Monday, December 22, 2014

Do you know my Jesus? Are you sure? Then that may be a problem.

We know Jesus.  Right?  I do, don't you?  He's a super nice man who watches us all the time, loves us, loves kids the most, and wants to hear what we want and desire.  Wait, that's Santa Claus, never mind...  
But seriously, do we really think we Know Jesus?  Because... I find that a little scary.  And presumptuous.  What I THINK many of Us are guilty of is humanizing God to the point that we do, in fact, believe we know him.  Know how he thinks, why he does or doesn't do things, who he would save and who he wouldn't, what he would like and what he wouldn't, and (my personal favorite) which sins are his top 5.
We believe that we know him.  We have studied scripture, we talk to him everyday, we have gone to school for it, some people even had degrees in knowing God.
You know who else knew God?  Who else had studied scripture, memorized scripture, talked to God daily, went to school to learn about him?  The Pharisees.  And it was because they knew God so intimately, understood him so perfectly, that they didn't recognize him when he was right in front of their faces.
See, Anyone who says they would love to have Jesus physically show up and walk around the earth again, to somehow validate what they're doing, or even hint at the notion that they'd be 100% comfortable with that aren't absorbing what they're reading in the Gospels. 
Jesus was brash, he was shocking, he was NOTHING like the religious people expected, and it was the religious people who, therefore, couldn't accept him. Who were the religious people of that day? His people. God's people. What makes us think we'd be anymore comfortable at his shocking and demanding presence than they were?
Part of our problem is the exact same problem they had 2,000 years ago: we've gotten to the point where we truly believe we Know 'what Jesus would do'. I think most of us would be quite surprised. The religious of the day had God in a box, they had him defined.
They had him wrapped up, nice and neat. They had him all figured out.
("My thoughts are not your thoughts, my ways are not your ways.
for as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts"

Consider this:
Do you think for a minute that we would take an adulterer who never stopped chasing skirts all the way to his very death bed as our preacher (David)? 

Do you think we would invite a convicted murderer who spoke with a lisp to be our guest speaker (Moses)? 

Do you think we would take a bar room brawler who never wrote down his sermon and therefore ALWAYS spoke first and thought second (Peter)? 

What about this one:

Do you think if a former Lieutenant from Osama Bin Laden's inner circle showed up at our church a week after his last terrorist attack on a group of Christians saying he had suddenly "Seen the light" that we would even let him through the doors - and listen to a word he said, let alone give him full access to our families (Paul)?

I don't think I would.  And that's why I might miss him.


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A War on Christmas?

If you turn on the news, read a newspaper, even listen to many sermons these days, you will inevitably hear about this "War on Christmas".

The idea is that school shootings, the fall of the economy, bad presidents (whichever ones you dub that way), unemployment, divorce, and faltering church attendance can all be attributed to our nations respect and preservation of "CHRISTmas".  That without our labeling December as "The Christmas Season", and without our schools allowing formal corporate prayer time, we can force God out.  We can force him to abandon our schools, our marriages, our churches, and our Country.

Now, don't hear me wrong, I would love the whole country to embrace Christmas, but we haven't done that in nearly a hundred years (what?  You thought our buying our kids great presents, hanging shiny Christmas lights on our houses, and getting all dressed up for Christmas church service was about Jesus?  Seriously?)
I do, I wish EVERYTHING revolved around Christ, if it REALLY revolved around Christ.  But having a government that mandates Christianity as the 'official' religion doesn't make us better Christians, in fact, I would argue that it makes us Worse Christians (see ANY example of how the church thrives under martial law and persecution vs. how it dies an apathetic death in the presence of sanctioned religious freedom).

You see:

When Jesus walked the Earth, the Roman Empire did not endorse him (his own people didn't even endorse him),  And yet, Somehow, he was still the son of God and still able to be raised from the dead on the third day anyway.

The first century Christians did not have national holidays set up on their behalf and yet, remarkably, they still were able to perform miracles, pen letters that survived thousands of years, and grow the Church.

For centuries (and in Many places to this very day) Christianity wasn't protected, at best, and violently outlawed, at worst, and yet God still managed to be... God.
God does not need the empire (not the Roman nor the United States) to formally recognize him in order to be God.

God does not need government to give him the nod of approval in order for him to show up and do his God thing.

God does not need a School to call 'winter break' 'Christmas' break in order to be able to still be God.

