Thanks to everyone who participated in The Locust Effect book give-away! The winner is Kristin Himmler of Pittsburgh, PA.
If you didn’t win, please go to Amazon and purchase Gary Haugen’s new book now. If you purchase it before midnight of February 8th, a generous donor will give $20 directly to International Justice Mission for every book sold (paper or digital), up to $80,000. Thank you for supporting this great work of fighting the war of poverty.
Watch this video and discover the greatest factor in world poverty according to IJM President, Gary Haugen.
Erica and I are on International Justice Mission’s launch team for Gary Haugen’s new book, The Locust Effect. This is an incredible eye-opening book about the hidden global effect of everyday violence against the poor in our world. To raise awareness of this issue, I’m holding a book giveaway.
To be eligible to participate in this giveaway, you must answer the following question from the website: What reason does Gary Haugen explain for why there is so much violence against the poor?
Once you have his answer to this question, contact me HERE. From those who email me with the correct answer I will choose one winner on Thursday, February 6th at 5:00pm. I will then notify the winner via email.
I want to invite you to join me at d4 this summer! I have the privilege of speaking at this Lionshare conference at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN June 26-29, 2014. This is an interactive learning opportunity that highlights the importance of disciple-making in today’s world.
d4 is a 4-day discipleship conference that is designed to ignite a new generation of disciple-makers. This is unlike any other conference as all main session speakers are proven disciple-makers that have third and fourth generation fruit as described in 2 Timothy 2:2. d4 will also feature panelists from all over the country who are leaders in their field and are actively pursuing transformation of their workplaces through discipleship. Both the speakers and panelists represent the Dozen Domains of Society and believe the time has come to ignite a new generation of disciple-makers!
d4 is an interactive conference designed to impact society by equally envisioning and equipping participants. This interactive approach is why d4 is not your typical conference. Regardless of your season of life, this conference is for you and will challenge and provoke your ways of thinking. Come prepared to do more than just sit, as d4 will provide you with the opportunity not only to receive, but to give!
One of the guys I’m discipling decided to go to Haiti on a last minute opportunity with the Chaplain of the Pittsburgh Pirates. He came back ruined.
He’s now ruined for the ordinary things this world has to offer. As my friend relayed his story, he had to fight back the tears that were real evidence of his brokenness from what he experienced in just a few days in Haiti. His encounter with Haiti’s orphans put a lot of things into perspective for him. He said, “There’s no vision for the future for most of these kids. They’re just fighting to make it to tomorrow.” This shook him to the core and refreshed a conviction I know to be true.
I believe every member of the church (I lead) should go on a short-term mission trip to a developing country. I believe the American Church needs to be shocked at our way of living and our way of practicing Christianity and following Jesus. There is a clear distinction from the Church in America compared to how I’ve seen the Church live and operate in the developing countries I’ve visited on mission trips.
There are pros and cons to each, and there will never be a perfect church. However, there is a massive difference in how the Church in the developing worlds approaches Jesus and the ordinary things this world has to offer compared to the majority of the people in my church (including me).
If you’re reading this…I think you should consider going on a short-term mission trip to discover what God wants to teach you. Warning: You may come back ruined!
This picture was taken at one of four Christmas Eve services at North Way Wexford. 4,346 people lifted a candle that night. 4,346 is the number of people that came to celebrate Christmas Eve at North Way Wexford. 4,346 doubles the average weekend attendance at the Wexford Campus.
I want to be clear that this post is not a “where have you been all year?” kind of post. That’s not my style. This is not intended to cause guilt or anything like that. This post is a sincere invitation to all those folks that live near North Way Wexford but only visit once (maybe twice) a year.
I’d love for you to join me at North Way Wexford! Seriously. At least, I’d like to hear your reason(s) for not giving my church a try during the rest of the year. I can guess why, but I’d really like to learn from you. I don’t want to assume anything. I think it’s fair that you shouldn’t either, right?
Would you take the time to answer some of these questions? Leave a comment. Facebook me. Direct Message me on Twitter. Email me from my church website. Call me at the office. The point is, I’d honestly love to hear from you. Really.
Why don’t you want to be a part of my church? Why don’t you come to our services? If you were me, how could I best serve you? What do you wish my church did that we’re not doing? What do you wish my church would stop doing that we are doing? Let’s pretend there was only one thing you’d change about my church…what would it be? What would it take for you to come back and join me before Easter or Christmas. I’m being sincere here. I’d love to hear from you.
I love Christmas! I really do! As a pastor, however, this month adds a layer of stress and ticks up the pace of my life like no other. I celebrated the birth of Jesus yesterday (Christmas Eve) with 4,364 people at North Way Wexford, and I’m exhausted today. I really wanted to lead everyone into the perfect Christmas Eve experience. I believe we accomplished this for mostly everyone (there are always a few that let you know when you fall short of their expectations).
If I’m not careful, with the pace I keep near Christmas, I can lose the reason for this entire season because I lead a church. Sounds ironic, I know. But if I don’t slow down and focus my heart on Jesus, I’ll lose. I do not want to miss Jesus, so that’s why I’m writing this as my family is enjoying the gifts they received today.
My focus right now is Jesus (not that it wasn’t yesterday, but leading people to Jesus can cause me to have one eye on Jesus and one eye on those I lead). Today is the day Christians chose to celebrate his birthday (even though scholars believe it was probably in the Spring). My family and I started today by reading Luke’s account of Jesus’ birth. It put this day into perspective. Everything we celebrate today (even the calendar we use) flows from this historical event, and I’m glad to rest tonight in the promise that God came to be with us…Emmanuel.
I love Christmas! I really do! I hope I was able to strike that fine balance of leading North Way Wexford yesterday and resting with my family today.
I love receiving Christmas cards. I love getting updates from people across the country/world, and I love to see pictures of families that I have seen or haven’t been ableto see for a while (since last year’s Christmas card).
My wife started this creative project last year where she keeps all the Christmas pictures and puts a ring through the corner of them. I can’t tell you how many times I flip through each picture as this ring of family Christmas cards sits on a table near our couch. Occasionally I will flip through and pray for each family. She’s doing it again this year, and I’ve been so excited to see all the pictures coming through.
I know Social Media has taken it’s toll on physical Christmas cards, but I also love receiving the digital cards and family videos. There’s something neat about seeing the interactions of family members and actually hearing their voices that is very special when distance keeps friendships apart.
I would encourage you to create a Christmas Card Ring. Keep them out all year round. It is a great conversation starter for guests, and it is a great reminder to pray for your family and friends throughout the year.
By the way, my wife is incredible!