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Reading through the Bible in a year

UPDATED FEB. 9, 2012
If you've been looking for a devotional guide or other resources to help you be diligent in reading your Bible, I'd like to suggest the Life Journal Reading Plan that has been very helpful for my Bible study as well.





Do we take Christmas--and Christ--for granted?

UPDATED DEC. 25, 2011
It seems so easy in the United States and other developed countries to take our faith in Christ for granted, because it's so easy for us to live as Christians in places where we have the freedom to worship Christ. But in so many other countries, believers are killed every day because they follow Him. I just came across this article which I hope will challenge you and drag you out of your comfort zone.





Join us on Facebook

UPDATED SEPT. 28, 2011
To help reach more people and get them involved in discussions about issues Christians face, I've set up a Facebook page at this link. If you're on Facebook, feel free to join in the discussions and please tell others about our page as well.





The Joseph Project: Stocking up to help others

UPDATED MARCH 21, 2011
Many of you are probably familiar with the story of Joseph in the book of Genesis, especially in Genesis 41-45, where the Lord has placed Joseph in Pharoah's court and uses him to warn Pharoah of a coming famine and to prepare for it. There have been quite a few stories in the news recently about rising rates of poverty and hunger around the world, even in developed countries such as the United States, and as governments and charitable organizations see their revenues continue to dwindle, more people will likely go hungry without some kind of assistance.

But how often does the Lord call His people to be the ones to help provide for those in need, rather than sending them to governments or charitable organizations for assistance? Quite often! A new site has just gone online, StockingUp.net, to make the case that even though governments and organizations around the world are going bankrupt, individual Christians--that's you and me--are in a fantastic position to not just help alleviate hunger right where we're at, but to take advantage of incredible ministry opportunities in the process. The Gospels are full of accounts of Jesus feeding people and also ministering to them while He ate with them, and if we stock up on extra food for ourselves and our families (since we should be doing what we can to provide for our families anyway), we will also have more food resources we can draw from to help hungry, thirsty strangers that Jesus spoke about in Matthew 25. I hope the site will challenge you. Please pass word about it along to others.





Taking an extended sabbatical

UPDATED NOV. 9, 2009
Events over the past several months have made it difficult for me to update this site recently, but this time has become a much-needed sabbatical for me and this ministry. I am planning to continue this period of rest and spiritual renewal until the Lord tells me it's time to get back to work--how long that will be, only He knows at this point. Please keep me and this ministry in your prayers during this time, especially praying that I would listen and hear clearly what the Lord is saying to me and that He would strengthen me and continue to make me more like Him each day. I hope to post more-frequent updates on here soon.





Real pro-lifers don't murder abortionists

UPDATED JUNE 1, 2009
I'll let the latest post on JesusFreakBlog.com speak for itself:

Disgust and sadness don't begin to describe what I felt yesterday when I pulled up Yahoo News and saw the headline that longtime abortionist George Tiller had been gunned down. Fringe lunatics such as David Trosch and others have been calling the murder of abortionists "justifiable homicide" for the better part of two decades, and thankfully there have been many more voices setting the record straight, that people such as David Trosch, Paul Hill, John Salvi and others like them may be anti-abortion, but they are not PRO-LIFE. Any implied association between people such as these and those of us who believe the sanctity of human life extends from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death doesn't deserve a response. And I won't get into a discussion about capital punishment except to say that Paul Hill got what he deserved.

But the bigger issue is that despite ongoing rhetoric by fringe anti-abortion activists and the unfortunate attitudes of too many people who claim to follow Christ but think some people don't deserve salvation, what too many of us conveniently forget is that NOBODY deserves salvation--it is given to us through Jesus Christ, by grace alone, through faith alone (Ephesians 2:8-9; 1 John 1:9). Jesus died to offer salvation to the murderers among us, including George Tiller, whether or not Tiller repented of his sins and turned to Christ--Jesus still made the offer to Tiller and to everyone else like him. It's not up to us who should be offered salvation, because we don't deserve it. And if you don't like the fact that God sent His Son to hang out with sinners, well, that's just too bad, isn't it?

