Showing posts from August, 2015

Quotes from Jesus Outside the Lines

I am currently reading Jesus Outside the Lines: A Way Forward For Those Who Are Tired of Taking Sides by Scott Sauls. Many of you have heard me talk about wanting a "third option" based on how often issues are divided into two based on the loudest voices whether that be Republican/Democrat, conservative/liberal, traditional/contemporary, etc. I often say I want another choice.  Scott Sauls' book will be helpful in this dialogue.

For us preachers, Tim Keller said, the longer it takes people to figure out where we stand on politics, in all likelihood the more faithfully we are preaching Jesus.Rather, when it comes to kings and kingdoms, Jesus sides with himself.Our loyalty to Jesus and his Kingdom must always exceed our loyalty to an earthly agenda, whether political or otherwise.The world's politics rely heavily on power.Leaning toward a certain party is one thing, but it is important to see that a partisan spirit can actually run against the Spirit of God.It is wrong …

Victory in Jesus

We have victory through Jesus Christ our Lord.  This song reminds us of the victory that is ours now and in the future. Enjoy this great hymn of the faith.

Quotes from Law and Gospel

I am currently reading Law and Gospel published by Mockingbird.  Here are a few quotes that I liked from my reading last week:
Jesus does not relate to lepers, tax collectors, prostitutes, and reprobates on the basis of what they bring to the table but on the basis of who he is.Though the law is conditional--a two-way street--the gift of Christ is unconditional.The injunction to forgive may be a good and noble command, but it cannot inspire us to do so.Again, the Law commands that we love perfectly. The Gospel announces that we are perfectly loved.The Gospel announces that we are justified by grace through faith: not by what we do, or even who we are, but by what Christ has done and who he is.

New Book Friday


You Are Not Condemned

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,” (Romans 8:1)

God is Reconciler

God is Reconciler
For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. (Romans 5:10)22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, (Colossians 1:22)Therefore, we are reconciled
All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; (2 Corinthians 5:18) that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. (Ephesians 2:15-17)

What's playing on the radio?

Here is the second of a new installment on songs on the radio clearly and emphatically preaching/teaching grace.  Today is a song that I loved the first time I heard it.  It has only recently begun playing on the radio.  It is called "Grace Wins" by Matthew West.

In my weakest moment I see you
Shaking your head in disgrace
I can read the disapointment
Written all over your face

Here comes those whispers in my ear
Saying who do you think you are
Looks like you're on your own from here
Cause grace could never reach that far

But, in the shadow of that shame
Beat down by all the blame
I hear you call my name sayin it's not over
And my heart starts to beat
So loud now, drowning out the doubt
I'm down but I'm not out

There's a war between guilt and grace
And they're fighting for a sacred space
But I'm living proof
Grace wins every time

No more lying down in death's defeat
Now I'm rising up in victory
Singing hallelujah
Grace wins every time


Promises of God from 1 Thessalonians

Here are selected promises of God from 1 Thessalonians compiled by Kenneth Boa:

As brothers in Christ, we are loved by God who has chosen us (1:4). We are waiting for God’s Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath (1:10). Our hope, our joy, and the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes are the people whom we have loved and served in his name (2:19-20). The Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.And so we will be with the Lord forever (4:16-17). God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him (5:9-10). The God of peace desires t…

Grace Greater Than All Our Sin

Here is another great hymn that reminds us how grace is greater than our sin.  No matter what you have done in your past, grace is bigger because Christ has paid for all of our past, present, and future sins.  As I am reminded of this truth, I want to praise and thank God and serve others more.

Favorite Quotes from Reading at the Perk

I am reading four books right now.  Here are my favorite quotes from my recent reading at the Perk:

The great theme of Walter Marshall's book is that Christians grow in obedience by the power of the gospel, not by their own strength. Christians are in union with Christ, and their Christian growth flows from this union, not from their own efforts. The gospel is essential for growth in holiness.

Only the gospel can empower obedience. That is why every generation of the church must discover afresh the sufficiency of the gospel of grace, and the power of the cross of Jesus Christ both to save and to sanctify.

the key error of the Christian life is that people think that even though they have been justified by a righteousness produced totally by Christ, they must be sanctified by a holiness produced totally by themselves.

The Old Adam lives in the world of control, of constant self-measurement and self-reliance.

The Law, on most every occasion, draws a line of distinction between the I…

New Book Friday

This one was recommended by Byron Yawn. The back says "A classic novel about faith and the power of grace."

You Are Victorious

“But thanks be to God!He gives us the victory through our  Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:57)

What's playing on the radio?

