Tag: Christian Living

Where Are You Placing Your Identity?

We all had a starting point in life. I was born into a Christian home with a pastor for a father. My parents have been married about four decades. My family ate dinner around the table almost every night, did Bible devotions and went to chu...

Understanding the Difference Between Abiding & Abounding

I don't know how I did it. How did I somehow change the word "abound" into "abide?" Allow me to revel in either God's ability to redeem a typo or perhaps God's wisdom and sovereignty to actually set up a misunderstanding. Through a series...

Three Christlike Attributes We Find in the Warrior Caleb

In Israel's heyday, to call someone a "dog" was an insult, not a stage name in the rap game. Some say the name "Caleb" meant "dog." Well, not anymore. The Caleb of Israel changed all that. We know Caleb as a warrior, a man of faith, a fait...

The Blessings That Come When We Fear the Lord

"Better is a little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble with it. Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fattened ox and hatred with it" (Proverbs 15:16-17). "Better is." What a phrase. It strikes me as final,...

The Effect of Being Reasonable in Conversation

On Labor Day, my wife Karen and I hosted a BBQ in our condo complex, and some of our neighbors joined the fun. One couple has been married 59 years. They met in Memphis and were high school sweethearts. His sister used to hang out with Elvi...

The Good Kind of Lack

Lately I’ve been finding that lack is good. I live in a foreign country, in the capital city of a people with a different culture and beautifully complex language. I often don’t understand. I’m always guessing, based on people’s hand gestur...

JESUS IS GREATER Than Everything Today Throws At Us

Whether you encounter difficult trials or unexpected joys today, it’s imperative to remember that God is greater than anything you experience. He’s bigger than any obstacle, enemy or tragedy, and He’s better than any material blessing. The ...

WHY SHOULD I WAIT FOR THE LORD ANY LONGER?

“Why should I wait for the Lord any longer?” This is a question King Jehoram of Israel asks during a long lasting and grueling siege of his city. Have you ever asked this question? Are you asking it right now? Sometimes our situation seems ...

The Power of Spiritually Healthy Habits Part 2

In part one of this article, I shared four tips I gleaned from the New York Times bestseller: The Power of Habit: Why we do What we do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg. I’ll add to it with steps five through nine here: 5. DEVELOP A KE...

The Power of Spiritually Healthy Habits

While most Christians desire to become more consistent in studying the Bible, many struggle with making it a daily part of their lives. We commonly bear witness to Paul’s battle revealed in Romans 7:15, “…For what I will to do, that I do no...

How Do You Handle Betrayal?

Betrayal is like a shadow and tense music in a horror film. It fills us with anxiety and clouds our lives with its presence. Sometimes it can be anticipated. There are signs that it's about to ruin a friendship or work environment, but it's...

Has a Piece of Sin Latched Onto You?

You don't exactly plan to be living in luxury on a mission trip, but you do hope to at least get a good night's sleep. Our hopes were dashed a little in the middle of our mission trip to Vietnam. There's no nice way to put it; the hotel we ...

Where to Find Wisdom

I love the book of Job. I am so glad that God included it in the Bible. Its wisdom and raw gritty honesty about suffering is refreshing. One of my favorite sections, though there are many, has been Job’s cry for wisdom in chapter 28. It is ...

Nothing is Impossible with God

I've been through a lot of pain in my life. If you know my story, you know I've faced death of family, heartache and depression in my short years. Not long ago I was in so much emotional pain I wondered if I would ever be happy again. But m...

Where Strength is Found

“And they said to him, ‘Thus says Hezekiah: “This day is a day of trouble, and rebuke, and blasphemy; for the children have come to birth, but there is no strength to bring them forth’"(2 Kings 19:3).This verse paints a vivid picture as the...

Digital Distractions: What Can We Do?

In my last post, I discussed the damage digital distractions can inflict on our lives if we don’t find a healthy balance. Not only are we susceptible to physical pains and compromised productivity, but we become insensitive and apathetic to...

Should I Still Trust When Life is Unstable?

I was probably about 11 years old, and we were having a small gathering at our house for some people from our church. A man with a huge glass of iced tea walked over to our rickety piano bench to sit down. As soon as he sat on the unreliabl...

Example of God's Constant Presence From 1870 Paris

There are times in history that seem difficult to find the Gospel light (periods when Christians appear to be lost in the background of governmental upheavals and war). Often, these are used by critics of the faith who point to a Christian ...

The Sobering Gift of Leadership

Jeff Jackson will be a workshop speaker at the 2017 Pastors & Leaders Conference, happening in 7 DAYS! Visit pastorsconference.calvarychapel.com for more information or to register! As a follower of Jesus, the greatest leader that has e...

