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FRIDAY’S “BEST OF”: Followership

Everyone on the planet is writing books about Leadership! Casually walk through any major bookstore and you will see all kinds of books on the subject. These books promise you can: “Lead Like Jesus”, Lead from the “Second Chair”, Lead with a “Limp”, Lead in a Circle (360 Degrees), become the “Leader You Were Meant to Be” (scary) and of course “Release the Leader In You!”.

While most of us aspire to be leaders (and probably will lead others)  the fact is that the vast majority of our lives will be spent following someone else’s cause, direction or mandate. (Even when we have made it our own).

Ok, Here is the point: Most of us are terrible followers. We bristle when told we must do something that we don’t want to do…..And for the Christian, their faith will mean nothing to a lost and dying world if they cannot follow well. 

A Few Problems with Following:

  1. WE ARE AMERICANS!  Nobody tells us what to do! Our whole country was established based on the principle: Don’ t tell me what I can or cannot do!”
  2. LITTLE LAWYERS rise up inside of us whenever we are told we have to do something (Parent, boss, cop, organizational leader etc…) We question their authority, their direction and even their lineage!
  3. ABUSIVE LEADERS ABOUND! We have all had to submit to the authority of someone who abused their authority either by decree or neglect.
  4. WE HAVE REBELLIOUS HEARTS. (Jeremiah 17:9)


  1. God expects you to follow an unbelieving, unfair, mean….. boss, teacher, cop, parent, president, chairman and “grand poobah”! For it is God who established the authority in your life. (1 Peter 2)
  2. Authority in your life represents ORDER and not VALUE. In other words, someone’s authority has nothing to do with their value. (Contratary to Secular Humanism, scripture actually encourage followers of Christ to become less and less in their submission to both Christ and “every authority instituted among men” (John 3:30/1 Peter 2:13)
  3. Following a boss well gives you a unique platform to share what is really important, faith in Jesus Christ? You stand out “like a sore thumb”! How can you ever be a “light in a dark world” if your own bosses (and others) question your integrity or work ethic or loyalty?
  4. If we are unable to follow the authority that we can see, how can we follow the authority we cannot see? (John 4:20, interp)
  5. God uses an unfair authority figure to make us better….. (James 1:3)
  6. Scripture says rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft…. in other words not good at all.  (1 Sam 15:23)

While we are all busy learning how to be better leaders…we may want to pay a little more attention to following whomever God has placed in authority over us.



This next principle is easy to teach and difficult to actually doThe truth is that most of us stop “pursuing our wives” right after the first really big fight or when we discover that she has her “own” opinions. We tend to think that since we married her there is no need to pursue her…after all you don’t pursue something that you already caught…right?  Then when we allow work, raising a family, paying bills and busy schedules rob us of any

extra time and energy, we easily forget that our wives need to feel like we would choose them over, and over ,

and over again….. nothing wrong with that. (we are the same way…it just looks different)


7. PURSUE HER. Every woman wants to be pursued. Every woman wants to be “won”!  When we were dating, (or newly weds) and men were trying to act like women (talk, be romantic, share details, listen) and women are trying to act like men, both parties were doing their best to “win the other one”.  Here is how we did it:

  • We were considerate – We got her door, we put the phone away, we did not watch TV and grunt when she spoke, we checked her car for safety, we made sure she got home, we followed her into the next room when she was upset…
  • We were self-sacrificing – we were willing to give up what we wanted for what she wanted. Everything from where you ate together to what movie you saw was determined by HER desires and not your own.
  • We were protective – we made sure she arrived to her destination, glared at other guys for even looking at her, gave her the helmet while we rode without one, held her close when going through a tough part of town etc…
  • We were thoughtful – we left notes, text messages, dropped by, phoned home, picked up our underwear, wiped the seat etc..

QUESTIONS: I Peter 3:7  Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers. 

  1. When was the last time you stopped and tried to figure out something that would win her heart? (when you were NOT already in trouble!)
  2. What would happen if you started to try and “win your wife’s heart” again?
  3. How would she respond? 
  4. What would you have to change in order to “pursue her” like you did before you “caught her”? 

SADLY, Our culture guarantees that someone else is pursuing your wife. In other words, there is another man she knows who would love to be in your shoes and he is probably working on it right now. It is the world we live in.  (Song of Solomon)

Don’t stop PURSUING HER just because you married her!  


