All posts tagged: influence

Are you Championing the Gentleness of God?

A virtue, which I need in a higher degree, to give a beauty and luster to my behavior, is gentleness.  If I had more of an air of gentleness, I should be much mended. – Jonathon Edwards If one of your most influential contributions to Christianity is a sermon titled “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” you probably wouldn’t be labeled as “gentle.” As we’ve been going through the fruit of the Spirit, gentleness is one which is very misunderstood.  When we think of gentleness, or meekness as some translations have it, we usually think of weakness. Our mind conjures up a small framed person who barely raises their voice and couldn’t hurt a fly. Much of Jonathon Edwards ministry flourished because of his passion and fire. So why would this 17th century, fiery preacher want to be gentle? A lot of this is to blame on the English language. The Greek word here is prautes and literally means mildness of disposition, gentleness of spirit, or meekness. Coincidentally, “meek” comes from an old …

4 Fundamental Questions to Improve Your Faithfulness

If you ask someone who sleeps in on Sunday morning why they avoid church, many will point to the hypocrisy or lack of faithfulness in church members. Are you part of the problem? Here are 4 questions for you to reflect on as you work on growing the fruit of faithfulness. Are you faithful to God? When no one is looking, are you still committed to being trustworthy? If no one were to ever find out, would you still walk the right path? In John 14:23, Jesus says, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them.” Being faithful to God means walking by the Spirit even when the flesh is telling you something different. Galatians 5:16 says, “So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.” Are you faithful to making disciples? Jesus called us to love God and love others. How are you doing at …

Are You Leading For The Good of Others?

My second daughter, Vivian, is in Pre-K this year. As a member of the class, they share different roles. Each person will get to be a door holder, line leader, photographer, etc. She gets so excited when it is her turn to have one of the leadership roles for her class. I think her favorite is photographer. Life is full of leadership roles, even at a young age. What leadership roles do you have? Whether it is when you get a rebound and are the one dribbling the ball, deciding if it will be a fast break or a slow walk up, or you are a boss at work, parent at home, husband to a wife, a door holder, a dog walker or whatever other kind of role you play as a leader, we all play the lead at some point. When we live out those opportunities, we can either lead unselfishly, for the sake of those we are leading, or we can lead for our own gain. In Micah 3:1-7, the prophet is calling …

New Patches For Old Mistakes or New Creations?

Legacy: consequence, effect, by-product, result, repercussion There are a lot of men who creep Into the world to eat and sleep, And know no reason why they’re born Save only to consume the corn, Devour the cattle, bread and fish, And leave behind an empty dish; And if their tombstones, when they die, Were not to flatter or to lie, There’s nothing better can be said Than that they’ve eaten up their bread, Drunk up their drink, and gone to bed. -Author Unknown What will be the by-product of your life? What ripples will you make in the pond? When you leave this world, what will the record say about the 1.75 cubic feet of space you used up every day for 25, 50, 75 years or more? What will be the repercussion of your life? No matter what stage of life you are living out, now is the time to make mid-course corrections. Jesus, in response to the Pharisees’ criticism about not practicing religion the proper way, said, “…who would patch old clothing with …

Are You Focused on What Really Matters?

There aren’t many things that stress me out. I mean, I sit right next to Keith for eight hours almost everyday and even that doesn’t matter all that much to me. It doesn’t matter what I have for dinner as long as a I have food. It doesn’t matter when I workout as long as I do get to workout. It doesn’t matter how loud Keith is as long as I get my message done, I’m good The specific logistics don’t matter as long as I get done what I am supposed get done. I believe Jesus had that same mentality. Jesus’ ministry was about sharing the Gospel with people who desperately needed Him. Looking at John 4 and the conversations Jesus had with the woman at the well and then with His disciples, we can see to Jesus religion, rules, tradition, and prejudices really don’t matter. The message He was preaching was counter cultural. It was new, it was against tradition, it offended people, but what He was preaching and living out was still …

3 Practical Ways to Build a Legacy to Last

All good men and women must take responsibility to create legacies that will take the next generation to a level we could only imagine. – Jim Rohn What is your personal legacy? Or to phrase it another way, if today was your last day, how would your kids and those closest to you remember you? If you want a legacy worth remembering, it requires being intentional. If you want to be thought of as more than a sports fan, then take time today to build a legacy worthy of the calling God has placed on your life. If you want to build a legacy, share your testimony. Do your kids know what your life was like before Christ? Do they know the difference Jesus has made for you personally? I recently asked the preteens and there was only one student in the room who knew their parent’s testimony. Mark your calendar right now and make it a priority to share your story with your kids. If you want to build a legacy, celebrate milestones. Days …

Can You See Clearly Enough to Help?

God is constantly teaching me through my role as a parent. I know, I know… My last blog was about parenting. Bear with me. Kelli and I make a great team and being a parent is a lot more difficult without my wife/baby-mama. Monday through Thursday, Kelli leaves the house at 5:00 AM for work. Which means I have to get our two boys up, ready, and to school all by myself. It was tough for the first few weeks until I applied what I call the “Wooden Plank Principle.” In Matthew 7:5, Jesus says, “Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.” Some versions use the word “beam” or “plank.” Simply put, the Wooden Plank Principle is being sure to take care of yourself first. You may ask, “Isn’t that being selfish?” Actually, I believe it’s the opposite. I believe there are many areas in our lives where we can focus on our self first and thus be enabled to serve …

Are You Moved to Action and Love?

When we think about our church, different pictures probably come to mind. Maybe the time you got baptized in front of our family comes to mind. Maybe you think about Andrew Hicks standing on his toes as he strums his guitar. Maybe you see the faces of those in your small group. Maybe your nose curls a little as you think of the smell of Wunder Way sneaking into the lobby. I hope when you think of the church, you also think of passion, compassion, love, and unity. The Greek word for passion means suffering, an undergoing, an enduring. In light of this definition, think how that impacts the picture of “The Passion of Christ.” It’s odd to think of the church in this way: suffering, enduring pain. You might not be struggling or in pain, but your brother or sister next to you most likely is. Compassion in the Greek means to be moved, to meet. As a church, we are called to love our neighbor, meeting and loving them where they are. Is …

3 Helpful Questions To Improve Your Workday

Of the 31,102 verses found in the Bible, which verse comes to your mind more than any other? For some people, it might be John 3:16 as a reminder that God loves us and has a plan. For others, it might be Psalm 23 as they look to God as their shepherd and provider. Or maybe it’s Philippians 4:13 as you lean into God as your strength. For me, Colossians 3:23 seems to be a constant reminder that I live and work for God: Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. This verse impacts not only my workweek but also reminds me to offer the little daily tasks up to the Lord. A similar is found in 2 Timothy 2:15-16 where Paul writes Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth. Avoid worthless, foolish talk that only leads to more godless …

Working Hard for The Sake of the Gospel

What comes to your mind when you think about working hard? My mind tends to drift to some of my family members. I specifically think about my grandfathers, who both set an incredible example for me in this respect. I think about men and women in the Bible who worked hard; the Apostle Paul always comes to my mind. He endured all kinds of suffering because of his ministry, and yet he persevered to the end. In light of Paul’s suffering, how did he continue to work hard? How did he encourage those under his influence to persevere? We get a good glimpse of Paul’s exhortation to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:1, “Timothy, my dear son, be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus.” Paul goes on instructing Timothy to teach other men, share in the sufferings of Christ, and to work hard in his ministry. I want to encourage you the same way Paul encourages Timothy (and us) to work hard for the advance of the gospel. But first, a …