  • Matthew 9:9-13
  • Matthew 21:28-32
  • Mark 2:13-17
  • Luke 5:27-32
  • Luke 18:9-14


  • What did the Lord say in Ezekiel 18:21-23?

    "But if a wicked man turns away from all the sins he has committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, he will surely live; he will not die. None of the offenses he has committed will be remembered against him. Because of the righteous things he has done, he will live. Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?

    Do we dare take away their opportunities for salvation when we don't deserve salvation ourselves?

    My prayers and sympathies go out to the Tiller family. I hope that they will find the grace, peace and salvation that only Christ can give.




    "Angels and Demons"
    and Dan Brown, oh my!!

    UPDATED MAY 31, 2009
    Here's the latest entry on JesusFreakBlog.com:

    Yesterday I was talking with my cousin, and in the course of conversation she asked me what I thought of the controversy surrounding Dan Brown's latest book-turned-movie, "Angels and Demons." I told her that my opinion hadn't changed since "The Da Vinci Code"--it's spiritual insanity for Christians to assert that Brown's books--every one of which I've seen clearly state "A Novel" on the cover (not exactly screaming "THIS IS THE TRUTH!")--confuse people into thinking that what Brown is writing is historically or theologically credible. Hello?? If I'm wanting to know what the Bible says, why would I think I could find out what it says in anything other than, um, the Bible?

    As I stated three years ago in my missives about "Da Vinci," the problem isn't Dan Brown--the problem is Biblical ignorance among people who claim to believe the Bible but who have no idea what it really says:

  • board.christianrock.net/board/weblog_entry.php?e=9069
  • board.christianrock.net/board/weblog_entry.php?e=9691
  • www.jesusfreak.com/davinci.asp


  • Are we confusing ourselves on purpose because we don't want to be confronted with the truth of the Bible, not wanting to know the truth so we can't be held accountable for it (or so we tell ourselves)? If so, are we already admitting to ourselves that the Bible really is the truth? And if that's the case, tell me again, what's the big deal about Dan Brown?




    A "National Day of Prayer"?
    Wouldn't lives of prayer be better?

    UPDATED MAY 18, 2009
    This year's National Day of Prayer here in the U.S. was almost two weeks ago. I realize that this day has been officially observed since 1952, before most Americans today were born, and times of prayer have been among our country's strongest sentiments since before our nation was officially born, and while the Day of Prayer is not specific to any one religion but to all people of faith in this country, I can't help but wonder if Christians in this country (and around the world) miss the real issue amid the "official" commemorations of such a day. I don't know and won't pretend to know the thinking of people of other faiths regarding a National Day of Prayer, but as a follower of Jesus Christ, living in a country that's saturated with outward observance of Christian holidays, cultural references to Christ (not all of them positive), Christian-themed entertainment, clothing, bumper stickers, right down to the tiniest outward details of life, I can't help but wonder: If everyone in this country who claims to follow Christ were really living as if He did, would we need reminders about who we represent? Or would our lives, or rather Christ in our lives, be so totally transforming our country that our very lives would be all the reminders that anyone needs?

    Why do we need to observe a National Day of Prayer if, as Christ's followers, we live lives of prayer, not just a one-day observance that we then put back on the shelf until next Sunday or next year? If we're living as Jesus lived, and if He is changing the lives of people around us as He's first changing us, why would we need a "Day of Prayer"? It would be redundant--and I would love to see that sort of redunancy that would make a "Day of Prayer" unnecessary. I would love to see such a blazing spiritual fire in and among Christ's followers in this country that our lives would be all the reminder anyone needs about who Christ is and how He can change our lives, our families and our country. So I have to ask, then...is the fact that we feel like we need an "official" observance of a Day of Prayer showing us that our lives aren't what they should be, that we aren't living like Christ, that our country isn't turning toward Him because those who claim to follow Him are living more like the rest of the country than like Christ?


    I've started a discussion thread on this at this link. Feel free to join in the conversation.