The BIBLE and the Death of Osama bin Laden… guest post by Dr. Bruce Frank

I have watched the “Facebook/Twitter” debate about the “appropriate” response a Christian should have at the news of Osama bin Laden’s demise. Some of the posts have seemed almost “rednecked” in their enthusiasm that “we finally got the sorry ….. um…. turkey!”. While others have come off as “hyper-stoic”, as though we should be more spiritual than to be elated that the “murderer is dead”.

No one has articulated the conflicting emotions many American Christians have (and I believe should have) more succinctly than Dr Bruce Frank, Sr. Pastor at Biltmore Baptist Church in Asheville, North Carolina. He posted the following on his blog…..  (great blog that you can check out by following the “Bruce Frank” link in the right-hand column of this page)     

“Obviously the news has been full of the details concerning the death of the terror mastermind, Osama bin Laden. When President Obama said:”Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children” – it set off a huge reaction here in the states and around the globe.

While most here in the States joyfully celebrated and rightfully gave thanks to our military personnel, some others, as expected ,said such reaction was ‘barbaric, etc…’ The question came up to me numerous times yesterday, “How should we react?” In other words, ‘how should we feel when we see a guilty person (admittedly and beyond reasonable doubt) brought to justice at the hand of civil government?’

While not exhaustive by any means, here are a couple of Biblical principles for a Christ-follower to consider:

1. Romans 13:1-5 clearly says that the government is a “minister of God for good”. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil.” The killing of bin Laden was fully justified by the demands of just war theory, the historic Christian means of moral reasoning that measures the justification for acts of lethal force. Bin Laden was the one human being most responsible for a series of terrorist attacks that left thousands of civilians dead. He claimed responsibility and pledged future attacks.

2. Proverbs 24:17-18 says, “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; or the Lord will see it and be displeased, and turn His anger away from him.” The word for rejoice means “be arrogant, mocking”. However, Proverbs 21:15 tells us “the exercise of justice is joy for the righteous, but is terror to the workers of iniquity.”

So, on one hand we are told not to rejoice and on the other hand to also rejoice. So what we have is somewhat of a mixed emotion. I have a deep sense of joy, patriotism, and thanksgiving that our military had the means and will to remove this threat. There is a sense of satisfaction that a person who has harmed so many has been brought to justice. There is also a sense of sadness that a human being, made in the image of God, would be so given over to evil that he would callously murder many innocent people.”

There is a sadness when any person dies without Christ and suffers eternal punishment.

I guess the phrase I heard Al Mohler use sums up my feelings:




THERE ARE DOZENS OF DIFFERENT WAYS TO “DO” CHURCH! I know what I believe but could argue for and against a lot of things. Elder leadership, deacons, “simple church” model, “attractional” models, “missional” models, Purpose Driven models, mission strategies, big buildings, no buildings, alter calls, LIFE Groups, home groups, worship styles, creativity….etc, etc…and blah, blah, blah! Don’t get me started on the different theological points that we could debate…..

But here is the deal…I also know where my church stands on all of those issues…I stand with my church! Not in violation of my conscience and certainly not in violation of Scripture…. but in support of the leadership, plan and direction my pastor (leadership of the church) has determined we should go. It is freeing to have convictions that differ from my church (insignificant issues) and a conviction to uphold and support the local body that I serve. THE TRUTH IS: You will never serve a church that you are in 100% agreement with every little thing that is done…ever! So enjoy where God has planted you for this season.


1. CAN I STILL REACH PEOPLE WITH THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST AND REMAIN AT MY CHURCH? If you can answer this question “YES” then the rest fades away nicely. Just focus on that and you may be suprised at how your frustration will vanish.

2. DOES WHAT WE DO AS A CHURCH VIOLATE SCRIPTURE? (not my opinion, convictions or preferences BUT SCRIPTURE). If the answer is “NO” then you might be struggling with simply “wanting what you want”. I know of folks who leave a church based on the “fact” that the church violates Scripture BUT really the church is just violates their PREFERENCES.

3. CAN I SUPPORT MY PASTOR? (Leadership) If “NO” then you may have a legitimate reason to leave OR you may have a real problem with authority. The reasons that 1 Peter 2: 13-17 was written is because we all wrestle with being told what to do… referees, teachers, cops, bosses…all represent authority that most folks “rub against”. The testimony of someone who can come under authority is honoring to God… 13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. 16 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. 17 Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.


