Knowing vs. Doing: You know what to do. So do it!

The great Yogi Berra once said, “In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice – in practice, there is.”

The great Jesus Christ once said, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’ and not do what I say?”

James, the brother of Jesus, would put it this way: “Be doers of the word, not just hearers.”

I think deep down we all know the things we SHOULD be doing.

If we follow Christ we are called to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Practice humility. Give to the poor. Study God’s word. Pray without ceasing. Turn the other cheek. All that stuff.

Continue reading → Knowing vs. Doing: You know what to do. So do it!

Struggle: Embrace the Suck

Working out sucks.

Eating healthy is no fun.

Keeping a good sleep schedule is just too difficult.

Getting to church every Sunday is just not gonna happen.

I’m sore. I’m tired. I just want to eat cookies and watch Netflix in bed.

Sound familiar? Like I’ve said, humans – like water and electricity – will always take the path of least resistance. Couple that with our inability to delay gratification at all (exercise will help me feel good later, but that donut will make me feel good now), and it’s no wonder the average American is more sedentary and overweight than ever.

Continue reading → Struggle: Embrace the Suck

Consistency: Are you in it for the long haul?

There’s a lot of talk going around about habits, goals, and bettering ourselves.

I’ve heard a lot of buzz about the concept of getting 1% better. If you get just 1% better every day, then but the end of the year you’ll have perfected whatever it is you’re trying to do.

The book Atomic Habits by James Clear (which is on my to-read list) encourages us to develop habits instead of setting goals. By doing so, we subtly change our own identity – how we see ourselves and present ourselves to others. You aren’t just going for runs every so often. You are a runner.

What it all comes down to is consistency. Nothing will become a habit if you aren’t consistent. You won’t reach your goals without putting in the work day in and day out. You aren’t in it for the short-term results (which you probably won’t see on a day to day basis). You’re in it for the month over month, year over year progress toward becoming the person you truly want to be.

Continue reading → Consistency: Are you in it for the long haul?

Jumpstart Your Goals: Find Your WHY

Two big components of my life are my FAITH and my FITNESS. I’ve been on both journeys long enough to realize there is a lot of overlap between the two. At the start of this new year many of us have goals pertaining to one or the other or both. I want to share some thoughts that are definitely helpful to me and will hopefully encourage you, too.

FIND YOUR “WHY”

Let’s start with this. Why are we doing the things we do? Why are we setting certain goals and seeking to improve or make progress in these areas of our lives? For me, and probably for you, a lot of our common behaviors are engrained, unconscious habits either learned or passed on from other people.

We do *this* because *this* is what we do.

It’s the generational equivalent of “Because I said so.”

But in order to make changes, I think we first need to have a good reason. We need a motivating factor. We need to find our WHY.

Continue reading → Jumpstart Your Goals: Find Your WHY

God of Hosts

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Psalm 46:10

Imagine two neighboring nations. One feels slighted or insulted by the other. Retaliation. Revenge. Shows of strength. Gathering of forces. Threats escalating. Battle lines drawn up. Battle drums. War cries. Impassioned calls to arms. The two armies—with most soldiers not even knowing why they are fighting—charge each other. But before any strike is laid, God Almighty and his heavenly army swoops down from the heavens. Suddenly spears explode. Shields erupt into flame. Bows break in the archers’ hands. As both armies stop dead in their tracks with confusion and bewilderment, a voice like thunder rings out:

BE STILL! AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD. I WILL BE EXALTED AMONG THE NATIONS. I WILL BE EXALTED IN THE EARTH.

Continue reading → God of Hosts

Almost Famous

Fear of man will prove to be a snare,

but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.

Proverbs 29:25

Deep down we all want to be accepted. We all want to belong. It’s in our nature. We are the most social creatures on the planet. Humans literally die in isolation. And because of this we all end up doing stupid stuff through junior high, high school, even into college and beyond in order to fit in. Socialization is part of self-preservation.

Continue reading → Almost Famous

Explain Like I’m Five

Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13:13

What does it mean to be a Christian? Don’t we all wonder about that sometimes? The world gives so many mixed messages out there about religion, life, politics, worldview, etc. If we only relied on what others told us about being a Christian, especially through the media, we would get utterly confused and completely lost.

Continue reading → Explain Like I’m Five

Gifted & Talented

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

1 Peter 4:10

Do you know what I think is one of the biggest detriments to the local church? The “professionalization” of ministry. (And I say this as a full-time minister.) Why is this such a problem? Because if churches can pay someone to do a task – preach, teach, lead worship, oversee administrative tasks, etc. – then other people don’t have to.

Continue reading → Gifted & Talented

Watch Your Mouth

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Colossians 4:6

My boys have reached the age where they are beginning to discover and understand “cuss words.” So watching movies and listening to music is really fun!

“This song has the ‘H’ word, daddy.”

“I know, but they were talking about the actual Hell, so it’s not a cuss word.”

“He just said a bad word, didn’t he?”

“Yep, now just don’t repeat it.”

Continue reading → Watch Your Mouth

REVIEW: God Over Good, by Luke Norsworthy

God Over Good: Saving Your Faith by Losing Your Expectations of God by Luke Norsworthy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

God Over Good is an approachable, relatable, personal book about faith and doubt. I’ve been a long-time listener of Luke’s podcast, “Newsworthy with Norsworthy,” so many of the main points and the stories were familiar. But since I’m somewhat late to this (about 3 years post-publication), they still seemed fresh.

I appreciate Luke’s honesty and vulnerability, which is definitely not easy to do in writing, much less for someone with a podcast audience and an active preaching ministry. But it’s his honesty that makes it work. Luke doesn’t really sugar coat anything. He, like many of us, has been disillusioned with God and on the brink with his faith. Speaking from experience as a minister, that’s a very precarious situation to be in. It can be downright scary.

If you read this book, be prepared to have many of your assumptions challenged. Through the power of story-telling, Luke is able to get us, his readers, to lower our own defenses, question our own preconceptions and expectations we have about God, and follow him on a journey to rediscover the beauty and the mystery of God revealed in Christ.

Overall, I think this book is needed more and more among our church members and pastors. When churches go into survival mode, the demand for adherence to “secondary” beliefs becomes a harsher battle ground. I’m afraid the dominoes have started to fall for many in our congregations. It’s time for a paradigm shift of what faith actually means and looks like going into the 2020s and a post-pandemic world.

I highly recommend God Over Good and Luke’s podcast, Newsworthy with Norsworthy.



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