    Are Christians shaping society? Or letting society shape them?

    UPDATED MARCH 20, 2009
    Here's the latest entry on JesusFreakBlog.com. Feel free to chime in:

    Companies usually don't make and sell stuff that people don't want, because if people don't buy certain products, why bother making and selling them? I don't hold anything against Hershey Corp. for selling chocolate crosses for Easter, because hey, business is business, right? Jesus died on the cross so we could escape the fires of hell...and people are obviously willing to spend $1.97 at Wal-Mart to buy a cross-shaped confection that will melt inside a warm car? (Full disclosure: I wasted $1.97 at Wal-Mart. I've earned my right to rant.)

    The old adage "Ignore it and it will go away" is a marketer's worst nightmare, but I don't think it's marketing savvy that's selling chocolate crosses. In fact, I can't help but wonder if the real issue is that the faith of too many Christians has been reduced to little more than a caricature--we do the church thing on Sundays, we do Christian stuff during the week, we talk good Christian lingo...but our faith is little more than the clothes we wear, merely superficial and changing every day. We've turned Jesus into this cutesy, dainty caricature who makes us feel good about ourselves, doesn't want to make us squirm, doesn't want our feelings to get hurt, blah blah blah...and we forget that in the Gospels, Jesus stormed through the Temple courts, forcefully driving out the merchants who were turning God's House into a first-century Wal-Mart.

    Maybe the merchants in the Temple courts were only selling because people were buying, but if the dominant messages about Jesus have really nothing to do with the Biblical Jesus, why aren't Bible-believing Christians stepping in to tell the rest of society that chocolate crosses, chocolate eggs, Easter egg hunts...don't get me started about the Easter Bunny...none of these things has anything to do with the real message about what happened on that miraculous Sunday morning nearly 2,000 years ago. If the irrestible message of Christ were really being preached in and through our lives, would there be any demand at all for "Jesus Junk"? I'd really like to find out.





    Do we love Jesus enough to die for Him?

    UPDATED FEB. 22, 2008
    I receive periodic newsletters from The Voice of the Martyrs, and for some time I've found myself wondering what would happen if the persecution, torture, even murder of Christians in other countries became a reality in the United States. It's so easy for us to sit in our padded pews among friends and family each week, listening to the Word preached, then leaving and going about our lives with little worry about our well-being. Christians in the U.S. and many other developed countries don't even begin to imagine what would happen or what they would do if suddenly they were denied jobs, beaten and forced to flee for their lives because they follow Jesus. We're deceiving ourselves if we think it can't happen here. I think it's just a matter of time before what's happening to Christians around the world--and what happened to early believers in the New Testament--happens here.

    If you were faced with the choice to deny Christ and live and continue to enjoy all the benefits of society, or to refuse to deny Him and lose everything this world offers but gaining a reward that this world can't take away, would you stand for Christ no matter what? Or would you take the easy way out and never know the joy and ultimate victory that Christ gives us no matter what happens in this life?

    I'm hoping to launch a new site, DieForJesus.com, by this summer. Bookmark the site and keep checking back for updates. I hope the site will challenge you and encourage you.





    What if Christ was all you had left this Christmas?

    UPDATED DEC. 24, 2008
    It can be so easy to get caught up in the materialistic trappings of the commercialized celebration we call Christmas, but what if we lost everything in this world and we were left with only Christ? Would we still love, serve and worship Him even if all the "stuff" of this world was gone? I posed this question in my December newsletter, which I sent out a couple days ago. You can click here to read it.





    Drastic changes could be coming in the U.S....are you ready to serve?

