biblical worldview

Four INCREDIBLE Websites

Four INCREDIBLE Websites

If you want to grow in your life, you need to enter into conversations with a variety of people. We do this best through relationships, books, podcasts and blogs. I feed both my soul and mind on a daily basis through a variety of different mediums. The four websites below have encouraged and strengthened me in both my faith and leadership.

1. Desiring God
Desiring God is the primary teaching ministry of John Piper. This website hosts many resources to help you grow in your faith. From free books to an “Ask Pastor John” podcast, there is something for EVERYONE.

The blog is excellent both in content and quality. There are a variety of experts who write about many different subjects. Each time I open up my browser to Desiring God, my mind is renewed by the solid teaching of Scripture. The content on this website WILL inspire you to desire God more than you currently do.

2. The Gospel Coalition
Similar to Desiring God, The Gospel Coalition hosts a large library of resources. There is a focus on ending “Theological Famine” with a plethora of ministry training that is offered for FREE!

The blog alone is organized into six different sections:

Each one of these sections is filled with helpful content from trusted people!

3. Michael Hyatt
As you probably guessed by the name, this website is hosted by Michael Hyatt. Hyatt is the former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers. Since then, he has helped people build personal platforms. He is a sought after speaker and writer at a variety of conferences and publications.

What is incredible is that Michael Hyatt gives away so many FREE resources. His blog and podcast is focused on helping YOU “Win at work. Succeed in life.” All of Hyatts content is written from a Christian perspective – I HIGHLY recommend Michael Hyatt’s website ESPECIALLY if you are a leader.

4. Jon Sanders
This website is hosted by one of my personal friends and someone I have the honor of working with. Jon Sanders is the Lead (and founding) Pastor of The Rescue Church; A multi-site church with four physical campuses and one online campus. There are many different resources on Jon’s website. You can watch past messages, read his blog, and even listen to the Small Town, Big Church podcast which I was featured on a few weeks ago!

I have learned A LOT from Jon personally and through his website. I highly recommend subscribing to his website, ESPECIALLY for the podcasts.


What websites have you found helpful? I would love to check them out. Let me know by leaving a comment!

Four Benefits of Sickness

fourbenefitsofsickness

I am currently recovering from a horrible sore throat and head cold. In between coughing fits, blowing my nose, and trying to have enough energy to work, I realized that sickness is included in the “all things” of Romans 8:28.

“We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:28

Below are four ways God utilizes sickness as He molds us to look more like Jesus:

  1. Sickness reminds us that we are not gods.

It is in our nature to try to defy the limitations God has placed upon us. This first happened in the Garden of Eden – Adam and Eve were tempted to be “like God” (Gen. 3:5). They were not content submitting to His authority but instead bucked against his clear Word in order to overcome the “limitations” placed upon them by God.

If you are like me, I tend to work far more than I should. I also try to please WAY too many people in an effort to feel successful. In the midst of all of this, I take upon myself project after project. Caffeine, my drug of choice, promises me that I can be like God and work without feeling tired or sleepy.

Sickness FORCES us to slow down, rest, and understand that the world continues without us. You and I are not God. We have limitations. True freedom is found in embracing our limitations and weaknesses and resting solely on the grace and power of God.

  1. Sickness reminds us that we are sinners in need of grace.

Our bodies fail and become weak because of sin. Before the darkness of sin choked life out of the world, there was no death nor sickness. As a result of sin, all of creation (including you and me) groans out of pain and misery. Paul refers to our bodies as temporary dwellings – they are not made to last forever (2 Cor. 5:1). Beginning at age 25, your body literally begins to die.

Sickness reminds us that death is the end of all mankind. Rich and poor, good and evil, famous and overlooked – ALL of us will die and face judgment as a result of our sin. Sickness is a constant reminder that we live in a broken world and we need to fix our eyes on the only One who has defeated death, sickness, and shame.

We become sick because we are rebels in need of discipline, narcissists in need of humility, and sinners in DESPERATE need of grace.

  1. Sickness reminds us that we are dependent upon God for EVERYTHING.

I don’t know about you but I tend to take my good health for granted. I am hardly ever sick and when I do get sick, a minor cold feels as if I have been infected with a deadly virus that forces me to languish in bed for hours (Or I am just a wimp, I’ll let you decide).

