Leaving the Ladder

John/ August 30, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

When I was little I used to climb a lot. My mom says she found me up in trees or on the roof of the house. I was stuck. I may have been a good climber, but I didn’t know how to get down from my high perch.

People Pleasers

John/ August 26, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

The way of Christ is not an invitation to oppression, spiritually trafficking humans to fulfill the pleasures of people.

Up Close

John/ August 22, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

The best lessons are when the character of God is revealed in the lives of leaders who have battle scars defending the faith.

Authority

John/ August 21, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

We have those same letters today, so we can submit to the same authority with which Paul wrote his letters.

Enough

John/ August 20, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

You confidently confront those old thoughts by declaring, “I can do all things through Christ.”

Put Together

John/ August 18, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

Seven colleague friends from six countries and five continents met for three months in Delhi, India to form the team that would lead YWAM’s first School of University Ministries.

Weaklings Win

John/ August 16, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

The paradox here is that humility is a primary requirement for hearing God’s authoritative voice.

Hot Tears

John/ August 15, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

God gave them everything they needed. But they believed the lie that turned their hearts away from God.

Fake News

John/ August 14, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

This is how a leader identifies with Jesus Christ; he was falsely accused and judged guilty without proof.

Lessons of Limitations

John/ August 13, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

I was given a gift during that time. Though I feel pain in my body everyday since that fateful night, I received the gift of God’s grace.

Super Hero

John/ August 12, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

Paul preferred being thought a fool than to draw attention away from the message of Jesus Christ.

Forbidden to Tell

John/ August 11, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

The truly spiritual do not seem to have interest in spiritual things. They don’t make a side show of the supernatural.

Angry Fire

John/ August 10, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

Better to burn for what God cares about than waste away on self-righteous slop and nervous narcissism.

How Much Do You Want

John/ August 8, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

Some have made it a career pretending to be called to preach. They’re more concerned about money than they are the people God loves.

You’re in

John/ August 7, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

My heart broke and I learned a lesson; those who claim to know a secret way are not all they say.

Good Job!

John/ August 6, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

Positive statements can strengthen you and help you overcome self-sabotaging and negative thoughts.

Good Fences

John/ August 5, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

Conflicts arise when there’s confusion about our God given boundaries, when someone crosses over into a territory where they have not been invited.

Don’t Cut Me Out

John/ August 3, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

No longer in lockstep with an exclusive vision of a pure breed with a pure set of rules, he sat at every table with the welcoming warmth of the Father.

Astonishing Blessings

John/ July 30, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

My wife Mary heard stories about her dad who fought in China during WWII. One day, after we had two little boys, Justin & Nathan, she told me since she was a little girl she wanted to adopt a girl from China. Surprised, I said, “If that is going to happen, it’s probably going to take a couple years.” Immediately,

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Ready to go?

John/ July 29, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

We were suddenly responsible for YWAM’s Field Ministry Internships program, college teams that were serving in three countries that summer.

Your Home

John/ July 28, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

We host co-laborers in the gospel, people we are happy to commend, from all over the world. Did you know your home is important to kingdom work?

Handling Gifts

John/ July 28, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

Northern America’s 281 million Christians have a personal income of about $14.4 trillion dollars, which is about seven times more than the incomes of Africa’s 768 million Christians.

He did it

John/ July 27, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

If the Macedonians were in on this generosity, certainly the Corinthians would get in on it too.

Simply Flowed

John/ July 27, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

Jesus invited the rich young ruler on an adventure of faith, which works through love. Paul’s appeal is the same. Join the adventure.

True Colors

John/ July 26, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

Amazing calling. That call is not ours alone. We know our supporters have troubles just like we do.

Friends of Friends

John/ July 26, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

When conflict points me and my friends back to God, there’s a purity of heart that can be seen, can be felt. And it’s contagious.

Jarring

John/ July 25, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

Harsh words. Some will say, “Wow! He’s so blunt.” Others will say, “She’s refreshingly honest.”

Pull

John/ July 24, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

He’s the universe’s magnet and we’re the object of his affection. What he’s not attracted to is the junk holding us back.

His Family

John/ July 24, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

The world will tell you to compromise, but that’s not relationship. It’s not compromise God does; it’s sacrifice. It’s not selfish narcissism God expects, it’s integrity.

Friends

John/ July 22, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

I saw hope in marriage and family. It’s work, but worth it. The payoff? Real family; real friendships.

Crazy

John/ July 22, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

Gaining a red nose for Matthew the Clown was the reward of a pure heart. And the onlookers who received it, got the free gift of new life.