    UPDATED NOV. 28, 2008
    I posted this today on JesusFreakBlog.com:

    I don't normally post messages that some might consider scare tactics, but anyone with a basic knowledge of economics who's been watching the sellout, er, bailout package--news stories the past few days report that the dollar cost of the big-bank bailouts and the mortgage meltdowns could top $7 TRILLION--you read that right. Our national debt is soaring 70 percent in the space of just a few weeks:

    http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/1310ap_financial_meltdown.html

    Now is the time for all of us to take a hard look not just at our finances but our priorities. And Christians in this country should be on the frontlines, ready to serve when things hit the fan. And if we don't step out and do what Jesus told us to do when the biggest ministry opportunity of our lives confronts us, what does that say about our faith? Food for thought:

  • www.survivalblog.com/charity.html
  • A Biblical view on being prepared...and being prepared to serve
  • http://www.inteldaily.com/news/173/ARTICLE/8827/2008-11-24.html

    I'm much less concerned about what might (or might not) happen than I am about whether those of us who claim to be Christ's followers will serve others no matter what happens, because He told us to. What if things don't get too bad? Well, aren't we out there serving anyway? If we aren't, what are we waiting for?

    A bigger disaster, perhaps?

    Is there a bigger disaster than to have people who claim to follow Jesus sitting by and doing nothing while the rest of the world wonders why we're doing nothing?







  • Pray for our leaders, no matter who gets elected

    UPDATED NOV. 4, 2008
    I don't think I have to try too hard to convince people that the results of today's elections will be contentious no matter who wins. But how many of us who call ourselves Christ's followers are obeying the Biblical mandate to pray for our leaders? (1 Timothy 2:1-4) It ultimately doesn't matter who wins or loses today, because God can use any person in any situation in any society at any point in history, just as He has always done. Are we going to be so focused on what happens at the ballot box that we forget that only Christ can give us peace, significance and contentment?

    Click here for my latest post on JesusFreakBlog.com with some thoughts on today's elections and what really matters.





    Breaking a bad law to follow Christ, part 2

    UPDATED OCT. 5, 2008
    I just came across an update on the article below that I posted in May 2007 about church groups and others in Orlando, Florida who were upset about an ordinance passed by the city to prohibit groups from feeding large numbers of homeless people without a permit. I just saw a news story online saying that, thankfully, a federal judge has struck down that ordinance. (Click here to read the story.) But for every victory such as this, there are still far too many instances in society where Christians refuse to do the right thing because the laws of man dictate the wrong thing. I think it merits repeating what I posted last year regardless of the victory in Orlando, because Christians shouldn't need the approval of others, whether the authorities or common citizens, to do the right thing:

    If Christians in cities where these manmade laws have been passed are not willing to do what is right in God's eyes, then they can forget about calling themselves followers of Christ. If you're not willing to do whatever it takes to help "the least of these" no matter what it costs you, then don't go telling anyone you follow Christ. If you're not willing to put your comfort and convenience on the line to do what the Lord commands, no matter if it means breaking this law to push for it to change, then you're not a follower of Christ.

    Check out Lance Vick's site, JesusWasHomeless.com, and pass it along to as many people as possible.





    Meltdown? What meltdown?

    UPDATED SEPT. 26, 2008
    You'd think from looking at this morning's headlines about the largest bank failure in U.S. history and the massive, unprecedented $700 BILLION bailout being painfully stitched together by Congress, the White House and top finance officials that our country is on the verge of financial collapse. And it very well might be. But for those of us who follow Christ, why should the financial trappings and failures of this world really worry us? Has there ever been a time when God has failed to provide exactly what we need, exactly when we need it? I'm not talking about all the junk that we WANT--nearly half the world lives on less than $2.50 a day. (I've got several times that much money, all in coins, in a cup sitting beside my computer--and you probably do, too, admit it.)

    But no matter how much--or how little--material wealth any of us does or doesn't have, what bearing does that have on God's provision for us? Not one bit. Even if our financial nest eggs are wiped out by crooked dealers from Wall Street to Main Street, is God too impotent to provide what we need? Or is it just that we aren't trusting Him, or that like the Israelites coming out of Egypt, we see one proof after another after another of God's amazing provision for us, but we whine and complain because what He provided isn't what we wanted or the way He provided for us isn't what we expected?