Over the past few days, I have seen myself cry out to God for strength and wisdom FAR MORE than when I am healthy. This week has been one of my busiest weeks over the past few months and I trust that I became sick for a reason. If a sparrow does not fall to the ground outside of the Father’s will then we do not get sick outside of His will.

I am sure we all acknowledge intellectually that we are dependent upon God for every ounce of strength and fruitfulness but do we TRULY believe it in our hearts? Practically, I give lip service to my dependence upon God but live as if EVERYTHING is up to me.

In our sinfulness, we have a tendency to think we can do a better job at being God than He can. Needless to say, that is a VERY foolish place to be.

  1. Sickness reminds us of the Second Coming.

Sickness and death will NOT get the last word. In this life, we only get a small taste of what God is preparing for those whom He loves. Jesus crushed the ugly head of sin, death, and sickness when He rose victoriously from the grave. As we experience the weakness and apparent hopelessness of life, we can find rest in God’s promise of a New Creation as revealed to John in Revelation 22:

“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse.” – Revelation 22:1-3

Jesus wins. Sin is defeated. Satan is crushed. Sickness is demolished.

Put your hope in God and rest in HIS promises.


How has God used sickness in YOUR life to grow you closer to Him? Leave a comment let me know!

Why We Sin

Why We Sin

Often when I am talking to a Christian who is struggling with a certain sin in his or her life, the argument is made that their desires are simply too strong. Our focus is on how delightful the temptation first appears. We blame our cravings for dragging us to the broken cisterns of sin.

What if I told you that your sin is a result of desires that are too WEAK, not too strong?

Friends, you and I sin because we are far too easily satisfied.

Think about this for a moment: Every time we sin, we are choosing a temporal pleasure over eternal pleasure. We decide that it is worth more in our lives to sever our relationship with God during our time of rebellion than it is to “taste and see that the Lord is good”.

We are enticed by our weak appetites because we fail to see that there are “pleasures forevermore” at the right hand of God (Psalm 16:11).

Do not try to fight sin with sheer will power and guilt; sin can only be defeated when you experience the surpassing value and worth of knowing Christ Jesus as Lord (Philippians 2:8). In view of the glory of God, your sin will appear as disgusting and hideous as it truly is.

Sin gains power when your appetite for pleasure is too weak.

Curious as to what I am talking about? Watch this short clip by John Piper –


Today, I want to encourage you to be a Christian Hedonist. There is far superior and lasting pleasure found in pursuing God than in ANYTHING this world has to offer you.

The Ladder of Humility (Part Four)

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If you have not read the first three posts in this series, be sure to read them below:
Ladder of Humility (Part One)
Ladder of Humility (Part Two)
Ladder of Humility (Part Three)


ladderofhumility

The fourth step of humility is Patience to Accept the Difficulty of Others.

Ultimately, this only arises out of a deep sense of love and compassion for people. My guess is that every follower of Jesus would claim to love people but how many of them actually practice the love Jesus speaks about?

This step of humility can only be formed as we meditate on God’s love for humanity.

We NEED to understand that we are only loved by God as a result of sheer grace. God did not save you because you are a good person, you are saved because Jesus is the perfect person. The Gospel is NOT clean yourself up and THEN approach God. The Gospel is that while we were yet sinners, rebelling against a Holy God and deserving eternal condemnation in Hell, Christ died for US! (Romans 5:8)

When I experience myself becoming impatient with the difficulty of others, I am spitting upon the face of the Son of God.

Our patience for others should be a reflection of God’s patience for us. Paul makes this point clear in Romans 15:7 – “Accept one another, just as the Messiah also accepted you, to the glory of God.”

According to this verse, we should be patient with the difficulties of others for the following reasons:

  • It is a command from Scripture.
  • Jesus accepted us and we definitely did NOT deserve it.
  • Ultimately, it brings glory to God.

Let’s paint a beautiful picture of God’s love for us by being patient with the difficulties of others. By so doing, we are being obedient to scripture, reflecting the love of God, and bringing glory to God.


Why do YOU think this fourth step is difficult for so many people? Leave a comment and let me know!

Ladder of Humility (Part Three)

Ladder of Humility - 3

If you have not read the first two parts in this series, you can find them below –
The Ladder of Humility (Part One)
The Ladder of Humility (Part Two)


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Step 3: Willing to Subject Ourselves to Direction of Others

As we embark deeper into the journey of humility, the third step deals with our response to authority. In the beginning, when Adam and Eve decided to disregard the authority of God, our nature was seared with rebellion.