If a "war on Christmas" (aka: people saying 'happy holidays') is all it takes to remove God's ability to show up in our homes, our schools, and our nation, then we are wasting our lives and worshiping the wrong God.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

God loves You.

God loves you.  "You don't know me"
no, I don't, but God does.
"if 'God' knows anything about me than he doesn't love me"
That just means you don't know God, not that God doesn't know you.

God loves you. Yes You. You.
You who have cursed his name, you who don't believe he exists and mocks the very idea. God loves you. You who had that baby in middle school, who sold those drugs, who wrecked that car, who got that divorce, who did a nickel, got out, swore it off, and went back to serve a dime. God loves you.
You who cheated on your spouse, sold your kids toys to buy drugs, who wear that beautiful 'church' smile and go home everyday addicted to pornography. God loves you. You who turn to the bottle and away from God and family, you who stole that money, took that bribe, who sought worth in the bed of anyone who came along. God loves you.

What's love you say? Well, if you want a definition, God demonstrated his love for you in that while we were All those people just mentioned, while God knew that's who we were, when we hated God, and when God Knew we would always be this way, he sent his son to die to give us the opportunity to choose to accept that love.
God loves you.
But you have to take it - it's a free gift of Grace through the redeeming, saving, all covering, blood of Christ, of Jesus, The Son who loves you beyond all measure and extends grace, love, and mercy in such an unbelievable way it's incomprehensible. God loves you.
He made you, you are his original masterpiece. All of you. The good, the bad, the ugly, the seen, the unseen, God knows you, and God still loves you.
God loves YOU.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Mother's Day

A friendly (and hilarious) reminder from The Skit Guys that Mother's Day is THIS Sunday.... You have been warned.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Principles of the Man After God's Own Heart

King David was a lot of things:

  • Shepherd
  • Harpist
  • Fugitive
  • Song writer
  • Dancer
  • Murder
  • Giant slayer
  • Father
  • Philanthropist
  • Playboy
  • Warrior
  • Ruler
  • Adulterer 
  • Liar 
  • And... a "man after God's own heart"

'Perfect' is not in the list.  At all.  Ever.

So what made David great?  What made him who he was and dubbed him 'after God's own heart'?

If you read about David in 1 Samuel you see 10 principles emerge by which we should all strive to live:

  1. Be faithful in the little things (not everything involves a giant)
  2. Lose your own dead weight (don't go through life carrying and compiling baggage)
  3. Be in awe of, be amazed by, and be consumed with the glory of God
  4. Be committed regardless of naysayers ('haters gonna hate' - ignore the criticism - listen to the voice of God so intently that you don't even hear the critics)
  5. Be happy right where you are, exactly where you are currently serving (bloom where you are planted)
  6. Always point to God, in everything you do, and be aware, in tune, and ready to share God's faithfulness as seen in your own life through the years
  7. Be comfortable and content with your gifts, your traits, your callings, your personality.  God gave them to you.  Just as he gave other ones to others that may or may not resemble yours.  They can't do what God will do through you just as you can't do what God will do through them.
  8. Be confident in everyday trials.  Life is an endurance race.  'Press on towards the goal' and be faithful in 'life'
  9. Be bold, be decisive, stand fast, stand firm, Shout out and live out your faith
  10. Be determined to experience daily victory over the giant standing in front of you - be it large or small, personal or communal (remember... wars are won by winning lots of small battles - achieve victory daily).

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Have We made Christianity too easy part III

This is the third installment of this series (Part I and Part II)

So what’s the answer?  There are 3 extremes, all dangerous.

1:  Hellfire and brimstone, unattainable expectations, saved by works, Judged by the great Cosmic Sheriff.
2:  “All you have to do is!”, no commitment, ONLY Grace, no consequences, Cosmic Teddy Bear
3:  Anything goes, all is God, God is all, if it feels good do it, New Age, Cosmic Oprah

Here are 2 verses to consider.  The first one is very important and (therefore...) 'doesn't preach well':

Revelation 3:15-22
15-17 “I know you inside and out, and find little to my liking. You’re not cold, you’re not hot—far better to be either cold or hot! You’re stale. You’re stagnant. You make me want to vomit. You brag, ‘I’m rich, I’ve got it made, I need nothing from anyone,’ oblivious that in fact you’re a pitiful, blind beggar, threadbare and homeless.
18 “Here’s what I want you to do: Buy your gold from me, gold that’s been through the refiner’s fire. Then you’ll be rich. Buy your clothes from me, clothes designed in Heaven. You’ve gone around half-naked long enough. And buy medicine for your eyes from me so you can see, really see.
19 “The people I love, I call to account—prod and correct and guide so that they’ll live at their best. Up on your feet, then! About face! Run after God!
20-21 “Look at me. I stand at the door. I knock. If you hear me call and open the door, I’ll come right in and sit down to supper with you. Conquerors will sit alongside me at the head table, just as I, having conquered, took the place of honor at the side of my Father. That’s my gift to the conquerors!
22 “Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing through the churches.”