    Are we really trusting God to provide for us? Or are we so focused on the stuff of this world that we can't see that He has given most of us in the United States so much more than the rest of the world can even imagine? $700 billion? Most of the rest of the world can't even imagine $700. Are we really looking to Him and trusting Him as things are spiraling faster and faster out of control? Or are we so focused on the death-spiral of the things of this world that we forget God's promise to us from Hebrews 13:5-6?

    "Keep your lives free from the love of money
    and be content with what you have,
    because God has said,
    'Never will I leave you;
    never will I forsake you.'
    So we say with confidence,
    "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
    What can man do to me?"

    And in reading Psalm 37, I hope verse 25 jumps right in your face the way it did in mine:

    I was young and now I am old,
    yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken
    or their children begging bread.

    Does it matter how bad things get around us if we really, truly trust that God meant what He said? Are we going to take Him at His word?




    Governments persecute our brothers and sisters in Christ...do we care enough to care?

    UPDATED AUG. 18, 2008
    There was an article on Yahoo News yesterday about Chinese authorities confiscating more than 300 Bibles that a U.S. ministry group was bringing into the country, despite the religious freedom China claims to have (and which authorities continually violate). But it got me to thinking, do Christians in the U.S. really care? And if we don't care, how can we call ourselves Christ's followers? We're all fat and happy to dress up and look good and be all comfy in our padded pews, singing songs, checking our watches while the pastor preaches and then going home once again until we play church next Sunday. Meanwhile, a small group of Americans is refusing to leave China until the communist authorities there return the Bibles they brought with them...and I don't know about you, but arguing with communist authorities in the world's most populous country isn't my idea of a comfy time. But these people are doing what Jesus told us to do: Take His Gospel into all the world no matter how hard the task or the personal sacrifice. Meanwhile, back in the apathetic comfort of American suburbia, we continue to epitomize the late Keith Green's song "Asleep In The Light."

    Are you willing to take a stand like this group that went to China? Christ is calling you to do just that, if you will let Him prepare you. Does it matter how comfortable you are if you're not living in God's will, going where He calls you and doing what He tells you to do? If you aren't willing, what will it take to get you there?





    If we're not sorry for our sins,
    why should we expect God to forgive us?

    UPDATED JULY 4, 2008
    I was talking with a friend recently about people who call themselves Christians--and by the term "Christian," I mean a follower of Christ--but who don't live at all like Christ did and whose lives show no sorrow toward sin in their own lives and who too often are indistinguishable from the rest of the world. But if we're not following Christ--if we're not living as He commanded us and turning away from sin and seeking to know and to follow Him daily (Luke 9:23), then we're not Christians because we're not Christ's followers. And the fact that so many people defame Christ's name by claiming to follow Him but in reality living like they're sprinting toward hell should make us want to vomit. Because it already nauseates our Lord. (Revelation 3:14-22)

    I don't normally link to outside blogs of people I don't know unless I contact them first, but I really like what an Ohio youth minister named Matt Strader posted on his blog: If we're not truly sorry for your sins and aren't willing to turn away from them, then we won't be forgiven and cannot receive Christ's salvation.

    Please don't misunderstand what I'm saying--although given the hypocrisy in so many congregations today, apparently too many people just don't get it: God calls us to get rid of the spiritual trash in our lives and to turn our hearts totally toward Him, not just go through the outward motions while on the inside we couldn't care less about Him. (2 Chronicles 7:13-22; Luke 6:46-49; Luke 18:9:14; see also OnceSaved.com)

    The rest of the world is watching those of us who claim to follow Christ to see if what we claim about Him changing our lives is for real. Are we going to live out what we say we believe? Or are our lives telling the rest of the world that Jesus is just a fake and that they can just go to hell?





    What if your faith is challenged but you aren't ready?

    UPDATED MAY 2, 2008
    A magnitude-5.2 earthquake hit the Midwest two weeks ago, the strongest quake to hit this part of the country in 40 years. A lot of people are worried about probably continued earthquake activity, because most buildings in the Midwest haven't been built to withstand earthquakes.