Judged

John/ July 21, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

This letter to the people who PAUL thought respected him refers again and again to his personal trials and joys.

Unstoppable

John/ July 20, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

It’s super powers. The attitude of gratitude smooths the way. The hope within overcomes all obstacles in sight. Nothing can stop us from breaking loose from the chains of adversity. “That’s why we live with such good cheer. You won’t see us drooping our heads or dragging our feet! Cramped conditions here don’t get us down. They only remind us

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Never Old

John/ July 19, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

The face app shows us what we’ll look like when we’re older. I’m not interested. Some spend everything on a house, cars, clothes, and facelifts to make their latter years better. Pardon me, but even a flawless beaches or sandals existence can’t cut it. While praying for His kingdom to come, my heart’s been spoiled. This place doesn’t measure up

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Rally

John/ July 19, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

Like watching a javelin thrown through the air to a rallying point, we catch a vision of where we are to be in the future. We hear God’s whisper wooing us forward toward that goal, “this is the way.” We muster strength to press on toward the high calling, a joyous feast with the One who gave us reason to

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Details

John/ July 18, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

I was jammed up, confused by details, lost in my own dark tomb. Then Jesus flooded my secret shame with light. Every detail clean and clear. Nothing hidden. Details are what make the difference. So, why shouldn’t I invite everybody to this party of freedom? “We’re not keeping this quiet, not on your life. Just like the psalmist who wrote,

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Not Much

John/ July 18, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

Even our best moments, our most awesome adventures and snappiest selfies can’t compare. Even the best photographers can’t catch the real story hidden behind the smiles. There’s more to you, the real you God made. And as soon as you know God deposited his Spirit in you, the contrast between the outside and the bright life inside is magnified beyond

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Runner

John/ July 17, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

When I was born, I opened my eyes screaming, gasping for breath. I imagine I was pretty good at making noise, announcing my arrival. I don’t remember it, but I know my eyes had never seen light before. My parents told me they thought that was a pretty terrific day. But they don’t dote over me anymore. I grew up.

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Snapshot

John/ July 17, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

There’s no-one behind a curtain. No hidden agenda. Not with God. Don’t be distracted by the noise, critical comments from the cynical class. They’ll promise the world, but there’s no vision of God with them. You can’t see God if you’re looking away. Look. He’s shown Himself. Jesus Christ is the exact representation of God. He’s our snapshot. “If our

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Arena

John/ July 16, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

President Theodore Roosevelt gave a famous speech, citizenship in a Republic, at the University of Paris in 1910. Here’s an excerpt: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in

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Turn

John/ July 16, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

It’s in the turning. Owning my story, my failures, disappointments, and shame. It’s really true; I can’t save myself. But when I turn full face looking into the eyes of the One who sees, there’s no space between us. I’m changed; bright and holy. “Whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there

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Seeing

John/ July 15, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

The most amazing gift of all is sight. Grace empowers us to say, “I was blind, but now I see.” Seeing what held us in bondage is key to seeing the glorious hope we have received. “With that kind of hope to excite us, nothing holds us back. Unlike Moses, we have nothing to hide. Everything is out in the

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Pardon

John/ July 15, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

Not just off the hook; the guilt is gone. Not on parole, you’re on parade spreading the never-fading good news. “If the Government of Condemnation was impressive, how about this Government of Affirmation? Bright as that old government was, it would look downright dull alongside this new one. If that makeshift arrangement impressed us, how much more this brightly shining

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Light

John/ July 14, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

Fashions fade. Moments pass. Events end. Moses hid behind a veil as he represented what God did and wants to do. The law cannot reveal the heart of the Law-Giver; it sucks the life out of even well intentioned followers. Have you seen the permanent light in the face of our living Lord? “The Government of Death, its constitution chiseled

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Plan

John/ July 14, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

It’s people, not projects. It’s family, not a function. It’s a community, not a corporation. Follow His plan. “We couldn’t be more sure of ourselves in this—that you, written by Christ himself for God, are our letter of recommendation. We wouldn’t think of writing this kind of letter about ourselves. Only God can write such a letter. His letter authorizes

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Publish

John/ July 13, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

It’s not titles, positions, or diplomas that matter in the end. It’s relationships, the kind that matter. The friendships that leave a tattoo on the heart are better than gravestone poetry. This is what is so good about the good news. “Does it sound like we’re patting ourselves on the back, insisting on our credentials, asserting our authority? Well, we’re

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Face

John/ July 13, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

Like when your first child is born, there’s no way you can humanly handle what it means. It’s impossible. You might as well be given responsibility for another universe. And that’s the point. Our children look at our faces to find their identity, security, and hope. That’s what God wants. Look up child. “This is a terrific responsibility. Is anyone

