Values

New Beginnings 2008

Yesterday, Christina and I sat down and set some new goals for our marriage, our family and our sphere of influence. This is something that we have always done from the start of our marriage back in 1996. This gives us a purpose and a target to strive for throughout the new year… without it we will be settling for the status quo, which will always lead to a slow deterioration. Then on June 1st...

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Sacred Debt

Today I was reading Jill Carattini’s thoughts on “indebtedness.” I couldn’t help but to think about why it is a struggle for so many Christians to surrender and sacrifice their lives to God. We try so hard to muster up the courage and the devotion to be willing to give up everything to God, but maybe we have been looking at things in the wrong way. Instead of increasing our devotion level, we need to...

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L3 Part Three

We had another one of our Leadership Lesson Luncheon (L3) gatherings. We have been discussing and dialoguing about various leadership principles. So far we have covered the principles of influence and integrity; and today we discussed the principle of illumination. One of the biggest struggles for college students is trying to get a God-centered vision for their lives; but as we take some practical steps, we will be able to start seeing things more clearly....

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The Trans-Cultural Church

Several weeks ago, I introduced a new term in our church in Ann Arbor and this coming Sunday people in Chicago will hear it for the first time. The term is, “The Trans-Cultural Church.” We have heard a lot of the multi-cultural and multi-ethnic church, but we are trying to create a new ethos within the context of our church. More than just going “multi”- whatever, the key thing is that we want to train...

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Urgency to Pray

Recently, in light of everything that is going on in our church, I felt a greater urgency for prayer – not only in my life but corporately, as a whole church. Prayer is one of those things that do not need any explanation but it is so hard for believers to engage. It is not constantly on our minds but when we don’t experience the communion with God for some time then we feel the...

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Autographing with Excellence

For some reason, whenever something is done with excellence it inspires me. Maybe it is the perfectionistic side of me. But all I know is that when people give their 100% and they do things well, it encourages me. The flip side of this is when people do things half-heartedly or doing things to just get by. This deflates me especially if they are on your team and we are trying to achieve something great...

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Not-So-Surprising Conclusions

Pastor Matt Ro from Journey Church of Atlanta forwarded me an article that was pretty interesting to read. In this article there was an assessment made about the whole “seeker sensitive” movement that was started by Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois. Bill Hybels became the authority and expert on the whole movement. Since then so many other pastors and churches have followed suit and went with the “seeker sensitive” model as the...

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The Word Sacrifice

I was reading a quote the other day by William Temple (1881-1944). He wrote, “The principle of sacrifice is that we choose to do or to suffer what apart from our love we should not choose to do or to suffer.” For some reason, this quote really spoke to me. First of all, love is one of the strongest motivations for sacrifice. It is difficult to sacrifice to someone or for someone unless we love...

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Mission Possible: Multi-Ethnic Churches

For the last 11 years, we as a church have been trying to develop a multi-ethnic church. Even though we are not exactly where we want to be, we are committed to making some progress in this area. This is probably one of the hardest goals for a church to reach. Through various sermons, talks and discussions, we have been trying to convince people in our church that it is on God’s heart for us...

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Application of God’s Word

There is nothing more encouraging for a pastor than to see their members apply God’s Word into their lives. Tonight, I ended up meeting up with a member who just wanted to get to know me more… translation = who are you behind the pulpit 🙂 It was awesome when the person expressed that they wanted to buy me a drink (at Starbucks). At first I declined, but seeing this as an opportunity for them...

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Marriage Principles from CNN?

It is always refreshing when secular media covers a topic that is important to the Church and to God. In a world where marriages are crumbling, people (even secular people) are seeing the importance of common sense. This is why the CNN article caught my attention when I saw the title, “Saving Marriages Must Be a National Priority.” Even though the writer of this article got a divorce, it was pretty interesting to hear his...

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Clergy Appreciation 2007

As most of you know, the month of October is dedicated for Clergy Appreciation. It has been so encouraging for our family to see how the church is taking this opportunity to honor us. Already, several small groups have given so generously to our family. Today, during our married couples’ small group, they took some time to go around and share something that they appreciated about Christina and me. It was really touching to hear...

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A New Generation of Men

               Just recently, Dr. Steve Lee in Kenya, Africa forwarded an article about Lt. Michael P. Murphy, a Navy SEALS who died in combat in Afghanistan. Yesterday, President Bush awarded him the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military award, which was received by his father and mother. What caught my attention was his profile. I am realizing that Ed Cole’s phrase of, “Being a male is a matter of birth....

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Tensions in Life

Life is full of tension. What a person does with that tension will determine how things will turn out in their life. It is hard always living with the tension. We will either choose to alleviate the tension or we will self-destruction under the weight of the tension. Are these the only two options that we have? If we choose to alleviate the tension there is a temptation to alleviate it in a self-centered way...

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