2014 was a challenging year for the nation, the church, and for many of us personally. Looking back has some value if only to help predict the coming year. Many preachers are already saying that 2015 could be your year. They may be right but not for the reasons they might expect.
Monday, December 22, 2014
Monday, December 15, 2014
At Christmas time, the line between the secular and sacred often becomes blurred in the minds of many Christians. This is especially true with music as Christmas carols and hymns are sung by both secular and Christian artists. A recent popular version of "Mary Did You Know" by a secular singing group has caused a stir and some controversy. Should it have? Does sin in the life of a performer negate the beauty of the performance?
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Monday, December 8, 2014
These are perilous times. Segments of our society are perching on the edge of a knife with far too many people pushing hard to slice through and bring havoc and destruction while claiming to be seeking justice. We need a calmer voice to prevail.
Monday, November 24, 2014
Thursday, November 20, 2014
In a dark world, we need far more than we have been seeking. We need more than a God who gives us what we ask for or easy grace. There is power we are overlooking that can only be found in the full counsel of God. Without it, we are in peril.
Monday, November 17, 2014
We all want God's blessings, right? We talk about all God's promises being "yes and amen." While that is true, what would it really mean to have all of the fount of blessings poured over us? It's very likely that the experience isn't what we would expect.
Thursday, November 6, 2014
Monday, November 3, 2014
Thursday, October 30, 2014
Monday, October 27, 2014
Fighting for our religious freedom requires followers of Jesus to walk a fine line. We cannot compromise on the Gospel nor can we respond with hate. We must make war as the Word tells us we must not just in Houston but Idaho, New York, and across this nation. Victory and untold lives hang in the balance.
Thursday, October 23, 2014
"We must obey God rather than men." Words that echo through the centuries just as true today as when Peter spoke them. In Houston and around the nation, religious freedom is under attack. How we respond, how we make war, is as important as the victory itself.
Monday, October 20, 2014
How does the church connect with people? Some say that we need to find a way to make the church relevant in this modern age. Critics claim that relevance waters down the message. Is there some truth to that? If so, how do we reach people?
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Monday, October 13, 2014
Thursday, October 2, 2014
Once again, sexual delusion is on our radar screen. Another advocate of so-called "Christian Swingers" has popped up in Florida. This is a real thing. It's a bizarre week with that story, an app for hookups, and more hitting the news. Under it all, there is some real truth to be learned from someone who knows.
Monday, September 29, 2014
Thursday, September 18, 2014
Monday, September 15, 2014
Thursday, September 11, 2014
I remember very well what I was doing the morning of September 11th, 2001. I will probably never forget that dark day and the aftermath as long as I live. Even today, my emotions still get the better of me when I think of the lives lost for no more reason than they didn't share the terrorists' religion. That day, my thinking changed.
It wasn't politics that changed. How I saw and now see my mission changed. Given the statistics, most of the people who died that day found themselves facing judgment and Hell. The pain of that truth burns in me to this day. This truth strikes me over and over again. I'm hard pressed to look at a large crowd of people and not feel the pang of sorrow for the lost. I was grateful for my sunglasses when I was attending a game at Dozer Field, our local farm team baseball stadium. Looking at the gathered fans, I couldn't help but wonder how many would be in Hell if terrorists attacked the game. My eyes reddened with tears and I kept my thoughts to myself to keep those tears from flowing.
In this ever darkening world, our opportunities to share Jesus and help our friends and neighbors escape from this fate are growing fewer and fewer. On that day thirteen years ago, my whole perspective changed. I felt the pain that the Lord feels when one of his creations goes to Hell when He offers the free gift of salvation through the shed blood of Jesus. Those pains, both the memory and their reoccurrence inform everything I do for the Kingdom. No matter what I preach, I strive to work a salvation message into it. If anyone there has never met Jesus and received His gift, they need the opportunity.
I stopped being bashful about sharing my faith at work. It's more than just people I work with knowing I'm a Christian, I sprinkle as much of the Word as possible into conversations (usually without a Scripture reference) and be as kind and loving as possible to everyone. It's not always easy and I've been ridiculed for it and even faced some (albeit minor) persecution.
I'm not trying to make myself somehow better than anyone else. I'm only relating my response to the attacks and how it's changed my life and my drive to see as many people hear about Jesus as I can while they're still able and I'm still able to share.