Here's another new feature on the blog.  I am amazed at how God is working in our world.  The message of grace is everywhere you turn.  It started as more and more churches/pastors preaching grace to more and more people talking about grace to more and more songs on the radio.  I decided to share songs that are gospel drenched (point to Jesus and what He has DONE).  Enjoy this first installment with a new song from Plumb.

Songs is called "Exhale" and lyrics are below.

It's okay to not be okay
This is a safe place
This is a safe place
Don't be afraid
Don't be ashamed
There's still hope here
There's still hope here

No matter what you've done or who you are
Everyone is welcome His arms

Just let go let His love wrap around you
And hold you close
Get lost in the surrender
Breathe it in until your heart breaks
Then exhale

Spirit come tear down the walls
That only You can
That only You can
Reconcile this heart to Yours
Right now God
Right now


Christ is our Savior

This is a new weekly post connecting who God is with who we are because of what He has DONE.  These are true because it is about God and His relationship toward us not anything we must DO.

Jesus is our Savior
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  (Luke 2:11)  And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. (1 John 4:14)
So...We are Saved!
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)  Yet he saved them for his name's sake, that he might make known his mighty power. (Psalm 106:8) And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Joel 2:32) And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)

Promises of God from Colossians

God's Word is full of promises of what Christ has DONE. Here are some selected promises of God from Colossians compiled by Kenneth Boa:

The Father has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light (1:12) God has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins (1:13). We have been reconciled to God through Christ’s death so that we can be presented as holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation (1:22). The riches of God’s mystery are Christ in us, the hope of glory (1:27). In Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and we have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority (2:10). When we were dead in our sins, God made us alive with Christ and forgave us all our sins (2:13). We have been raised with Christ; we died, and our life is now hidden with Christ in God.When Christ, who is our lif…

Hesston MB Pool Party Tonight


Promotion Sunday

It's that time again!  It is one of my favorite Sundays of the year as we kick off our year of Go Deeper classes.  For our kids, we use The Gospel Project for Curriculum.  Watch the video to learn more about this great curriculum that always points to Jesus.

I love this Sunday because there is excitement as kids promote into new classes.  In addition, teachers are ready as they have had a little break.  We also give out a few gifts on this Sunday. Since 1st graders are moving out of Children's Church, we give them a Hesston MB bag with some things to help them make the transition to being in the worship service the entire time.  For our 3rd graders, we give them a new Bible.

Looking forward to a great year of discipleship together!

Nothing But the Blood

Here is another great hymn of the faith.  It reminds us about what the blood of Jesus does for us.  It's all about Him.  Feeling guilt, shame, or unworthiness?  Jesus has taken it all away through His blood. Rest in this truth today!

New Book Friday

It's been a few weeks since I have posted new books that I plan to read soon. I look forward to this one as I prepare to teach Galatians in Adult Go Deeper Class.

You Are Gifted

We have different gifts,according to the grace given to each of us.” (Romans 12:6)

God is our Redeemer

Because God is our Redeemer,

Thus says the Lord, your Redeemerwho formed you from the womb:“I am the Lord, who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself, (Isaiah 44:24)
For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth.                                                       (Job 19:25) 

In Christ, we are redeemed:

“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the lawby becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” (Galatians 3:13) “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people (Luke1:68)

New Addition to the Blog

I am always looking for new additions to the blog that will be helpful.  So, starting tomorrow I will be posting weekly on the character of God as it ties in with our identity in Christ. I hope it will encourage you and remind you of the God who loves you.

Check back tomorrow!

Sabbatical Thoughts: Part 3-Reflections

This is the final post on my thoughts from Sabbatical.  I have already posted on rest and relationships that occurred during these 3 months.  Today I would like to share reflections from Sabbatical.  Here they are in no particular order:
God is good and I am loved.  The words of a new song capture this thought, "You're a good good Father. It's who you are. It's who you are. It's who you are.  And I am loved by you. It's who I am. It's who I am. It's who I am. You're perfect in all of your ways."I Am His-Identity-For many people, what we do defines us.  For pastors, this can especially be true.  So, how would my identity be affected by not going "to work" for 3 months.  Early during my time off, I heard God whisper, "I Am His."  This helped me remind myself throughout these last few months that my identity in Christ is so important.Abiding/Fruit Bearing/Good Works-I am combining all of these because they are related.  Abide h…

Hallelujah What A Savior

Worship is about Jesus.  Be reminded that Jesus is your Savior.  Enjoy this hymn of the faith.