    I think there's a major parallel that can be made with the spiritual lives of many of us who claim to follow Christ but who in reality have poor spiritual structures we've built upon unsteady foundations. Click here to read my May newsletter that I sent out this morning about spiritual preparedness and building our lives only upon Christ.





    Do we follow Christ out of the fog or stay in it on our own?

    UPDATED APRIL 17, 2008
    I just posted an entry on JesusFreakBlog.com about the clarity and meaning we can find only through Christ. You can click here to read it. I hope it challenges you.





    Betting our lives on Jesus' resurrection

    UPDATED MARCH 16, 2008
    As we celebrate the events of Jesus' death and resurrection this week, I hope that those of us who claim to trust and follow Him will start thinking about not just what we believe, but why we believe it. 1 Peter 3:15 tells us to "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." But how many of us have really taken the time to think about why we believe what we do as Christ's followers, and to consider how reliable and trustworthy the evidence is? Click here to read my March newsletter, and an article I posted in early 2004 about why we can stake our very lives on the resurrection of Jesus.





    Putting "super" things in perspective

    UPDATED FEB. 3, 2008
    Better late than never for thoughts on today's Super Bowl and putting the earthly things we consider "super" in proper perspective. I've just reposted a blog entry from two years ago, God really doesn't care who wins the Super Bowl. I hope the message will stick with each of us long after the game is over.





    Recovering from the so-called
    "holiday shopping season"

    UPDATED JAN. 3, 2008
    For my upcoming January newsletter, I'm working on some thoughts on how to keep our focus only on Christ as we start this new year--and that everything else in our lives and in this world is trash compared to Him. And tonight after hearing the song "All That Matters" by the band Jonah 33, I thought that a blog entry I posted on JesusFreakBlog.com two years ago about that song is especially appropriate right now. Click here for a repost of that entry.





    Thinking about Christ and showing His love year-round

    UPDATED DEC. 14, 2007
    It can be so easy, even in countries and cultures where everyone seems to know the name of Jesus--or maybe because of that very reason--that we so often take our relationship with Him for granted and sometimes don't focus on sharing His love except around Christmastime. I've just reposted at this link some thoughts I posted two years ago on JesusFreakBlog.com on letting Christmas be the starting point in our lives for us to commit to serve and love others in everything we do, and to let Jesus' example of His love be our model.

    Instead of shopping for Christmas presents this holiday season, how much more of an impact could we make for Christ if we served in a soup kitchen, gave our Christmas shopping money to a homeless shelter or invited strangers into our homes for a meal? Pray that the Lord would show you ways for you to serve and that He would use you for His glory now and the rest of the year. Share your thoughts and experiences at the blog link above about how the Lord has given you a chance to serve Him by serving others. I look forward to hearing from you.

    I encourage you to also check out my December newsletter which has some thoughts on renewing our focus on Christ right now even if we haven't thought much about Him since last Christmas.





    New apologetics site under construction

    UPDATED OCT. 3, 2007
    I am in the process of setting up a new ministry site as a counterpart to JesusFreak.com, with a heavy emphasis on basic doctrinal issues such as the deity of Christ, the Trinity, commonly believed false doctrines, and so on. If you would like to link your site to the new one, Jesus.net.nz, you can click here to add a link to your site. The new site is a work in progress at the moment, but I wanted to put this out there for your perusal. If you would like to suggest any articles for the new site, please e-mail me and put "Suggestions for the new site" in the subject line.





    Focus on ministry, not on the bottom line

    UPDATED SEPT. 8, 2007
    Some of you who receive my monthly newsletter may be wondering why my September newsletter focused on congregations' mortgage debt rather than other more typical devotional topics that I normally write about. But Jesus gave more parables about accountability of our time, talents and resources than about any other topic. And the rest of the world is watching what we do with what we have--if congregations are pouring all of their money into buildings instead of investing in people, if pastors are so focused on bringing people in to help pay the mortgage on an expensive new building instead of trusting God to provide and not going into debt for His work, then not only will we not be doing what we should to draw people to Christ, but our misguided efforts and focus will give the rest of the world the wrong impression about what it means to be a follower of Christ. Check out my newsletter at the link above and feel free to chime in.





