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What Will You Give Your One Little Life For?

What would your life look like if you found the one thing you were called to do? Think of the great leaders of the past. Men and women who gave their lives for something that mattered. People like Benjamin Franklin, Ronald Reagan, Aimee Semple McPherson, and Martin Luther King, Jr. People who actually changed the world. At some point they stepped into their God-given destiny and pursued it with all their might. …now think about what matters to you. What do you constantly think about? What makes you mad? What do you want to change? These are hard questions to answer. Figuring out your “calling” is not easy if we’re honest. For me I think a lot about the future of our Nation. I hate communism and socialism because they are destructive ways of thinking that end in death and oppression. I’m irritated that so many of us are content with playing church instead of getting empowered by God’s Spirit and then going into these systems and changing them. Instead of standing at the sidelines, complaining and waiting for the world to burn we could be on the field and actually doing something to help. But what do we do? Take politics for example. In church we’re taught to avoid this topic because of it’s divisive nature and the danger of falling under the influence of the political spirit. But if we all dismiss ourselves from this critical part of culture… assuming “someone else” will step up and do it, then we lose the war before the first shot is fired. I’m not sure what’s more destructive: apathetic Christians or devoted Atheists....

Without “David and the Bear” there Would Be No “David and Goliath” Story

The story of David and Goliath is one of the most popular Bible stories. Even unbelievers know it and use it when referencing underdogs who defeat big enemies. A young shepherd boy with a slingshot defeats Goliath, a 9-foot tall giant trained in combat. In order for this story to have a happy ending God had to show up. It had to be 100% him, right? …all God and none of David. That sounds very Christian-like, right? We love to sing songs like: “All of You and none of me… …I must decrease so he can increase.” But is this way of thinking really how God wants us to operate? I think there’s a better way. But first of all, the point of this post is not to take away giving glory to God or to de-emphasize his role in this story. No, the point is to gain a better understanding of how God really works in our lives to bring about stories worth living and telling. Here’s the portion of scripture I want to focus on today: “But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.” Moreover David said, “The LORD,...

Do You Know What’s Wrong with the Church Today?

Do you ever get enticed into a conversation about something you later feel kind of yucky about? It happened to me recently. I met someone who wanted to talk about politics right away. He told me his take on Donald Trump and why he wouldn’t be voting for him — unless his vote was actually the deciding vote, in which case he said he would vote for him (I didn’t understand his logic… but it made sense to him). Anyway, I’m a sucker for political and philosophical talk (I don’t like admitting that, but it’s true), so I engaged with him in discussion. So after my new friend told me about Trump he proceeded to say a phrase that I’ve also uttered many times before: “Do you know what’s wrong with the church?” It doesn’t really matter what he said after that (if you’re curious he said the main problem is that we’ve tried to argue social issues based on what the Bible says vs using logic and reason.) We bantered back and forth until I finally got my turn to tell him “what I thought was wrong with the church” (which was that we’ve neglected to transform the 7 Mountains of Influence in culture like the media, the entertainment industry, etc.). I thought about our conversation later and realized what was really wrong with the church. Do you know what it is? I’ll tell you… What’s really wrong with the church is saying, “here’s what’s really wrong with the church.” I’ll explain.   Newsflash: We Are the Church The ironic thing about criticizing the church is that we are the church!...

Why Write About God if You’re a Spiritual Amateur?

I recently read this quote by C.S. Lewis: It often happens that two schoolboys can solve difficulties in their work for one another better than the master can. The fellow-pupil can help more than the master because he knows less. The difficulty we want him to explain is one he has recently met. The expert met it so long ago he has forgotten. After reading that I felt inspired to start writing on here again. Why? Because I’m convinced that there’s value in sharing my journey with others, even if I’m an “amateur” when it comes to God and spiritual things. And when I talk about being a “spiritual amateur” I’m just being honest. It’s not some false humility or anything like that. And I’m not saying I don’t know God or haven’t matured in my relationship with him over these past 12 years. I have. I pray, read the Bible and all that good stuff. But yet I feel like there’s a quality of life with God that I’m missing. I feel like my “spiritual life” has been anything but “spiritual.” It’s been more intellectual. Lots of thinking, talking, reading and teaching about God. But not much in the way of real tangible spiritual experiences. I’ve had some. And I’ve even witnessed some amazing miracles with my own eyes. And I’m grateful for everything I’ve experienced. But the point is I still consider myself an amateur when it comes to walking in the spirit, hearing from God and operating in the supernatural. An Amateur at Love And if I’m really honest I also consider myself an amateur when it...

Attraction Rather Than Promotion: A Better Way to Grow a Church

A.A. and the 12-Step Program has a special place in my heart because that’s where I first became open to “spirituality.” It’s also the first place I experienced grace from people. I remember opening up my heart and really letting people know what was going on inside of me. And the strangest thing happened… nobody judged me! They didn’t even give me “concerned” looks. It was like they were saying,”Josh, it’s OK. You’re not alone. We know what you’re going through. And you’re not a bad person.” It was certainly an “attractive” culture. And later on I learned that this was part of their “growth strategy.” In other words, the founders of the program made a deliberate decision to focus on “attraction rather than promotion.” You’re probably familiar with A.A.’s “12 Steps” but they also have “12 Traditions” they use to govern their groups. And Tradition 11 is all about attraction vs promotion. It reads: “Tradition 11: Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion. There is never need to praise ourselves. We feel it better to let our friends recommend us.” The crazy part about this “attraction growth strategy” is that it worked in a big way. In fact, as of January 1, 2015 there’s an estimated 2 million people in A.A. in 175 countries. After attending well over 100 A.A. meetings and even more church meetings, I often think about some things churches could learn from A.A.’s culture. And this whole “attraction over promotion” is one of the most important. And if you’re a Christian reading this and you don’t think there’s anything to learn from a...