Did Jesus really get overwhelmed?

“My soul is overwhelmed to the point of death” (Mark 14:34) I don’t understand the mystery of Jesus being overwhelmed. Jesus was both man and God! How could he get overwhelmed? It doesn’t make sense to me. I get overwhelmed because my power and knowledge are (severely) limited. God is can’t be overwhelmed because his power and knowledge are limitless. […]

More valuable offerings: questions from the Widow’s Offering in Mark 12:41-44

Questions are good, they can lead to greater understanding. This is an essential skill for reading Scripture to hear God speak. Unfortunately, asking questions isn’t a habit for many people. Why not? First, they lead to hard work. The path of least resistance often bypasses questions. Additionally, asking a question requires a measure of humility—most of us don’t want to […]

Sandpaper Spirituality

When I was a Sophomore in high school, I went to Haiti on a mission trip with my youth group. It was an amazing life-changing experience! One of our projects was to help build a wooden gazebo. We needed to sand a ton of wood by hand, and we were working alongside other Haitian high school students. Here’s what you […]

What do you do if your prayers don’t move mountains?

During a curious encounter with an unfruitful fig tree, Jesus admonishes the disciples to have more faith: ““Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.” […]

I wish I didn’t have his in common with Lombardi

I’m the head coach for a youth football team—my youngest sons are on the team. Everything is going great, except we don’t have as many wins as we would like. When I say we don’t have as many wins as we’d like, I mean that we don’t have ANY wins. We are 0-6. Other than winning, everything really is going […]

Rain drops on a window

How not to be sad

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4) There are two different approaches to suffering and sadness. One is healthy, and the other isn’t. The unhealthy attitude is the COMPENSATION approach. It views life as a struggle (which it is), but we’ll be compensated in heaven. Truth is, eternity will be great! However, we distort the […]

Do you know what it means to be poor in spirit?

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:3) For the original audience, this would have been a shocking statement. It should also be shocking to us! First, this teaching was (and is) counterintuitive. How can a spiritually poor person possess a spiritual kingdom? Common sense – in this case, the definition of words […]

How to Read the Beatitudes

The most popular beatitudes in Scripture are found in Matthew chapter 5. Jesus begins the sermon on the mount with 8 amazing statements that are both beautiful and shocking. Here are a few things to keep in mind to help increase your understanding. The beatitudes are simple, reducing life to a cause-and-effect formula. “Blessed is the person who X, because […]

Does Jesus Want You to Be Happy?

YES! Jesus wants you to be happy! What is happiness and how do we get there? This seems like an easy question! Everyone wants to be happy. Here’s where things get interesting: that are conflicting ideas on how to get there. Some people love to be liked, and their happiness grows with their popularity. Others love to achieve and accumulate, […]

A Father’s Blessing

As a kid, I was a terrible baseball player. That didn’t keep my dad from always being there for me. He even coached some of my teams. What I lacked in talent I made up for with unbridled energy and enthusiasm. I remember one game in particular. My dad was a little late to the game and my team had […]

Temporary or Timeless?

“… an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade.” (1 Peter 1:4) When our hope is in the world and its empty promises, we will always be unsatisfied. Our destiny is disappointment when we live for physical pleasures, emotional highs, and mental diversions. These things are temporary because they are grounded in us—our perspectives, our needs. We are always […]

Rehoboam’s Recklessness

Solomon’s reign was the “golden age” of Israel, but there was a heavy price: the people were overworked and looking for relief. The elders counseled Rehoboam to ease up the pressure. This would win the hearts of the people … they would be his loyal servants. Rehoboam rejected the elders. He then asked youngers, who were his friends, for counsel. […]

Relational Ministry 101

“I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete.” (2 John 12) John used the technology of his time—paper and ink—to influence others. He also knew that some things were best shared […]

Worthy of Trust

Would you agree that trust is essential for any significant relationship? Of course it is! If you look at the people closest to you, they are the ones who have earned your trust. When a person breaks your trust, you stop relying on them. God is looking for people he can trust. Jesus trusted John with a vital mission: “Near […]

As a leader, what do you do after you’ve been inspired?

A few days ago, I left a meeting feeling inspired and challenged. I loved the vision. It was powerful and I was fired up. I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t happen in every meeting I attend–unless I’m leading the meeting, of course!

Leaders Look Beneath the Surface

“The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters,but one who has insight draws them out.” (Proverbs 20:5) I’ve made it a priority to make “cold calls” to our students. This isn’t my favorite thing because I’m an over-achiever when it comes to being awkward on the phone. In the age of text messages and group threads, phone calls seemed […]

How to Cure Your Selfishness

“So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” (Matthew 20:16) Jesus ends the parable of the workers with a promise that turns everything upside down because it’s countercultural and counterintuitive. Externally, our culture pulls us to think “me first!” We only need to look as far as our family, friends, media for examples of entitlement. and […]