    Leaving behind "Left Behind":
    Are you willing to die for Jesus?

    UPDATED AUGUST 25, 2007
    I've been convinced for a long time now that most Christians in developed countries have absolutely no idea what it means to really live for Christ to the point of being willing to die for Him. And when our faith is put to the fire--if it is at all--too many of us will not withstand extreme trials because we have not bolstered our spiritual strength by relying solely upon Christ.

    Having said that, I think the appeal of the "Left Behind" phenomenon that promises Christians won't have to suffer the ultimate price for their faith because Jesus will remove us from the Great Tribulation is misguided and unbiblical. I've set up a page at PostTribRapture.com which I encourage you to check out and read with an open mind as to what Scripture really says about the end times, not about what pop culture has led too many people to believe. I encourage your feedback and look forward to hearing from you.

    I have also registered PreTrib.net as a link to PostTribRapture.com. Please bookmark the link and pass it along to others.





    Holding our pastors accountable

    UPDATED JULY 18, 2007
    I've just added a page at this link on the issue of pastoral accountability which I hope will be a very useful resource for a lot of people. The issue of holding pastors accountable may be a touchy issue with some people whose pastors have been or are involved in immorality, or who seem unapproachable, or who try to wield their authority to keep everyone else in submission to them. But that's exactly why we need to understand and follow what the Bible says about those whom the Lord calls to serve, not to be served. (1 Peter 5:2-3) And when the Lord tells us to speak to those who are in error, no matter what their title or position, we should go, and let Him speak through us as we obey Him.





    Prayer request for this ministry

    UPDATED JULY 9, 2007
    The Lord has been doing more and more amazing things in this ministry, and now more than ever, as the reach of this ministry is expanding literally all over the world, I am asking for your prayers for this ministry, and for all of us who are involved in it. Click here for a note I've just posted on JesusFreakBlog.com about prayer for this ministry.





    Who is God putting in your life at this moment?

    UPDATED JUNE 24, 2007
    It's rare that I post comments about individual e-mails I receive, but a message I received a few hours ago from a person who said he was about to commit suicide is one that I hope will make each of us stop and think about who the Lord might be putting in our lives, even for just a moment, for us to tell and show them about His love. Click here to read the message I received, and some thoughts on what the Lord may be telling each of us at any moment of any day.





    UPDATED JUNE 23, 2007
    As an outgrowth of the links below regarding church debt, I am about to add a section on a number of issues that can pose practical and spiritual problems for pastors and their congregations--and debt is just one of those issues. Check back for an update, hopefully by sometime in early July.



    Stewardship and Scripture: How can congregations Biblically justify debt?

    UPDATED JUNE 11, 2007
    I had a series of conversations with people online a couple of years ago on topics that seem to be surfacing again. The conversations have revolved around the amount of debt (mostly for building projects) of churches in general and churches in the United States in particular, whether debt is ever Biblically justified, and what congregations' focus really is--is God providing or isn't He??--if they insist on borrowing money instead of trusting God to provide for their needs. I realize this issue is a real hornets' nest for some people, but I'd like to hear from you. You can post replies on this thread on JesusFreakBlog.com, or you can e-mail me your comments and I will post them online. I'd like to offer some other links as well for your perusal:
    But I think churches' debt is really just a symptom of a bigger problem, namely that we call ourselves followers of Christ but give so little of our time and resources to Him in the first place--resources that belong to Him in the first place. We need to radically rethink what it means to give, as followers of Christ: It's not a percentage of our income or of our time, but our very lives. And if we aren't giving back to Him a fraction of what He has given us that we don't own, is it any wonder why our "churches" seem to so many people as empty buildings rather than overflowing people?




    What would Jesus do? Break a bad law.
    And we should, too.

    UPDATED MAY 3, 2007
    I sent out my May newsletter yesterday, mentioning the e-mail below that I received last week. Click here to read the newsletter.



