Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Last Great Adventure is now available on Kindle!!!

As a response to a lot of readers and potential readers, The Last Great Adventure is available on Kindle!!! After the publisher decided not to release as an e-book, I began to work on getting a release so I could self-publish and we are done!!! Go to Amazon at the link below to purchase:

Kindle version is priced at $4.99. The paperback version is still available from Amazon and signed copies are available at Pick one up for Christmas!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

New book, "Noah's Rules", is available on!

My new book, "Noah's Rules", is available for purchase on Amazon for only $4.95. This book is a collection of life lessons taken from observations of my son Noah's life as he lived it. It is filled with heart warming stories, great photos, etc. A great companion book to "The Last Great Adventure" or if you just want to reflect on the life lessons taken from your own circle of loved ones. Get it today on Amazon!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tuesday's Top Eight- Vision Problems

Church Vision Problems
Proverbs 28:19 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” So, for those that are Christians, you would think that we would be good to go, right? But during my time in church, I have observed several vision problems that could use correction. Here’s the top eight:

1.       Near Sighted- Would really like to go into all the world, but have trouble seeing past the front   door, or the bottom of their wallet.

2.       Far Sighted- So satisfied with the slide show from the orphanage in Belarus, where they’ve sent $50 a month, they forget that there are hurting people here too.

3.     Short Sighted- Spend, spend, spend, not worried about the fact that someone else will have to budget for this after we are gone. (You know, kind of like Congress.)Uses the term “walk in faith” like a club and a shield to cover for poor planning and absence of reason.

4.       Negative Outlook- The glass is ¾ empty, cracked, and dirty…and the water is muddy.

5.       Rose-Colored Glasses Syndrome- The church is in decline, but we’re just fine.

6.     Splinter and Beam Injury- Causes by hitting the beam in your eye against something while trying to remove the splinter from someone else’s eye.

7.     Heritage Hindsight – Afflicted with fond visions and recollections of days gone by. These folks frequently plow up the corn while looking back.

8.       “I” Trouble- “I” did this and “I” want that. This issue is usually brought on by a case of the “Me”asles.

Somebody get me my seeing-eye dog…

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tuesday's Top Ten: Church Diseases

Last week, Thom Rainer had this article by Church Lawless on his website- I thought I'd share it here. You can see more great thoughtful stuff at

10 Church Diseases

By Chuck Lawless

In the 1990s, Peter Wagner published The Healthy Church, a book describing several diseases that churches sometimes exhibit. Some of his descriptions are quite helpful (e.g., koinonitis = excessive, inward fellowship), and the list itself challenges readers to come up with their own descriptions.

Here are ten diseases I see as I consult with unhealthy churches around the country:

1.       Community Disconnect Disease. Churches with this disease meet within a given community, but they do not know that community. Often, church members drive to the church building, meet as “church,” and then drive home – without ever taking note of a changing community around them. In fact, I’ve seen church members with this disease lock their doors as they drive through the community where their congregation gathers.

2.       Methodological Arthritis. I give credit to my former student, Kevin Minchey, for naming this condition. The name says it all: this church is stuck in doing things the way they’ve always done them. Change (that is, movement) is painful, and it’s seemingly easier not to take a step forward. What these churches often don’t recognize is that standing still is also risky. Eventually, they will not move at all.

3.       The “Grass is Greener” Syndrome. This syndrome is a malady of leaders who are always looking for the next church leadership position. They establish no roots, and their current congregation is only a stepping-stone to the next place. Because they are always looking elsewhere, they miss the present tense blessings of their ministry. And, though leaders think otherwise, a church often recognizes when its leader has this syndrome.

4.       Professional Wrestling Sickness. I grew up watching professional wrestling (with my Church of God grandma, no less...). Professional wrestling is hero vs. villain, right vs. wrong, good vs. evil – but it’s all fake. The church with PWS talks a good game in standing for righteousness, but hypocrisy is everywhere. And, as in professional wrestling, most spectators watching the show know it’s fake, too.

5.       Program Nausea. Churches with Program Nausea try a program, toss it soon, and then quickly try the next one. They never have a settled “organizational stomach” and direction. Members of this kind of diseased church are so accustomed to change that they seldom invest in any program. Why should they invest in what will soon be spit out, too?

6.       Baby Believer Malady. This congregation is doing evangelism well, but they have no strategy to grow new believers. Their unwritten, and wrong, assumption is, “As long as you show up for our small groups and worship service, you’ll grow.”  This church disciples poorly and often elevates leaders on the basis of attendance rather than spiritual maturity.

7.       Theological Self-Deception Ailment. I am cautious here, lest I leave the impression that theology does not matter. No church with an unbiblical theology can be healthy. TSDA, on the other hand, is characterized by a belief that teaching theology is all that is required to be a healthy church. Teaching theology is critical, but a theology that does not lead to intentional evangelism, disciplemaking, and global missions is not biblical. Indeed, TSDA congregations tend to be classrooms more than New Testament churches.

