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Cost of Following Jesus

Following Christ will cost. Something. Everything. Listen, it’s worth it. There will be times where life is seemingly easy. Like somehow the winds of change have ended and the wind is at your back. In those moments you’ll thank Jesus, speak as if it’s always been this way, and basically love the Lord with ease. But following Christ will cost, also.

Like when the winds at your back seemingly move to the front. They are pressing against you. Hitting your forehead like a freight train. It could be financial headwinds, job related, … family related. It doesn’t matter what the circumstance is, the headwinds of life can be brutal. Fatiguing. Eroding. In those moment’s you’ll struggle. You’ll ask, “Where’s God?” You’ll wonder. Wander. (more…)

5 Firsts That Matter in 2015

New Year, 2015, leadership, vision, Jesus, priorities, life

I want to get this post into your mind right now, with some time to spare.  So go ahead, read it now, and when you’re done reading set a calendar appointment next week to spend some time with yourself. Then go enjoy Christmas, and after the eggnog is gone reflect on what 2015 might become!

For some, a New Year symbolizes a pat on the back or a token for a job well done in the previous 12 months. For most, it’s kind of like a smack in the face that says a great big, “What are you waiting for?” I’ve had those moments where I needed to get started on the future, and like they say, there’s no time like the present.

In my own life, I use the time after Christmas to reflect and redirect. It’s a time to ease back on the throttle just a bit and ask some important and legitimate questions.

What’s the Highest Priority?

For me, my highest priority is (more…)

Jesus is Our Hope


We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 1:3

What makes Jesus so great?
Is it solely because He is a King and He is Lord of all? Maybe Jesus is great because He can heal the sick and perform great miracles. All of those things are tremendous and well worth mentioning. But if I were to summarize what makes Jesus great, it would be one word—Hope. He offers hope. And hope, for times such as these, means everything in our world today.

Although I am a pastor, I really don’t like being too “preachy,” that’s just not my style. I’d much prefer conversations face to face. I like connecting heart to heart. I prefer gathering around a matter that means a lot to you. I’m much more into the personal approach. With that said, I really have to be honest with you and risk it all. It’s way too important not to broach this subject with you.  (more…)



A few months ago I made a statement in front of our church community as I said goodbye to my 18 year friend, co-leader and confidant, Rory Tongg. It was a statement which stayed with me for 48 hours, so I knew I needed to think through it some more.

As I held back the tears from flowing in front of the packed house, the words that came out of my mouth were to this effect, “I’ve always felt a bit under resourced, and so when people like Rory and Kathryn (Rory’s wife) become a part of your team it means so much … that’s why it’s hard to say goodbye.” Those were not the exact words, but an accurate summary. However, I struggled with one word I used, the word “resourced.” (more…)


What kind of year was last year for you spiritually?  I’ve talked to many who are ready to make 2014 a year of advancement.  People are talking about starting careers, new businesses and giving more of themselves to others.  There’s talk of studying the Bible, praying more and even attending a conference or two.  Some are set out to exercise, get fit, healthy and focused on their personal success.  All these great endeavors are noble.

Yet, how will we avoid the impact of the apathetic environment around us?  What will stop the inconsistency in our spiritual walk?  There is a required shift, a shift to being consumed!

First things First in 2014:

 First of the DAY:  Seek God

…O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. Psalm 63:1 NKJV

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Mark 1:35

I have friends who’ve woken up every morning for 20+ years seeking God first thing.  What a marvelous discipline!  What a way to start every day.

 First of the week:  Worship

On the first day of the week we came together to break bread… Acts 20:7

Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another… Hebrews 10:25

Since I was a boy my Dad always said, “While living under this roof you will attend church on Sunday.”  I didn’t always like going, but dad’s standard put a deep passion to be in God’s Church every Sunday.  I’d encourage you to make Sunday morning a priority, not because I am a pastor, but because without it most grow spiritually apathetic.

 First of the Month:  Tithe

A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord. Leviticus 27:30

…Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore the more important aspects of the law—justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things. Matthew 23:23 NLT

Being a disciple of Christ means giving financially to His first love, the Church.  It’s not about the money, it’s about the first of everything belonging to Him.

 First of the Year:  Fast

Declare a holy fast; call a sacred assembly. Summon the elders and all who live in the land to the house of the Lord your God, and cry out to the Lord. Joel 1:14

But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6:17-18

For many years now I’ve done a 21 day fast to start the year.  This year is no exception.

Well, there it is First Things First.  I am certain if you and I approach 2014 with these “firsts” in mind we will definitely achieve and accomplish all that is in our heart.  Make a new start in this New year.  Taking the time to talk it over with someone can help your next step toward putting God first in 2014!