Uncertainty Opens the Door for Faith

"But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6). "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of...

Where Did the Word "Refugee" Originate?

It is no understatement to say the refugee crisis in the West is troubling. I find myself looking nervously at images of the masses fleeing one situation while they etch out a hope for a better existence. The situation continues to grow and...

Seven Principles for Cross-Cultural Impact

Pastor Jeff Jackson will be a workshop speaker at the 2017 CCCM Pastors & Leaders Conference on June 26-29. For more information, please visit the website. The book of Daniel contains some of the most incredibly accurate, predictive pro...

Three Principles to Conquer Giant Problems

The story of David and Goliath is a familiar one to us all. But could it be that in the familiar, we miss the important? Three principles about conquering giant problems in our own lives are taught through the story of this one young man. I...

Why Do Spiritual Droughts Happen?

Back in the 80s, my buddies and I wanted to go on a mountain hike up to the top of Sandia Peak in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The La Luz Trail was the way to go. We embarked early one Saturday morning on a typically hot day. Sandia Peak is 10,...

Do You Understand That You Are a Son?

Oh, that we could begin to explore what it means to be in relationship with God. We have several metaphors that together help us gain an understanding of who we are in relation to God. Jesus called us servants, but if that was as far as it ...

Five People You Are Destined to Love

Who do you love? There are so many people that come to mind. Nevertheless, they might not be the ones that God has destined me to love. Have you ever wanted to know, “Lord, who are the people that I am destined to love?” The author of the B...

Grace Towards Those Who Don’t Seem to Deserve It

Every generation, we think truth is new to us. There is a beauty in that and a danger as well. There is a beauty to discovering grace, finding ourselves surprised by the way God loves us and how utterly undeserving we are. There is a joy to...

Legalism or Realism: Understanding the Difference

He was observably upset, “You’re being legalistic!” were the last words I ever heard from Zachary, as he slammed my office door hard enough to break the jam. I sat there for a moment listening to the slamming of the front doors of the churc...

Don't Give into the Stronghold of Fear and Uncertainty

If there's one thing I've learned living in a massive city like Paris, it's that distraction is often times an attractive means to hide uncertainty. When we were hit with the terrorist attacks, there was a time of grief and shock, especiall...

Relax! You're Surrounded - Steps to Peace Amidst Chaos

I love everything about travel, except the travel. Travel is hard, even after finding a worthy reason to leave home. We rush through traffic to make it to airports just in time. We deal with parking lines, check-in lines, baggage lines, sec...

Real Hope for the Depressed Soul - Part 3

This is part 3 of a 3 part series. You can find part 1 and part 2 here: Part 1 Part 2 Practicing Priesthood In the previous posts in this series, we looked at the need to set the culture in regards to depression, as well as provide training...

Should a Pastor Ever Say No When You Ask for Help?

Ask yourself this question, do the words I use matter? The answer should be a resounding, “Yes!” rhetoric is the art of discourse; an art that aims to improve the capability of writers or speakers who attempt to inform, persuade, or motivat...

The Holy Spirit & Intentionality in Discipleship

I’m not a huge pastry fan, but I do enjoy a fresh, hot slice of apple pie with a generous scoop of rich vanilla ice cream. The rich, creamy ice cream, luxuriously melting over the warm, flaky, buttery crust, is pretty much irresistible. Pie...

Real Christians Can't Watch the Oscars...or Can They?

It’s that time of year again! On February 28, 2016, the rich and the famous will descend in mass upon the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California for the 88th Academy Awards. Guests have shelled out serious cash for multi-thousand-dollar out...

How Christians Can Bring Positive Change to America

Regardless of our philosophical viewpoints, I think almost everyone would agree. We live in very interesting times. We are in the midst of one of the most highly contested presidential elections we have ever seen. While some are passionatel...

Asking the Right Questions

I love the way Jesus used questions: But who do you say that I am? (Luke 9:20)Do you believe this? (John 11:26)Do you not yet understand? (Mark 8:21) When I was young, I'm certain I asked many questions. Children simply do. We are innately ...

5 Practical Ways to Battle Sin

Christians are free from sin’s rule, but not from its attempts to regain control. The battle that exists inside all of us, between sin and the new nature, will continue until we get to Heaven. This fact, however, is not a bleak one. The Bib...

Close Encounters of the Disastrous Kind

“The godly may fall seven times, but they will get up again.” -Proverbs 24:16 “If God is for us who can be against us?” -Romans 8:31 It happens to us all. Near misses, close calls, averted disasters, followed by that sobering realization th...