 The second is found in John and what it is ALL about:

John 13:31-35
31-32 When he had left, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is seen for who he is, and God seen for who he is in him. The moment God is seen in him, God’s glory will be on display. In glorifying him, he himself is glorified—glory all around!
33 “Children, I am with you for only a short time longer. You are going to look high and low for me. But just as I told the Jews, I’m telling you: ‘Where I go, you are not able to come.’

34-35 “Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.”

Love others how Christ loved us - love like the one who freely gave up his life when we didn't even know him, love like the one who saw me a sinner, knew I would always live a sinner, knew I would die still sinning and still not having it figured out, and he loved me enough to buy me anyway.
Love those who are hard to love.  The tough, the mean, the hateful, the annoying, the bitter, the cynical. 
Loving those people in that way is how we will be recognized.  Period.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Have We made Christianity too easy part II

As a follow up to part I, I wanted to share some more thoughts on this and provide a little more explanation.

What prompted this post originally was the wave of statistics about the high percentage of teens who leave the church after graduating high school (some to return years later and some to never return at all).  This started me on the thought process of us being so worried about running people off that our methods of not running people off were, in fact, running people off.  Got it?

So, here are a few more thoughts.

We typically say things now along the lines of "ALL you have to do is____"
We ask for nothing, we will never ask you to participate!  We promise not to enlist your help!  We guarantee a no toes stepped on message!  We want you to always be comfortable here!
Comfortable.  Hmmmm.

So, what did Jesus usually tell people when they wanted to follow him around?
How about
"Sure man, no problem, sell everything you own, walk away from your job, your friends, your mom, your dad, your wife, your kids, don't even say goodbye, don't you dare look back, oh, and go ahead and strap that electric chair to your back and let's get going"
Does that sound like "ALL you have to do is_____!"

What about any of the following:

How does what Jesus said compare to what we say?

(part III to come...)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

have we made Christianity 'too easy'?

Bear with me on this...  I understand this is a very strange title coming from me.

To clear a couple things up let me make a few things clear from the start:
This is NOT a once-saved-always-saved debate, this is not a detraction from any of my thoughts/lessons on grace, this is NOT injecting works into the grace of....grace, this is NOT making works a part of salvation, this is not personifying God as the great Cosmic Sheriff.

That said, I go back to the question at hand:  Have we made Christianity too easy?

If you have a hobby, or play a sport, or you are married, or if you have kids (you can come up with an example to suit) then you will understand where I'm drawing from -- If you play a sport, or run, or workout, why?  Because it's hard.  Because it challenges you.  Because it makes you a better person.  If you are to be good at that sport, you have to sacrifice.  Sacrifice time, money, sweat, blood, pain.
A real example can be seen here locally.

School A's boys soccer team has signup in September, starts running and working out in October, practices all winter in the cold (yes... all of that is against TSSAA but that's not the point of this story... lol), to have tryouts in February.  Yes, you train and work 4 months before you even get to try out.  Then, they run until they puke, setting out trashcans (literally) to throw up in.  Then practices take place 2-3 hours a day, 5 days a week, sometimes 6, sometimes even 7.  There are no excuses for missing practice.  You miss for vacation, welcome to the bench, schools out?  That's nice, practice remains and you better be there if you want to ever play again.

School B's boys soccer team has signups in February to start practice in February.  They run minimally and don't workout for fear of running off the few players that they have.  They practice when it is convenient, cancel for weather, cancel for school holidays, and absences from practice are merely part of the culture.

Regardless of how you may feel about either extreme, guess which team does better?  School A?  Always wins district, competes for regionals, competes for state titles, and is nationally ranked.  School B?  They may win 1 game a year, 2 if they're lucky.

Which school do you think develops more athletes?  Which school do you think breeds a culture of personal responsibility and drives kids to practice on their own outside of formal practices and encourage others to be better?  Which school do you think has athletes that continue to be top notch athletes even after they graduate high school (discipleship, anyone?)?  School A, School A, school A.

