Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Ask These FIVE QUESTIONS At The End Of Every Day

What do you do right before you fall asleep? Are you watching the news and complaining about how bad the world has become? Are you scrolling social media, concerned about what you might have missed or coveting what you might not have?

Why not use those final minutes of your day to focus your mind on a beneficial, uplifting, and spiritually healthy trajectory. As you close out your day, ask yourself these five questions to ensure that you finish well:

Have I read and contemplated God's Word?

the Bible is our primary source of guidance and direction in life. Psalm 119:105, says, "Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path." Through reading and chewing on God's Words, we can gain wisdom and understanding of God's will for us.

Have I confessed my shortcomings and mistakes?

Confession is an important part of the Christian life, as it allows us to repent and turn away from our sinful ways. In 1 John 1:9, it says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." God has already forgiven our sins in Christ, but through confession, we are able to receive that forgiveness and in turn forgive ourselves.

Have I thanked God for His blessings?

Thanking God for His blessings is an acknowledgement that every good gift is from above. Colossians 3:17, says, "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." By giving thanks to God, we will grow our gratitude habit, we will remind ourselves of how many blessings we truly have received, and we will feed our mind spiritually health food.

Have I encouraged and provided assistance to others?

As Christians, we are called to love and serve others, and one way to do this is by encouraging and providing assistance to those in need. Galatians 6:2 reminds us to, "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." When we use our gifts and resources for the good of others, we are fulfilling Christ's command to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Have I prayed for those whom I love?

There are few better ways to close out a day than to pray for others. Praying for those we love is an important way to show our love and concern for them. In 1 Thessalonians 5:17, it says, "Pray continually." Praying for those closest to us is important because prayer is effective. And, it is also good and beneficial to pray for those not close to us, even our enemies sometimes. Prayer is the portal through which we draw near to the heart of God.

Meditate on these questions as you lie in bed. There is no better way to finish your day.

DISCOVER THE BIBLE (tools to empower your spiritual habits)

Thursday, December 22, 2022


 For good reason, many people wish smartphones would have never been created. They have become a source of addiction, a means by which great evil is spread, and a root cause of much pain and sorrow for many families. However... they may yet be redeemable.

Let's be honest. To live and work in today's world, you probably need to carry a smartphone. So, why not make the best of it? Here are six ways you can use your smartphone for good. Try them all, but if you can't, choose at least 2-3 to get started. 

Set alarms to remind you to pause and pray throughout the day.

"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Setting alarms on your smartphone can be a great way to remind yourself to take a break from your busy schedule and pray. Whether it's for a few minutes in the morning, during lunch, or before bed, taking time to pray and communicate with God can help bring peace and clarity to your day. Consider setting alarms at different intervals throughout the day to remind you to pause and pray.

Intentionally use your text messages to encourage 3-5 people every day.

"Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing." - 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Text messages are a quick and easy way to reach out to others, and they can be a powerful tool for encouraging those around you. Consider making it a daily habit to send 3-5 text messages to friends, family, or even coworkers, offering words of encouragement and support. Whether it's a simple "thinking of you" or a more detailed message, your words can have a big impact on the people you reach out to.

Download a Bible App (Youversion) that will help you stick to a daily reading plan.

"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." - Psalm 119:105

One of the great things about smartphones is that there are so many apps available to help us in our spiritual growth. One such app is Youversion, which offers a wide range of Bible translations, reading plans, and other resources to help you engage with God's Word on a daily basis. Whether you're a seasoned Bible reader or just starting out, a Bible app can be a great tool to help you stay on track with your daily reading.

Use YouTube to subscribe and listen to Bible teachers and preachers.

"How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!" - Psalm 119:103

YouTube is a treasure trove of resources for spiritual growth, and there are many Christian teachers and preachers who use the platform to share their insights and perspectives on the Bible. Consider subscribing to a few channels that you find particularly helpful, and make it a habit to listen to their teachings on a regular basis. You might also consider setting aside specific times each week to watch and listen to these teachings, as a way to make sure you're consistently feeding your faith.

Utilize an e-reader app (Kindle, etc.) to download and read spiritual growth material.

"All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness" - 2 Timothy 3:16

In addition to the Bible, there are many other books and resources that can help us grow in our faith. E-reader apps like Kindle make it easy to download and read these materials on our smartphones, giving us access to a wealth of spiritual growth resources wherever we go. Consider browsing through the selection of Christian books available on Kindle, and add a few titles to your reading list.

