Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Change, Changing and Changed

It has been said that the only thing that is constant is change. While that may be true for earthly things, it isn't true about God. 

“I am the Lord, and I do not change. That is why you descendants of Jacob are not already destroyed.”
Malachi 3:6 NLT

People change, circumstances change and I am no exception. I am a human being and, wow, do I have circumstances. These circumstances, that we all have in varying forms, change us. It's inevitable. Not only do they change us, but they change those closest to us. 

I'm not sure which is more difficult, adjusting to the changes in oneself or the changes in those around us? What if you don't particularly like the person you've changed into, or worse, the person who is closest to you has changed into? What if they don't like who you have become?
Change is hard and it is fraught with challenges to seemingly no end. As hard as it is, we have to try to focus on the One who is, as the song, One Thing Remains says, "constant in the trial and the change."

 Perhaps if we keep our attention on the one who never changes, he will guide us through these changes and, through it all, change us in the process.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


Years ago, in college, I was taught not to expect positive change or growth in the first five years of a ministry position, that it would take that long to even gain a little traction.

Soon after starting my present position, being the naive, older, first-time lead pastor, I was excited as more and more people began attending services. 

The problem is that when I got excited over increased numbers, I also got discouraged over the decreasing numbers that followed. 

Fast forward 5 years, as of Christmas Day, and I've learned to measure something far more valuable and telling than numbers - depth.

Even now we see signs of spiritual maturity among the people we have grown to love. As we become more like Christ together, God's specific mission for the church has become clear.

Looking back, I am thankful for the wise teaching of that particular professor. Five years and we are finally getting started.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016


“Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.””
Mark 2:4-5 NIV

How many people that are paralyzed by their past, their mistakes and their sin have we failed to get to Jesus because of the difficulty? Cut through the barriers and get people to Jesus.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016


“A man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed. “If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean,” he said. Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” Instantly the leprosy disappeared, and the man was healed.”
Mark 1:40-42 NLT

Are we moved with compassion for all those that need healing, inside and out? By the way, that's everybody. Are we willing to love the unlovely and touch the untouchable? 

Monday, July 25, 2016


“But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.””
Luke 22:32 NLT

God not only wants YOU back, but he wants you back for OTHERS!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016


“We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.”
Proverbs 16:9 NLT

I never actually understood this verse, until today. I never had a master plan for my life, I just went where the wind blew me, did what I had to do and helped where I could. I guess you could say my life has been a series of small, short-term plans. 

Today, I realized that the steps along the way were determined by God. Within each of those short-term plans, were opportunities to invest into others. 

All the while I was chasing an elusive plan, God was using me in my steps.

If we look to far ahead, we may stumble right over our God-given destiny and miss out on an extraordinary legacy.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Me That I Was Created To Be

I remember the roller coaster of feelings. A great rush as I thought I had finally broken through. On a Sunday morning, just four years ago, I preached a message from the Old Testament (I love preaching messages from the Old Testament) which was met with the approval of a mature believer who I thought I was trying to please; however, as I think back, I was actually trying to appease.

This individual made a beeline to me after the service, telling me how much they enjoyed the message. I was thrilled. I felt like I could breathe again. Months of worry and fear, all of my striving to connect as a new pastor, melted off of my shoulders. I had accomplished MY goal.

It wasn't long, days even, when I realized that while I had accomplished MY goal, I had not accomplished God's goal. In my conversation with people from the church later that week, I learned that they had not connected with the message at all. They had no idea what I was talking about.

I had broken one of my life's major rules which says, in general, "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few." This, coming from one of the greatest philosophers of all time - Mr. Spock. (Live long and prosper!)

Was I in God's will during those early years of pastoring? Yes. Was there an anointing on my life? Yes. But, to be honest I was often, living and leading for the approval of others. A condition rooted in pride.

The dangerous condition of pride makes us vulnerable. We are tempted to take credit for when something goes well and the blame when something doesn't. Someone leaving the church felt like a knife through my heart - how could it not be personal?

But something happened in 2014 that changed EVERYTHING. On a flight home from a ministry trip in Africa, God begin stirring my heart. I was homesick. I missed Minerva. I missed the Tri-County area. I missed True North Church. I was and still am passionate about seeing an unprecedented move of God's Spirit here.

On that Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787, for 15-1/2 hours - God began revealing HIS Vision for True North Church A/G and the surrounding area it serves. Of course, my past mistakes caused some doubts and fears. But a month after our return from Africa, in a pastor's conference, I heard a message that confirmed everything that God's Spirit spoke to mine on the plane.

In December of 2014, I cast the Extraordinary Vision, based on Acts 1:8, to True North Church. And what God has done in us and through us as a church is, well, EXTRAORDINARY.

But something else has happened. God has changed me. God gives pastors a pastor's heart. They often love more than they are loved and when someone from the flock is spoken bad of, mistreated or abused it wounds us. Likewise, when someone leaves the church it wounds us.

But a pastor/mentor of mine recently stated that when the Vision leads, disappointments are far less personal. IT'S TRUE! When God's purposes, will and mission are front and center, everything else pales in comparison. This has completely changed my life and ministry.

I'll let God's Vision lead and enjoy being the me that I was created to be.