Spiritual Life

When Your Picture of Your Daddy Has Been Twisted – Cinda’s Story


I first met Cinda (not her real name) in the apartment building laundry room. I learned quickly that she lived with her boyfriend, Nick, and was taking classes at the University of Cincinnati. My wife, Heidi, and I got to know Cinda and Nick over the next couple years, hanging out with them at the apartment-building pool, playing cards, and …

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Leader's Heart-Overflow

How to Add More Candles to Your Cake (So You Can Become More Childlike)


It takes maturity to have childlike faith. This is a vital principle for the Christ follower. It’s fundamental for a Christian leader. It’s basic for discipling someone. This is Part 3 of a series in which I’m exploring one Bible verse: “[God] bends down and listens” (Psalm 116:2). (Read Part 1 and Part 2.) I defined childlike faith as “complete trust in our Daddy, even …

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Spiritual Life

What Our Daddy’s Stooping Down to Us Requires from Us


God is a Daddy who lovingly stoops down to us, and that requires something of us. Yesterday, I blogged about this irresistible image of our almighty God bending down to look us in the eyes and listen to us (Psalm 116:2). Our Father does not expect us to do the impossible–to climb our way up to him; the unholy to strive to …

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Spiritual Life

A Daddy Who Stoops Down


A dad stops what he is doing to bend down and really listen to his child. It’s not that the dad doesn’t have other things on his mind; he certainly does. This dad is making a statement: My child is important. I may have the positional power and persuasion of a parent, but I will stoop down to my child’s level …

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Spiritual Life

Pay Attention to the Obstacles in Your Life


God is constantly removing obstacles from our path or placing obstacles in our way. Both reveal his compassion and power in our lives.  Psalm 114 describes in beautiful poetic imagery God’s power on Israel’s behalf as they came out of Egypt on a journey to the Promised Land. This psalm shows Almighty God clearing the way for his people, removing …

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Ministry Leaders     Small Group Leaders

“Why Small Groups Matter to Me”: My Story


I’m kind of known for being passionate about small groups. While it’s not really small groups themselves that I’m passionate about, but rather for how God uses the authentic community that occurs in healthy groups to transform lives, people sometimes ask why I’m so big on small groups. Here’s my story, written for SmallGroups.com. When I was a new Christian, …

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Ministry Leaders     Small Group Leaders

Leading with Grace: How We Deal with Depression, Anxiety, and Suffering (especially when the suffering is inflicted by fellow Christians)


People are talking about mental illness, depression, and anxiety right now, and that’s a good thing. Recently, Carlos Whittaker wrote a thoughtful blog post, “My Panic Attacks, My Mental Illness, And The Church’s Dirty Little Secret,” which, at the time of this writing, has received 181 comments. Unfortunately, people simply don’t understand mental struggles like depression and panic attacks unless they …

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Leader's Heart-Overflow

The Most Important Thing You Do Today: It’s Not Reading the Bible!


As I opened my Bible and started reading this morning, I had to stop myself after the first stanza of Psalm 104. Something was missing. Rather, someone was missing. I found myself reading to be reading. But that’s not what God’s Word is for. So I stopped reading. I looked out the sliding glass doors that overlook the woods in …

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Small Group Leaders

Seven Steps to Share the Leadership of Your Group


I’ve written in other posts about the Vital Sign of Sharing Leadership with a Core Team of two or three others. Today let’s talk about HOW you can move from leading solo to team-leading the group. Here are seven steps you can take. 1. Share the load. Ask God to show you whom you should ask to be part of the core team …

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Spiritual Life

Big Buts in the Psalms: The Secret to Real Success


In my reading of the Psalms, I’ve encountered several huge buts. The psalmist usually begins the psalm with a lament about his current circumstances, how bad things are, how everything seems to be falling apart. And then the writer uses this simple, three-letter, transitional word … but.But … and though the situation itself hasn’t changed, the psalmist’s attitude does. His outlook and …

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