A Good Question

“What does that teach you about God, Daddy?”

This is the question my son has been asking lately.  He likes to sing praise and worship songs.  He also likes to make up new songs about God. Invariably he will end the song and ask what that song has taught me about God. It is a good question and will often cause me to think, what IS the meaning of the song and what DOES it teach me about God?  It is a great exercise.

I also realized, it is something I never used to ask.  I love to sing and will belt out a song anywhere and at any time.  Yes, I am that guy walking down the street singing to himself.  I will sing at work, in the car and yes, in the shower.  Until my son started asking his question, I never put much thought into what the song was teaching me about God.  Now I can’t stop.

I have also begun applying the question to my reading as well.  When I dig into God’s Word, I have asked myself, “What does this passage of Scripture teach me about God?”    According to God’s Word, the Scriptures are a light for my path (Psalm 119:105) and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training. (2 Timothy 3:16)

It is all that and so much more.  As I read the Old Testament, I see a God who is long-suffering and filled with patience and loving kindness.  Moving into the New Testament, we see a God who loved us enough to send His Son to earth, to die on a cross for you and me! 

God’s love, mercy and grace are all things that I have been taught through the reading of His Word. 
My son has challenged me to go deeper in worship and in reading the Bible.  Hopefully you will be asking yourself this same question he asked me.  “What does that teach you about God?”


Confessions of a Kid at Heart

I am a kid at heart.  Growing up I loved to read comic books, play with toys and collect baseball cards.  I have a confession to make.  I still collect baseball cards...and read comic books...but you won't catch me playing with toys...when anyone is around!

I look back on my childhood with fond memories.  Sure, like any family we had our problems, but I always had a warm meal, a loving family and plenty of friends and things to play with.  We were not rich by any means.  My dad lost his job when I was a teen and we went through some very hard times, eventually ending up homeless.

Having experienced life on both sides of the economic coin, my heart breaks for those caught in a life of poverty, hunger and need.

Which is why being a Compassion sponsor is so important to me.  My wife and I have sponsored children with compassion since  2001.  After our first child graduated the program and our second moved to a new region, we are now sponsoring our third child.  A little boy from  Brazil a little older than my son CJ, who is 4. 

We love getting the letters from our sponsored child and reading not only of his growing knowledge of the Lord but how much he loves the things a kid should love.  Through his letters we have found that he loves soccer and playing with cars. A typical child in an economically depressed area of Brazil.

I know that being a Compassion sponsor helps the child and his family.  However, I have also found it helps our family as well.  It reminds us that we are called to show Christ's love to the nations.  We can't all travel overseas but we can make a difference in our own communities and via organizations like Compassion, communities and families around the world.

I invite you to remember what it means to be a child at heart and to sponsor a child today: Compassion Sponsorship.

Feel free to share your own Confessions of a Kid at heart in the comment section.


A Near Death Experience


I once had a near death experience.

After years of attending churches around the world, I struggled under a heavy burden.  I had lost the joy I once felt when gathering with the body of Christ. I know I am not the only one.  For years I have met people whom no longer want to actively participate in church.

Most of those who have abandoned the church share stories of hypocrisy and church abuse. Long-time believers are ready to walk away out of boredom and frustration. Killed by the Church, Resurrected by Christ seeks to equip people with the principles they need in order to fall in love with the church again in a much healthier way.

I once sucumbed to "death by church". Then I found my identity.  It wasn't in anything the world had to offer.  It was only found in Jesus Christ!

In this book, you will find stories from around the world and right next door. Stories of all the good the church has to offer and sadly, some of the worst as well. You will discover Biblical principles that relate not only to church, but to our relationship with the body of Christ at large. You will hopefully develop a deeper understanding of your identity in Christ.

I invite you to pick up a copy of my new book, Killed by the Church, Resurrected by Christ.  

You can order it through your local bookstore (ISBN 9781490853789) or by clicking the image above.  (It is also available for download as an e-book on Amazon.)

You can also stop by the book's Facebook Page: Killed By The Church

Or Find Me on Twitter:   Killed By The Church


Vanishing Grace

Philip Yancey has written another book on grace.  

Vanishing Grace by Philip Yancey is a sequel of sorts to his classic book What's So Amazing About Grace? 

In this newest book, Yancey asks why Christians continue to be ridiculed while losing respect and influence in our modern culture.  Vanishing Grace is actually four books in one. A World Athirst (1), Grace Dispensers (2), Is It Really Good News? (3), and Faith and Culture (4).

In part one Yancey shows the current view of Christians by society at large.  Insetead of judgement, Yancey calls believers to listen and love with grace and humility.  I enjoyed this chapter immensely. People are thirsty for more in life and we have the chance to show them the true Thirst Quencher. However, in order for people to truly listen, we need to judge less and love more.

Part two calls for believers to approach those we meet as pilgrims, activists and artists. I appreciate his call for believers to use the arts to call people to a relationship with Jesus Christ. Seeing ourselves as pilgrims, we can take the journey together in humility instead of placing ourselves in a position where we can often look down on others in self righteous indignation.

Part three looks at why faith matters. Why are we here? Is there anyone else? How should we live?  These are the burning questions of life that Yancey seeks to address in this section.

In the final section of the book, Yancey returns to the theme of artist, activists and pilgrims and shows how we can and should be involved in the culture around us today.  All of these sections call us to be active grace giviers to those around us, calling people to a filling and fulfilling relationship with Jesus Christ.

I will admit, I am a fan of Philip Yancey's writings.  Even with that bias, I think this book is timely for the world we find ourselves in today.  Do yourself a favor and add this book to your shelf.

This book was provided for through the Book Look Bloggers program in exchange for writing a review on the book.  I was not obligated to post a positive review; the opinions expressed are mine.