Viewpoint

Prayer Partners in Ministry

  Photo on restoringisrael.org       Recently, I have been thinking about some important people in my life who have committed themselves to pray for me, my family and my ministry. I am truly thankful for the prayer warriors that God has provided in my life. In many ways, if any good has come forth from my ministry to various people throughout the world, I believe it is a direct result, not only of...

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The Silent Sin

  I still remember the day when Christina asked me, “Why is it that churches rarely preach on the topic of abortion?” For some reason, I really didn’t have an answer; well I did, but it was an inadequate answer for her intensely poignant question. The thing that kept on popping up in my mind was the divisiveness of the issue. Not every Christ-follower is against abortion (I will not have time to address the...

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God is GREATER, BIGGER, & STRONGER

  It is always interesting to have conversations with people who are struggling to make sense of this world. Usually some pain or heartache fills their hearts, which makes it difficult to believe that God is a loving God, who cares for them and has a purpose for their lives. I always to have to remind them (and myself) that there will always be pain and suffering in this world due to sin. We cannot...

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Check Out Other Churches?

  Photo from luckysupermarket.ca       Some people would ask me why I encourage newcomers to check out other churches. It just seems so counter-intuitive. They say, “Pastor, aren’t you suppose to grow the church instead of shrinking it by asking people to check out other churches?” I have my reasons and I am going to try to numerate them in this blog entry. Usually in the month of September, IT IS THE MONTH...

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The Best Advertisement

  Photo on gawrilla.com       In the early years of our church, we spent a lot of money on advertisement to introduce and promote our church and our activities. For some reason, we thought this was the best way to get the word out about this new church plant. I think all the church planting gurus and manuals have somehow convinced us that this is the way to go. But at the end...

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When God Goes Beyond Your Expectations

  Photo on ngm.com       There is something delightful about being a beneficiary of having your expectations blown away. In fact, it produces instant gratification and a sense of gratitude in your heart. I always experience this when I receive extraordinary customer service or when I am pleasantly surprised by someone. Whenever someone goes the “extra mile,” it always brings a smile to my face. Expectations are a strange thing. When we have...

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The WHAT Principle

  Photo from istockphoto       I am trying to get back to the basic principles of discipleship. This year, as a church, we are trying to focus (or refocus) on the importance of Jesus’ call to discipleship. Throughout the years, the focus of our church has always been on “transformation.” We will never see transformation in our families, church, society and the nations if our lives are not first transformed with the Gospel...

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A Time to Retreat

  Photo on kriyayoga.com       It is hard to believe that God has given me the privilege of serving HMCC for the last 14 years. With all its ups and downs, my heart is filled with gratitude and joy as I think about the many transformations that I have been able to witness because of the power of the Gospel. After going through seasons of tremendous church growth, I began to experience something...

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The Cruelty of God, the Father?

  Photo on boston.com       Following Christ is sometimes a difficult thing, especially when we are challenged to trust wholeheartedly in the midst of confusion and uncertainty. This fact is never more tested than when we go through pain and anguish. It is in those moments we wonder to ourselves if God really cares or if He really does have our best interest in mind. Sometimes what we see (and feel) does not...

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Raising Up an Army

  Photo on armytimes.com       For some reason I have been researching on the difference between the U.S. armed services’ system of conscription and recruitment. Don’t ask me why. I think maybe in light of what is going on in Iraq and Afghanistan, but I think it is out of pure curiosity and my desire to “just to know.” Simply, in the United States, recruitment is when the military tries to enlist people...

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Ashamed of the Gospel?

  Photo on leftnewsandviews.com       It was interesting to read what Barna Group recently discovered regarding teenagers (ages 13-17) and evangelism. Not only is the “spirituality” of teenagers slowly waning, but they are less likely to share Christ in their conversations. You can read the whole article here. In Barna’s survey, they specifically asked the teenager, “During the past 12 months, did you explain your religious beliefs to someone else who had different...

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Reminders from Weddings

  Photo on life123.com       As a pastor, I have done my fair share of performing wedding ceremonies for couples. I have also attended many weddings just as a guest. In many ways, weddings are pretty similar and standard. Lighting of candles by mothers, the processional, cute kids, the bride, songs, prayer, message, vows, rings, prayer, unity candle (as the special praise is playing), giving roses to parents, pronouncement, benediction, announcement, and the...

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The Struggle of the Pastor

  Photo on hplusmagazine.com       One of my members forwarded me a New York Times Op-Ed piece that talked about the American clergy, as well as the situation with the churches today. I was encouraged because this is what I have been harping on in our church for awhile now. In fact, due to my bluntness on particular matters, we have lost some people. I guess when the truth is spoken some people...

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Construction and Change

  Photo on ci.fridley.mn.us       As soon as we arrived to Ann Arbor, my family and I realized that there was a lot of road construction going on in this city. When the boys and I went out on an errand, one of them asked about the increase in construction on the streets. This was one of those great teaching moments that I did not want to miss. I started out with a...

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