Three Things the Holy Spirit Won’t Do

In the last month, a good number of people in our congregation prayed to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

If you’re reading this and you have no idea what I’m talking about, that’s fine, just head over to our podcast page and have a listen to The Big Three, our most recent sermon series about Salvation, Water Baptism, and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

This last week, Pastor Ross wanted to help us navigate what life in, by, and through the Holy Spirit might look like. He told us that we:

  • will experience conviction, 
  • should be looking for direction, and
  • that this isn’t the end, only the beginning.

As I was listening to his sermon, I started thinking about my own walk with the Holy Spirit since I received His baptism at the age of 14 and how I and others close to me have made some pretty common and easily avoidable mistakes trying to walk in the Holy Spirit. There’s three things I’ve learned about the Holy Spirit in the last 16 years I’d like to share to hopefully save our people (or anyone reading this) some time and embarrassment. Continue reading “Three Things the Holy Spirit Won’t Do”

Child-like Worship

Pastor Keith’s message last weekend was convicting.

He kindly called us out, asking us to look inside of us and see if we were answering Christ’s call to child-like faith. He pointed out that most adults are cynical, that we’ve abandoned the simple trust and joy or the sense of wonder we had when we were kids. One of the first places we can put his message into practice is worship this coming Sunday. Continue reading “Child-like Worship”

Minor Miracles

This last weekend we welcomed our daughter, Eloise (EL-oo-eeze), into the world, and I couldn’t be more proud of my wife. I don’t think she was nervous at all, and when the time came to finally push, it only took one. She was so chill that she treated the whole thing like a trip to the grocery store. If they would have let us, she would have packed up and gone home a couple hours later. Here’s an adorable picture of them both from Sunday morning:

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Ridiculous, right? I can’t handle it.

Continue reading “Minor Miracles”

For When You’re in the Middle of It

I have a few friends who are in the middle of it right now. I myself am in the middle of it right now in a few different ways. I mean, life’s alright; nobody died or anything. But we all have those moments when somebody does actually die or maybe it feels like God’s not listening anymore or maybe a couple hundred bucks extra at the end of the month would take a little bit of the stress off or maybe if your kids would just shut up for two minutes you wouldn’t think about leaving.

Continue reading “For When You’re in the Middle of It”

It’s OK to Hurt

A friend of mine shared this blog post from Kris Vallotton, Prophetic Word For a New Season: Leaving Pain Behindand it brought some important issues to mind, issues that deal with human suffering and the character of God. Admittedly, I have a lot of personal emotion stored up in both of those topics due to my own season of suffering when my young wife unexpectedly passed away in 2011. But that season led me to some long arguments with God that He eventually won, and, in light of what Vallotton has to say on his blog, I wanted to share them here.  Continue reading “It’s OK to Hurt”

The Thing about Hugh

I want to first acknowledge that it seems Mr. Hefner was trying to do something good, as this NPR piece aptly noted:

“My father lived an exceptional and impactful life as a media and cultural pioneer and a leading voice behind some of the most significant social and cultural movements of our time in advocating free speech, civil rights and sexual freedom,” Hefner’s son Cooper, now the company’s chief creative officer, wrote in the company’s statment. “He defined a lifestyle and ethos that lie at the heart of the Playboy brand.”

Hefner’s assault on a what he called a “puritan” America was, I believe, well-intentioned. As such, I applaud him for stepping out to try and make America a better place. It’s much more than the twitter-verse has done to stop pretty much anything it decries and more than most bloggers (such as myself) do to bring positive change to the problems we wish we could fix with a laptop and a cable modem. Hefner certainly achieved his goals.

I’m just not sure those goals were good. Continue reading “The Thing about Hugh”

If you need time with God, spend time with your spouse.

Or maybe I should say it this way: God will not honor the time you spent with Him if it’s time you took away from your spouse. 

I feel this tension fairly often, usually in the mornings. It’s when I wake up a little bit earlier than usual and think, Man, I should go spend some time in prayer / the word / worship / etc… and then Abigail stirs a little. I hear the sound of her skin on the sheets and then she snuggles in close to my neck. I try to pull away but she pulls me back closer. She’s still full of sleep, so she can usually muster only a few simple words.

No… stay,” she says.

Continue reading “If you need time with God, spend time with your spouse.”

I Love Hymns, But I Don’t Let My Church Sing Them Very Often.

Two articles popped up on my timeline in the last couple of weeks, and if I could summarize them briefly I’d call them “anti-modern-worship.” Now, a caveat: they’re not completely anti-anything. I don’t think the authors were sitting at their desks petting their fluffy, white cat in a villainous manner thinking, “Mmm… yes, I shall now destroy those Hillsong loving hipsters and their four-word choruses…. mmm… yes… AND THEN I SHALL RULE THE WORLD WITH JOHN PIPER PODCASTS!! MUHAHAHAHAHAHA…..” I think the authors carry a genuine concern for the church and its direction in our increasingly secularized culture.

However, I think they’re missing the point of what churches like my own do on a Sunday morning, and I want to make a strong case for how modern (read: non-traditional) churches worship. Continue reading “I Love Hymns, But I Don’t Let My Church Sing Them Very Often.”