Challenge

  • Businessman with cardboard box on his head showing a crying sad expression concept for headache, depression, sadness, heartache or frustration
    God Expects Less God Expects Less

    God Expects Less

God Expects Less

1 Timothy 3:1 (HCSB) —1This saying is trustworthy: “If anyone aspires to be an overseer, he desires a noble work.” Ministry has always been tough. Just ask the Apostle Paul, Timothy, Barnabas, Moses or Jesus. However, modern day ministers are under what I call “the expectation assault.” Over my almost two decades in ministry I have made many great friends who share my calling to serve God’s people.  My observation over these years has been that “the expectation assault” devastates our ranks. Part of the issue is the internet. Thanks to the World Wide Web, Christians today have unlimited access to great teachers, leaders, authors, preachers, and theologians. The result is that believers today expect much more from their local ministers. Below I have composed a list that sums up the expectations many ministers feel compelled to meet daily. 1)   Great Preacher 2)   Great Friend 3)   Great Father or Mother 4)   Great Theologian 5)   Great Thinker 6)   Great Leader 7)   Great Administrator 8)   Great Fund Raiser 9)   Great Comforter 10)  Great Therapist 11)  Great Mediator 12)  Great Role Model 13)  Great Community Organizer 14)  Great Teacher 15)  Compassionate Caregiver 16)  Great Scholar 17)  Great Author 18)  Great Blogger 19)  Great Counselor 20)  Great Website Developer 21)  Great Evangelist 22)  Dynamic 23)  Engaging 24)  Funny 25)  Firm 26)  Loving 27)  Available 24/7 28)  Generous to the point of poverty 29)  Sacrificial to the point of death 30)  Mission Leader 31)  Meeting Moderator 32)  Technical Specialist 33)  Carpenter/Handyman 34)  Groundskeeper 35)  Janitor 36)  Great Psychologist 37)  Expert on World Religions 38)  Master of Apologetics 39)  Master of Languages, especially the easy ones like Greek and Hebrew 40)  Special Event Coordinator 41)  Child Development Expert 42)  Mind Reader/Mentalist […]

  • February 29 is the Leap Day that occurs every fourth year
    What will you do with your extra day? What will you do with your extra day?

    What will you do with your extra day?

What will you do with your extra day?

“O LORD, help me understand my mortality and the brevity of life! Let me realize how quickly my life will pass!   Psalm 39:4 (NET) Have you ever wished for more time? Have you ever said “if I only had an extra day I would…” Well 2016 is a leap year and today February 29th is the leap day, so what will you do with it? For those who may not know, a leap year happens every four years to keep the calendar we use coordinated with the astronomical calendar. So you get an extra day this year, instead of 365 days you get 366 days in 2016. So what will you do with your extra day? The average person will only get about seventeen extra days like this over the course of a lifetime. So, shouldn’t we make the most of it? Here are some ideas I have about what could be done with this extra day… 1. Forgive that person you have been meaning to forgive. 2. Write that note you have been meaning to write. 3. Make that phone call you have been meaning to make. 4. Take that nap you have been meaning to take. 5. Share the gospel with that person you have been meaning to share with. 6. Go see that movie you have been meaning to see. 7. Start that book you have been meaning to start. 8. Clean that room you have been meaning to clean. 9. Go see that friend you have been meaning to see. 10. Take that day off you have been meaning to take. 11. Say those words you have been meaning to say. 12. Start chasing that dream you have been meaning to […]

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    Watch Out 2014 Here Comes Pastor Pete… Watch Out 2014 Here Comes Pastor Pete…

    Watch Out 2014 Here Comes Pastor Pete…

Watch Out 2014 Here Comes Pastor Pete…

Well 2014 is here and for my first post of the year I thought I would let you guys know what I have decided to commit to for the coming year. Rather than doing really specific goals this year I have created some broader guidelines for my life so here goes… I am committed to challenging myself in 2014. This includes  my education and ongoing studies for my doctorate, my physical fitness, and my effectiveness as a disciple.  I am going to push the limits and go further than I ever have before! I am committed to allowing God to change me. As I consider my walk with Christ over the last two decades so much has changed and I have come a really long way.  But there is more to do and I have to be open to the changes I know God wants to make in my life.  Some are going to hurt but it’s now or never. I am committed to counting my blessings each and everyday. This helps me slow down and enjoy life. I don’t want to rush through 2014, instead I want to  embrace every blessing and enjoy every moment.  So I have decided to set aside time at the end of each day to consider the blessings I received over that 24 hour period. That’s it, those are my plans and goals for the next 365 days.  What do you have in mind for 2014? Put your comments below…

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    When Jesus Is M.I.A. When Jesus Is M.I.A.

