Simon Says…

I used to love to play “Simon says” as a kid. The leader would ask you to do something and you would do it only if he said “Simon Says” first. If you hopped on one foot because you were told too and Simon didn’t say first then you were out. I loved this game!

Unfortunately there are a lot of Christians doing what “Simon says,” Simon being the loud voice of the world. The scriptures tell us to not conform to this world… to not love this world… to not store our treasures on earth. So many professing Christians look exactly like the world in almost every way. They are spitting images of well mannered, civilized, respectable, non Christians.

When it comes to how they talk, what they watch, what they wear, what music they listen to, what jokes they tell, what they do with their money, what they teach their kids… when it comes to these things and more many, Christians can live exactly like the atheist down the street. If  a reality show of one week of each of their lives aired, you wouldn’t see much difference in their approach to life. Maybe a church service sprinkled in or possibly a prayer before a meal but when it comes to how they live life, pretty much the same.

We are told to not conform to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Here are several practical things you could do each week to live out your faith and not look just like this world.

1) Start your Day Right– When you wake up each morning before you roll out of bed, speak to God and ask Him to keep you humble and needy today. Humble so that you don’t become hard of hearing to His voice and needy so that you recognize your need to depend on him for the day. Start your day with prayer so you remind yourself that you can’t be what you need to be as a worker, friend, spouse, parent, or whatever calling you have for the day.

2) Be Aware of What You Are– Evaluate your thoughts, speech, and actions during the day. Ask this question: Is God being glorified by what I think, say, listen to, and do? How are you being seen by others? If they found out you were Christian would they be surprised? Do they know you love Christ and want to please Him.

3) Lift Them Up– Be a source of encouragement to those you are around. Tell them what you admire about them. When they doing something worthwhile be the first to compliment them. Don’t talk about your accomplishments but be a listening ear to theirs. Let your actions put them first. This even goes for those who annoy you or anger you. Anyone can be nice to those who are nice to you. Jesus loved his enemies and calls us to do the same.

4) Stay Alert– Guard your heart against sin. Do this by hiding the word in your heart so that you might not sin against him (Psalm 119:11). Don’t just give in to any temptation you face. Put up a fight against sin. Train your mind to hate sin like God hates it. So many times Christians don’t even give a thought to their sin during the day. They just give into it so that it is as natural to them as breathing. Resist the devil and he will flee but we have to resist!

5)  Keep the right Perspective–  Fight against duty driven Christianity. Duty driven Christianity is when we do things out of guilt or this misconception that we have to do certain things or God will not be pleased. Instead we need to live as Grace Motivated Christians. His love and mercy and unmerited favor that Jesus gives to me is my inspiration; it motivates me, compels me to live for him, to be like him, to tell others about him. I long to do things that honor God because I love him not because I feel obligated or that I am bargaining with him. I’ll do good things and then maybe he will bless me.

This list is not exhaustive. You could add others but if you took these Big 5 and began to apply them to your life you would be transformed by the renewing of your mind so that you will no longer be like this world. Let’s dare to be different, let’s dare to be like Christ.

A Call to All Dads With Daughters: Some Things Must Never Go Out Of Style


Recently I bought my twelve year old daughter a promise ring and presented it to her at her favorite restaurant. It was the highlight of our many daddy-daughter dates. I will not write what I shared with her here out of respect for her feelings but it was a great talk!

I had a lady, who sitting near us, inquired about the purpose of the ring. I told her it was to serve as a reminder to my daughter that God wants her to remain sexually pure until she is married and that the most important man in her life until that day is me. She expressed her feelings about the ring with oohs and aahs and presented me with a big smile. She told me how she was glad to see me practicing something that could have come from a black and white film more than the practices of today. Something she thought her great grandfather might have done back in the 1920’s.

I understood her sentiment but I hope something as crucial as daddy’s investment into their daughters would be timeless, not reserved to any period of time. Is there anything more important I will do in the next six years than model for my daughter what her standard for a husband should be? I think not.

This means more than just modeling it in my work ethic. Men can be great at working hard but I do not know many wives or children who are impressed with their husband/daddy spending long hours at work so they can have more stuff. Work ethic is important to teach but more is needed for dads to model for their daughters.

I want to model affection for my daughter. I hug her and kiss her and tell her she is beautiful a lot. I will continue to do so even when she acts like she does not want me too as she hits the teenage years. That time where a kiss from her dad is skin to the bubonic plague. I might annoy her but it’s going to be with the annoyance of affection! She must know that she is loved by more than just my words. She needs to feel herself a princess in my eyes. That I adore her as the precious gift from God that she is to me.

