Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Just Released: Caring for God's People

I just got done publishing my third book, "Caring for God's People, Godly Wisdom for Shepherds."

In John 21:16 Jesus expresses something amazing to Peter about the importance of shepherding God's people. Jesus tells Peter that if he loves Him, he should shepherd, or care for, His people. "Jesus asked, Do you love Me"? Peter said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." Jesus said to him, "Shepherd My sheep."
Caring for God's people is close to the heart of God. Anyone who has ever attempted to do so knows it is sometimes a unenviable responsibility that is full of challenges. Certainly there can be great disappointments, but along with these come great rewards as we help people walk closer with Jesus.

God's word gives us specific insight into how He wants to care for His people. The church today has lost their hold on much of the wisdom found in God's Word concerning how to care for His people. This book explores various aspects of shepherding from God's Word and gives insight into caring for His people. It examines aspects of shepherding often not covered in contemporary leadership books.

The church is in the "people business." Beautiful buildings, marvelous meetings, and successful ministries are not substitute for the call of God to personally care for His sheep. This book will provide wisdom to help you be more effective in that mission.

This book is specifically designed for anyone currently, or in the future, giving care to God's people in any capacity. This includes, but is not limited to, any sort of mentor, small group leader or future leader, older spiritual brothers, sisters, moms or dads, leadership teams, or anyone else who simply cares for God's sheep.

Copies of "Caring for God's People" can be purchased by calling 620 231-6881 between the hours of 9:00am - 5:00pm.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Lost Treasure featured at Book Expo America

The book "The Lost Treasure" was recently featured at Book Expo America in New York. Here is the You Tube clip of the Lost Treasure.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

God anointing His pattern of legacy in an unusual place

God created mankind “in His image.” Regardless of whether they are serving Him or not, even in a fallen state, man still bears God’s image. While the pollution of sin marrs it, and man is unable to overcome that corruption apart from Him, still the image comes through. When there are things in the secular world that touch on His image and pattern He will bear witness to it.

I was recently in a local Chamber of Commerce meeting and God came and bore witness to His pattern and image. A presentation was being made by the Big Brothers and Big Sisters organization. We know from the Bible that the pattern of God is for there to be multigenerational connections among His people. We also know that the design of His house is that He wants it to be a home for lonely people who have been beaten up by the corruptive effects of sin. As they enter into relationships, they tend to find a place of healing in His family.

As representatives of the Big Brother big Sister organization began to share their mission to team up less fortunate young people with positive role models I could sense God’s presence begin to touch something in the people there. There were also testimonies of people involved in working as big brothers and sisters. As they shared their experiences of touching and influencing the generations behind them, you could sense God touching something in everyone’s heart. It was almost like a church service. One young man, who was a mentor, even brought up his belief that God was involved in his participation. I was wondering if his comments would be offensive to some but instead it seemed appropriate. I almost shouted amen!

When the program was over, people paused and didn’t want to leave very quickly as they normally would have. It was like some church gatherings I have been in when we touched something together of God’s heart which lead to an afterglow of His presence that we wanted to linger around. While many in that room would not have understood what went on from God’s perspective, they did experience His presence connected to His design. God has a design for legacy and a multigenerational focus that He loves and wants expressed in the earth.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Why I continue to follow after God's design for legacy in His house

It was just an average parent teacher conference at our school when the single mother sitting across from me did something unusual. As we were discussing her son she began to cry, not with tears of discouragement, but tears of appreciation. She was thankful for the way God used the families in the church and the school to help turn around the troubled life of her and her son. Their story is another confirmation of why I believe in and pursue God’s design for legacy (one generation connected with, caring for, and helping the next generation into the things of God).

When the church attempts to embrace and walk in His design for legacy, we see His house become a home that helps restore families and lives as it says in His word.

Psalms 68:5-6 A father of the fatherless and a judge for the widows, Is God in His holy habitation. (6) God makes a home for the lonely; He leads out the prisoners into prosperity, Only the rebellious dwell in a parched land.
Ephesians 2:19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household,

Chris is a local police officer who first encountered Lucas as a troubled young man from a difficult family situation who was heading in a bad direction. Lucas’ father had never been in the picture and his mother was attempting to do the best she could on her own. Chris drew near to Lucas and began to offer friendship and mentorship for his life. With very few positive role models in his life Lucas began to respond to Chris’ friendship.