I have also paid a lot of attention to what has happened to the church in the aftermath. Immediately after the attack, church attendance swelled to more than double what it was beforehand. Unfortunately, it didn't last. I could list a lot of possible reasons for the dropoff to less than it was prior but most of them would be speculation. All I can think is that whatever those people were seeking, they didn't find.
The times today are even more perilous than they were back then. As the Body of Christ, we need to be ready when this type of attack happens again as it likely will. It may even be worse than the first with more lives lost and more damage to the property. We need to be ready for the sea of people that will turn to us like they only do in a crisis.
What will they need? That hasn't changed. It's the same thing that people have always needed in dark times; hope, compassion, and some answers. The Church of Jesus Christ is uniquely positioned to share the truth in love in such circumstances. We have the hope that is in Him alone, the love of God made manifest, and real answers from the Word of God as to why people do what they do. We can offer it. We have the Holy Spirit available to us to give us the words to say if we only seek Him. He will guide us and empower us to touch lives and bring healing to their pain.
Honor the heroes of that dark day, remember the slain. Mourn for the loss. Remember, it can happen again and remember that Jesus is the answer to the pain. He came to heal, to free, and to bind the wounds of the broken hearted. He comforts the grieving.
Monday, September 8, 2014
In these days, what message do we really need from the pulpit? While all teaching on the Word is of value, it's possible that not all of it should come from the pulpit. We need to consider what the world really needs not what we want to teach.
Thursday, September 4, 2014
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Thursday, August 28, 2014
What can a marriage survive if Jesus is at the center of it? Anything and my marriage to the Lovely Bride is proof of that. We have twenty years of struggles, trials, and love that have had people thinking we're through more that once. Take a listen and be encouraged no matter what you're facing in your own marriage.
Monday, August 25, 2014
Thursday, August 21, 2014
(From The Foundational Truth Archive) When the times are darkest, it can seem as if there is no hope. The temptation to give up is overwhelming. Difficult days are coming and for many of us are here already. What do we do to continue?
Monday, August 18, 2014
Thursday, August 14, 2014
The passing of Robin Williams was a huge surprise for us all. As we grieved, another story hit that fewer payed attention to, the brutal beating of porn actress Christy Mack. Both had strong reactions from the social media universe.
Monday, August 11, 2014
It's true that all is needed for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. Evil is triumphing all around us, but where are the voices crying out against it? What tactics of the enemy are keeping the pastors and preachers of our nation silent? Where are the Bonhoeffers?
Thursday, August 7, 2014
(From The Foundations Archive) Superheroes are huge box office and some say it's proof that we're still looking for heroes in our world. What really makes for real heroes? Is it the fearless, swaggering characters that cross our movie and television screens or is it something else? What does it really take to be a hero in the Kingdom?
Monday, August 4, 2014
Thursday, July 31, 2014
Monday, July 28, 2014
No longer are we able to remain in blissful ignorance of the whiles of the enemy. With Fifty Shades of Grey, now coming out as a movie, a destructive sexual lifestyle comes closer to becoming mainstream. Sexual gratification from the causing or receiving of pain is becoming more acceptable. It is even within the church.
Friday, July 25, 2014
Ask yourself this question: When was the last time you heard a message on repentance? I don't mean a call to accept Jesus, but a real, solid call to repentance for the believer and unbeliever alike. Perhaps we need to take a long, hard look at this question and this dangerous and transformational truth.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Many preach the abundant life is there for the taking. Asking for it, begging for it, even demanding it are the prescriptions offered. There may be a better way, one that is more fulfilling and more certain than any other.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Friday, July 11, 2014
A day will come when we will all stand before the white throne of the Lord. On that day, how many will say, "No one told me!" and find judgement instead of mercy? How many have heard and ignored the message of the Gospel? How many more have never heard it at all?
Friday, July 4, 2014
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Monday, June 23, 2014
Thursday, June 19, 2014
Sometimes, we need to review where we've been in order to move forward. Prepping for this episode, I looked back over all the episodes recorded in the last six years of doing a podcast. Themes emerged, a few missteps stood out, and a pattern going forward is taking shape. Where does this program go from here? What are the messages for the Body of Christ that need to come from an Outsider?
