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Archive for the ‘LifePoint’ Category

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! (more…)

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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! (more…)

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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? (more…)

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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. (more…)

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The Deep End

This has been a long time coming.

People have been bugging me for years to start writing in one form or another, but with the never-ending flood of books and blogs already being pumped out, the lingering question for me was always, “Does there really need to be another voice out there?” After all, Proverbs 17:28 offers the rather sharp and somewhat sarcastic reminder that even a fool is thought to be wise if he keeps silent. Don’t know about you, but that doesn’t exactly leave me clamoring to want to be heard.

But during a recent conversation with a friend of mine, (a guy who speaks the Word of God with remarkable boldness and candor), he issued a challenge to me completely out of the blue. We had never even spoken once about this, but he said, “Phil, I want to encourage you to start writing!” And there it was again… for the umpteenth time. What exactly was going on here? Why have so many people been asking me to write? I mean, nobody has been asking me to sing, or paint, or dance. (Although you should see my moves!) This writing thing was just something I couldn’t ignore any longer.

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