Share your password with other people and give them permission to check your usage anytime.

"Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven." - Matthew 5:16

One way to ensure that we're using our smartphones for good is to be open and transparent about our usage. Consider sharing your password with people you trust and if they ask, let them view your phone usage. Loving accountability from trustworthy people is a powerful encouragement to live up to our calling.

You don't have to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Although smartphones carry significant potential for harm, they can also be a useful tool that aids our spiritual growth. You are the only person who can choose whether to use your phone for good or evil. Make the right choice!

Wednesday, December 21, 2022


Gratitude is a simple habit to build and it will have a profound impact on your life. The Bible is clear that the more gratitude you exhibit, the more you will experience the life God created you to live. Here are five reasons the Bible says gratitude is good for you.

The Bible teaches that gratitude is a habit that can radically alter the trajectory of your life. Check out these five verses that demonstrate how gratitude can change your life.
Gratitude Will Change Your Life

Gratitude can bring joy to our lives. "I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High." (Psalm 7:17)

Gratitude can strengthen our relationships. "Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Gratitude can improve our mental and physical health. "A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." (Proverbs 17:22)

Gratitude can increase overall happiness. "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Gratitude can bring us closer to God. "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever." (Psalm 107:1)

Gratitude is the antidote for anxiety and can be a gateway to contentment. Beginning and ending your day with gratitude is one of the most powerful habits you can build if you want to experience a joy-filled life. Use this 30-day journal to immerse every day in gratitude and to discover how much your life can change by simply learning how to say "thank you" a little more often.

Tuesday, December 20, 2022


I'm stashing these thoughts here for the day I need them. Judges 15:20 is a short verse that often goes unnoticed. The story of Samson is so full of action and craziness that we sometimes forget about this twenty-year break when he actually did what he was supposed to do. I think there's a good sermon here, and a great sermon title.

6 Preaching Points From The Life of Samson

1. God's purpose for Samson's life was to lead the Israelites and deliver them from the Philistines

2. For most of his life, Samson was distracted from God's purpose for His life.

3. Whenever Samson was distracted, conflict and calamity ensued.

4. For twenty years, Samson focused on accomplishing God's purpose for His life.

5. During those years, there was no conflict or calamity.

6. Living out God's purpose may seem boring, but if boring means no conflict and no calamity, then boring is better than being distracted.

Friday, December 16, 2022


Around this time every year, many people take the opportunity to reflect on the previous year and make resolutions for the year ahead. For those who follow Christ, the start of a new year is a chance to challenge ourselves to grow in our faith and strengthen our connection to God. With that in mind, here are five New Year's resolutions that every Christian should consider making:

Pray at least three times every day. 

Prayer is an essential part of the Christian life, and it's important to make time for it every day. Whether you pray first thing in the morning, during your lunch break, or before you go to bed at night, set aside a few moments to talk to God and ask for His guidance and direction.

Read and think about the Bible every day.

The Bible is our source of truth and inspiration, and it's important to spend time reading and studying it regularly. Consider setting aside a few minutes each day to read a passage of scripture and reflect on its meaning. This will help you better understand God's will for your life and stay focused on your faith.

Find three people to encourage every day.

As Christians, we are called to love and serve others, and one way to do that is by offering encouragement to those around us. Look for opportunities to lift up and support those in your life, whether it's a colleague at work, a neighbor, or a family member. Even a simple act of kindness can make a big difference in someone's day.

Give something away every day.

Another way to show love and serve others is by being generous with our time, resources, and talents. Consider finding ways to give back to your community or to those in need. This might mean volunteering at a local shelter, donating money to a worthy cause, or simply helping a neighbor with a task they're struggling to complete.

Tell one person why you follow Jesus every day.

Finally, consider making it a goal to share your faith with others. This might mean having a conversation with someone about your beliefs or simply sharing a message of hope and love with those around you. Whether you do this through social media, in person, or through other means, make it a priority to share your faith with others and be a light in the world.

These five resolutions can empower you to grow in your faith, serve others, and brighten the world around you. Consider giving them a try this New Year, and see what a change they can make in your life and the lives of those around you.

Monday, December 12, 2022


 When dealing with the busyness, stress, and uncertainties of life, it can be easy to get caught up in worrying about things that are beyond our control. In those moments it is important to remember to work at what we can control while trusting God for the rest.

