• Faith Reflections

    A Love that Never Quits

    We’ve got some messed up ideas about God. That God is a mean dictator or a strict parent who wants us to sit up straight and not make a mess or have any fun. That God is moody and impossible to please. The God Jesus taught us about is completely opposite. God is the determined shepherd scouring the countryside for the one lost sheep. God is the frantic woman flipping over all the furniture in the house looking for her lost coin. God is the crazy father who runs out to meet his rebellious son, overwhelming him with love and gifts. Does this sound like a God who only loves…

  • Faith Reflections

    Wake Up, Sleeper

    I read a story about a disciple who asked his master whether there was anything he could do to make himself grow spiritually. The master answered: “As little as you can do to make the sun rise in the morning.” Disconcerted, the disciple asked what then was the use of the spiritual exercises the master had taught him. And the master replied: “To make sure you are not asleep when the sun begins to rise.” This past weekend was our annual youth DiscipleNow Weekend and the theme was Awaken based on Ephesians 5:14 – Wake up from your sleep, Climb out of your coffins; Christ will show you the light. For a lot of reasons,…

  • Sermons

    From Surviving to Thriving Spiritually

    The following is my sermon from Sunday, January 31, 2016, at First Baptist Church, Jefferson City, Missouri.  We concluded a four week series on Overcoming Spiritual Burnout. You can read below or listen here. Text: Acts 18:5-11; Romans 12:11-12 Survivor. It’s not just a reality show on television. Most of us today feel like we are trying to survive.  And to be honest, we feel like we’re failing at it.  One of my favorite Christian bloggers, Jen Hatmaker, tapped into this feeling a couple of years ago with a blog she wrote about being the worst end of school mom ever. I want to share a small part of that…

  • Faith Reflections

    From Fear to Freedom

    Because I am paying attention to the idea of freedom and the bondage of fear, I have been more aware this year just how much our culture is in bondage to fear and anxiety. Our conversations, our social media postings, our news cycles, and our economic and political rhetoric repeatedly come from a posture of fear.