“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:7-11)

We’ve all seen little kids on long car trips – after a little while they begin to ask that most profound question, “Are we there yet?” Naturally the parental response is to inform the child that they have not yet arrived at their destination. Invariably a few minutes, or seconds, later the child again ponders aloud the question, “Are we there yet?” While it may be irritating for parents to constantly be barraged by the same question, there is something to be said for a child’s persistence in continuing to ask. It is this persistence that Jesus wants his followers to develop in terms of our prayer life because in doing so we will enjoy the wonderful gifts that the Father has for us. Read the rest of this entry »

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“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” Acts 2:42

Every church we’ve been in has loved potlucks. There is something about getting together and sharing a meal as a church family that brings a church family together and helps to build relationships. Of course potlucks are only one means of fellowship, and in some cases may not even be fellowship. So what do we mean we talk about having fellowship with one another? Read the rest of this entry »

Inevitably at some time everyone has to look for a church. Whether it be because of a move, a change in relationships, or maybe a disagreement with someone or something, shopping for a new church can be a difficult process. So what should you be looking for when checking out your potential new church family?

You might be expecting me to say doctrine is the most important thing to consider, but doctrine is only one part of the puzzle. First thing, if you are looking for a church that 100% agrees with everything you believe, you may be looking for a very long time. When considering doctrine consider what is foundational (Jesus is God, Jesus is the only way of salvation), and what is secondary (type of music, dress code, etc). You will probably find more churches that you agree on the essentials and can live with the other issues.

While doctrine is important it is only one part of what should make up a good church. In Acts 2:42 we find a perfect description of what church should be like: “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.”

Four items are given that made up the very first church: doctrine (disciples teaching), fellowship, communion (breaking break), and prayer. It is these four attributes that should help us determine if a church is a good fit – a church needs to have each of these if they are going to be a good church, but there is also a catch: these need to be kept in balance.

Many churches that I have encountered over the years have done each of the four items listed in Acts, but often times what happens is that they focus on one attribute to the exclusion of the others. Most often this is the case with doctrine – churches love to focus on doctrine more than anything else because after all, what a person believes determines their eternal condition. The problem however is that we tend to major on the minors and minor on the majors. Too much time is spend on issues that don’t really matter, issues that are more preference than matters of Biblical truth. I’m not talking about doctrines like the deity of Jesus, or the ministry of the Holy Spirit, but rather issues like good parenting, worship style, and the like.

The next several posts we’ll talk about each of these attributes in more detail and then wrap it all up nice and neat in the end.

Most everyone is acquainted with the saying, “You can’t judge a book by its cover,” and yet walk into any bookstore today and you will find the book covers are meant to be judged. They desire to entice us into picking them up with fancy fonts and pictures. Great works of arts decorate the cover depicting scenes from the novel to which they decorate and seeking above all for us to pick them up and investigate further. In addition, how many times have you picked up a book to read that on the outside seemed like it would enjoyable? The comments and description on the back portray a story that seems entertaining, and the cover art draws our attention with the promise of provoking our imaginations. Yet how often have we purchased a book and started to read only to find out that it is filled with so much drivel? The prose is lacking, the characters have no depth, and storyline does anything but engage our attention. All the work that went into producing such an enticing cover only to mask the rubbish beneath. Read the rest of this entry »

Sam and I have been playing a new game called Super Hero Squad Online (SHSO) and we’ve been having a lot of fun. It’s based of the Marvel comics Super Hero Squad which is a version of the regular comics adapted to a child level. Each day there is a different mission to play which pits you against various villains (Magneto, Dr. Doom, etc) and you have a choice of super heroes to choose. The game offers some cute carrots to draw kids attention and is all around a fun time. But what does this have to do with trust? Well.. Read the rest of this entry »

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