The Energy of Exodus

I preached last weekend at Central and got to kick off our Potential series. In the video above I look at the story of Moses and the burning bush and explore how your position with God determines your potential.

The Refugee Crisis Shows Faith in God Makes No Sense

The Refugee Crisis Shows Faith in God Makes No Sense

I’ve been stewing all last week on whether or not to write about the refugee crisis. There’s already plenty of voices in the conversation. As I considered what I might say, it’s changed depending on which day of the week I considered writing it. At the risk of being just another voice, here’s what I would like to encourage you as you make up your mind on this discussion.

It’s all about fear.

Too simple? Fear of others, fear of the unknown, fear of the future, fear of what any of this might cost us. And I get it. I’m afraid too. In fact, as I write these words I’m sitting in Washington DC. You know, the place ISIS said they would target this week. I’m just a few blocks away from the White House, their prime target. I received more than a few looks and comments when we told people where we were going this week. As I walk around these streets and notice all the police with their guns, it’s easy to dwell on how much there is to fear.

But as a Christian, I’m not called to live in fear.

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The Surprising Sexiness of Moderation

The Surprising Sexiness of Moderation

I’ve loved the chance to talk about my book Redeeming Pleasure with all sorts of people in a variety of settings. Many of them have already read the book in full and have specific questions about points I make in the book. But as would be expected, many of them haven’t read the book yet and see a conversation with me as a chance to hear my arguments in a Cliff’s Notes version. Some of the questions go like this:

“Is it okay for a Christian to drink alcohol?”

“What’s the deal with tobacco?”

“Are R-rated movies a guilty pleasure or am I okay watching them?”

“Am I supposed to only listen to Christian music?”

“Why do desserts taste so good if they aren’t good for me?”

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Top 20 Quotes from Blessing Ranch (Fall 2015)

Top 20 Quotes from Blessing Ranch (Fall 2015)

This is part of a series of posts on 20 quotes. Click here to see others.

I had the incredible chance to spend the week in Florida at a place called Blessing Ranch. It’s a ministry for pastors, and lately they’ve been gathering groups of people from across the states to join up in mentoring groups. That meant I had the opportunity to dive deep into rich conversations with three other guys in ministry along with an incredible mentor named Dr. John Walker. While these conversations weren’t planned out, they were absolutely profound in what ended up being discussed. Normally I save my “20 quotes” posts for conferences, but this week brought so much for me to think about that I’m adding it in.

Below you’ll see my 20 favorite ideas shared throughout our time together. All of these are typed into my paraphrase of what was said and some of them are just my personal thoughts in response to something another guy said. Many of these are probably quotes from famous authors and leaders but which may not have been attributed as such in our discussion (although I’ve attributed the source if it was mentioned). They also include a few ideas from Perry Noble, the Senior Pastor of Newspring Church and the author of a number of books. We had a chance to FaceTime with Perry and allow him to speak into our conversation as well. All that to say this list is my best attempt at capturing some of the incredible insights I received from this week in hopes it can be a blessing to you as well.

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Playboy and Bubble Gum

Playboy and Bubble Gum

The New York Times had an article this week about a major shift for the magazine Playboy. In case you missed it, the infamous commercial icon for sex will no longer have nude women in its magazine. Yes, you read that right. And to clarify, I’m quoting an article from the New York Times, not The Onion.

You’re probably wondering why Playboy would make such a dramatic move. Consider the following insights from the article.

  1. “Playboy’s circulation has dropped from 5.6 million in 1975 to about 800,000 now.” Also, “the United States edition loses about $3 million a year.” We might think this is just an objective business decision.
  2. Cory Jones, the chief content officer of Playboy said, “Don’t get me wrong, 12-year-old me is very disappointed in current me. But it’s the right thing to do.” We might think they had a moral realization which led to a change of heart as a company.

But these aren’t the actual reasons for it.

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Interview for Seminary Dropout

Interview for Seminary Dropout

Recently I had the chance to do an interview with Shane Blackshear about my book Redeeming Pleasure. Shane runs an incredible podcasting site called Seminary Dropout and has built an impressive “who’s who” catalogue of Christian thought leaders (just read through the names of previous interviews on the right side of his site).

As a case in point, the interview before me was with Max Lucado. In the small chance you’re not familiar with Max, he’s currently approaching his 100th book written and has more than 92 million copies in print. So I’m not sure how I managed to get included on that list but I had a great time talking about my book with Shane. I’m still working on selling my first million, which of course they say is the hardest…

Click here to go to his page and listen to the interview.