Pastor's Blog

There’s a chapter in one of my books on pastoral ministry entitled “Brothers, Fight for Your Life.” Know what it’s about? Not temptation or spiritual warfare. Nor about personal priorities, spiritual disciplines, or time management. Conflict resolution? Nope. Exercise? No. Joy? Not really. Each of these is important, but none is the focus of this chapter. “Brothers, Fight for Your Life” is a...

 Books don’t change lives. Paragraphs do. Sometimes single sentences. At least that’s how it works for me. I can remember specific sentences from specific books that lit my heart on fire and profoundly changed the way I thought. Here’s a sample of some of those verbal incendiary bombs from John Stott’s book The Cross of Christ

"Before we can begin to see the cross...

The story is told of a visitor to a medieval stone mason's yard who questioned several workers about what they were doing. "I'm cutting a stone," said one. "I'm earning my living," replied another. But the third responded, "I'm building a cathedral."

Attitude is everything, especially when it comes to work. The Christian attitude, as I described last week, is to offer all our work as...

What happens to the workplace when it’s transformed by the gospel? Employees are respectful, honest, conscientious, and cheerful. Employers offer fair wages, show concern for employees’ wellbeing, and resist all temptation to power plays or coercion. It’s Paul’s focus in Ephesians 6:5-9, and it’s part of a larger discussion he’s carried through the whole book of Ephesians about how the cross...

“I owe, I owe, so off to work I go.” It’s a common bumper sticker and an even more common sentiment. But is it true? Is making money (and paying debts) the only reason we go to work? Not really. We betray our impoverished notions of work by our slogans and attitudes. According to Genesis, humans work because God works. Adam was charged with the responsibility to work before he...

Which statement about work best expresses your heart?

“I LOVE my work.” This is the person whose job produces deep satisfaction with life overall.

“Work is my LIFE.” These are the people whose identity is completely wrapped up in their job.

“I HATE my work.” For a variety of reasons, work to these people feels like violence to the soul.

“I AVOID work.” ...

And so it begins. Memorial Day seems to mark the start of Colorado’s season for extended leisure and recreation. Indeed, summertime in our state beckons with countless opportunities for camping, boating, hiking, traveling, sightseeing, and all other sorts of recreation. Poised on this brink as we are, I’ve been writing about the Christian view of leisure for the last few weeks, using the...

Years ago, I remember a young professional woman in our church asking what I thought about her peer group’s tendency to jet off to some foreign location for the weekend, enjoy themselves, and then return just in time for work on Monday. Untethered by marriage, home ownership, or church involvement, they had taken “living for the weekend” to a whole new level. I clearly remember my emphatic...

We have to work hard to relax these days, don’t we? Aundrea and I spent some time last week making plans for our family vacation this summer. And when the scheduled dates arrive, we’ll spend even more time—and money and energy—packing, driving, eating fast food, negotiating peace agreements between children, adjusting plans, recreating, seeing the sites, relaxing, returning home, unpacking,...

How do Christians take vacation? On the brink of another Colorado summer, beckoning us with opportunities for camping, boating, hiking, traveling, sightseeing, and all other sorts of recreation, I thought we probably better ask: is there a distinctly Christian approach to leisure?

There is, and it begins where the Bible begins: at creation. For six days, God worked to bring order and...

The conversation was moving along nicely—good give and take, friendly rapport, engaging topic. My friend was facing an important decision, and we were working over her options together. Until she dropped the bomb: “I really feel the Lord leading me to…” Boom. Conversation over. She had heard from God. In fact, she went on to use those very words: “I felt like God was telling me to…” What more...

Remember “Rob”? For over a month, I’ve been writing about how God guides, and it all began with Rob, who lost his keys that one fictitious day here in Pastor’s Heart World. After searching everywhere and even growing a little frantic, he ultimately found them in response to a sudden hunch he had after a moment of prayer.

Is Rob a paradigm for God’s guidance and biblical decision...

“But,” complained an earnest reader, “are you sure God doesn’t speak His will to people directly? That sure doesn’t feel very personal.” To which I answer: yes, I’m sure. The Bible does not teach that God will guide us to the “right” decision using felt impressions or random circumstances. He guides through His word.

As for the concern about a felt sense of personal closeness, let’s...

As a kid, Easter to me meant candy. I knew Jesus died and rose; it just wasn’t something I really cared about. But candy? Now that was something I cared about deeply.

What about you? What does the resurrection mean to you? Perhaps more to the point, what should it mean to you? The biblical writers don’t assume the resurrection is self-interpreting. They give clear...

If God doesn’t guide through hunches, feelings, or random events (the assertion of last week’s column), how does He guide?

He guides by His Spirit through the word of God. The Spirit’s voice is a mediated voice; it’s not an unmediated impression, a spontaneous urge, or a random event. The Holy Spirit speaks to us through the medium of the Bible. Else how can we distinguish...

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