I'm sure I don't have to finish drawing the comparison for you, but... doesn't it make sense?  We've watered everything down to the point of skim milk.  We've preached "ALL you have to do is..." so much that instead of creating an understanding of God's Grace we've made "ALL you have to is..." nothing.
We pussyfoot around Everything so as to not run anyone off.  Our numbers are so tenuous that we live in fear (see 2 Timothy 1:7...) of upsetting, stepping on anyone's toes, holding anyone accountable, running anyone off that we are nothing more than a watered down motivational speaker.

We don't speak of better, or harder, or sacrifice, or commitment... we steer clear of anything that sounds of that at all.  Jesus said, "hey, you want to follow me?  Sure, 'all' you have to do is give up everything, your home, your family, your friends, your money, your house, your land, your name, and strap this electric chair to your back and let's go... Now."
But us?  We say "all you have to do is.... nothing"

And we(I) wonder why our numbers are dwindling, why the world looks on and laughs, why our kids leave in droves when they graduate high school, and why apathy is king.

So I ask again, to you, to us, to Me... have I/you/we made Christianity too easy?

Friday, January 17, 2014

Cast the first stone?

When the adulteress woman was brought before Jesus as a pawn in the Pharisee's trap Jesus responded with "let he who is without sin cast the first stone".

While this is a beautiful reminder of our own deeply sinful nature and shows us the lesson to now throw stones at (or from) glass houses, it is even more than that:

Jesus was saying that only someone without sin could cast the stone upon this sinful woman.  Of course, this eliminated the entire crowd, but who did it NOT eliminate?  Jesus.  Jesus was, in fact, without sin, and therefore, by his own words, capable of casting the stone at this woman.  But. He. Did. Not.

You see?

The crowd wanted to condemn but couldn't -- Jesus could have condemned but didn't!

Chew on that.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Second Wind book for FREE!

Alright all - I want to thank all of you for the support, congratulate all of you on your accomplishments, and inspire all of us to continue to run... physically and metaphorically.

So, here on the 3 year anniversary of my book I want to offer it for Free to everyone.  Simply go to
and choose to buy the book in any digital format (epub, mobi [kindle], pdf, rtf, lft, pdb, txt, or simply read it online).  When you get to checkout enter coupon code KH37T
code and the book will be completely free.  No "do this first", no sign up for emails, no complete this survey, no strings attached.  Free.

Feel free to share this offer, post it on social media, blog it, whatever you like - the offer is open to everyone.

Thanks all,

Run fast, run far, run free, and “Run with purpose” – 1 Corinthians 9:25-27

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Goals and New Year Resolutions

When we think of goals we often think of hitting a physical benchmark, like losing a certain amount of weight, or getting a new promotion, buying a house, or obtaining some other sort of success.  Goals are very important - proven time and time again.

But what about goals in our daily walk?  Goals are designed to push us, to motivate us, to give us something to reach for.  So, wouldn't that be important in as a Christian?

So this year, as you think of new year resolutions (which I typically hate...), look at them through the only lens that matters:  Christ.

Just like with all goals, make them 'hard' but realistic (attainable), give them a deadline ("by August...", "by my birthday...", "by the end of 2014..."), and set large goals with incremental goals built in.

Maybe look at things like:
read the Bible in a year
Memorize x number of new verses
Memorize x chapter (ie "I will memorize Isaiah 53")
Have a daily devotional
Meet with an accountability partner once a _____
Give a random person $__ every day/week/month
Pray for a different person everyday
Write ___ letters of encouragement during the year
To be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger
To focus on love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and SELF CONTROL

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


If you had a friend who you didn't talk to but in passing for a month or more, no phone calls, no getting together, no time invested cultivating the friendship, after a while, what type of friendship would you have?

On the other hand, if you spent a lot of time with that same friend, long phone calls, short text messages, visiting at each other's house, going to the movies together, eating together, etc - what type of relationship would you have?

See, our relationship with God is like our relationship with anyone (in a lot of ways).  The quality of the relationship can be correlated from the amount of time and energy invested.

Is God that best friend?  That loving spouse?  That great confidant?
Or is God that back burner friend you never spend much time on because you don't really have to, just knowing they'll be there if you ever really need them (when all your other friends and activities dry up)?

Either way, we know why he is whichever one he is....