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Whiff

John/ July 12, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

Oh, the Places You’ll Go! Dr. Seuss paints with pastel colors the exciting life ahead of you. Holy Spirit agrees and He adds fragrances dripping with life, hope, joy. Imagine that! So how can such a delicious aroma be a stench to others? A farmer looking out over his fields where he spread manure understands. Don’t drive by with your

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Yes

John/ July 11, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

What I said I would do is not going to happen. I was wrong. Integrity of heart is not only doing what you say; it’s admitting when you were wrong. Then your “yes” will be “yes, and amen.” “Are you now going to accuse me of being flip with my promises because it didn’t work out? Do you think I

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Doors

John/ July 11, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

When the door opens without any effort, and when the opportunity to tell the story of Jesus’ complete work of salvation is more than welcomed – when it’s sought, that’s when you have relaxed confidence that God is doing something really big. “When I arrived in Troas to proclaim the Message of the Messiah, I found the place wide open:

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Responsible

John/ July 11, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

“The focus of my letter wasn’t on punishing the offender but on getting you to take responsibility for the health of the church. So if you forgive him, I forgive him. Don’t think I’m carrying around a list of personal grudges. The fact is that I’m joining in with your forgiveness, as Christ is with us, guiding us. After all,

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Pain

John/ July 10, 2019/ bible/ 2 comments

Everyone has a story. Sometimes painful memories cause tears to well up. Will the hurt go away? To avoid causing pain, I understand why Paul would rather stay away. Sometimes I wonder how God feels about a broken friendship. He longs to restore. He’s already paid the ultimate price. But if it causes you pain for him to show up

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Point to Jesus

John/ July 9, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

The simple price for learning is to pay attention. Leaders make mistakes and later share what they learned. We don’t need to repeat the mistakes. But when we do, we can tell others the valuable lesson. Spiritual Leadership is not manipulative. Spiritual leaders will always point you and release you to Jesus. “Now, are you ready for the real reason

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Yes and Amen

John/ July 7, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

What I said I would do is not going to happen. I was wrong. Integrity of heart is not only doing what you say; it’s admitting when you were wrong. Then your “yes” will be “yes, and amen.” “Are you now going to accuse me of being flip with my promises because it didn’t work out? Do you think I

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Forest for Trees

John/ July 6, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

I’m rereading Paul’s second letter to the believers in Corinth because there is something that should be plainly seen. “Now that the worst is over, we’re pleased we can report that we’ve come out of this with conscience and faith intact, and can face the world—and even more importantly, face you with our heads held high. But it wasn’t by

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Step Back – Look Again

John/ June 3, 2019/ bible/ 0 comments

We’ve all heard it, “You can’t see the forest for the trees.” No matter how deeply you look at anything, it’s important to step back from it in order to see it more clearly. I just read a post by Seth Godin, Roads or Buildings? Godin explains that in the past 150 years, virtually every building changed in the city

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What I learned about power and politics in Washington

John/ January 30, 2019/ bible

I was at Washington for Jesus in 1988. That huge gathering on the Washington Mall had all the indicators of a massive movement, including a stage filled with Christian leaders from many denominational and nondenominational streams of the Christian Church. The National Park Service estimated the crowd at 200,000. The 1988 rally also helped set a single day record for Metrorail, with an estimated

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Be Pro-Choice

John/ January 2, 2019/ bible

How does influence grow? John Maxwell writes, “Talent is a gift, but character is a choice.”  We all make bad decisions. But if we refuse to change, those decisions produce bad character. And that bad character influences others around us. Positive Influence So then, influence comes from character, and character comes from choices we repeatedly make. It’s the hard choices

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University Free for All

John/ September 26, 2018/ bearing

In recent political debates in the United States, several candidates have called for tuition-free university. Let’s consider history before rushing to adopt that idea. Catherine the Great in late 18th century Russia observed with deep interest the diversity of devout religious groups that went to British North America. She decided to increase the religious diversity in Western Russia, particularly in

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Change Your Mind

John/ September 22, 2018/ bible

The gospel of the kingdom begins with one word: REPENT. It doesn’t say, “Accept Jesus in your heart”. It’s not just about going to heaven. It’s about the conscience, a heart that is tender and obedient. That nasty word is difficult to use. Flaky people use the word “repent”. The apostles preached a simple gospel. The said, “Repent and believe.”

