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Developing Godly Character

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This has been brewing in the back of my brain for some time. This is my attempt to begin working this out. I don't know about you, but I have noticed a sad and disturbing trend in social media and in a number of conversations: Christians from all walks of life seem to be getting angrier. I get it! I really do! The past 14 months have been incredibly stressful and hard on everyone. I admit, in the past year, my mind has gone to some pretty dark places. I could easily feel anger creeping up inside of me. When it does, I find comfort in the Bible that this is not who I am. Because of my new identity as a child of God thanks to the sacrifice of Jesus, I have a way of dealing with this. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, outcry and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and tenderhearted to each other, forgiving each other just as Christ forgave you. - Ephesians 4:30-32 It'

It OFFICIALLY Begins! DDPY Instructor Certification

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  I did it! I actually did it! After months of thinking and praying about it... after changing my mind a dozen times... I have finally committed and signed up to become a Level 1 DDPY Certified Instructor! It may seem a little weird for a church pastor to pursuit such a goal. I'm not a fitness instructor. I'm not intending in leaving ministry to become a fitness instructor. So why do it? That is what I want to write about in this blog post. Maybe, just maybe, it will also inspire you in your goals. Pass On What You Have Learned In the movie Return of the Jedi, as Jedi Master Yoda laid in his bed dying, he told his student, Luke Skywalker, to "Pass on what you have learned." This has actually been a fundamental part of my entire life. In school, in my career in the computer industry, and especially in my role as a pastor, I am always about helping other people through what I learn. I love serving people that way. I love learning a new skill or idea and being able to sh

Everything I Need to Know, I Learned in a Pandemic

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  12 months! It has officially been twelve months, one full year, since COVID-19 showed up in my city. This time last year, as a church community, we were laughing on Sunday mornings as we simply closed down our free coffee and did elbow bumps to greet people at the door. On March 16th, 2020 we moved everything online. And we have been operating that way ever since. To say that this year has been unprecedented truly is an understatement of the magnitude of what people have been dealing with. This year wasn't simply crazy or unprecedented. It was hard. Really hard. Hard on seniors. Hard on families. Hard on couples. Hard on singles. Hard on kids. Hard on teens. Hard on small businesses. Hard on mental health. Hard on physical health. It has been hard on our very souls. And it has been particularly hard for those who feel called to care for the souls of the people around them. How can we possible care for others when we ourselves are struggling with the very same issues? I have a con

A Healthier 2021

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As we begin a New Year, maybe my story can be an encouragement to those of you thinking about improving your health this year. This past year I started a fitness program called DDPYoga. Now, I know what you're thinking: I wouldn't be caught dead doing yoga. Me too! But this definitely isn't your mama's yoga! You can check out the program at www.ddpyoga.com . I didn't get involved with DDPYoga to deal with my weight. Sure, at 49 years old, I definitely could lose a few pounds... but my issue was PAIN! For as long as I can remember I have had constant back pain. Not crippling, keep me in bed pain, just a level of pain that never let up. Every single night I would wake up multiple times. Every single morning I would wake up exhausted and in pain. Most people didn't even know I struggled with this. It was easy to keep it secret. But those closest to me knew. My wife. My kids. They were the ones that had to deal with this the most. My pain kept me from enjoying life

Let's Get Phygital

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Phygital. Yes. You read that correctly. It is not a typo. It is a word that I am strongly resonating with as the COVID-19 pandemic enters its 9th month of impacting our lives and our church. I talk to a number of people about church ministry. It's kinda my thing. I spend a TON of time reading, praying, talking, listening, and discerning all things as it pertains to the church. I LOVE the Church! And it is because I love the church so much that I work so hard in seeking God on how best to serve the purpose for which God created the church. Because, really, that is all that matters. It doesn't matter what I think the purpose of the church is. It doesn't matter what people think the purpose of the church is. All that matters is that the church lives out the purpose for which God created the church. Jesus shared his reason for coming to earth in Luke 19:10: For the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost. The work of the church continues the work of Jesus. To seek and save th

Thriving in the Current Ministry Marathon

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Back in mid-March, the church ministry landscape completely changed. When churches went online, the hope was to be back in-person in our buildings in a few short weeks for Easter. That didn't happen. While the hope was a quick return to normal, I just felt deep down in my spirit that I needed to prepare for a marathon. This disruption to our way of doing ministry wasn't going to be a short sprint. This was going to be a long, hard, challenging season. One that would push many leaders, myself included, to the wall of breaking.  Even for churches who are back to in-person gatherings, the challenges of these days continue. Lots of time, energy, and resources are needed to manage the in-person and online ministry simultaneously. Around Easter 2020 I began to introduce the language of Marathon Strategy to our staff and leaders. I began to ask the question "What do we do when more and more of our church hit the wall? And what do we do when it's our staff and are leaders who

The Worship of our Worship

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  Every once and a while an idea pops into my head that I just can't shake. It keeps me up at night. It consumes my waking hours. It turns around and around in my head. It shows up in my dreams. It starts coming up in more and more conversations. I pray that God would just get rid of this idea because I know a lot of church people are not going to like what I have to say. This doesn't happen to me often. When it does, it's usually because I need to get this out of my head and into the world. Because I always find that I'm never alone. Others have been wrestling with the exact same idea.  I don't put this out to be confrontational or to cause division. I write this as a simple man who loves Jesus, who trusts in the teachings of Scripture, who tries hard to listen to the Holy Spirit for guidance, and who has been pastoring a local church for 14 years. What Started It Recently I heard the current COVID-19 pandemic's impact on the Christian Church compared to the Ba