• Heartprints

    Called To Disciple

    Have you ever wondered what it would have been like to have experienced and learned from Jesus during His earthly ministry?  The other day my husband and I were having a conversation regarding the way we respond towards different people and their circumstances.  He told me that I was like the apostle John and he was more like Peter.   Who was John?  Well, John was spoken of as the disciple Jesus loved.  (John 13:23) The Scripture is clear that John was the brother of James and the son of Zebedee. (Matt. 4:21-22; Mark 3:13-19; Luke 6:12-16).  He was a fisherman by trade and an ordinary man.  Many are familiar with John because he wrote five books…

  • Engage

    Honoring Spiritual Mothers

    You did it. You survived another Mother’s Day. You’re licking your wounds, but you made it through the day. You plastered a smile on your face and gave a polite nod and shrug of the shoulders in response to the all too familiar question, “When are you going to have a baby?” You, and the other non-moms, successfully pushed back tears and sat staring at the bulletin while a church leader asked all of the mothers in the congregation to stand for applause and recognition.

  • left hands, no wedding rings

    All the Single Ladies

    Two single friends recently attended a teaching about an independent study of biblical femininity. Most of what they heard was fine, but the presenter was apparently so enthused about God’s design for the female body that she elevated the roles of wife and mother beyond what was appropriate. My single friends, one of whom is old enough that she will probably never marry and will definitely never have children, were shocked and angered. The over-enthusiasm for marriage and family meant that as single women, they both felt the shame of being “lesser-than.” I knew what they were experiencing. For many years, much of the teaching in the church has (unintentionally,…

  • Heartprints

    Christian Parenting Mistakes: #5 Not Helping Them Embrace Their Spiritual Gifts

    Just as sad as mistakenly raising cultural Christians who know the talk but can’t walk the walk because they have not yet accepted Christ as Savior, is the mistake of having a child in our family or classroom who has accepted Christ as Savior and yet we don’t help them discover and use their spiritual gifts. We hamstring their spiritual muscles and hamper their growth in Christ when we don’t help them learn how to spiritually exercise. When a person believes in Christ He is placed into the body of Christ. He is born again and given spiritual gifts. However, most churches function as though these gifts can only be…

  • Impact

    Blessed are the Bankrupt

      Leadership is broken because leaders are unbroken Blessed are the poor in spirit . . . (Mt. 5:3) What stunning, shocking words! What king announces his rule by calling the poor in spirit to him, the bankrupt, those with no resources who bring nothing to him? Only one. The King who is lowly in heart, who offers a light burden because He is not bent down by the weight of pride. Amazingly these are the first recorded words of discipleship Jesus uttered. Jesus requires bankruptcy to enter His kingdom… That’s what it means to be poor in spirit: spiritual bankruptcy, a total lack of resources to do what ultimately…

  • Impact

    Last Things First

      Leadership is broken because leaders are unbroken The Great Commission was the last words Jesus said, but it was among the first thoughts in His mind as He began His ministry. Why was it that one of the first actions He took was to choose disciples (Mt. 4:18-22) if He did not have a purpose in mind for them? He certainly did not intend to spend the better part of three years preparing followers for nothing… And why did He persevere so relentlessly with them when they rejected His message and thought like Satan (Mark 8:33) or created more confusion than clarity when a father sought their help for…

  • Impact

    Start With the End in View

      Leadership is broken because leaders are unbroken Jesus started with the end in view. From the first day of His earthly ministry to the last, He had His two-fold purpose before Him: redemption and preparation, the cross and the commission. He came to provide redemption for dying men and women. But what good would His redemptive death be if there were no one to tell others what it means? How could He establish a redemptive movement if He had no one to start it? That’s why He declared to His Father before the cross that He had accomplished His will by making the Father known to those He had…

  • Impact

    The Beatitudes Attitude: Introduction

      Leadership is broken because leaders are unbroken Today we start a new series drawn from the Beatitudes which describe the abounding blessings of Christ in us. We start with the introduction this week, go to a preview with our next entry, and then we will look at each of the Beatitudes to see what these blessings mean to us as we seek to grow in the Beatitudes Attitude. Blessed are . . . (Matthew 5:1-12) The first recorded words of Jesus to His future disciples were words of blessing, and what blessings they are! These blessings are the essence of life that have endured through the ages and define…

  • Impact

    The Ultimate Wilderness – Series Finale

      Leadership is broken because leaders are unbroken Wilderness Wanderings Series Finale: Learning to Live the Zigzag Life AD 33, 9:00 AM Passover Friday, the Place of the Skull, a public place near Jerusalem.   Many people are coming and going, some stopping to see what was happening, observing three men on crosses, two criminals with Jesus in the middle.   A large crowd had followed the crucifixion detail out of the city to the place of execution, the place of the ultimate wilderness…  No one knew it was the ultimate wilderness on that spring morning. Not the Pharisees or the Sadducees, the instigators of the crucifixion. Not the high…

  • Impact

    The Lucky Wilderness

      Leadership is broken because leaders are unbroken Wilderness Wanderings Series: Learning to Live the Zigzag Life John Paine calls himself “the luckiest man in the world,” and most agreed with him some years ago.   When John was in the seventh grade he decided he would be physically strong, and he worked until he became a superior athlete who played for college football. Then he decided to transfer to a top ten engineering school and strive to become intellectually strong, and he succeeded by graduating Summa Cum Laude. Upon graduation, John married his high school sweetheart and started his family.   At the same time he decided he would…