Promises of God from Philippians

Here are selected promises of God from Philippians compiled by Kenneth Boa:

He who began a good work in us will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (1:6). The fruit of righteousness comes through Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God (1:9-11). For those who know him, to live is Christ and to die is gain (1:21). At the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (2:10-11). God works in us to will and to act according to his good purpose (2:13). When we offer everything to God in prayer and petition with thanksgiving, and present our requests to him, our anxieties are replaced by the peace of God which transcends all understanding (4:6-7). God will meet all our needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus (4:19).

Sabbatical Thoughts: Part 2-Relationships

Sometimes a pastor's family is neglected because of the demands of ministry.  I try very hard to keep my evening meetings to a minimum so I spend time with my wife and kids.  During sabbatical, I made a goal of taking each of my kids somewhere for 24 hours.  It was their choice as long as we could drive there.  Mackenzie and Megan chose instead to go to Guatemala for a week on a mission trip with me in exchange for this 24 hour trip. 

Other relationships that were strengthened were with extended family.  Since we are at Hesston MB most Sundays, we miss out on different activities with our families that happen on Sundays so during Sabbatical we spent some Sundays with Bethany's parents and my parents.

We also took a longer than usual vacation to Florida as part of our Sabbatical.  This was great to spend time together, have fun, and make memories.  I would have liked to have a weekend or short trip away with Bethany, but that did not work out due to her work schedule and alrea…

Family Bike Ride Tonight

If you live in the Hesston area, you are welcome to join us tonight at 7 p.m. for a Family Bike Ride. 

We will be meeting at 7 p.m. at Hesston MB Church.  You need to bring your bike and money for ice cream at Skoops afterward.  All ages are invited.  The community in welcome. 

We had a great ride last year and look forward to another evening of fun.  Join us!

You Are Saved

“For it is by graceyou have been saved,through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—9 not by works,so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8:9)

Sabbatical Thoughts: Part 1-Rest

Over the next week, I am going to be sharing my thoughts from Sabbatical.  Today's post is on the goal of rest. 

When you are a pastor, it is hard to experience rest.  Even though you have days off, there are times when you are on call 24 hours a day. Tragedies happen and needs arise when someone needs you even on your day off.  Or it can be as simple as thinking about church, ministry, or congregation members even when you are "off" work. 

I should say that my sabbatical was a "good" sabbatical meaning that I was not asked or required to take time off.

After about a week, I realized that I needed some rest.  I was not burnt out or exhausted, but it was good to take a break.  Knowing that ministry and church was going on without me allowed my mind to rest.  It even gave me freedom to dream and ask questions.  Are we doing the most important things?  Why do we do _________?

In addition to allowing my mind to rest, my sabbatical gave me time to relax.  I slep…

Names During Sabbatical

Tomorrow is my first day back at work after my 3 month sabbatical.  It has been a great time of rest, relationships, and reflection.  I plan to write posts about all three of these over the next week.  Today, I am going to list names of people that I am thankful for that impacted my Sabbatical.  All of you were important and I appreciate your part in shaping me spiritually.  If I forgot you, I am so sorry.  In no particular order:

Andrew, Jason, Jason, Byron, Robin, Marci, Arnie, Paul, Brandon, Josh, Sarah, Brian, Ken, Mickey, Anne, Matt, Russell, Carl, Paul, Tullian, Hank, Tim, Les, Amy, Juan Carlos, Rita, Carl, Deb, Seth, Hugo, Jack, Felis, Pedro, God the Father, God the Son, God the Spirit

It's good to be home!

Today I return from sabbatical and will be back at Hesston MB Church. It has been a great 3 month sabbatical.  I will be posting some thoughts over the next few days on the blog on rest, relationships, and reflections.  Check back in the coming week!

However, I want to say how excited my family is to be back "home" at Hesston MB.  The hardest part of sabbatical was Sunday mornings.  It was nice to have no responsibilities wherever we went, to show up right as worship was beginning, and to leave immediately after church ended.  It was also good to experience other churches in the Hesston area.

BUT, it was hard.  My kids were ready to go back to Hesston MB after week 2 in May.  I struggled to get them to church during sabbatical which has not been a problem in 15 years of parenting.  I realized the wisdom of God in encouraging his people to be part of a church body.  Jumping from church to church was not fun.  I don't understand how and why people do it.  I need consistenc…

The Solid Rock

I am continuing to share some great hymns of the faith that remind us of who God is.  Today's is a reminder that no matter what we face in this world, we stand on the solid rock, Jesus.