Stopped at the pearly gates…

 

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If you fly out of the United States, there is a moment on the flight where the flight attendants come around with a small slip of paperwork for you to fill out. It’s the Customs form, where you declare everything you’re bringing into their country, and other pertinent information. And you want to be honest and follow the rules, because you could wind up in serious trouble if you don’t. If you get caught bringing in a prohibited item, you could be fined, detained, or prohibited from being allowed in the country.

There’s a parable in Matthew 18, where Jesus talks about forgiveness that made me wonder if Heaven has customs agents waiting on us.  Continue reading

How to fight for revitalization in your church…

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In the opening days of the American Revolution, General George Washington made the decision that the British garrison stationed in the colonial city of Boston needed to go. In an incredible maneuver, Washington built a fortified position and stationed artillery on Dorchester Heights, which overlooked the entire city of Boston and included the harbor housing the British ships. It was the decisive action that pushed the British out of the city with almost no bloodshed.

If you’re a church leader who is working to revitalize a church, you’re going to have some fights ahead of you. Some of these fights are with people, while others are against a culture. So here are a few things we can learn about revitalizing churches from the Siege of Boston: Continue reading

Things the Church can learn from ‘Heathens’…

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A couple of weeks ago, the band ‘Twenty One Pilots’ released a new single named ‘Heathens’, in conjunction with the release of the movie ‘Suicide Squad’ a movie about a team of villains. Because the song was featured in some marketing with the movie, it seems like the lyrics are written about the characters in the movie (and there is definitely some correlation). The truth is that the song has a deeper meaning. The lead singer, Tyler Joseph, is a strong Christian. He wrote the song to other Christians (read: the church), on behalf of his non-Christian (read: heathen) friends.

So here are a few things the church can learn from the song ‘Heathens’: Continue reading

Making It Up As You Go…

A while ago, I learned about parkour (which is French for ‘Free Running’). Parkour is, essentially, combining running with gymnastics, with a little bit of climbing thrown in. The internet is full of videos of people who practice it. Parkour can look a little odd to an outsider to be sure, but it’s a really interesting skill set.

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The most remarkable thing about it isn’t the general athleticism required (though that is certainly incredible). When someone watches a parkour maneuver for the first time, they usually want to ask how they ‘planned’ the trick. They’re surprised to find out that for a vast majority of the stunts and tricks, there wasn’t a plan. The athlete just made it up as they going. The most incredible thing about parkour is that is it essentially athletic improvisation.

Pastors and church members like plans. I know I do. Plans offer security and stability. Plans can also limit what churches or Christians can do in their spiritual lives. Here are a few things I think we can learn from Parkour for our spiritual lives. Continue reading

3 Things to Know About Managing Motivation…

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Somedays, I wake up with enough energy and motivation to run a half marathon, write a book, and build a bookcase by hand. Other days, I wake up and just wish I could move my fridge into my living room so I could watch ten hours of tv without getting up for food or drinks. Some days I have more “Go” than “To Do”, but most days, I’m running behind on motivation and energy (what I call “Go”).

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I imagine I’m not the only person who struggles with balancing the things that need to get done with the energy to do them.

Here’s how I try to manage my “Go” Continue reading