    When Jesus Is M.I.A.

When Jesus Is M.I.A.

It happens more frequently than we like to admit. We are walking with God, things are going great, then for no apparent reason when we need Him the most Jesus is missing in action. This happens to young believers and seasoned saints. Ministers who are honest about the subject will tell you that they experience this as well. So what should we do when Jesus is M.I.A.? Take sometime to read Luke 24:6-12, and let me offer a few suggestions. When Jesus is M.I.A. we should… Remember– I have found that when Christ is no place to be found in my own life it is helpful to try to remember where I last encountered His presence. I try to remember my last conversation with Him. In the scripture in Luke the ladies went to the last place they saw Jesus but He was not there. Then it says “they remembered His words…” Jesus had told them what to expect, and where He would be but they had forgotten. Run– If Jesus is M.I.A. in your life may I suggest you run as fast as you can to find Him?  If Jesus is gone there is something wrong and that is a big deal. When the disciples learned that Jesus was missing they ran to the tomb. They realized the gravity of the situation so they went running. Return– Go to the place you last had an encounter with Christ if you find He is missing. When those in the passage learned that Jesus was gone, they did not go to the grocery store, bank, lake, or even the church.  They went to the tomb because that was the last place Jesus had been spotted. Where […]

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    Friendship Friendship

    Friendship

Friendship

Real authentic friendships are undervalued in our American society and culture today.  It seems to me that people in general have fewer friends than they once did. I have read studies over the past few years that indicate this trend has been a slow but steady one in our culture for sometime.  In fact one article said that 70% of pastors report not having one single person they believe to be a true friend. Friendship is on the decline in America for a verity of reasons in my opinion.  Understanding these friendship killers could be the key to reversing our dangerous course of a friendless life.  Let me share a few of the biggest obstacles to friendship I see in our culture. The decline of the family- My wife is my best friend.  She is not perfect and neither am I.  Therefore our relationship like any other takes a great deal of work and effort.  However having a valued and trusted friend inside of my house enhances all other areas of my life.  Working on your marriage means by definition working on your friendship with your spouse this is a great place to start. People are to busy- Everyone is busy these days and most are to busy for real friendships. Developing and maintaining friendships takes time and our already overcrowded schedules has little if any room left for friends.  Slow down, start de-cluttering your life, make time and room for friends. Lack of forgiveness- Biblical forgiveness is difficult and demanding therefore few practice it.  As a result when we are wounded, or hurt we frequently walk away from the problem instead of moving toward it.  We forsake a great friendship because we are unwilling […]

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    Live Out The Message Live Out The Message

    Live Out The Message

Live Out The Message

 James 1:19–22 (NET) 19Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters! Let every person be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger. 20For human anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness.21So put away all filth and evil excess and humbly welcome the message implanted within you, which is able to save your souls. 22But be sure you live out the message and do not merely listen to it and so deceive yourselves. How can we be sure we are living out the message?  Living out the message is a difficult task even in the best circumstances.  When life gets tough, the marriage is in trouble, the boss is unhappy with us, or finical issues strike, living out the message can seem impossible.  In my years in ministry I have noticed some common traits in those that are truly  able to live out the message in both the good times and bad.  I decided for this weeks post to mention those things here.  I pray you will consider them as you attempt to live out the message yourself. Know the message- it is hard to live out the message when you don’t know what the message is.  Those who read the word, memorize scripture, and pray continually tend to live out the message more consistently then those who don’t.  If you want to live out the message you need to know what that message is. Know others living out the message- Living out the message is a team sport, God never designed it to be lived out alone.  When you live life with others who are living out the message you are more likely to stay on track yourself.  Certainly it is most helpful to have […]