MINISTRY WEEK: “But they just don’t…..” Devo 5/3/11

I have heard the following statements made by staff members (not here) and church members alike over the last several years….

“The folks I serve with are more concerned about attendance than impact.” (Really? How do you know?)

“They are more interested in money coming in than with lives transformed by the Gospel.” (like the money used to pay your salary….keep the lights on and fund your ministry)

  • “They are just trying to make a name for themselves.”  (jealousy is an ugly thing)
  • “They just want to make a bigger church”  (and that…is…bad…how?)
  • “They don’t care about the lost like they should.” (spoken most often by people who have never shared their faith with anyone)
  • “They just cater to the folks with money cause they want more from them.” (prejudice against folks with money…and jealous. Usually from people who never give a dime)
  • “They don’t teach the Bible.” (translation: …like I want it taught. Or like the last guy did….whom I criticized too)

If you have ever made the above statements or something like them then you may have a problem judging the hearts of the folks you work with. 


  1. TRY THIS:
    LET THAT STUFF GO!  It will kill you. …unless you see something immoral, unethical or illegal going on then assume the best about your pastor and rest of the staff. (yes I know what assuming does…and it is a lie) You will sleep better and last longer.Proverbs 16:2  All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the LORD. (Leave the motive weighing  to God.)
  2. EXAMINE YOUR OWN LIFE. Often times the things that frustrate us are also the things that reveal us. Staff just wants to make a name for themselves?  Maybe that is your issue.  They don’t care about the lost? How do you know?   Very seldom does someone who is involved in reaching people for Jesus have the time or inclination to complain about what other people are not doing for the cause of Christ.
  3. FOCUS ON YOUR OWN MOTIVES. What is driving your criticism? Is it fear? Is it the need for significance (as you define it?)  Or is it a passion for the things of Jesus?

James 4:3


“When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures”.







DISCOURAGED MINISTERS WEEK: “So You Don’t Like the Music?” Devo 5/2/11

In the last 18 months I have watched 7 men I know in ministry leave their churches out of frustration. They finally just got tired and decided to go somewhere else (4 to other churches, 3 out of ministry all together) because they could not support the “direction” of their church. It was NOT that they had a biblical disagreement (at least nothing significant) it was just that they did not like the style of worship, methods of reaching people, long hours, criticism etc… all culminated in discouragement and finally drove them to “greener pastures”. But of all of these men,  ONLY 1 was glad he left his church.

So what do you do if you are feeling trapped but God clearly tells you to stay put?

Over the next few days we will look at several principles that may help you….they sure helped me!

# 1. REMEMBER:   YOU CAN EMBRACE THE BIG PICTURE WITHOUT LIKING ALL THE LITTLE STUFF if your church is doctrinally sound then you will be fine. (I love what Rick Warren says: I believe in the absolute inerrancy of the Bible….just not the inerrancy of my interpretation of the Bible…your’s either.)

1 Corinthians 2:2

For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

So it is a little too formal for your liking …the music is so 1990’s (or 1890’s) So your pastor wears a tie! (oh my!)  So you have big buildings…enjoy them as a gift from God. So your church openly embrace the tithe… So you have drums in the service or a choir…… so what?

  • Can you still serve Jesus there?  Then do it!
  • Can you still impact lives for the kingdom there? Then do it! 
  • Can you recruit, equip and launch other people into ministry there?  Then do it! 

PROBLEM MIGHT BE:  Your focus is on the wrong thing (mine was) … maybe it is on yourself, your comfort, your “relevance”. 

REMEMBER: You don’t have to agree with everything that your church does, everything your pastor says, or every decision made. You just have to agree to “walk well” with the Lord according to the CORE and CULTURE of the church you serve.

Most folks I know who are reaching people for Christ, training them and sending them out to do the exact same thing…. rarely complain or gripe about what other people are NOT doing, the style they do it or the recognition the receive for doing it. Most Ministers I know who are busy doing the same thing are pretty happy where they are too. And if they leave their church it is to do what they are doing on a grander scale and not out of protest or discouragement. 



Posted by on May 2, 2011 in Uncategorized


Friday’s BEST OF: “You Want Rules?…I got your Rules!”

Following All the Rules Can Ruin Your Faith!