Monday, June 16, 2014
I took a question before the Lord during my absence from this program. Put simply, "Am I still Your Outsider?" The question of belonging to Jesus was never an issue, but whether or not I am still on the outside and if that's still the place He needs me to be.
Thursday, June 12, 2014
Our testimony is one of the most powerful tools in we have in sharing the Gospel. Mine isn't a pretty one, but it's a tale of redemption that may encourage you. If Jesus can take hold of and transform me from what I once was, He can reach anyone. Part two is the change He has wrought in me.
Monday, June 9, 2014
With so many new listeners, I felt lead to share my testimony. In this first of two parts, An Outsider's Tale is begun and revealed. My story isn't pretty, but it's mine and may encourage you in your walk. If Jesus can use me, he can use anyone.
Thursday, June 5, 2014
Many preachers, authors, and teachers are saying we're on the verge of another Great Awakening. I'm not convinced. In fact, there are several barriers to an awakening in place in our culture and in the Body of Christ. Signs point elsewhere.
Monday, June 2, 2014
After an unscheduled absence, the program is back on the air. It was a necessary time away. Passion has been renewed, fire has been rekindled. It's time to face some hard truths about where we are as a culture, a church, and what we are to do about it.
Sunday, April 20, 2014
The plain truth is that this has been a horrible month. As we drive to launch Freedom Church and continue to grow Jesus Outsider, the opposition has been fierce. We've been hit from every direction. Almost everyone in the family has had health issues, including my lovely bride spending the night in the hospital for observation with symptoms of a heart attack. Financially, we have been struggling with both a loss of income and extra expenses. A multitude of other problems of varying severity have hit all at once. Murphy is definitely in the house.
To say that I'm tired is not to do justice to what I'm feeling. It's a weariness of the soul. My limbs are heavy because my heart is heavy. I am out of strength. It would be very easy to just surrender to the exhaustion and give up on everything. Go to work every day, do my job, and come home and watch TV all night. I know life would be easier if I did.
I keep going because I know I must. Not for my own sake, but because of all those out there who need to hear the Gospel. I enjoy my day job but it doesn't get me out of bed every morning. It isn't what drives me. If I were to give in and settle into that life, for me it would be a walking death. I would spend the rest of my life regretting what might have been, wondering how many lives might have been redeemed from the pit of Hell had I stayed on the course the Lord set before me. Would their blood be on my hands because I failed to speak? These questions would haunt me all my days.
So, for the sake of the lost, for those who seek to know Jesus, and the outcasts, I will continue. There comes a time when ambition, even what would be considered a right ambition, cannot drive any of us to overcome the obstacles before us. Something more must take over. Even as I write this, I can hear the cries of those in bondage to sin in need of a savior. Tired though I may be, I must keep going, I must try to reach as many as I am able with the power of the Gospel, the love of God made manifest in Jesus. I need to find the strength in the Lord to go on.
Why write this? In part, it's a matter of providing information as to the irregularity of the broadcast schedule. More so, it's a request for prayer for me, my family, and the fledgling team of Freedom Church. We need protection and provision. Most of all, I need more of the strength that comes from abiding in Him. Please be in prayer for us. We need it. As the Lord allows and this weariness passes, the program will get back on schedule. Again, please be in prayer for my family and for me.
Monday, April 14, 2014
Great weapons and armor give an edge on the battlefield but they're worthless if the soldier isn't prepared to use them. A good soldier is a diligent one, always striving to be more. If this is true in earthly warfare, how much more so in the spiritual battles we face as followers of Christ?
Thursday, April 10, 2014
(From the Foundations Archives) We are at war, whether we know it or not. This program, from May, 2010, hits at the truth that the enemy has been at war with us even if we haven't engaged in one with him. How did we get here? Now that we're here, what do we do about it?
Monday, April 7, 2014
Monday, March 31, 2014
Before going into battle, a good soldier prepares his weapons. He has to be sure of them. A blunt sword isn't effective. Spiritual battles are no different. If we are to achieve victory, our weapon must be ready. We can't carry a blunt spiritual sword.
Thursday, March 27, 2014
Monday, March 24, 2014
Have you ever wondered why salvation is referred to as a helmet in two separate passages? As part of the Full Armor of God, it is a vital piece. A good soldier never goes into battle without a helmet. If it's that important in a natural world, how much more so in the supernatural?