When we focus on the things that we can control, we can make a real difference in our own lives and the lives of those around us. We can work hard at our jobs, take care of our families, and strive to be the people God created us to be. By doing these things, we can find a sense of purpose and fulfillment in our lives while building the Kingdom of God.

But there will always be things that are beyond our control. In these moments, it's important to pray. When we take these worries to our Heavenly Father, we can put our trust in God and let Him handle the things that are beyond our control. This doesn't mean that we should simply sit back and do nothing, but rather that we should trust in God's plan and work alongside Him to bring about His will.

So in those moments of uncertainty, overwhelm, or confusion; remember to work at what you can control and pray about what you cannot control. By doing so, you will discover life as it was meant to be lived.

Thursday, December 8, 2022

6 Steps To Level Up Your Prayer Life.

How to be better at prayer

Prayer is essential to the growth of every Christian. It is the means by which we connect with God and cultivate a deeper relationship with Him. As we pray, we can align our lives with the will of God. 

Through prayer, we submit to His guidance and seek to discover His plan for our life. The more we pray, the closer we grow to Him. The closer we grow to Him, the more easily we understand and live out His desires.

Here are six steps you can take to enhance your prayer life.

Put it on your calendar. 

Choose a specific time that you will set aside for prayer every day. This can be in the morning, evening, or anytime that works best for you. Put it on your schedule and don't let anything displace it.

Identify a "Prayer Corner". 

This can be a quiet room, a designated space, or simply a quiet corner of your home. The goal is to find a place where you can focus and be free from distractions. Plan to be in your space at the times you have scheduled on your calendar. (If you can't be in your space, make a plan to be somewhere else that will work)

Prepare your mind and heart. 

Prayer is a conversation with God, so approach it with a calm and receptive heart. Stop thinking about the busyness of the day. Don't worry about what is next on the schedule. Let go of any worries or distractions and focus on the present moment.

Manage a diverse "Prayer Toolbox". 

There is no one "right" way to pray, so try different approaches and see what works best for you. This might include traditional prayers, spontaneous prayers, or simply talking to God as you would a friend. You can find an unlimited number of prayer methods by searching Pinterest or Google.

Be consistent. 

Prayer is a journey, not a destination. Don't be discouraged if you don't feel like you're making progress at first. Keep praying, and over time you will find that your prayer life deepens and becomes more meaningful.

Keep a Journal or Scoreboard. 

If you enjoy writing, keep a journal and write about how prayer is changing you and how your prayers are being answered (it won't always be how you expect). If you don't journal, keep a "scoreboard" to track your consistency. Try to create streaks during which you spend intentional time in prayer every day. 

For some, praying multiple times a day is helpful, while others may only pray once or twice a day. The frequency of your prayers isn't the most important thing. The consistency of prayers is. You may begin by praying for your situation to change. What you will discover is that consistent prayer may not change your circumstances, but it will change you.

Wednesday, December 7, 2022


New Year's Resolutions are inspiring for some and frustrating for others. If you love a challenge, here are some generic ideas for you in 2023. Pick one or two and make them specific to your life. Then make it happen!

Strengthen your faith. If you want to strengthen physical muscles, you need to set aside time to exercise. If you want to strengthen your faith, you need to set aside time for spiritual exercise. Try setting aside time every day for prayer, reading the Bible, and focusing your mind on God.

Demonstrate God's love to others. This begins by focusing less on yourself and more on others. Pay attention to the needs of those around you. Show them kindness. When you are able, offer them help.

Forgive people. You cannot control others, so don't let them control you. Forgiveness is a choice to stop dwelling on the actions of someone else. When you find yourself thinking about how they have wronged you, remind yourself that you are forgiving them and refocus your attention on someone else.

Embrace generosity. Look for ways that you can share your time, talents, and resources with others. Work together with others and discover opportunities to make a positive impact on the community around you.

Commit to ongoing change. Life change doesn't happen in a moment. It is an incremental process that occurs one step at a time. Commit to consistently evaluating yourself, choosing righteous next steps, and being disciplined to stick to it.

Thursday, September 8, 2022


Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus... (Philippians 2:3-5)

If you know who Jesus is and you know what Jesus has done, than you ought to desire to to be like Jesus. Being like Jesus means putting the interests of others ahead of your own. Here are 13 practical steps you can take to count others more significant than yourself.