I also want to model for her how her future husband should treat her by the way I treat her mom. I want her to see me doting on Christi, honoring her, respecting her. Am I perfect in this? Unfortunately, not even close but I am intentional.

Above all I want my daughter to see me as a godly man. Someone who strives to live by faith. Someone who messes up but is quick to admit it and embraces grace. A man of scripture and prayer. A man who seeks God for wisdom and direction.

There are no guarantees in how my daughter will choose to live her adult life but I trust the Lord to use my intentional investment in modeling these things for her in a way she will not easily overlook their influence when she considers a worthy mate one day.

May dads never stop investing in their daughters. May every dad be intentional in making their daughter feel the princess she is. Dads, if like me,you greatly desire your daughter to marry a godly, confident, sensitive man one day, then model for her now what her target should be.

If you think this would be helpful, please share this with dads with daughters that you know. May it be an inspiration to them as they teach their daughters what a real man looks like.


David Blaine is a famous street magician who does some insane tricks you might have seen on TV. One minute he is levitating on the sidewalk (or at least it seems), the next he is apparently bringing a dead housefly back to life. Mind boggling!

Later we find out Blaine has tricked us. It is revealed that the fly was coated in dry ice. Flies hibernate in cold temperature, which creates the illusion they are dead. The dry ice caused the fly to enter that hibernation state. Blaine picks up the fly that his cameraman subtly placed on a windowsill while Blaine engages his audience. He brings the fly out of hibernation by blowing in his hands and thus warming the fly and thus, back to life. So it seems to his observers.

A lot of Blaine’s tricks amaze us but raising even an insect from the dead would take powers no mortal possesses. His illusions are cool tricks but nothing more than slight of hand or other explainable phenomena we are not privy too at the moment of the trick.

How powerful, on the other hand, is God? That he can take a body exhausted of any sign of life— a body dead not for minutes or even hours, but three days— a body already in initial stages of decomposing— a body long time dead and decaying and breathe new life into it. Now that is mind boggling power! No illusions at work here.

Ponder this. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is at work in our lives. This is no magic trick. This is the real thing. And it is God’s power working in us to completely remove the sinful nature and empower us to live in victory. This same power will one day raise our body from the grave and transform it into a body that is both incorruptible and immortal.

Let’s not find ourselves so easily amazed by the illusion of a dead fly coming back to life and not be in absolute awe by a God who handles resurrecting power.

Believer, I hope you get a chance this Easter Sunday to sing about the power of the resurrection. Sing it unashamedly. I hope you hear about how God’s power raised Christ from the dead and is at work in your life. Embrace it. I hope you are challenged to walk in resurrection power. Live it.

Make Easter more than new neckties and cute dresses topped with a Sunday feast. Make it about the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. He is worthy of your worship. Exalt His holy name!

All our hope, our future, our very faith, centers around the truth that Jesus has been resurrected by the power of his Heavenly Father. Christ is risen! And that is our hope.

Here are three things I will consider this Easter. Use them if they are helpful to you:

1) I will make the day more about worship than traditions. Nothing wrong with new clothes and family traditions but lifting up name if Christ is your calling as a Christian.

2) I will pray asking God to help me walk in the victory that is mine because of His great power. I can’t walk like Christ on my own.

3) I will ask God to reveal things in my life that hinder me from walking in the joy of The Lord. This takes courage but I want to throw off things that hinder me.

The words of this blog were inspired by several verses of Scripture:

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” John 11:25-26

I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Philippians 3:10-12

11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice:

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
To receive power and riches and wisdom,
And strength and honor and glory and blessing!”
Revelation 5:11-12


There are so many songs that inspire me. What song right now inspires you? Post it here or reply on Facebook. I would love to hear from my friends what song moves you. Share a verse or two in the song that really moves you if you like.

Does not matter the genre or if it is new or old. Let’s share with each other that song that moves us.

Music truly is a gift from God. Music touches our soul. It can move us to tears, inspire us to take on a great challenge. It can teach us.

Here is the song that has been inspiring me:

Oceans by Hillsong

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours, and You are mine


The news gets a bad wrap for highlighting so much negative in the world. Unless you are a conspiracist and think they are making these stories up, you have to recognize they have plenty of material with which to work.