#9  Following All the Rules Can Ruin Your Faith

Seems strange to say but it is true. Following all the rules can, and I believe will, greatly diminish or even RUIN your Faith. Here is what I mean…

The Pharisees found this out as the relatively few old testament guidelines ballooned into hundreds of well-intentioned, albeit, suffocating rules. These rules essentially boiled God down to a list of “do’s and don’ts”. The same can be true of well-meaning Christians who have developed rules for almost every area of their lives. From where they can and cannot go, whom they can be seen with,  how they must worship, music they must listen to etc…..

Jesus Gave us two primary rules to follow……. Love the Lord Your God with all of your heart and love your neighbor as yourself…… the rest is just window dressing.

Matthew 22:37-40   “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[b] 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[c] 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

I am convinced that far too many of us rely on our rules (or systems) for guidance without a thought for the leadership of the Holy Spirit.  In doing so we diminish our need to “walk” with Jesus at all!

About two years ago a man sat in my office, embarrassed and uncomfortable. He was the epitome of rule following Christianity. He dressed well for church, looked you in the eye when he spoke, his kids were orderly if not a little stiff, his wife was pleasant and quiet, he gave both his time and income to the church, he was a leader in the community and had the civic awards to prove it, he understood much of what he was taught about scripture and how God works in our lives. After all,  he had endured a thousand conservative biblical sermons……………………… and yet he was also drowning in despair.

During our long meeting together he confessed to deep disappointment in God. God, it seems, had not delivered on His promise to bless my new friend. He did everything he was supposed to do, he followed every rule he knew and yet……. he confessed….. he and his wife were not getting along, his kids were distant and rebellious, his faith was dry and stale and he had even thought about just “walking away”.

He had altered what was supposed to be a dynamic, exciting life of faith into a simple checklist of behaviors……very dangerous indeed.

Today my friend has found great freedom in two simple rules:



Quick points:

  • Too many rules “Insulate us” from a dynamic walk with the Lord.
  • Too many rules prevent God from working in our lives.
  • Too many rules “dumb down” our faith.
  • Too many rules create a checklist to present to God for approval instead of a life willingly offered to bring Glory to the Most High God.

from The Bible Study Series, “Things They Did Not Tell Me About My Faith” – Hixon Frank 2007


Posted by on April 29, 2011 in Uncategorized


SARAH-CLARE’S BIRTHDAY!!! “Repost 5 Reasons…”

Today is my daughter’s 16th Birthday!  She has grown into a beautiful (inside and out) young woman with a great heart for Jesus!.  Margie and I could not be more proud of who she is becoming: gracious, loyal, generous, gentle and fierce. I have learned a lot from her.  The following is a repost of something I wrote over a year ago. What was true then is STILL true to day…..
Sarah-Clare (daughter), and I wear (wore) bracelets that represent our support for the “Invisible Children” in the war-torn country of Uganda (small donation).  Getting them was her idea.  I’m not even sure exactly where she first heard about the children but before I knew it she had researched the supporting organization, formulated a plan to support the relief efforts and figured out how to get the word out around here.
Through that little bracelet, she opened my eyes to injustice in the world….and showed me I can learn a lot from my passionate 15 16 year old daughter.
Here are just a few things I have learned watching her grow up:
  1. SHE IS PASSIONATE! My daughter throws herself wholeheartedly into projects that she cares about! No cynicism, pessimism or other negative “isms”. Whether it is ballet or injustice in a country thousands of miles away, she brings enthusiasm to it. I need to be more passionate about the things that God is passionate about!
  2. SHE IS SENSITIVE TO INJUSTICE – When I pray for my pastor and those in leadership I typically pray that they have a “thick skin and a heart like Jesus”. While she is working on the “thick skin” part, she has the “heart like Jesus” down pat!   Job 5:15-16   I need to be sensitive to injustice!
  3. HER OWN SIN REALLY BOTHERS HER! – She has not learned to “harden her heart towards the things of God”.  As I watch her grow up I see a young woman who is developing the ability to recognize when her heart is leaving the things of God. She is often quick to come back to Him.    Hebrews 3:13   I need to weep over my own sin!
  4. SHE “LISTENS TO THE SERMON” – I know, I know….we ALL listen to the sermon right?  BUT she REALLY LISTENS! This afternoon was a great example: Our pastor preached a message he called “En-Vision 2010”. In it he explained what he believes God is asking the church to do as to local missions, discipleship etc….. an absolutely great message. Afterwards, I was quickly on to the next thing…. a leadership meeting at noon and the all church fellowship tonight, outreach, and staff retreat at the end of the week.  Not Sarah-Clare…late this afternoon she “plopped down” next to me on the sofa and explained what God had told her during the message. “Wow”, I thought, “He told me to worry about the leadership meeting, all church fellowship, blah, blah, blah”)    James 1:22  She is a do-er!  I need to be a do-er and not a hearer only!
  5. SHE DOES NOT “CHANGE THE CHANNEL” – I have gotten pretty good about looking the other way when confronted with the homeless, disadvantaged or stricken. “I can’t help everyone” or “It is probably a scam”,  I remind myself as I switch back to the ballgame.  Sarah Clare, on the other hand, is willing to look at these things with eyes of genuine concern and desire to help. She is actually frustrated the she can’t help them all!   I need to be frustrated more!