8.       “Unrecoverable Void” Syndrome.  Church leaders and laypersons alike suffer from this syndrome, characterized by statements like, “This church will close its doors after I’m gone.” Symptoms include spiritual arrogance and self-righteous anger, though they may also include hyper-spiritual speech  (“This is God’s church, and we’ll see what He does when I shake the dust off my feet”). Church members with UVS fail to realize that God’s church will go on without any of us.

9.       Talking in Your Sleep Disease. You may recognize this church. They go through the motions, but the motions lack energy. They meet for worship, yet the singing is lifeless. Even the preaching is lackluster, as if the speaker is monotonously only meeting his obligation. Here is one way to recognize the church with TIYSD: many of the attenders really ARE sleeping!
10.  Congregational Myopia. The congregation with this condition is nearsighted, focusing on themselves only. They have no vision for the future, and they fail to see that their current direction will likely lead to further disease and decline. Ask the leaders what their hope is for the church five years from now, and their description will sound strangely like the church in its current state.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Book Review - “What They Won’t Tell You in Church: About Marriage"

A friend of mine, Craig Gleerup, has recently released his second book about marriage, “What They Won’t Tell You in Church: About Marriage”. It is available on Amazon, both in paperback and Kindle formats. I recently spoke with Craig about his book, and picked up a copy at Crossroads Books, on the Square in Springfield, Tennessee. If you live close, you should check them out- they are a treasure.

I wanted to let those that read my blog know that Craig’s book is a must read for those that want an unvarnished view of what the Bible actually says about marriage, versus what we Christians have been traditionally taught and practiced. He delves into the traditions surrounding the typical church wedding, their sources and how they differ from God’s actual plan, and manages to do this with grace, love AND honesty. (Note: I shamelessly "borrowed" the image from Amazon- the "look inside" feature on this pic does not work.)

Craig tackles contemporary issues, such as the Supreme Court’s recent decision on DOMA, the government’s tax treatment or married couples, including same sex couples. But more importantly, he deals with how WE as Christians should enter into marriage, the differences between a covenant and a vow, and how we as God’s people should leave law to the government and traditions to, well, traditionalists.

The book includes a group study guide, for those brave enough to bring it into a Sunday School or small group, and gives the reader plenty of references to support Craig’s thesis. It’s a short book, and an easy read, that I completed in a couple of sittings. But it will challenge you to consider WHY you believe what you believe about marriage, and I believe that is vital to being able to both support and defend the holy institution of marriage. Give it a look!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tuesday's Top Ten Church Attendees

As we come together as a body, we have a lot of different kind of church “attendees”. Among them are some that help...some, not so much. 

We Get-

10. Church Shoppers- These are the folks looking for the best deals for them; sometimes they are looking for a place to serve, but often, they are looking for a place to be served. Everybody falls into this category at one time or another; the important part is your motivation.

9. Church Hoppers- These are the folks that can’t stay still (Religious ADD) and often can’t get along with themselves, much less others. (Note- if everybody is wrong but you, it’s time to get a mirror and find the problem.) These are also the easiest sheep to "steal", as some churches entice members away from their current place of worship to join their fellowship. Problem is, given time, you may want to give them back. 

8. Church Stoppers- Stopping the flow of ministry and life- “It’s my way or no way.” Nothing like a strong dose of self-interest to cut the hot water off to a cold drip. 

7. Church Whoppers- They have to be seen AND heard. They may know that Jesus is the Head, but they want to be the HAT. Often, these come from families that may have started or may "run" the local church. The pride and attitude that exudes from them can be poison.  

6. Church Droppers- They say, “I can be just as good a Christian at home as in church.” I say they are lying AND they are sinning, because this scripture clearly commands us to SHOW UP and HELP EACH OTHER. If you are cut OFF, you are spiritually dying.
5. Church Coppers- These are the legalistic enforcers that want to make sure the men wear long pants and a tie and the women wear a skirt, just like the apostle Paul and all the sisters in the New Testament. (No neckties in the New Testament? Really?) I once heard of one of these sweet saints that would offer to bring her clippers and give a visitor a haircut if it was touching his collar- how's that for seeker friendly?!? They are more about style than substance, still clinging to the idea that your works or appearance will save you. 
4. Church Poppers- These are the contrarians that love to "pop" every church's bubble by hanging in till the bitter end, and I do mean bitter. They are determined to get their way and watch the church die in the process. I've seen some of these folks that were so much trouble, it made me suspect they were "double agents" working for the enemy. 

Fortunately, though, we also get these folks:  

3. Church Moppers – Humble servants that aren’t afraid to pick up a mop, a broom or a Sunday School Teacher’s manual. 

2. Church Proppers- Folks that lift up the leaders, the sick, the weak, the discouraged with prayer AND action. 

1. Church Toppers- Brothers and sisters that are willing to stand on the rooftop if need be, not to be seen, but to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ. We need all of those we can get!