Here is reality: the world is a sin-saturated and a broken place. You can’t escape it. Everywhere you turn, there is potential tragedy. Ignoring it does not make it go away.

The proper response for us as Believers is to allow the news to be a constant reminder of a few things:

1) This world is not our home. We are strangers here. We live here for a time, but we are homesick. We await a redeemed creation, a dwelling in the presence of God.

2) The same sin that disgusts us in the world is the same sinfulness in us. We need to see sin the way God sees it. We need to hate its destructive power, not just in the world, but also in us.

3) The hurt, pain, and devastation happening in our world is opportunity for us to spread the grace and love of Jesus. What better ears to hear the good news of Christ than the hurting. Jesus said He came to heal the sick, that God is the Great Physician. They recognize more fully their need. The news should motivate us to be a stronger witness.

4) The brokenness of this world is in us, not God. Our sin brought this devastation into the world. Our disobedience led to this. We’d like to think we have nothing to do with the evil we see out there, but it’s simply not true. We play our part, too. Maybe we did not murder someone today, but we may judge, gossip, backbite, ridicule, condescend, snub, and do other very harmful things to others. We are far from innocent; our hands are dirty. God did not cause this. We did.

So when you watch the news or check out Fox News or CNN online today, do so with eternal perspective. Consider the things I’ve said above, take time to praise God for your own salvation over sin, and intercede for those who are desperate for His touch.


Legalism is alive and well in churches today, and none of us are immune from its ways.

At the root of legalism is selfishness and pride.  Legalism feeds the selfish nature.  The legalist relies on willpower to do rightly, believing this pleases God and earns His favor.  This makes sense to our mind, but it is not the way God measures value.  We all need to be very thankful for that!

Legalism is appealing.  We like it because it appeals to our self-reliant nature, but self-reliance is antithetical to all that Christianity stands for.  The Gospel condemns our acts of righteousness.  Our righteousness leaves a stench to God.

It is not because we cannot do anything that is good.  It is because anything we do that is good is tainted by a wicked, glory-hungry, heart.  All our attempts at goodness are tainted by sin.

This gets to the heart of legalism.  The problem is motive; our actions are not enough.  Motive is essential.  Even Jesus said follow what the Pharisees teach, but do not live like they do (Matt 23:3).  The Pharisees did good works by following the law, but their motives were impure.

Everything the legalist does in the name of God, feeds their hunger to gain value.  And that is the problem.  It is impossible for man to earn enough value to be found worthy of God’s standard (Rom 3:23).

Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for being clean on the outside but rotten on the inside.  It’s all about the heart, the motive behind what we do.  When Christ has transformed our lives by the Gospel, we have a new heart, a new motive, that looks to honor God.  Christ becomes the motivating factor of our actions.  The Christian desires to give glory to God through his actions.  The legalist desires to give glory to self by their actions.

Legalism is alive and well today and takes many forms.  From style of music to versions of the Bible to facial hair to dress. It’s vital that churches preach the importance of relationship and not rules, that Jesus is exalted and not man, that grace abounds and not works-righteousness.  It is the call of the Church to safeguard the Gospel from anything that lessens the centrality of Jesus.

Calvin and Hobbs

Putting pen to our thoughts can be an intimidating exercise. But I have found little to be more cathartic than allowing your soul to be expressed on paper.  Journaling my thoughts towards God as well as what He reveals about myself is life giving. My soul has grown in its expression through my personal diligence in journaling. It has increased my understanding of the greatness of God and the depth of my need for Him.

Take up my challenge and buy a journal (Guys its not a diary!) and begin to write what’s on your mind. No rules. Its your window to the soul. Decorate it like you want.

Here is an idea to get you started.  Ask yourself a reflective question and write on it.

Something like: Why does God care so much about me? Write what you think and feel as it comes to you. You might be surprised at the depth that is in you! Don’t sell yourself short. God has created something amazing in you. Let it out. Your soul longs to express itself. To not do so is like walking through a field of wild flowers and ignoring the color and the smells. You sell yourself short otherwise.

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I have a heavy heart today as the love of my stomach will no longer be a convenient 5 minute drive from me. It’s hard to see how Paducah will make it without my beloved El Chico’s! No more mixed fajitas, no more thin chips and salsa, no more fried apple pie! Life just got a little more bland.

Let this serve as a reminder that we need to thank God for the little things in life. Don’t take them for granted for we are not promised they will be here tomorrow.

I’m headed off now to Olive Garden… You had me at minestrone.