  • resigned, resign, quit, leaders
    When Leaders Resign When Leaders Resign

    When Leaders Resign

When Leaders Resign

It seems to happen all the time in churches.  About the time you find a wonderful volunteer leader, get them trained and their ministry really starts taking off, they resign.  This happens for all kinds of reasons.  Some people are forced to relocate for work, others just find themselves in a busy season of life, and a few will get mad about one thing or another and leave.  So what should you do when leaders resign and leaves you and the church in a bind? Pray for them, and pray with them – The vast majority of the time your leader has struggled in making their decision to resign.  Their resignation can make them feel guilty, and bring a sense of letting the church and even God down.  So make sure you shower this leader with an extra dose of prayer during your time with God.  Don’t forget to pray with them as well.  Find a time when you can have a short time of prayer together, it reminds them of God’s love, and also your love for them. Communicate with them- Many times in today’s culture the resignation comes in the form of an email, Facebook message, or text.  Be sure to let the leader know you received the message.  Let them know that you will be praying for them, and would like to schedule a time to pray with them.  If they don’t hear directly from you they will assume you are mad or upset because they stepped down.  This will make coming back to the church even more difficult for them. Assure them- When a leader resigns there is always a feeling of uncertainty that accompanies their decision. Take some time when […]

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    Can You Really Change The World? Can You Really Change The World?

    Can You Really Change The World?

Can You Really Change The World?

What can you do to change the world?  Frequently in the church we speak about changing the world.  We say things like, “God can use you to change the world!”  But can you really do it?  And if you can change the world it’s probably going to be really difficult right?  After all, our world has over seven billion people living on its surface at any one time.  The circumference of the earth is almost 25,000 miles.  And if you put the world on a scale it would weigh about 13,169,533,693,875,800,000,000,000 pounds.  The world is a big place, with lots of people, and lots of space so how can you change the world?  Believe it or not I think it is possible for you to change the world and it may not be as hard as you think.  Let me give you a few quick things you can do to change the world. Read and memorize scripture every  day.  Changing the world is impossible if you try to do it without God’s help.  However if you stay in the word of God daily and commit as much of it to memory as possible, you will be able to stay in the will of God and that is very important if you want to change the world. Pray every day.  And don’t just pray for what you want or what you are thankful for.  Talk to God like you would a friend.  Prayer is not your avenue to get what you want, it’s God’s avenue to direct you to what He wants.  When you get that put in the right perspective your prayer life will become amazing and you will be on your way to changing […]

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    Take The High Road… Take The High Road…

    Take The High Road…

Take The High Road…

Has anyone ever told you to take the high road?  This generally happens when we are faced with a trying situation in life.  Perhaps it is a rumor, gossip, difficult person, unfair criticism, or ridicule from others. While taking the high road is good advice it certainly is not easy.  I was recently in a situation where I stood at a fork in the road so to speak.  One direction (the way I wanted to go) would have allowed me to clear things up, set the record straight, and in the process put some other people in their place.  The other was a narrow path to the high road.  I used the old phone a friend option before I made my final choice on the direction I would choose.  After nearly an hour on the phone explaining the situation and my plans, my friend simply said, “take the high road.”  That was not what I wanted to hear, because it was not what I wanted to do, but it was wise and Godly counsel.  Knowing deep down it was the right thing I embarked on that narrow path that is the high road in life.  I have seen this road before, and spent many days up here, but this time I decided to write down a few of my thoughts about the high road.  These are things you can always count on when you choose this path in life.  So here is what I came up with, please feel free to add your own in the comments as well. The high road is a hard road- There is no getting around it choosing to take the high road is difficult but traveling this road particularly […]

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    The Purpose Of The Church Pt. 3 The Purpose Of The Church Pt. 3

    The Purpose Of The Church Pt. 3

The Purpose Of The Church Pt. 3

Over the last three weeks I have been presenting some of the main purposes of God’s church.  As I travel around and speak about the Uncommon Church I am always surprised to learn how many churches don’t understand what the most basic and fundamental purposes of God’s church are. So these posts have been my effort to share nine of them.  In my first post I talked about the purpose of producing disciple, providing resources, and proclaiming the gospel. In my second post I talked about the church’s responsibility to propel missionaries, present proof, and practice holiness.  Today I would like to briefly discuss the last three. To Pray- Every Christian knows that they are suppose to pray, and most of us do.  But I am talking about focused corporate prayer here in this post.  I believe that God hears all of our prayers but He does something special when a church practices uncommon prayer together. In my book The Uncommon Church I talk in detail about the power of uncommon prayer.  When the body of Christ unites together in prayer many wonderful things happen.  We see this in scripture in places like 1 Thessalonians 5:25 when Paul urged the church to pray for him and his companions.  In Acts 12 we see an amazing miracle in the form of a prison escape for Peter and we learn that the church was gathered in prayer for him during his captivity. As individuals we must pray, and as a church body we must pray as well.  Churches should make it a priority to unite their minds and hearts in prayer! To Protect- 1 Peter 5:8 tells us that our enemy is a predator on the prowl!  Like […]

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