Tuesday, October 31, 2017


Pulling a Tooth and Jesus

It was a two year process with a hurting tooth.  It was a hairline crack and a little piece would chip off.  My Dentist, David Hilliard, would smooth it out and I would wait for the next episode.  Sometimes the gum would abscess. Painful.  We did a root canal.  It helped for a while.  Then the crown on that tooth cracked.  Evidently my tooth has had a hard life.

It was on the visit to try and repair the broken crown that David gave me the bad news. The tooth was not going to survive.  I could keep dealing with pain and frustration, but it would never really get better.  Or I let him pull it.  He explained that I would then get a permanent bridge.  It would look like a tooth and function just like my tooth had. 

So we did.  And David was right.  Pain gone.  I could actually chew on that side of my mouth without worrying.  We are in the process of putting in the bridge.

And I thought about sin, addictions, and Jesus.

Maybe you have been there with that sin that just will not go away.  Maybe you have let a hard life keep you in pain and frustration.  You do better for a while but then you slip back into the same old patterns.  You try harder.  You take some significant steps but it does not go away. 

Until someone speaks truth into your life.  It is time for radical surgery.  Do whatever it takes to get the sin out of your life.  It may mean breaking off unhealthy relationships or changing some unhealthy patterns.  Maybe it means changing jobs.  Or in my case -- a career. 

Surrendering to God and trusting him to heal you.  Listening to spiritual advisers.  Seeing that life can be different and better.  Closer to what God intended your life to be.

Like pulling a tooth.  Healing.  And getting a new "tooth".  Better life.

So thanks God for letting my tooth remind me of your power to heal and restore.  Thanks for pulling out the sin in my life.  And healing me.  Help us speak truth into the lives around us that are broken and hurting, even in our church family.  Heal us thru Jesus.  Use radical surgery when needed.  


Tuesday, October 24, 2017


Followers Making Followers

So the new book is out. 

Some of you may have read my other book:  Can I Tell You a Story?  This is sort of a prequel to that one. 

It is a look at the Great Commission and talks about what it means to be a follower of Jesus who makes other followers. 

Go, teach, and baptize.  It is all about following Jesus.

Live forgiven so others know the Jesus life really works.  Authenticity.

Serve with purpose so our message has credibility.

Speak boldly so others know the good news of Jesus.

Today is a day of good news.  It is wrong to keep it to ourselves.

Well, that's it in a nutshell.  But if you want to know more ...

Order from 21st Century or Hope for Life.

Or let me know.

$11.99 plus tax and shipping.

Thursday, October 12, 2017


Why would an 88 year old go on a preaching tour...

I recently got to spend about 4 hours in the DFW airport with Juan Monroy.  Bill Brant, Tim Archer, and I went over so we could talk about Hope for Life, Jesus, life, and preaching. 

Juan is 88 and had just gotten off an international flight from Madrid.  This was his first stop on a six week preaching tour.  He was going to Houston, LA, three places in Mexico, and then Cuba.  Speaking an average of 5 times in each place. 

I am 20 years younger than Juan and I got tired typing that last paragraph. 

It was a great visit.  We talked about the wonderful things God has been doing in our ministry.  We talked about our shared passion for preaching and about reaching the lost.  We talked about difficulties of long international travel.  We talked about our wives. 

And I want to be Juan when I grow up.

He loves God and Jesus.  Retirement is not really an option for him.  He intends to preach and write about Jesus.  He is thrilled when he helps bring others into the Kingdom.  He is happy when some that were in spiritual danger return to the Lord.

He is fearless.  Does not worry about his health or safety.  God will take care of him.  That is his very strong and firm conviction.

Why would an 88 year old go on a six week preaching tour across the world?

Because that's what believers do. 

I was inspired, motivated, and fired up to go strong for Jesus as long as I can. 

So to those of you who wonder about a 66 year old going all over our country to talk about Jesus ... well, I am still a youngster.  And I have someone to look up to as my role model.

So thanks for the example Juan. 

God, thank you for Juan Monroy.  For his faith, passion, and love for you.  Protect him and keep him strong.  Take him to his reward when you are ready.  But till then keep blessing his work for you and your Son.  Give the harvest.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017


Wichita churches are telling the story...

