BE A VOICE NOT AN ECHO

BE A VOICE NOT AN ECHO

I have had a tendency as a preacher, especially when I was young in the Lord, to want to say things the same way other people were saying them. I was afraid of standing out; I chose instead to be comfortable. Scared of being a voice, I was comfortable with being an echo. Afraid to paint outside the lines. Afraid to journey into the unknown. Afraid of failure. Fear sucks. Like a scared kid who rushes past the house with the crazy dog barking, I was terrified of preaching. The first sermon I gave, ironically, was on identity. I preached an 11 minute message, took about three and a half breaths in that time, and could not be more thankful when it was over. I was afraid. I have come to understand being afraid is normal, especially when it comes to the unknown. Speaking before 100-plus people was unknown to me, something I had never done. When I began my journey as a preacher I was obsessed with others liking my messages. I thought for this to happen I needed to sound like popular preachers of the day. I know that might sound silly but we all have a tendency to want to be liked and to shape ourselves to what we think will be liked. I believe when we are young in the Lord, it is okay to see how others are doing things and even model our style after them. The only problem is if we continue on this track without moving (even if it’s a slow move) away from the comfortable safety of being an echo, we...
HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?

HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?

No amount of Facebook friends, Instagram followers, or tweets on Twitter can heal the soul or validate our success in life. No matter how many cool hash tags you have, or how many likes you get, social media can not fulfill you nor give you the approval you are looking for. If we are not careful we can all fall for the trap of thinking social media somehow reflects if we are successful in life or not. The truth is that social media has no bearing whatsoever on how successful we actually are in life. Let’s be honest with ourselves: have you ever put anything up that you did not want other people to see about you? I have had some pretty “intense fellowship” with my wife over the years. Could you imagine in the middle of it, stopping and asking her to take a selfie with me, tagging her with the hashtags #prayforus #ephesiansfivehusband?!?! I mean, come on, let’s get real – we all put our best foot forward. And I am not going to lie, I am glad we do. I don’t think you want to see me upset with my kids at times, overwhelmed by looking at my Chase bank account, or tripping out because of a situation going on with someone in the church. Success cannot be gauged by social media. Unlike previous generations, I believe this generation of believers will need to have a concrete and definitive answer when it comes to the question, “How do you define success?” I believe it is from this answer that we position ourselves for how we approach life...
NAKED AND UNASHAMED

NAKED AND UNASHAMED

Originally published in 2014 I have five 5 kids. Fourth in the lineup is our 3 and a half year old daughter Joanna. From time to time, Joanna loves to cruise through the house completely butt naked, and unashamed, all while singing loud enough for everyone to hear: “I’m a princess! I’m a princess! I’m a princess!” She does not care that she is naked, nor does she care how her voice sounds. Joanna is purely influence by the reality that she is a princess. This core identity has become Joanna’s foundation after me speaking it over her countless times from the day of her birth. Joanna is purely influence by the reality that she is a princess. Click To Tweet Jesus told us that there would be great reward in learning, not to be childish, but to be childlike. We are to be childlike in our trust in Him, naked and unashamed before Him, confident in our identity because we know what our Father in heaven says about us. We are not so concerned with what others are thinking about us, the clothes we are wearing, or what we look like, but instead, confident in God’s love. When we are confident in His love we can be who God made us to be, without having to live in the fear what others think about us. Joanna has a core identity of a princess. A princess confident in love, one who knows she is more than okay in the eyes of her father. Each day we must choose what we are going to believe about ourselves. We must remind...
FRIENDSHIP WITH GOD

FRIENDSHIP WITH GOD

“No longer do I call you servants… I have called you friends” John 15:15, abridged. In 2010, I embarked on a radical journey into the heart of God: I chose to radically obey God all the time in every decision. Every conversation, every choice during my day, even what I ate for meals and what I wore, I submitted to God. As with any child learning to walk in something new, I made frequent mistakes. I saw miracles, signs and wonders, divine provision, and appointments. I saw my days become ordered by God. One time, I felt God telling me to text someone I knew encouragement… around 5:30 in the morning. The girl I texted later told me that my text woke her up for work when her alarm wasn’t working. The Father planned my days, and I saw my actions transform the world around me. I embarked on this journey because I wanted my life to count: I wanted my every action to have the best possible result, and who better to decide this than the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, who was worthy of everything I gave Him and more. But something changed as I continued on this journey. The Father seemed strangely unproductive in what He would ask me to do. I remember one day, during a radical season of outpouring, where I saw miracles daily, He asked me to stay home and read all day. And not the bible: we read Harry Potter! I was too far in to start doubting, and to the best of my knowledge the Father wanted to read...
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