Messaging the Kingdom

Jesus’ first sermon (Mark 1:15) had three points:  The time is fulfilled The Kingdom is near Repent and believe  Jesus was obsessed with the Kingdom. He talked about it more than anything else. He told his followers, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for that is why I was…

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Not a Likable Guy

He was not a very likable guy. He’d been lame for 38 years, but when Jesus asked him if he wanted to be healed, the lame man didn’t say “Yes, please!” or even “Can you help me?” Instead, he griped about not having any friends to put him in the pool when the angel stirred…

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Steve’s Top 10 Big Leadership Learnings

Who you are is who you are ‘in Christ.’ The most important thing about you is that you are in Christ and Christ is in you.  As a leader, it’s’ tempting to put your sense of identity and worth in what you do for God or in how well you do it. Big mistake. You…

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Character Matters

America is in a crisis of leadership. Everyone knows it. No one knows what to do about it.  Our nation desperately needs good and sound leaders. As the wise man once said: ‘Love and truth form a good leader; sound leadership is founded on loving integrity.’ (Proverbs 20:28 MSG) Admittedly, it’s hard to be a good and…

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What Do We Know and Have because of the Ascension of Jesus?

“Depths of purpose and layers of meaning saturate everything you do.” Psalm 92:5 Everything that Jesus did was intentional. His every word and action either conveyed a vital message or achieved a strategic objective. The triumphal entry was loaded with meaning. The crucifixion was beyond purposeful. The resurrection changes everything!  But what about the ascension…

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…But Some Doubted – Matthew 28:17

This week as I was reflecting on the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus, I was struck by the observation in Matt. 28:17 that even when the disciples saw the risen Christ alive and standing in front of them with their own two eyes, some of them still doubted. I feel like I could relate. I’ve always…

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Reborn into a Living Hope

Over this last week, I’ve been reflecting on Peter’s letter to the refugees of his day. Many of his readers had lost their homes, livelihoods, and loved ones for the sake of Christ. They were well acquainted with ‘fiery trials’ and seemingly endless suffering. Yet the apostle reminds them in 1 Peter 1:3 that they’d been ‘given new birth into…

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Making Sense of a Senseless War

Over the last 14 days, I’ve been trying really hard to make sense out of that which is senseless. The war in Ukraine has surfaced a lot of emotions in me: anger and rage, admiration and scorn, shock and sadness, fear and uncertainty, helplessness and despair.  I’ve been praying lots of imprecatory prayers while also…

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The Gate of the Year

As I was reading through my journal from this past year, I was reminded about a poem that a good friend and fellow pastor had shared with me earlier in the year. The poem is called “The Gate of the Year” and was authored by a young British lady named Minnie Louise Haskins. Shortly after…

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