The church world is full of different types of people. The diversity in the Lord’s church is a testament of God’s love and power, that misses no one. Regardless of the state we’re in, God’s love and power is never out of our reach. Just like there is diversity among God’s people, there is also diversity among local churches. As a pastor, and particularly the pastor of a very small church, I have found myself on the discouraged end of the stick. Seeing larger churches across my city, the nation, and even the world, in person or on TV, I often find myself in the trap of comparison, wanting God to use me in a great way, like I see Him doing for others. But along the way, I have picked up a few encouraging things to remember when I find myself discouraged:
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Several years ago, my dad and I were traveling across the country on a drive to Los Angeles. Driving from northeast Texas to California is a long haul, but my dad was confident that I could help him drive it. In mapping out the trip, he decided to take the route less traveled, so we trekked through Wichita Falls, then Amarillo, Albuquerque, New Mexico, and finally Flagstaff, Arizona, where we spent the night. My dad woke me up early the next morning because he didn’t want to be driving through the desert in the heat of the day. (more…)

The human mind has always been the source of great study, debate, and theory. How it really works, we may never fully understand, but it is something we all experience. The same mind that produces wonderous imagination, can also yield extreme insecurities. For those of us who deal with it on a daily basis, we know that insecurities are no joke. They damage our self-image, self-esteem, and self-worth, but at the end of the day, the replay of insecurity is really your mind playing tricks on you. (more…)

I’m a Texan, where we focus on “the big”. Shoot … one of the state slogans is, “everything’s bigger in Texas!” We focus a lot on big things; the big house, the big money, and yes even “the big picture.” Big, big, big. We tend to forget that small things can make a huge impact, much like that small muscular organ, between your teeth: your tongue. (more…)

As a minister of the Gospel and a pastor for God’s people, I am often called upon to offer words of insight or encouragement at the drop of a hat. There is so much in the world designed to keep us down. Like Jonathan McReynolds says in his song, “Pressure”, you can even turn on your phone without being reminded of the lie, that you are alone, broken and unsuccessful. And you can’t always turn to people and friends, because they have expectations that you may (or may not) be living up to. (more…)

Since the untimely death of the musical icon, Prince, last week, there has been usual comparison talk. Who was a better dancer, Prince or Micheal Jackson? Who was a greater songwriter, Prince or David Bowie? Who was the best entertainer? I heard it all weekend? Why do we do this? Why do we reduce the lives of great people down to a competition, as if it isn’t enough to be great in one’s own right? Competition has its place, competing in life is ultimately unproductive. Here are 5 reasons NOT to compete in life: (more…)

Every Laker fan is singing it this morning. A LOT of democrats will be singing it in January. While I’m definitely not a Kobe fan, and just not THAT fully invested in politics, I sing it just about every time I get to the end of my cup of shaved ice. Make it last forever. Don’t let it end. Nothing … no one … could compare to what we had!  (more…)

Say what you want about Beyonce’s new song, “Formation”, but in it she embodies a character trait most of us, in the Western world, lack: work ethic. Unfortunately, we live in a culture that celebrates and wonders at the spoils of success, rather than a work ethic and sense of purpose that gets one there. “I see it, I want it, I stunt, yellow-bone it, I dream it, I work hard, I grind ’til I own it.”  Insteas we have become spoiled by the spoils, causing us to want the stuff devoid of any work to get it. (more…)

Everyone has an opinion. Even more narrowly so, everyone has an opinion of you. If you let it, that idea can drive you crazy. It isn’t always necessary to know what people think, because everyone has, and is entitled to their own opinion about everything. (more…)

I live in the piney woods of east Texas. It has been said, if you don’t like east Texas weather, wait a minute. That’s because, we have been known to have all the weather in one day. You can wake up to frost on the ground, needing a coat, and in just a matter of a couple of hours, be drenched with sweat wishing you had worn shorts. This is the time of year when it is the worst, and it’s all because we are between seasons. (more…)