The Boston Marathon Terror Attack

Yesterday at approximately noon PST, two bombs exploded at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. At the time I write this, three people have been confirmed dead, including an 8 year old child, and over 180 were hurt as a result of the blast. Our prayers are for all of those affected.

As with Newtown, CT, there are always be questions as to how something like this could happen. Why are people filled with such hate? Why are people so intent on hurting others at all costs? Why didn’t God prevent this tragedy from happening?


I am more through Jesus Christ!

I want people to succeed in life. I would be overjoyed if every person who stepped into my church would receive Christ and live out the life in abundance that he has promised for them (John 10:10). I could only imagine a community where there were no marriage problems, no financial woes, no interpersonal problems, or people frustrated with their own lives. Unfortunately, this is not the case. I see it on the faces everywhere I go speak. People need hope that one day they will live the life that Christ died to give them! They hope that one day they will be able to declare, “I am more through Jesus Christ.”

The Bible makes the following clear:

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10


Get Out of the Way! (Placing Jesus First)

I remember laughing out loud after reading Craig Groeschel’s admission: “I can’t stand a lot of Christians” (“Confessions of a Pastor” p. 17). It was such an honest revelation and it reflected how I sometimes feel about ministry. It’s not that I don’t love people. It’s just that it’s so frustrating watching people  get in the way of what Jesus wants to do in their lives and in their churches. We need to learn to get out of the way!

Survey the New Testament and you’ll find one purpose and perspective: Jesus Christ. Everything revolves around our savior. Issues of belief, salvation, the coming Kingdom, love, life, victory, and church all center upon the person of Jesus! Thus, anything that is worthwhile to accomplish needs to keep Jesus as its center (John 15:1-8).

So often I’ve counseled couples who are struggling in their marriages, yet refuse to pray together and read their Bibles together simply because neither of them has the impetus to place Jesus before their own pride. Or have dealt with persons who care more about their own agenda than submitting to the will of God. Or have dealt with those who think that gossip/slander/politics are the means to achieving God’s glory.

This was Jesus’ point in Mark 8:32-38:

And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his lifewill lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”


What can we learn from the Rick Warren tragedy?

This past Saturday morning the news came out about Rick Warren’s son committing suicide ( I was deeply saddened even though my only contact with Pastor Warren has been through his books. As a father I can only imagine the great sorrow he is suffering at this moment. As a pastor I understand the difficulties of trying to align God’s purposes—especially verses like Romans 8:28—with tragic moments in our own lives.

Truth be told, trouble comes to us all. No matter our religious affiliations or beliefs, no matter our socioeconomic status, no matter our race or heritage, we will all have moments of deep tribulation and sorrow. Yes, even men like Rick Warren, who have revolutionized the modern church movement, will suffer from tragedy in their lives. We all walk through the valley of the shadow of death at some point.

What I love is how the community of faith has rallied around him during this time. People of all denominations and creeds have come together to pray for the Warren family during their time of need. Isn’t this what Christianity is truly about?

I struggle a lot with modern Christianity. I’m frustrated that so many people claim to be “Christian” yet lack the common courtesies and grace that Jesus demonstrated on the cross. Instead of working to uplift each other, so many take tragic moments and try to tear people down.

Sometimes, the old phrase seems so true: “No army is better than killing their own wounded than Christians.”


A Vision for God’s People, Nehemiah 8

“They read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly, and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.” Nehemiah 8:8

Have you ever been convicted by reading the Bible? Or have you ever heard a sermon that struck you in the heart and convicted you of your sin? This is why we need fundamental habits today as Christians: Prayer, Bible study, and church assistance.

In Nehemiah 8 the real miracle is beginning. God used the rebuilding of the wall as a rallying point in order to convict the people of their sin. Sometimes God uses ancillary causes in our lives in order to bring us back to relationship with him. A lost job, sickness, or a marriage problem can all be methods that God uses to bring you back into relationship with him.

God’s vision for you is to not merely be saved, but to be a disciple of Jesus (in other words, a real Christian).

There are three fundamentals to make your life everything God wants it to be: