Too often, the church doesn’t feel like a safe place for people who are far from God. They experience judgment and rejection. But that’s not what Jesus intended when he established his church. He meant for the church to be a magnet for the unchurched, a place where they could find reconciliation with God. June 19, 2016

Prepared :: Good God?

There’s one question about God that elicits the most emotion, but has no emotionally satisfying answer. If God is good, why is there so much suffering in the world? If God were all-powerful, he could eliminate suffering. If God was loving, he would eliminate suffering. So, is he unable or unwilling? June 5, 2016

Prepared :: Reliable Witness

If you’re a Christian, be prepared to defend your decision to follow Christ. Be prepared to defend your hope or confidence in Christ. You believe that Jesus died for your sins and rose from the grave. That’s amazing! But you don’t have to believe it because the Bible says so. It’s better than that . . .

May 29, 2016

Prepared :: Hope on the Ropes

One of the most frustrating things about being a Christian is when someone asks you a question about what you believe. If you had fifteen minutes of undivided attention, you could answer. But what are you supposed to say in just a few seconds? How do you defend your faith without losing your mind?

May 22, 2016

Choose To Lose :: Connect the Dots

As we said in Part 1, winning anything significant involves choosing to lose something else. In Part 2 of this series we’re going to discover something in a very familiar story in the New Testament that is unnatural and uncomfortable for any of us to choose to lose, but when we do it opens the door to the biggest wins in following Jesus. Choosing to lose in this way allows us to experience something that changes us and our relationship with God forever.

May 15, 2016

Choose To Lose :: The Moment of Choice

We love to win. We love winning in our finances. We love winning power in our careers. We love winning in romance. We love winning in life. And we hate losing as much as we love winning. We even take it personally when our favorite sports teams lose, even though we’re not actually on the teams. But in the Gospels, Jesus introduced a counterintuitive principle: In order to win, you have to lose.

May 8, 2016

Starting Over :: Release It

We all have mistakes in our pasts—financial, professional, academic, relational. Unfortunately, we tend to learn from our mistakes in the areas that matter least and repeat our mistakes in the areas that matter most. Sometimes that’s because we avoid owing our part of a mistake. It’s easier to blame others. But once you’ve taken ownership of your part of a mistake, what do you do with the part owned by others? How do you get past the stuff other people have done to turn your life upside down? May 1, 2016

Starting Over :: Rethink It

We learn from our mistakes in the areas that matter least. We repeat our mistakes in the areas that matter most. Too often, we look at our pasts and our decisions don’t even make sense to us. We end up asking, “What was I thinking?” How do we avoid getting stuck in cycles of repeated mistakes that take our lives down the wrong path? April 24, 2016