Float or Fall?

Float or Fall?

You could compare your spiritual life to a balloon. You could also compare the church to a balloon. My boys love them and fight over them when we go somewhere that has balloons, like restaurants. They like balloons that have regular air in them, but they LOVE the ones with helium. They float. The ones with air just fall.

There is a dangerous tendency to assume that our spirituality has to always be floating, that we need to be soaring on wings like eagles, living on the mountaintop, staying fired up for God…insert any Christian cliche here that will suffice. You get the picture. I even received an email from a youth pastor recently who asked me what advice I could give him to help keep his kids on fire for Jesus. His heart was pure, but his perspective was wrong. I had no advice for him but to scrap the whole idea of being fired up and replace it with abiding in Christ, walking in the Spirit, and living by faith in the gospel.

10 Ways to Fail

10 Ways to Fail

Nobody ever plans to fail at life.  I've never met a single person who made it their life goal to be a loser, die young, and go through life all alone and depressed.  

Yet people do these things everyday.  

The lives of people we love are plagued with addictions, bitterness, shame, loneliness, depression, and maybe worst of all...regret.

I've been asking myself lately what failure would look like for me.  Not mistakes.  Not mess-ups.  I'm talking about utter, unquestionable failure.  Because if I don't actually know what failure would be for me, then it will be most difficult to avoid it.

Find Your Refuge

Find Your Refuge

It’s Monday morning and I have been awake since 5 AM.  This is common for me so don’t be alarmed.  But I am not alone.

Thousands of pastors join me in sleeplessness, either waking up way too early or staying up way too late.  Why?  Because it is part of paying the price to do what God has called us to do.  The excitement and adrenaline, as well as the difficulties and discouragements of ministry often times make it next to impossible for us to enjoy the natural rythms of life that others experience.

There is no denying that ministry creates situations that lead to stress, pressure, depression and anxiety.  (If you question that statement, then you are not involved in pastoral ministry or full time church work).  The key is not how we AVOID these situations, for the only way to avoid them is to QUIT THE MINISTRY.  The key is to see them coming, prepare for the impact, and weather the storm.

Better than Good

Better than Good

"So how are you today?" they ask.  I respond, "I am blessed ."  Almost every single time, they will look up from what they are doing and actually make eye contact with me. They usually seem dumbfounded by that response.  Boom!  I have their attention.  As soon as their eyes lock on mine, I then say, "I am doing so much better than I deserve."

Big Secret #2

Big Secret #2

There is another secret weapon I need to share with you that is really no secret at all.  Most of us know we should do it.  Our parents tried to instill this practice in us when we were kids (at least they should have).  But we seem hard-wired to fight it no matter what our bodies tell us.

If my big secret is GET UP EARLY, then my other big secret is...GO TO BED WHEN YOU GET TIRED.

If you just made an exasperated sound when you read that, you are probably the very person who needs to take this advice.