So a couple of weeks ago, I spent three days in Wichita, Kansas.  Hope for Life, where I work, is helping in a major effort to share the good news of Jesus with those in and around Wichita.  The Riverwalk Church of Christ is the main coordinating congregation and their Evangelist, Jim Fly, is our point man. 

So I spent a weekend there to equip, motivate, and inspire Christians there to share the story of Jesus with their friends, neighbors, family, classmates, and co-workers.  We spent all day Saturday together.  Almost 200 Christians from 15 congregations together committing to share our faith. 

It was inspiring and awesome.

Here are a few of the things that inspired me.

All 15 congregations do not agree on everything, but they all buy in to making disciples by telling our world that God loved us so much that He let his Son die for our sins and that He raised Jesus from the dead.  They want people to love God so much that they will die and be raised to a new life with Jesus (baptism).  They want to share their stories of what God has done in their lives and in their communities of faith.  They are sharing the amazing stories from Scripture of how God worked in the lives of our spiritual ancestors to bring them into God's family.

They are serving, inviting, sharing.

I got to hear of the congregation doing community cook-outs for apartments near their building.  And of the couple that wanted to know more and of their decision to be baptized. 

I heard of renewed commitments to Jesus and to living the story boldly.

Talked to elders who were not just encouraging their congregation to get involved in sharing Jesus, but who were leading the way.

Lots of preachers committed to being evangelists and telling Jesus stories.

I felt at home there. 

I'll be going back in the Spring to for an evangelistic event where I will be telling stories to the friends and family who have started down the road that leads to making decisions about Jesus.  I am confident I will be meeting new Christians and seeing others being born again into the family of God.

So thanks Wichita for firing me up and letting me partner with you in this amazing, thrilling, and life-changing adventure.

Let's talk about Jesus.

So God thanks for my brothers and sisters that are even now sharing their lives and their stories with people that do not yet know your Son.  You saved us and we desperately want our world to know that you want to save them too.  So help us see opportunities.  Help us to know what to say and what stories to share.  Help to have the courage to act.  And bring the harvest.

Thursday, October 05, 2017


The only answer to a world full of evil...

It has happened again.  We all knew it would.  This time it was in Las Vegas.  So I hear Christians talking about what we should do.  Be nicer to others.  Treat everyone with respect.  Love your family.  Show the world a better way to live.
But I do not believe that is how God expects Christians to respond to evil.  That is the way He expects us to live every day.

 But please know that living as a Christian does not change the world. 

Making followers of Jesus does.And that does not happen just by living as a Christian.  It happens when you share the good news of Jesus and people believe it.

Here is what happens when you help someone decide to follow Jesus.

The world has one more person of peace.  One more person who treats others like they want to be treated.  One more person who loves their neighbor as themselves.  One more person who is living a life of contentment.  Not because we want to combat evil, but because we love God so much we choose to live a better life every day.  Not because of what we are against, but because of what we are for.

Followers of Jesus choose to live by faith -- not by fear.  Our world is afraid of dying.  Jesus robs death of its power.  Our funerals are different.  We refuse to give in to fear.  We will not live as timid people in a world of hate.  We choose to live courageous lives of hope and peace and joy.  Even if we Christians become the object of that hate. 

Followers survive.  We get through disaster and tragedy because of Jesus.  We overcome the trouble of this world.  What is the worst that can happen to us?  Death?  Followers know that we live forever.  If our family and friends are followers then we know we will be together forever.

And yes, I know this is much harder to do than to write.  It is not easy.  But we choose faith.  In the midst of hurricanes.  In the aftermath of mass shootings.  In hospital rooms.  We reject fear. 

So if you really want to change things then start talking about Jesus.  Start sharing your faith.  Bring people to Jesus.  Make followers.

That changes the world. 

God give us the courage to not just live our faith, but to share our faith.  Help us to speak of your Son in the midst of an evil world.  Thank you for overcoming death by the resurrection of your Son.  We are trusting in that.  And we will be bold and courageous in telling others that good news.

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