1. Listen more than you talk.

2. Listen to understand rather than listening to respond.

3. Check your motives.

4. Pay attention to what is going on around you.

5. Assume others are acting in good faith or with good motives.

6. Smile more often.

7. Catch people doing good things, and call them out for it.

8. Regularly tell people why you admire them.

9. Forgive.

10. Pray for your enemies and do good for those who mistreat you.

11. Send a handwritten note simply to encourage someone.

12. Focus your energy on meeting someone else's needs instead of your own.

13. Give something away every day.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

3 Things Every Pastor Should Tell Their Church Following the FBI Raid on Donald Trump

Nobody shouted "Stop the Presses!", but they could have. The news cycle came to a screeching halt this week and every major network was quickly consumed with the story that federal agents had procured and were serving a search warrant on Mar-a-Lago, the primary residence of former president Donald Trump.

Within hours, the competing narratives we have come to expect were being rolled out on competing networks. The most platformed Christian influencers were quickly serving up their own opinions. I saw one tweet encouraging pastors that they "must" speak to their churches about what happened this week.

I wouldn't presume to tell any pastor what to say to their congregation, but I suppose such momentous news in such divisive times requires us to take a stand. So, here are three things I think every pastor should say this Sunday.

1. Jesus is the only hope for our world.

You may hope that the FBI raid is the final piece of evidence collection and that the justice department will finally have the necessary case to bring charges against Mr. Trump. That hope may be realized. But even if it is, it will not matter one iota in eternity and it will not turn one soul back to Jesus.

You may hope that the powers-that-be have finally overreached and this will turn into a colossal scandal that all but guarantees a second term for Mr. Trump. That hope may be realized. But even if it is, it will not matter one iota in eternity and it will not turn one soul back to Jesus.

Regardless of whether Donald Trump is found to be a criminal or a persecuted ex-official, what people really need to hear is that Jesus is the only solution for their sins and He is the only guarantee of abundant and eternal life. 

Any time you might spend talking about the FBI, is probably better spent talking about Jesus.

2. Love is the calling of Jesus' followers.

You may have spent this week calling for justice against a corrupt administration that has done irreparable harm to our country. You may be calling friends encouraging them to get out and vote to ensure this great wrong cannot be done again. You may have assumed the last two sentences are about Donald Trump or you may have assumed they were about Joe Biden.

Your real calling is to love the people around you. Jesus never spoke ill of Caesar. He didn't concern himself with the occupying empire (other than encouraging his followers to go an extra mile when compelled by the occupiers). He spent a great deal of time teaching how to love and commanding that love be extended to neighbors, strangers, and even enemies.

The people in the pews don't need any more voices telling them who to hate and who to extend their anger (er... righteous indignation) toward. They need to be encouraged and reminded to love, and especially to love their enemies.

3. The Gospel is the message we carry.

The constitution is a great document. It has served our country well for over two centuries. It may or may not have been violated this week. The FBI may have overstepped its constitutional boundaries, and Donald Trump may have overstepped his. Either way, this is not the concern of the church.

We preach Christ, and Him crucified.

Pastor, you would do well this Sunday to not concern yourself with mobilizing political action. You would do well this Sunday to not concern yourself with inspiring social change. You would do well this Sunday to not concern yourself with pointing people to a new cause they should take up.

Pastor, you would do very well this Sunday to mobilize people to share and spread the Gospel. You would do very well this Sunday to inspire life change in Christ. You would do very well this Sunday to concern yourself with pointing people to Jesus and the new life they should take up.

* This post is not timeless. It will very soon be out of date. The principles will stand.

Thursday, March 10, 2022

5 Practical Applications from Luke

Luke's stories are rich and full of detail. Yet they are not just for entertainment. In them, we see a complex and beautiful Savior who desires us to follow Him and be changed by Him.

  • Peter and the others fished all night without results. When Jesus told them to try something new, he simply obeyed. Don’t miss out on Jesus’ blessings because you are stuck doing things the way you’ve always done them.

  • Jesus told the disciples they were going to be fishers of men. How many people have you caught with the good news of the Gospel? If it's not very many, perhaps you need to change up your strategy.

  • The leper’s prayer to Jesus should be the same as our prayer. “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” The good news is that Jesus will! He always desires to make us clean.

  • By healing the paralyzed man AND forgiving his sins, Jesus demonstrated that He has power over spiritual and physical evil. Nothing in the universe is more powerful than Him.

  • People who think they are spiritually healthy will never seek the assistance of God. Jesus came for those who know they are sick. Repentance is the recognition that we need His help, it is our act of preparation to receive His spiritual healing.