Be Supremely in Love with Jesus

Have you ever been in love? Have you experienced compelling, intense, strong feelings or emotions for someone? Have you yearned to spend time with someone because it felt so good to be in his/her presence? Have you ever dreamt about spendin...

Vital Principles for Healthy Relationships

"You shall go... and take a wife for my son Isaac.” Genesis 24:4 Relationships are a key part of life. Healthy relationships lead to a good life and unhealthy relationships will make life very difficult. The most important earthly relations...

Is God Needy? Why God Insists that We Love & Trust Him

I listen to podcasts. It’s a great way to maximize my time while doing other things like driving, working-out, and cleaning around the house. While on a run recently, I was listening to the TED Talks podcast titled Believers and Doubters. I...

Why Christians Should Enjoy Life

I'm running to catch my train. It's like a sauna in here - Humid, feverish temperatures attract Subway Mosquitoes, and the smells of Doir perfume mixed with the unique smell of the homeless, permeate the air. It's been a long day, but I've ...

Preaching for a Price: The High Cost of Tainted Motives

My first job was at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa. I filed invoices, filled paper in copy machines, and learned the ins and outs of data entry at Calvary Distribution. When you grow up working in the ministry, there’s an interesting process of ...

When Our Hearts Break

Years ago, I heard a pastor named Dave Rolph speak at a memorial service. He spoke about life and death, and he said something like this: “The reason we hate death so much is that God created a world where death didn’t exist. Our hearts reb...

The Lines of True Christian Unity

Unity is a concept often discussed but rarely accomplished. Recently, I've seen it modeled well. Earlier this month, I sat in a gathering with the leaders of Christian festivals from around the UK. They represent events with between 3,000 a...

What the Bible Says About Procrastination

When you make a vow to the LORD your God, you shall not delay to pay it; for the LORD your God will surely require it of you, and it would be sin to you. Deuteronomy 23:21When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; For He has no ple...

The Privilege of Being Home with God

In My Father’s house are many mansions…I go to prepare a place for you. John 14:2 You Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family.Ephesians 2:19 Because...

Life & Leadership Lessons with Sarah Yardley

Name: Sarah YardleyFamily: I am the oldest of 7, and adore my siblings. My parents came to know Christ before I was born and raised me in faith.Years Born-again: 32 years Years in Ministry: 16 years Ministry Experience: Servant, women's min...

Pink Notes - How the Simplest Gestures Change Lives

She was tall and thin, had delicate, freckly skin, and curly, strawberry-blonde hair that was perfectly poofy. Her hair and her sense of style were a perfect fit for back then, the year was 1988. You could always spot her red Toyota RX7 par...

6 Gifts Every Kid Needs from Their Dad

I’m a dad. I’m also a son. And it occurred to me recently that there are certain things that kids need from their dad. In fact, as I pondered the whole idea of fatherhood, I recall several examples in the Bible of “dad gifts” that were pass...

5 Tips for Discipling Your Children

Passing the faith on to our kids is the most important job we have as parents. But how do you do that when kids seem to be at different levels of development and vary in spiritual sensitivity? Faith development isn’t like baking cookies whe...

How to Engage Your Kids Spiritually in 2015

Some children start pulling away from spiritual pursuits as they get older. They might not want to pray at dinner, seem to endure church, and are more interested in electronics and friends than spiritual things. Those tendencies are early i...

Church Governance - 3 Essential Points

In a perfect world we would not need to govern people in the earthly sense, because everyone would behave just as they should. Obviously, the same would be true in the church. However, the church is full of sinners, redeemed sinners, but si...

Stop Quoting Bad Divorce Stats

We’ve all heard that 50% of marriages fail today and that the statistics for Christians are the same as that of the rest of the population. Those statistics are wrong and they have a discouraging effect on people considering marriage. Young...

God's Will: Hitting the Bulls-eye

J. Robert Ashcroft, former president of Evangel College and father of U.S. Senator John Ashcroft wrote, “All heaven is waiting to help those who will discover the will of God and do it.” “What is God’s will for my life?” is one question tha...

4 Ideas for Family Ministry in Your Church

Being the church implies discipleship. It’s important to disciple believers as individuals but also in their roles and relationships in family life. With the pressures on the family today, the church has solutions that can equip family memb...

Jesus Never Fails

One day Paul and his ministry buddy, Silas, got thrown into a filthy prison for freeing a slave girl from demon possession. The local magistrates ordered them beaten and placed in stocks in the inner dungeon, a place full of rats, disease, ...

How To Love Difficult People

God wants you to love your friends, but He also expects you to love the difficult people in your life. And we all have them! The apostle Paul certainly did. While he could count on the Philippians to support and encourage him, he anticipate...