It turns out that I really need to be a lot more like my 15 16  year old daughter…

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Posted by on April 27, 2011 in Uncategorized


“Do it, like YOU do it!” WEEK: “Thick Glasses, Dusty Books” Devo 4-26-11

I wear thick glasses and read dusty books! Thick glasses because I have 20/400 eyesight and read dusty books cuz I’m a history buff. (All the good history books were written before the turn of the century (20th not 21st) and are dusty). If you were to come over to my house on any given evening you might find me perusing through one of the hundreds of old books we have in boxes, on shelves, under lamps (to make the lamp look bigger) and on the coffee tables. On the surface I would look like quite the intellectual but in reality…well…. not so much.


Acts 17:22-34

 22 Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.

 24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’[a] As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’[b]

 29 “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill. 30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”

 32 When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, “We want to hear you again on this subject.” 33 At that, Paul left the Council. 34 Some of the people became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others. 

Paul addresses the men at the Areopagus. (Council or Court, which for a time met on a low hill near the Acropolis.)  As Paul stood there the men could look past Paul to the City of Athens and see the idols that represented the gods that Paul knew were worthless.

Essentially these were a group of philosophers and academics who met to debate this theory or that theory.  This would have been a place where Peter and his confrontation, would have gotten his “repent and be baptized” (see yesterday’s devo) thrown back in his face. But where a man like Paul, whom God put together, was well received. Or at least much better received than Peter.

Great example of this is Ravi Zacharias who travels all over the world speaking in academic institutions like Harvard, Cambridge, Oxford and Texas Tech! (All of the great centers of higher learning 🙂 )  See his website here: http//:

Intellectual person is typically Inquisitive, Analytical and Logical. If that describes you then you may want to share your faith like Paul did in the above passage……. intellectually.



“Do it, Like YOU do it” WEEK: “Not Your Style?” Devo 4-25-11

One of my favorite preachers in America is a man named Mark Driscoll. He is the Lead Pastor at a church called Mars Hill in Seattle. His style is very direct and biblically conservative. He is a great communicator and God has blessed his hard work and leadership. I encourage you to check out their website at

http//:     I absolutely love the guy! He is bold, self assured, direct….an absolute genius. His style is vastly different than mine... BUT HIS MESSAGE IS THE SAME!!!

Scripture lays out several models of evangelism that allows the shy, the intellectual, the “behind the scenes”, the inarticulate, the uneducated etc… to share their faith in Jesus with those “far from God”. They may be vastly different than the model you use…. BUT THE MESSAGE IS THE SAME.

This week I’m going to look at four BIBLICAL models of evangelism starting this morning with the one most people recognize. CONFRONTATIONAL STYLE OF EVANGELISM. 

It is modeled in Acts 2:36-41

36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”  37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off-for all whom the Lord our God will call.”  40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. 


  1. This can be a VERY EFFECTIVE way to tell people about Jesus. It was just the style needed for the situation in ACTS 2. These folks were calloused religious “do gooders” that needed to be shaken a bit in order to “hear” the Gospel.
  2. Peter’s motives were to bring people to faith not to tell people they are lost. I actually know folks who love telling people they are going to hell…but do they love telling people they don’t have to?
  3. This was true to who Peter was….he was Confident, Assertive, DIRECT…confrontational.
  4. If you try to share your faith this way but are not “wired” like Peter you may very well struggle.
  5. Confronting people is A WAY to share your faith….but not the ONLY WAY!