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New Wine

John/ September 19, 2018/ bible

I believe the reformation is still incomplete. The reformers were not simply seeking a replacement of one structure for another. Reformation always moves the church as we know it away from the current structure it has enjoyed to less formal, less structured, and more relational community. Why? Because revival always pours out by the Holy Spirit like water seeking the

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My Faith Statement

John/ September 12, 2018/ bible

Rather than give a Statement of Faith, I am giving some of my story, which is part of God’s story. My story is an outworking of my theology. All theology is to some extent autobiography – theology should not be separated from ministry and God’s mission to every human being in the world and all of his creation. Martin Luther

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Being You

John/ September 11, 2018/ bible

It happens all the time. When you move from one place to the next, one school to another, one job to the next. It’s the way it is. You might have been on the inside, but then you’re on the outside. As the Bruce Hornsby song goes, Don’t believe it. It’s not fate. You’re not on the outside. You’re you.

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Go Barefoot

John/ July 6, 2018/ bearing

Luke 10:3-4 Go! …Do not take… sandals. Why wear shoes? I love to go barefoot in the summertime. I love sand between my toes. But going shoeless is not just for the pleasures of the beach. We wear shoes to protect our feet. But biblical characters would remove their shoes to demonstrate their willingness to give up their rights to

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Reformed Theology, Great Commission, and Halloween

John/ October 30, 2017/ bible

In honor of the 500th anniversary of the birth of the Protestant Reformation when Martin Luther nailed 95 theses (list of questions and propositions for debate) to the chapel door/bulletin board at the University of Wittenberg where he was a professor, I offer a “question” about a major theological movement within Protestantism. What does Halloween have to do with it?

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I didn’t like animals, but that changed

John/ October 17, 2017/ bearing

Do you ever stop and consider where your thoughts come from? Don’t you wish you could just take those stray thoughts by the throat and wrestle them to the ground and say, “Where did you come from?” It took a passage from C.S. Lewis’ book, The Great Divorce, for me to realize I had wrong ideas about part of God’s

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How to find your purpose.

John/ June 6, 2017/ Student Missions

The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet. Frederick Buechner on “How to Discern Your Calling”

Hero’s Tale – George Washington Carver

John/ May 23, 2017/ bible

You know the hero’s tale. An unlikely and ill-prepared young person is caught up in a wider story, rising out of devastating difficulties only to change history. Do you know anyone like that? One of my heroes is George Washington Carver. George was born an African Slave as the Civil War ended. His father died in a tragic accident when

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How to stay unbreakable

John/ April 23, 2017/ bearing

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or

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Stay a while…

John/ April 23, 2017/ bearing

Where do you experience the deepest friendships? There’s something about the table, sitting with family, friends, and especially strangers welcomed with a cup of coffee or tea, a shared meal, and a conversation.  It’s easy. Food is more than a necessity. It’s a celebration of life. Mealtimes are opportunities to connect with neighbors. Invite someone to stay a while. Listen

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When your degree doesn’t matter

John/ April 18, 2017/ bearing

Wil Schroter, CEO at Startups.com writes, “Your degree is just the most expensive piece of artwork from your past.” Ouch! Why? He explains it all in this one sentence: “In our time we’ve seen very little correlation or causality between the level of education people have achieved and their ability to excel at their jobs.” So, take a look in

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13 Reasons

John/ April 10, 2017/ lessons learned

I recently watched 13 Reasons on Netflix. I recoiled at first. I am one of the few who didn’t read the book, so it surprised me. I can’t imagine why someone would document all the reasons for committing suicide. And then name them, the reasons are people in this high school girl’s life. I thought this girl, Hannah, must have hated

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Tomorrowland

John/ April 2, 2017/ bearing

On a flight from Singapore to Tokyo, my conversation with the man sitting next to me took a sad turn. He’s a merchant marine on his way back to sell his condo in Boston and build his new house on 12 acres in Maine. He said, “When the nukes go off in about eight years from now, radioactive fallout will

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Fork in the Road

John/ March 29, 2017/ bearing

Someone said, “When you come to the fork in the road, take it.” A while back Mary and I were in Switzerland. We drove from the sleepy Swiss village of Burtigny to the bustling city of Lausanne to do some errands. We downloaded the turn by turn instructions to get to our destination. Mary played co-pilot, reading the French street

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Overcoming Fear

John/ September 19, 2016/ Student Missions

Have you ever taken a personality test? Have you assessed your spiritual or motivational gifts?  Darrow Miller, the author of Life Work, writes: “We spend 50 to 75% of our waking hours and 60 to 90% of the years of our lives working. Yet many of us never invest even a fraction of that time exploring the vision that drives

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