Unexpected Pregnancy and the Church

A few years ago I met a single and pregnant woman named Jordan. She was 19. She joined Embrace Grace, a support group for women with unexpected pregnancies at my church, and she shared her story with us. Days before coming to the class, Jordan had found out she was pregnant. She was scared....

Why Christians Don’t Tithe

I believe in tithing. Soon after joining my first church as an adult, I received a membership packet, which included a statement about giving. It read, "As a member of this church, you agree to support this ministry through your regular tithes and offerings."  Even though I didn't fully understand it, the tithe concept...

Mind the Gap

Charles Haddon Spurgeon pastored the great New Park Street Chapel (later the Metropolitan Tabernacle) in London, England, from 1854 to 1892. He was only 19 years old when he was called to pastor New Park Chapel, a well-known church which had dwindled numerically to 313 members, with actual attendance being much smaller. It took only a few...

A Meditation for Turbulent Times

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. Psalm 46:1-3 There are unique days in history that make us feel like the world is caving...

Have Yourself A Merry “Family” Christmas

My car door closed with a reluctant click. I stood next to my vehicle, jaw dropped, absorbing the scene. I couldn’t believe my eyes. My wife and I looked at each other wondering if we should go forward. She shrugged as if to suggest all would be fine. The kids put on their pitiful faces hoping I...

Peace on Your Earth

I love the story of Jesus’ birth because it does much more than simply tell a story. It reminds us we can experience peace no matter what we’re going through. In fact, peace on earth is the main focus of the angel’s announcement of Jesus’ birth in Luke 2. Here’s what the multitude of angels say in...

How Do We Heal?

How do we heal and move forward as a nation?  That was the question posed to Bishop Kenneth Ulmer during his appearance on Today With Hoda & Jenna yesterday (November 9, 2020) alongside Rabbi Steve Leder. Bishop Ulmer leads Faithful Central Bible Church, and Rabbi Leder leads Wilshire Boulevard Temple, both in Los Angeles. Show...

Who Are You?

Have you ever asked yourself, “Who am I?” Or how about this: “What am I supposed to be when I grow up?” These questions are always in the mix during conversations about identity. In fact, they’re regarded as the two fundamental existential questions of life, and they often cause a lot of heartache and late-night pondering. To completely...

Blame It On COVID

Years ago at Trinity Fellowship Church in Amarillo, Texas, where I serve as senior pastor, there was a young guy on our softball team. He was in his early 20s, and at a game one night he was hit in the head with a softball. After he got up and shook it off everything seemed fine, but...

Dinner With Strangers

In September 2015 I found myself on a trip to Israel with a group called “Israel Collective.” I was invited on an all-expenses-paid trip to the Holy Land and I had no idea what to expect. I wasn’t entirely sure I wanted to go, but I had a conversation with my wife a week before the trip...