All those who are IN authority should be UNDER authority.

Specifically, as you ascend the ladder of humility, you should subject yourself to the following three authorities:

  1. Be subject to God.

“Submit yourselves to God.” – James 4:7

First and foremost, you must live a life of active submission to the Living God. All other submission is an overflow and application of submission to God. The vast majority of Christians today would CLAIM they are living obedient lives – they go to Church, read the Bible, and pray often.

Unfortunately, many of us have followed in the steps of Eve and been deceived by the Serpent.

Below are some symptoms that will be evident if you are NOT submitting yourself to God:

You talk yourself out of obedience.
If the Holy Spirit nudges you to take a specific action and you rationalize yourself out of doing so, you are living in rebellion to God. OBEY IMMEDIATELY!

You do not allow the Word of God to DWELL in you richly.
Reading the Bible does not cause transformation; allowing the Living Word to shape, mold, and transform your entire being does. Practically, this means filling your life with the study, meditation, and memorization of Scripture so that it overflows into the rest of your life.

You rebel against the other authorities in your life.
If you have trouble obeying authority, it is more than likely a spiritual issue. Ask God what you need to deal with in your submission to HIM so that you are able to obey the other authorities in your life.

  1. Be subject to Spiritual Leaders.

“Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account, so that they can do this with joy and not with grief.” – Hebrews 13:17

The second authority in your life you must submit to is spiritual leadership. This would be people such as pastors, elders, deacons, and the various other leaders in your local church. (On a side note, this presumes you are part of a local church – No, meeting for coffee with your Christian friends or watching a sermon at home is NOT a local church, I will explain why in a future post.)

First of all, we need to remember that there is a difference between Godly obedience and blind following. Those who shepherd the flock of God are NOT above accountability. Pastors are part of the community of believers – they may be in a place of leadership but they need the nurturing love and care of the Body as much as everyone else!

Below are some symptoms that will be evident if you are NOT submitting to your spiritual leaders:

You are constantly speaking negative about your leaders.
If your Sunday routine consists of critiquing the message and bashing the leadership of the church, YOU need to quit being arrogant and work towards humility in this area.

You are regularly gossiping about other members in your church.
One of Satan’s schemes is to get the church to expense all its energy on one another so that it is no longer effective in storming the gates of Hell.

Friends, we are not ignorant of Satan’s schemes.

  1. Be subject to Civil Leaders.

“Everyone must submit to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist are instituted by God.” – Romans 13:1

Unfortunately, it seems that many Christians are ignorant of Romans 13 – especially in the United States. We wield our freedom as a weapon to wage a war of rebellion against our government.

The ONLY time it is okay to blatantly disobey civil authority is when it is calling you to commit an action that is in direct contradiction to the Word of God. This happens far less often than the hyper-conservative Christians would like you to believe.

Below are some symptoms that will be evident if you are NOT submitting to the civil leaders in your life:

You never pray for those in authority.
When was the last time you asked God to grant salvation, peace, and rest to those in leadership (both nationally and locally) And Yes, President Obama fits into this group.

You demonize and/or deify political parties.
Friends, I can promise you that a new president will not bring lasting change to this country. If you put more hope in your political party than in the Church, you are living in grave ignorance of the Word of God.


A life of submission will speak volumes to the community around you and enable you to progress further up the Ladder of Humility.

Why do YOU think it is hard for people to submit to authority? Leave a comment and let me know!

The Ladder of Humility (Part Two)

Ladder of Humility - Part Two

This is part two of a series on the Ladder of Humility by Saint Benedict. If you have not read the first post, be sure to read it first by clicking below:

Ladder of Humility (Part One)


Step 2: Doing God’s Will (Not Our Own or Other People’s)

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This second step of humility holds three assumptions we need to understand:

  1. God has a Will.

This is a basic teaching with radical implications. We live in the midst of a post-modern world. Essentially, there is no such thing as right or wrong. As long as it works for you, it is true for you. What is true for you is not necessarily true for me.

God has a will and your fruitfulness in your Christian life depends on obedience to it.

