What are you looking forward to?

I often find myself looking forward to specific things. Christmas, birthdays, the end of semesters. Finishing school, getting a full-time student ministry job, buying a house. All of these are good things to look forward to.

But what if these goals (and maybe yours) are getting in the way of the kingdom of God? Even worse, what if these things are stopping the return of Christ?

Many New Testament scholars agree that the entire New Testament was written as if the return of Christ were imminent. When Jesus says his return will be like a thief in the night, he commands us to pray and be watchful; be ready for him to come back. Yet there are many days where I do not think about or pray for the return of Christ. I do not eagerly await the new heaven and the new earth.

I realize that there are many people (myself included) whose primary concern is paying rent, buying groceries, having health insurance, and making sure the car has enough gas to get to work the next day. Sometimes paying for groceries and simply surviving is the only goal we have. But I truly believe that many “CHRISTIANS” would be disappointed if Christ came back tomorrow.

I know I do not say this out loud, but in my heart of hearts my attitude says “Jesus, I want to see you return, but I want to finish my masters first. I want to have a house first. I want to have children and grandchildren. I want to go on a cruise and see the bahamas.”

Things like this have kept American Churches from sending missionaries to unreached people groups. There are more baptist churches in North Carolina than there are unreached people groups in the world, but because we are saving for vacations/cruises/retirement/a new car/no reason at all, we are unwilling to sacrifice for the gospel.

I hope that you have goals and aspirations and things that you are looking forward to, but do not put those goals above the kingdom of God. Pray, be watchful, and eagerly await the return of Christ.


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What if God had not chosen to love us?

What if God had chosen to reject us after we rebelled?
As we approach the Christmas season, many Christians take time to remember the birth of Christ. Jesus came, humbled as a child, so that he may one day die for our sins. This is a direct result of the fact that God had a plan to redeem humankind since the beginning of time.
God chose to redeem us because he LOVED us.

1 John 4:19 – We love because God first loved us.

Being the glorious God that He is, God could have chosen to reject mankind and annihilate it completely – after all, we are his creation. But he did not.

If God had left man to his own demise, He would have destroyed everyone at the flood. He would have destroyed entire nations like he did in Genesis 19. And we would have deserved it.

I can only say that I am not deserving of God’s love – neither are you. We must not forget, especially in this Christmas season, that the birth of Christ is the result of the love of the Father.

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My fears about: Passion Conference

Every year around this time, I am reminded that Passion is right around the corner. For those of you who do not know, Passion is a conference held in Atlanta for 18-25 year olds, focused on the worship and glory of God.
I have had the pleasure of attending the past two years, and my walk with God has been enhanced every time; however, I have three major fears about the passion conference:
1. Many who attend Passion do not care to live out the Christian faith when they return home. Some of the greatest speakers and worship leaders in the world are at passion every year, and it never fails that there are emotionally driven moments where the Holy Spirit is moving. The most dangerous thing about this is that as soon as you get on the bus to come home, you forget everything that happened that week, and you never witness to your coworkers and classmates.
2. The Christian Subculture and Church Celebrity is magnified during this time. With names like David Platt, Francis Chan, John Piper, Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Lecrae, and Jesus Culture, sometimes we have the propensity to place all of the value on the singer/speaker and none of the value on the Lord. We cannot continue to exalt men at a conference that is supposed to be about exalting God.
3. Sometimes, we tend to place all of the importance on large events, and forget that our walk with God lies on a day to day basis. If we continue to rely on large retreats/camps/conferences like passion to fuel our walk with Christ, then we have no walk at all. If you do not walk with Christ on a daily basis, Passion will do very little to help your walk with God.

I am extremely grateful for Passion Conference, Louie Giglio and all of the others that spend their time and energy to put on Passion. Some of the greatest worship experiences I have had came at Passion. But I beg you: if you are going to Passion for any reason other than the fact that you want to see God’s name lifted high, stay home.


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My fears about small groups:

While small groups can be a GREAT method for producing disciples, here are my three biggest fears about using small groups:
1. The small group can become an environment of entertainment. These people start to enjoy each other’s company (good), but only on the surface (bad). A small group that never gets into any real spiritual meat, but instead spends time watching football and having potlucks is not a discipleship small group.
2. The small group never expands. If a small group starts as a group of 6, and a year later, is still a group of 6, then this is not a discipleship group. This is a secular friendship. A discipleship group encourages each other to reach out to the lost.
3. The small group never goes deep. A small group that doesn’t hold each other accountable according to areas of sin is not a discipleship group.

Almost every church that Brittany and I have been to in the Raleigh area has some form of small groups. While I think small groups are probably the best method of discipleship, a church should not have small groups only because it works at other churches.

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A Theological Exposition of Romans 8

Ha! Just kidding.
but here are some thoughts I saved from this Sunday’s sermon:
Many times, even as a youth minister, students and adults have confessed ways in which they struggle with sin. Pornography, jealousy, gossip, lust, and lying were some of the most common. But in all my time as a Christian, never have I heard someone confess that they struggle with greed.
Jesus spends more time talking about how you spend your money than any other topic. Jesus seems to be most concerned with our materialistic ways.
Yet no one seems concerned that MAYBE they spend too much money on themselves and not on others. Our wallets seem to be the place that we are least likely to examine our holiness.
So let me ask you: how much of your money is designated for your wants, and how much is designated for the glorification of God, the spreading of the Gospel, and the growth of the Kingdom?
May we seek to exalt the Lord with our finances.

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The beginning of the end?

Right now, my Christian Ethics professor is discussing bestiality and homosexual marriage and sodomy.

Since those things are extremely controversial in popular culture today, I will not be discussing them here. Mostly because I just don’t want to.

However, this does provoke some thought about a post I saw earlier today:

Have we seen the last Republican president?

The results of Tuesday’s election points to the fact that the traditional Republican candidate may not stand a chance of being elected as President of the United States of America.

Barack Obama, in his first four years as President, did many things he promised he would do in order to get elected. He ended the conflict in Iraq, and he killed Osama bin Ladin. He (sort of) ended the recession, and he helped save General Motors. However, the Obama administration spent much more money than any President in history, and failed to close the deficit or pay down the national debt. Additionally, Obama failed to reduce unemployment and made poor investments with the taxpayer money into green investments and green jobs. Finally, Obama spent more days playing golf and basketball and holding concerts for his children than he did attempting to solve the problems of the country.

Even though many will attribute Obama’s reelection to his race or his party platform or his foreign policy, none of these determined the result of the election.

The truth is, Mitt Romney’s religion and moral stance were the reasons he lost. Even thought Romney did not publicly discuss his faith and purport it as the basis for his decision making, the conservative moral views of Mormonism simply do not align with those of popular culture.

Mitt Romney had run many successful businesses and made millions of dollars as a businessman. He would have been more than capable of making successful economic and foreign policy decisions, and would have allowed America to thrive as a First World Power once again.

The republican party must now decide if it’s traditional platform views regarding the right to life and homosexual marriage are going to continue to prevent it from receiving celebrity endorsements and turning away the younger, social-media savvy voters.

While I will continue to support the pro-life and sanctity of marriage values, I cannot see how the Republican party can survive in this “progressive” culture.

I pray for a great awakening in this country, and I pray for our President.


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This blog.

Will most likely be updated when I am in class.

Will be filled with thoughts about life, religion, sports, marriage, Jesus, friends, and food.

Will be a longer extension of my twitter.

Will not be used for complaining.

Will be regularly updated.

I promise.


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