Let you in on a little secret

I am concerned about my health and work hard to keep my body in shape both physically and spiritually...

I long to finish the race, well and to run to the finish line after Jesus. Some days I do a better job than others, but I am striving daily to be more like Jesus. It is a joy to know him and serve him. 

30 plus years ago I was challenged by this statement in a Healthy Lifestyles Class "Your heart is a muscle and the more you exercise it, the less it beats and the longer it can last." I will never  forget that day as it convicted me deeply. I realized that I never wanted to limit how God could use me by the poor health choices I was making.

So for 33 years I have been on a regular exercise plan which includes running, pushups, ab workouts and a whole variety of cardio exercises. Plus I have lived with a 80-20 eating plan which allows me to enjoy the not-so-healthy, but tasty 20 percent food and snacks.

In addition to that, I take vitamins and my wife places them on the counter…

My 55 year-old me talking to my 18 year-old me

A big shout-out to every High School Graduate! This a big moment in your life! I would like to pass on some things I have learned since my high school graduation. Maybe you could say they are "words of wisdom." 
So picture if you can the 55 year-old version of me talking to the 18 year-old version of me. Hopefully these words of wisdom will benefit our High School Graduates.
* Jesus is and will be your only constant source of hope and salvation for the rest of your life. * The pursuit of money only will leave you empty and lonely. * Relationships with people are your greatest investment outside of Jesus Christ. * Make a bucket list and begin checking them off. * Don't fret or worry about how it is all going to work out, because God has your back. * Begin a savings plan.  * Honor your mother and father till they breathe their last breath * Show respect to those that are older than you. * Work as if you are working for the Lord. * Filet a fish. * Be adventurous and take calculated ris…

What the Resurrection means to me

Hope inspires me, juices me up, gets me out of the bed in the morning, gives me a bounce in my step and flushes out the negative voices around me.
If you spent 30 minutes with me over a French Vanilla Latte and baked oatmeal from the Electric Brew you might walk away asking this question; “was it the caffeine that put the buzz in him or something else?” My hope would be the latter, because the substance that fuels my endless hope and joy is that Jesus really was resurrected on the third day.
You see, I believed that way before I started receiving a paycheck from Grace Community Church. I believed that way before I graduated from Grace College and Seminary. I believed that way before I preached my first sermon on wobbly knees and perspiring armpits. I believed that way before I said I do, to my bride of 28 years. I believed that way before my children entered the world.
It began with a flannel graph story, spoken by a sweet elderly lady, in a musty smelling basement room, of an inner ci…

Crucify Crucify Crucify what?

Every single person alive has fleshly desires that they battle with...

The Bible says in Galatians 5:24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have CRUCIFIED the flesh with its passions and desires? 

Have we really?

Well yes, we are able to, in the power of the Holy Spirit and the work of Jesus on the cross. The same resurrection power that Jesus exerted on the cross lives in us! 

While that is true and we know it is true, do we really crucify the desires of the flesh, that so easily entangle us - food, alcohol, gossip, adultery, lust, pornography, tobacco, video games, greed, the love of money, possession, and for lack of better terms pure "laziness" that keeps us from living to our redemptive potential?

I have witnessed first hand the desires of the flesh in my own life and the life of others. Way to often we try to manage the fleshly desires. We tell people to ween off of, or to reduce the intake. We even watch people think they can somehow break the addiction, by daily placing them…

One phone call could save a life

How much would you give to see your son or daughter handed the gift of eternal life...

The answer to that question is simple for me. We would sell everything and give our lives if we knew our kids could have eternal life. By he way our children have trusted in Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Paul reminded us in Romans 9:3 that if it were possible, though it isn't, that he would die and be cursed so that someone could be saved! Now that is someone willing to do most anything to see someone receive eternal life!

There is no greater gift a person can receive than Jesus Christ. We long to be a church that is willing to do whatever it takes, to take the good news of Jesus to them. Besides, the Gospel was never meant to stop with us and we are God's last plan to share the Gospel.

On Sunday we took some steps forward to reach the150,000 people of Elkhart County, who do not have a place to call their home church, and most likely are unsaved.

At the end of the message, I grabbed a page fro…

Every Man longs for this

By the time a man graduates from High School he only has one good friend for the rest of life. By the time he reaches 30 he will not gain another good friend for the rest of his life. Those two facts keep me awake at night and drive me to my knees.

The truth is... The Enemy loves this truth because he is afraid of men that live in community, and chase after Jesus together. So he has been dividing men for years, and speaking lies that they can never be vulnerable and share their deepest darkest struggles with another man.

He feeds them the lie that they are the only ones dealing with their struggles, and they can never share their dark areas with another man. Lies, Lies, and more lies!

If you were to cut my heart open, you would soon see, I have a burden, a God-birthed conviction, a consuming passion, to pour into men, and watch them band together as brothers. 

All my life I have watched brotherhood happen on Sports teams, and in the Military, but rarely in the local church. I have longed …

The size of your dreams determines the size of your God

A few weeks ago Anne and I stood on the beach of the North Shores in Oahu Hawaii. We both gasped at what we saw and both us said, "wow over and over again"...

As we stood there we had the same feeling we did many years ago, as we stood on the edge of the Grand Canyon. We were blown away at the creation of our God. It expanded our view of our Awesome God. I have often shared that these are kind of places that my soul comes alive. As we watched 20 foot waves come crashing in, we were overwhelmed with the greatness of our God.

It is good for us to see beyond our daily 9-5 grind, and to get out and visit the creations of our God, because we soon see God in a fresh way.

My wife and I are firm believers that your children need to be exposed to new cultures, new countries, and new places, so that their view of God and their faith can grow leaps and bounds. When we begin to understand  the greatness of our God we realize that nothing is impossible with him. And we begin to dream big dr…