surety that God first followed us. He tracked us down when we were running hard, He defeated us, and He raised us to life. And so we sing:God has decided to save my lost soul…No turning back, no turning back.
Christ has decided to die in my place…No turning back, no turning back.
The Holy Spirit now lives inside me…No turning back, no turning back.
The love of God will forever hold me….He won’t let go, He won’t let go.���������…

My Tentative Plan for Sabbatical

As I mentioned yesterday, I will be going on sabbatical May-July 2015.  I am thankful for this opportunity to rest, research, and be refreshed.  Below you find my tentative plans:

As I prepare to go on Sabbatical in the summer of 2015, I have been praying about what this time of refreshment, renewal, and relaxation should include.Here are a few possibilities: Time of prayer & reflection at beginning and end at these possible locations: IHOP-Kansas City, Humphrey’s Shed, & Crosswinds Retreat CenterAttendance at various churches to observe what their Sunday morning looks likeVisits to specific churches who are ministering effectively to children, couples and families. Already contacts have been made to churches in Missouri and Texas.Vacation-extended vacation with the family.One-on-one trips with the kids-I would like to allow each of the kids an opportunity to go on a 24-48 hour trip with me of their own choosing.Guatemala Mission Trip Resting & ReadingWhat would you add or s…


Hesston MB, the church where I am a pastor, allows its pastoral staff a sabbatical after 5 years of ministry.  I am thankful to the church leadership for this opportunity to relax and be refreshed. I am excited about this time of sabbatical from May-July 2015. 

Sabbatical is defined as                              
a period of time during which someone does not work at his or her regular job and is able to rest, travel, do research, etc. (Merriam-Webster Dictionary) a leave of absence, often with pay, usually granted every seventh year, as to a college professor, for travel, research, or rest. (American Heritage Dictionary)  Tomorrow I plan to share what my tentative plans are for my sabbatical.  But today I wanted to share the definitions of sabbatical and let others know some of the basics.

New Book Friday


The Ragamuffin Gospel

I purchased The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning over 10 years ago and read it for the first time this year.  What a great reminder of the good news of the gospel and grace!  Below are several quotes from the final chapters of the book:

Every form of sin and its consequences, sickness and disease of every kind, drug addiction, alcoholism, broken relationships, insecurity, hatred, lust, pride, envy, jealousy, cancer, bone disease, arthritis, and on and on were experienced and carried by "a thing despised and rejected by men" (Isaiah 53:3) who knew the nadir of an agony such as no one has ever dreamed. "In other words, God in Christ was reconciling the world to himself, not holding men's faults against them, and he has entrusted to us the good news that they are reconciled" (2 Corinthians 5:19). Jesus Christ nailed to the wood has carried our pain into the peace of grace. He has made peace through the blood of His cross (Colossians 1:20)
The moment the focus …

Promises of God from Ezekiel

“I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.They will be my people, and I will be their God” (11:19-20). “I will accept you as fragrant incense when I bring you out from the nations and gather you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will show myself holy among you in the sight of the nations.Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I bring you into the land of Israel, the land I had sworn with uplifted hand to give to your fathers.You will know that I am the Lord, when I deal with you for my name’s sake and not according to your evil ways and your corrupt practices, O house of Israel” (20:41-42, 44).“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you ; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be …

You Are A Priest

“But you are a chosen people,a royal priesthood,a holy nation,God’s special possession,that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

 (1 Peter 2:9)

Happy Birthday, Abbie!

Today is my little sister's birthday.  Go and wish her a happy birthday.  Here is a picture of us from last Thanksgiving:

My God

Below is a song that I love to sing with our kids during Children's Church.  It is a reminder of the power of God. 

Prayer by Scotty Smith

Here is a portion of a prayer by Scotty Smith from Everyday Prayers from January 2nd:

Heavenly Father, while many clamor about and try to “claim” more blessings from you, may this be a year in which we come alive to the multiplied blessings you’ve already lavished upon us in the gospel. Already you have rescued us from the dominion of darkness and have placed us in the kingdom of your beloved Son, Jesus (Col. 1:13). Already you have blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ (Eph. 1:3). Already we are completely loved by you because of Jesus’ completed work on our behalf. As the year progresses, open the eyes of our hearts to see all these glorious riches more clearly and enjoy them more fully (Eph. 1:18–19).

New Book Friday

As you know, I love to read!  Therefore, much of my Christmas list includes new books.  So, every Friday I am going to share a new book that I received this year.  You will have to return to the blog in the future to see quotes and thoughts from each of these books.

Strong Dad, Super Kid Event

Tonight, KS Strong Dads hosted its second event in Newton, KS. We had 9 families attend including 9 fathers/father figures, 13 children, 2 teens, and 2 mothers. Here are a few pictures:

Great is Thy Faithfulness

These words from Scripture keep coming to mind and in several things I have been reading lately.  Therefore, I wanted to share the beloved hymn by Shane and Shane with all of you today.  Be reminded that you are a "new creation", God's mercies are new every morning and great is His faithfulness!

Promises of God from Lamentations

I am continuing to share the promises of God compiled by Kenneth Boa.  Here are several from the book of Lamentations:

“The Lord has done what he planned; he has fulfilled his word, which he decreed long ago” (2:17).
“Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (3:21-23).
“I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.’The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord” (3:24-26).

You Are God's Child

“See what great lovethe Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!And that is what we are!”
(1 John 3:1)

Posting at 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Today

Go over to today to see my New Year's post on being "new". What does this mean for our relationships?  I'm thankful for Jesus making me new and taking care of my sin.


What has Jesus overcome for you?  Listen to this song by Jeremy Camp and be reminded how great our God is!

Strong Dad, Super Kid Event

Newton Headstart Dads,

Have you signed up to attend Strong Dad, Super Kid Event or Fathering Class at Cooper Early Education in January? See picture below for details.

Day One

Matthew West does it again with his new song, "Day One". What a great reminder of our God and what we need to remember as we begin this new year. Click on the link below.

What are you reading?

As you know, I love to read.  I have a ton of news books that I received during Christmas and for my birthday.  I am interested in what you are reading.  Share below or on Facebook some of your favorite non-fiction books.  Happy Reading!

New Year Prayer by Scotty Smith

The prayer below is from Everyday Prayers by Scotty Smith.  What a great reminder as we begin this new year!

January 1
A Prayer about the New Year and the Gospel
Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. (Josh. 24:14–15) 
Gracious Father, as I sit here sipping fresh coffee and watching flames dance in the fireplace, it’s early into the first day of a new year. Tons of confetti cover the streets of Manhattan, and gratitude fills my heart. 
I’m thankful I’m beginning this year with a little better understanding of the gospel than I had last year and the previous years. I’m already praying that I’ll be able …