Misery and Mercy – When Christ Meets Us in Our Affliction

If you study the gospel of Mark, you will quickly realize that Jesus’ presence provoked the Kingdom of Darkness. Jesus preached that the reign of God was now present in Him. In Mark 1, Jesus says, “The time is fulfilled; the kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!” The good news was that Jesus was invading enemy territory and “plundering the kingdom of Satan.” The reign of God on earth had come in Christ, and it…

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Jesus is Better than Your Bucket List

Before I die, I want to ______________. (Fill in the Blank) It is common to hear such expressions among Christians. We state, without much thought, that we hope that we get to do something or see something before we die. We call it our “bucket list,” which refers to the things that we want to do before we “kick the bucket.” The implication is that death will steal from us opportunities that we do not want to miss out on in this life. I understand this to a point, but I contend that…

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Can God Spread a Table in the Wilderness? Thoughts on Church Revitalization

Church revitalization is hard work. It is not for the faint of heart. It can be discouraging and isolating. Often times, those who are committed to church revitalization will find themselves afflicted by the “greener grass” syndrome, believing that everyone else’s experience is better than their own and that no one understands their struggles. Such feelings often lead to doubt and unbelief. At the core of those doubts is a question that no pastor ever wants to ask but sometimes…

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Reflections on Four Years of Ordained Pastoral Ministry

While I have been formally ministering in a local church in various capacities for the past 10 years, I have only been serving as an ordained minister for 4 years as of today. What, if anything, can a young man with only 4 years of ordained pastoral ministry experience possibly share with others? In this post, I would like to share some of the things that I have gleaned. People – People are not a distraction from ministry, they are the ministry.…

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