Digital Devotion: When You Find The Donkey Donkeys You’ll Find Your Destiny

1 Samuel 9:5-6

3 minute read

1 Samuel 9:5-6
“Saul said to his servant, “Let’s go home. By now my father will be more worried about us than about the donkeys!” But the servant said, “I’ve just thought of something!

In 1954 a milkshake salesman named Ray Krok was traveling the country trying to sale his “Milk Shake Multi-Mixer.” Sales were plummeting, so it got Ray’s attention when a burger stand in San Bernadino California purchased eight of his multi-mixers.

Digital Devotion – Forgetful Faith and Answered Prayers

1 John 5:14-15

3 minute read

1 John 5:14-15
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us–whatever we ask–we know that we have what we asked of him.

I’m willing to bet you’ve experienced “The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon” many times in your life, you just didn’t know what to call it. The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon, coined in 1986 by Terry Mullen, is when a concept or thing you just found out about suddenly seems to appear everywhere.

Digital Devotion: God Is Able, But So Are You

Genesis 6:21

3 minute read

Genesis 6:21
“And be sure to take on board enough food for your family and for all the animals.”

Tony Campolo was once a guest speaker at a mission rally, when he was asked to lead in prayer for a missionary doctor the group supported. The goal of the prayer? That God might provide the $5000 urgently needed for the medical centre the doctor ran.

Tony informed the congregation that he would not pray for a miracle. He knew his audience was made up of people who were materially prosperous. So he declared he would pray only after everyone in the room gave all the money they had on them that day. The congregation was stunned, but when Tony started emptying his pockets they knew he was serious. After some hesitation everyone started following suit. What started as a prayer for a miracle turned into a prayer of thanksgiving; by the end of the giving they had collected $8000, much more than was needed in the first place!

It’s crazy to think civilization rested on Noah not forgetting to stop by the grocery store on the way home, isn’t it?

In Genesis 6, society had taken such a dire turn for the worse God decided to flood the earth and start over with Noah, his wife, and three sons. Over the next 100 years, Noah built an ark to the exact specifications God had given him. The Ark was 510 ft long (that’s long enough to hold three space shuttles) and 50 ft tall (the equivalent of a four-story house.) The completion of the Ark was supernatural, no doubt, but don’t mistake supernatural intervention for the absence of work ethic, talent, and study.

God could have easily spoke an ark into existence saying, “Let there be an ark,” and voila, Noah would have been the captain of the finest vessel on the sea. Noah probably suggested the creation option to God after a long day’s work looking at the blisters and splinters on his hands, but God didn’t speak a boat into existence, He spoke an idea into the heart of a man, which brings us to verse 21 of Genesis 6.

The first time I read this verse, I literally laughed out loud. Think about the lunacy of the words God spoke to Noah. After 100 years of faithful, hard work and ridicule from peers, God ends his conversation with Noah by adding, “Oh and by the way don’t forget to take enough food on board for everyone.” If I understand God’s instruction correctly, I think it means survival hinged on ramen noodles and PB&J sandwiches. Can you imagine if after 100 years of faithful obedience and hard work Noah didn’t survive because he ran out of food?

I have a love-hate relationship with Bible verses like this one. I love them because it reminds me I play a key role in God’s most miraculous endeavors. I hate them because it reminds me God rarely provides supernatural help for something I can do naturally. Which raises the question, “How often do you ask God to do something you could have done yourself?”

God can heal a marriage that refuses to go to counseling

God can lift a family out debt who won’t live on a budget

God can speak to someone who forgets to pray

God can deliver an addiction in secret

But more often than not He chooses to produce extraordinary miracles through ordinary obedience. What if God has already done the hard part he’s just waiting for you to do your part? Is there something you could do that seems ordinary, but once God does his part, it could become extraordinary? Stop waiting. No more excuses. Pray hard but work harder. You never know what might happen, just about the time you think you might run out of food, God may turn a few fish into a meal for 5,000.

Why our small church gave a megachurch $1000

4 minute read

Every pastor, no matter the size of your church, has experienced the frustration of someone leaving your church for something “bigger and better.”

During those seasons it’s easy to feel like your leadership and church is “less than,” and the rich are getting richer. Before you know it bitterness and jealousy creep into your heart and we start making excuses why other churches are growing and ours is not. We assume that anyone who is experiencing results—results that we secretly wish we were experiencing— has cut a corner or sold their soul; We take cheap shots at the megachurch in our town; or make broad generalizations about growing churches and their lack of biblical commitment. When we’re angry, bitter, jealous, and discouraged, we’ll say or do anything to make ourselves feel better about our insecurity.

When the World End: How to Know Who To Believe

How to Know Who To Believe

5 minute read

If you spend much time reading the parts of the Bible having to do with the end times, it’s easy to assume you are living in the last days.

You may be. We will only know in hindsight, but what’s interesting is that every generation of Christians since Jesus ascended to Heaven has believed He would return before their death. My great grandfather believed with all his heart Jesus would return while he was alive because in his opinion sin was rampant, there were wars and rumors and wars, and the government was assigning social security numbers.

“I can’t afford it” and 5 other bogus reasons Christians don’t tithe

5 minute read

I still remember like it was yesterday.

I was 16 years old sitting in my youth group on a Wednesday night when my youth pastor began to do what he always did at that point of the service. He grabbed an offering bucket and began to walk around the half circle of chairs laid out in the small room.

When he got to me, he stood and waited for me to put something in, I hadn’t given much thought to my offering that night, and I certainly wasn’t prepared to give anything so I reached into my pocket hoping to find a few dollar bills to throw in the bucket. I was out of luck, no cash only a few coins, so I shuffled them around and gathered them together to give in the offering. My youth pastor did something no one had ever done, and I’ve never seen done since. He looked at me and said, “Keep it. God doesn’t want your spare change.” A preacher turning down an offering, go figure.

Why Do Christians Only Follow Some Old Testament Rules?

4 minute read

Have you ever wondered why Christians dismiss certain Old Testament laws but cherish others?

Maybe you’ve tried to have a conversation with someone about their lifestyle or behavior only to have a defensive accusation returned to you because you “only follow the parts of the Bible that are convenient.” Maybe you’ve had that conversation with yourself.

The World Needs Less Will Ferrels

Why sarcasm is for suckers

3 minute read

The other day a buddy of mine sent a group text to me and another guy that said, “I love you guys.”

I stared at the phone for a few seconds a little rattled; I wasn’t sure how to respond. Obviously, the appropriate response was, “love you too.” And if we had been face to face I would have had no problem saying “I love you” back, but for whatever reason, at this moment texting “I love you” to another dude was intimidating. It felt like the equivalent of sending heart and kiss face emojis.

The Best Way to Have More Of Your Prayers Answered

2 minute read

Recently I bought a new car, a 2008 Maroon Ford Escape. I’m sure this has happened to you too, but after I purchased the Escape I see other cars exactly like mine everywhere!

I never noticed maroon Ford Escapes before mine, but now I can’t not see them. I’m not crazy, it’s neuroscience, it’s called “The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon” coined by Alan Bellows.

The Illusion of Confidence: The truth about your pastor

The truth about your pastor

5 minute read

Let me start by acknowledging the fact the TV preacher you saw that one time came across really cocky, and seemed to only care about getting your money.

I’ll even concede the fact you’ve seen a few Facebook videos of preachers who gel their hair and wear sequenced shirts, looking more like Rick Flair than Jesus.