    I just got this e-mail from a friend of mine in Florida, a guy named Lance Vick:

    Yo man, we are having a huge problem in Orlando. You may of heard about it in the news. They have BANNED the feeding of homeless people. (See this link for news stories.) Very few people here are aware of the law, and all the local churches have backed down like cowards spouting "Man's law is God's law."


    There comes a time when basic human decency and the command of Jesus should trump "man's law." This is one of those instances when it couldn't be more crystal-clear to those of us who claim to follow Him. Laws like this are not only not worth keeping, but keeping this particular manmade law violates a direct command from Christ:


    Matthew 25:41-46:
    "Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'

    "They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'

    "He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'

    "Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."


    If Christians in cities where these manmade laws have been passed are not willing to do what is right in God's eyes, then they can forget about calling themselves followers of Christ. If you're not willing to do whatever it takes to help "the least of these" no matter what it costs you, then don't go telling anyone you follow Christ. If you're not willing to put your comfort and convenience on the line to do what the Lord commands, no matter if it means breaking this law to push for it to change, then you're not a follower of Christ.

    Check out Lance's site, JesusWasHomeless.com, and pass it along to as many people as possible.

    What would Jesus do? It's time for a bunch of us to get arrested for following Him. I'll see you in court.





    Christian husbands, do you love your wives?

    UPDATED APRIL 20, 2007
    This ministry has just started a new site, LoveYourWife.org, to challenge Christian husbands to be a model of Christ's love to their wives. I hope it will challenge and encourage each of you to glorify Christ in every way through your marriage. And for those of you who have not yet walked the aisle, I hope this will challenge you to become more like Christ as you wait for the woman He will put in your life.





    Around-the-clock prayer for this ministry

    UPDATED APRIL 6, 2007
    I have just set up an interactive calendar to allow visitors to this site to commit to pray for this ministry 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and to receive reminders by e-mail to pray. Please check out PrayForJesusFreak.com and pass the word along. Since this ministry has a 24/7 presence around the world online, prayer is certainly our most vital need.





    You can't grow in spiritual isolation...

    UPDATED FEB. 26, 2007
    I've heard a lot of people say that they can worship God just as easily while they're out on the golf course or fishing or wherever as they can "at church." But are they growing spiritually? I'd be willing to bet the odds aren't good. Click here for my latest article.





    It takes a lot to turn my stomach...

    UPDATED FEB. 10, 2007
    But an e-mail I just received about this site does just that. Pray that the Lord will grab the hearts of that site's visitors and that He will draw them irresistably to Himself. Also check out ChallengeTheBlasphemy.com and please pray for their ministry.





    Praying for Fidel Castro

    UPDATED FEB. 3, 2007
    I won't pretend to understand why the Lord told me to put up a site asking people to pray for the salvation of Cuban president Fidel Castro, but I'm mentioning this here for your perusal.

    Check out PrayForCastro.com and please tell others about the site. I would like to encourage all of us to pray that the Lord would really shake up a lot of people and that He would save Castro before he dies. And I hope He changes our hearts, too, as we pray for Castro.






    Are we praying for people we don't like?
    (Or just wishing they'd go away?)

    UPDATED JAN. 31, 2007
    I'll let my latest posting on JesusFreakBlog.com speak for itself, but I've got several other things I'll be posting on this site in the next several days that I hope get us thinking about praying for people we may not like.



    "Once saved, always saved": Is it Biblical?

    UPDATED JAN. 23, 2007
    I have added a new article written by a brother in the Lord, Brian O'Connell, about the idea that once we are saved, we cannot lose our salvation. "Once saved always saved" might be a popular doctrine, but it's not Biblical. Jesus promised us that He would never let go of us, but also commanded us to remain with Him no matter the circumstances. Click here to read this article.



    Who would Jesus hate?

    UPDATED DEC. 5, 2006
    In response to far too much nonsense I've heard, seen and read recently from people who claim to be Christian but whose lives show none of the love that Jesus commanded us to show, I just registered WhoWouldJesusHate.net. I hope this will give a good punch in the gut to those of us who need it.