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Nothing Else Matters

My heart is stirred today. God has been working overtime on me the last couple of months, challenging me at the deepest levels of everything I thought I knew about the Christian life.

This morning turned out to be the culmination of all that God has been doing in me. We had an amazing service with our LifePoint Church family… one of those inexplicable encounters with God that none of us could have planned if we had tried. I walked towards the platform to bring the message, clutching a handful of notes that were “scrambled thoughts” at best. I had struggled all week, trying in vain to take all the things God has been teaching me these last two months and somehow condense them all into a logically organized, well outlined, sensible sermon. Well, that didn’t happen! Continue Reading »

TireSwingI have some pretty cool scars from my childhood days, and each one tells a story.

The horizontal scar across my right knee reminds me of the day that, as a little boy, (I had to add that part so you didn’t think I tried this last week)… I decided to swing as high as I possibly could on our neighbor’s enormously long tire swing, then, at the highest point, jump out and open an umbrella. (Don’t judge me. I saw it work once on the original Batman TV show.) My visions of floating safely to the ground ended abruptly as I slammed into a pile of gravel and split my kneecap in half. (That’s why, to this day, I can’t do the tango. Well, that and that fact that I just can’t dance.) Yeah, I definitely remember that scar! Continue Reading »

EndOfTheWorld3I did something yesterday I knew I shouldn’t have done. I had resisted the temptation for three whole days, but I finally gave in…

Yesterday afternoon… I… turned on the news!

It only took a few short minutes for the doom and gloom to set in. The announcer said, “The economic picture continues to worsen. Circuit City announced today that it has filed for bankruptcy… DHL also announced the closure of its entire U.S. domestic shipping services and the loss of 9,000 jobs… After getting $150 billion in bailout money from the government, the insurance giant AIG now says that it will likely not survive without additional money, and if AIG fails, the entire insurance industry could possibly collapse… Things are looking just as bad for General Motors. The survivability of this automotive giant is now in serious doubt as its stock plunged to a six-decade low, effectively becoming worthless… Ford and Chrysler are not far behind, and if all three of these companies fail, which is not out of the realm of possibility, it would shut down hundreds of related businesses and potentially put as many as 3 million people out of work!”

Wow, that’s just what I needed to hear. Continue Reading »

You Just Started a War!

The very first words ever spoken to us as a new church were spoken by a man with more than 50 years of faithful service in the Lord’s work. We had all gathered in his home one evening to commission this new ministry, and we knew that his vast experience in church planting and missions work on numerous continents would provide us with some highly valuable insight as we prepared to take this huge step.

Looking back on that night, I’m honestly not sure exactly what everyone expected to hear, but I do know that what we did hear was not even close to what we were anticipating! I suppose in some innocent, naive way, most people expected him to pat us on the head and tell us how proud he was of us for starting a new church. After all, when you’re embarking on a brave new endeavor, it’s nice to hear words of affirmation. It tends to add credibility to what you’re doing. Well, we got a little more than we bargained for that night! Continue Reading »

More than 1,500 pastors leave the ministry every month.

Read that again. It is not a typo.

And if you think that statistic is troubling, you should probably stop reading this right now. I’m serious. This is not for the faint of heart. If you do choose to keep reading, you may want to go grab some Mylanta or Pepto Bismol first. These statistics are very upsetting.

In the past month alone I have been asked to meet with two pastors, both of whom are seriously considering packing it in and walking away. Two, in just one month! And these guys are no slouches. They are both good men who love their families, love the Lord, and love the church. They are gifted, dedicated, hard working, passionate guys with a proven track record, both of whom have made a significant impact for the Kingdom of God. But they both look like weary prize fighters with their backs against the ropes; bruised, bleeding and discouraged, wondering how many more rounds they can endure. It’s heart breaking, and frankly, it scares the living daylights out of me. Are pastors wimps, or are the demands being placed on them so far beyond reason that they are cracking under the pressure? Continue Reading »

This past Friday night and Saturday, the men from LifePoint Church went to Lookup Lodge for our men’s retreat to do… well… to do all the things men do when they get together in the woods. You know, dance around fires, beat drums, hunt wild animals with our bare hands, exchange recipes.

Tom Fowler was our speaker. I love this guy. He has an authenticity about him that is both compelling and disarming. He’s the real deal, and he always has been as long as I’ve known him. Our theme for the weekend was spiritual warfare. Tom — a Marine — and also a husband, father, and grandfather, has all the experience and the “miles” in life to speak about military warfare and spiritual warfare with authority.

The name of our men’s ministry at LifePoint Church is “PointMen”. We named it that, not only because it ties in nicely with the name of our church, but more importantly because of what it means. Webster’s Dictionary defines a pointman as, “The lead soldier of an infantry patrol on combat operations.” As Christian men, that’s precisely what God has called us to be — pointmen for our families, our church, our communities. I mentioned that because it’s important for what happened next. Continue Reading »

Who Did You Bring?

While you slept last night, more than 51,000 people died.

Perhaps your mind is scrambling right now trying to remember what news story I’m talking about — what tragedy could have possibly claimed so many lives. No, what I’m talking about didn’t make the news, because approximately 51,000 people die every night around the world while you and I sleep. And that’s just one third of the 153,000 people who die on average each day on this planet.

Think about that. 153,000 people slip into eternity every single day. In fact, about 500 people will step from this life into… heaven or hell… by the time you finish reading this post.

The reality of this really gripped me several years ago after experiencing what can only be described as the most vivid dream I have ever had in my life. It was also the most terrifying dream I’ve ever had — not in a Hollywood-induced “Friday the 13th” sense, but on a level so deep that it struck the very core of my entire existence like a lightning bolt. Continue Reading »