You do not need to have a mystical experience or visit a psychic (or even a pastor!) to understand God’s will. This subject is far more in-depth then I am going to take the time to explain here, and I highly recommend THIS POST from Pastor Jon Sanders. In essence, we can discover God’s will through seven different mediums:

  1. God’s Word
  2. Prayer
  3. Your spouse
  4. Seeking Godly council from others
  5. Circumstances (Open/Closed Doors)
  6. The viewpoints of others
  7. Feeling of peace
    (CREDIT: “How Can I Know God’s Will for My Life” @ www.jonsanders.org – Be sure to go there and read more in-depth how these seven mediums enable you to find God’s will)
  1. We can be led astray by our own will.

Solomon, one of the wisest people that has ever lived, wrote profound advice for us in Proverbs 14:12 – “There is a way that seems right to man, but its end is the way of death.”

An obsession with our will clouds our vision, ruins our future, and ultimately does not satisfy.

This debased desire has plunged even our spiritual lives into destruction. Our prayer times are filled with wish lists we want God to grant. Essentially, He has become the servant and we have become gods, expecting Him to bow down to our every whim and desire.

Instead of conforming our will to the Father in Heaven, we have attempted to manipulate and command God to adhere to our man-made plans.

  1. We can be led astray by the will of others.

By nature, we are slaves languishing under the cold chains of people-pleasing. We have allowed subtle contamination by the desires of other people to dictate how we live our lives.

I promise that you will not give an account before God on how you lived your life in light of the expectations of those around you. No, you will stand before the judgment seat of Christ and have to explain how you were too much of a coward to boldly stand for God’s will.

Why is it that we are terrified of displeasing mere mortals but flippantly disobey and ignore God’s Spirit when it comes to decisions in our lives?


Friends, seek God’s will and do not allow yourself to be led astray by “the way that seems right to man” because its end is death and destruction.

The Discipline of Silence

The Discipline Of

“Do not be hasty to speak, and do not be impulsive to make a speech before God. God is in Heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.” – Ecclesiastes 5:2

Those words are incompatible with the evangelical culture of our day. We live in a world that is polluted with noise and speech; from the constant chatter of a television to the never-ending tones of a smart phone. This barrage of sound has even invaded our places of worship, effectively obstructing the voice of God’s Spirit.

Unfortunately, this contamination has even seeped dangerously into our personal relationship with God, especially in our prayer life.

Solomon offers profound advice to Christians today; specifically, I see two ways we should be applying this verse to our lives.

  1. SHUT UP!

Okay, Solomon may not have said these exact words, but the first sentence is informing us in no uncertain terms that we need to shut up – especially in the presence of God.

How often have we followed in the corrupt pattern of the Pharisees and believed God would be impressed with our many religious words?

When was the last time, at a corporate church service, can you remember the pastor or worship leader calling for a time of silence to hear God?

We are ADDICTED to speaking.

Richard Foster, in his book Celebration of Discipline, unpacks our disorder:

“One reason we can hardly bear to remain silent is that it makes us feel so helpless. We are so accustomed to relying upon words to manage and control others. If we are silent, who will take control? God will take control, but we will never let him take control until we trust Him. Silence is intimately related to trust.”

The reason we are fixated on our own speech is because we have trust and power issues. We have a strong desire to be in control and we refuse to relinquish it – even into God’s hands.

  1. Realize that you really aren’t that interesting or intelligent.

Imagine yourself sitting across the table from a world-renowned author and teacher in your field of study. You have been studying this field for one year; on the other hand, this teacher has been active and studying the field for 70 years.

How foolish would it be for you to take over the conversation and explain to this expert how much you know – interrupting him every single time he tries to get a word in edgewise?

That is EXACTLY what we do in our prayer lives.

We are so arrogant that we forget God is in Heaven and we are on earth – He sees the end from the beginning. He has all power, authority, and knowledge – completely transcendent and altogether different from the rest of creation.

Yet WE lead the conversation, don’t we?

God is far more willing to speak than we are to listen.

I believe God is calling us, through the words of Solomon, to shut up and listen. God desires to speak to YOU but YOU do not keep your mouth shut long enough to hear the still, quiet whisper of His Spirit. I exhort and encourage you to spend time actually LISTENING to God this week. Set apart time in your morning devotionals to truly be still and allow Him to teach you.


Friends, spiritual maturity is not measured by the quantity of your speaking but by the quality of your listening.