Thursday, March 20, 2014
A shield is much more than just protection. In battle, it's one of the most valuable weapons in a soldier's arsenal. When we understand its uses, we have a greater understanding of how our faith comes into play not only for defense but for attack on the spiritual battlefield.
Monday, March 17, 2014
The Shield of Faith protects us from the fiery darts of the enemy. That much we know is true, but what does it really mean? Over the last several years, a lot of teaching about faith has been out there, sometimes contradictory. Starting to sift through it will lead to the truth and how faith protects us and from what.
Thursday, March 13, 2014
(From The Foundations Archive) In the darkness, even the smallest light has great power. In this world, Jesus called us to be salt and light. Evil is gaining everywhere we look and a spiritual night is falling around us. How can we be light in these dark times? Can we truly be effective?
Monday, March 10, 2014
Before we can go on to faith, we need to go back to truth. If truth is to guard us, we must have a grasp on it. It protects us, but from what? The armor provided by truth covers weaknesses. What are the consequences if we're not protected? Look around. The answer is all around us.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
(From The Foundations Archive) So often we go into a battle with only the fight in front of us in mind with no thought to the greater war. Rest assured, our enemy thinks long term. If we want to win, we need to understand the difference between strategy and tactics.
Monday, March 3, 2014
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
The Breastplate of Righteousness is one of the most important pieces of our armor as Soldiers in the Army of the Lord. It's also one of the least understood. It's time to clear up some misconceptions and get to the truth about it's nature and what it protects.
Monday, February 24, 2014
Truth is under attack, especially spiritual truth. The battleground is set before us and understanding how we are both protected by the Belt of Truth and strengthened by it is essential to being a Good Soldier in the Army of The Lord. We must know truth and how it sets us free.
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Sunday, February 16, 2014
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Monday, February 10, 2014
Can conflict be a good thing, even necessary? That depends on how it's engaged. The internal conflict that has escalated into the opening battles of a civil war could be taken down a notch or two by simply changing how we handle it.
Thursday, February 6, 2014
Strange fire has been a growing discussion in the last few years. Okay, maybe discussion isn't the right word. Battleground in the church civil war is a more accurate way to put it. What is strange fire and how did it become this rallying cry in a growing doctrinal battle?
Thursday, January 30, 2014
When it comes to unity, we need to know who to bind ourselves to as brothers and sisters. The trick is knowing the difference between real heresies and honest doctrinal disagreements. The rest is how we treat those whom we have disagreement with, for our own sake and for the sake of the Kingdom.
Monday, January 27, 2014
The church is becoming increasingly divided. Some would say that they're standing up for the truth but some are divisive for the sake of being divisive. Can this be of the Lord or is something else at work here? Who really benefits from our divisions?
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Sexual sin is rampant and having a huge impact on our culture and the church. It needs to be addressed. The problem is figuring our how. If approached wrong, we run the risk of failure in our mission to set free the captives.
Monday, January 20, 2014
It's easier than ever to have an affair. There's also a shift in our cultural attitude about infidelity. Advertisements for a site that specializes in adulterous relationships quip, "Life is short, have an affair!" Beyond the media, people are thinking differently. The statistics may shock and surprise you. Oh, if you think this is a problem that only the world faces and surely can't be in the church, tune in and get some real truth.
Monday, January 13, 2014
Cultural trends are teaching women lies that have to be addressed. Men aren't exactly getting great messages either. Sure, everyone loves yoga pants. Women like them because they're comfortable and men like them, well, for obvious reasons. Are they really a good idea? What about some of the other trends in attire? There may even be other consequences.
Thursday, January 9, 2014
Since 2013 was such a big year for sex, we might as well keep it going. On the list of so-called alternative lifestyles, polyamory and polygamy are becoming the next media and cultural darlings. They can even be made to sound so spiritual, so positive. People in the Bible had more than one wife, right? Why not now? Is this really okay with God and does it line up with His word?
Monday, January 6, 2014
A lot of stories hit my desk in 2013 that need to be discussed. This one was one that I really hoped was a joke. The sexual revolution hits the church and tries to use Scripture to justify itself. You have got to hear this one to believe it.