Lucas and his mother were about to lose the meager living accommodations they had. Eventually as they realized the difficult situation Lucas and his mother were in, Chris and Stacy felt prompted by God to offer a place to life for both of them. More important than that they provided a sense of caring and family which was in contrast to harsh life they were experiencing. They moved into Chris and Stacy’s home. Through the love of God being expressed in practical and spiritual ways they walked together Lucas and his mom through the ups and downs of life. Other “older spiritual brothers” in the church also began to connect with Lucas and though their friendship valuable care and input was ministered.

Lucas ended up enrolling in our school and has become a young disciple of Jesus. Over time the rough outward crust of sin that had marked his life began to come off. He gave his life to Jesus and now has a tremendous zeal towards God and against injustice mixed with a tender heart that cares for people. He has a very diligent work ethic that stands out to all who are around him. Lucas will be graduating this year and we are excited to see what God does in his life. If the church will reach out with the care of God and pursue God’s design for legacy good things can happen.

While it is impossible for any church to save the whole world, we can pursue God’s design for legacy and make a difference in the lives of some. This reminds me of a story I once heard. The story is told of a man walking along a beach the morning after a storm had passed through. The sand was littered with starfish that had been washed ashore. Down the beach he noticed a young boy picking up starfish and throwing them into the water. As he approached, he asked what the boy was doing. The boy didn’t hesitate as he explained that the sun was coming up and it would kill the starfish if they didn’t get back into the ocean. The man laughed and said, “There are thousands of starfish on miles of beach, you can’t possibly make a difference.” As the boy picked up another starfish and threw it back into the ocean he said, “Well, it sure will make a difference to that one.”

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The fruit of legacy tastes really good

I recently experienced a testimony of what the amazing power of God can do through people who have a multigenerational perspective.

Suzanne and her children came into the church about 15 years ago, wounded, heartbroken, and devastated. Her husband had an affair which lead to the dissolving of the marriage and eventually he moved out of state. As anyone can imagine the spiritual, emotional, and financial hardships created by such a catastrophe were immense.

As a single mother who wanted the best for her family in spite of the difficulty, Suzanne knew she needed God and some stability for her family. She had hopes that the house of God would help. Our church was just starting to catch God’s heart regarding legacy (the generations walking together to seek God’s ways established from one generation to the next). We were beginning to see that because of this design for His house, as God said in Psalms 68, it would become a healthy place for people with devastation in their families. Psalms 68:5-6 NASB A father of the fatherless and a judge for the widows, Is God in His holy habitation. (6) God makes a home for the lonely

Suzanne became caught up with that vision, knowing that the design for God’s house would help her family. She enrolled two of her children (the youngest daughter and son) in our church school and ended up becoming a teacher there.

I watched those kids grow up on God’s house over the years and it was incredible. I watched the young man begin to be embraced by men in our house who saw him as a spiritual son. Older men would spend time with him and draw him together with other young men close to his age and they became a small band of spiritual brothers.

While they all had their struggles growing up they didn’t have to walk through them alone. They had brothers to share their burdens with and older men who would provide the wisdom, perspective, and faith that no matter what they were facing God would get them through it.

As this young man began to grow and mature he made sacrifices to stay with God’s house and the school (he could have played HS athletics in a public school and done very well). He ended up becoming a leader in our school and helped other younger men grow in the things of God. He and his peers became quite a spiritual force, like David’s mighty men. They all went through struggles, failures, and victories staying faithful to God and finding encouragement in each other and those ahead of them in the Lord.

As this young man got into college he continued to pursue God and became a leader among our college students. He also became a very good student graduating with a perfect 4.0 GPA and was a finalist in the Outstanding Senior award for the University as well as the President of the Nurses Christian Fellowship.

During his college years he continued to seek the wisdom and advice of those older than him. One of the young girls he grew up with became a very good friend. He began to sense that she was the one God wanted him to have as a wife. He was very careful to seek counsel and advice from the generations ahead of him as well as his peers. She eventually agreed to a courtship and marriage. In preparation, this young man met diligently every week with an 83 year old spiritual grandfather who gave him Godly advice about marriage. He also walked through courtship and pre-marital preparation with this young lady and another couple who were about 15 years older than them. This couple had their share of disappoints and victories and shared out of God’s Word and their lives valuable perspectives on marriage.

God worked a miracle in his natural family while he was still in High School. His dad returned to the Lord, repented to his family, married a wonderful Christian lady, and now helps lead various groups in his local church in Florida. There was tremendous healing and when his dad now visits his home town he joins with his former wife, his children, and his new wife and kids to worship with the House of God. It is a tremendous testimony of God’s healing and restorative power.

Just last week I had the privilege of walking my second daughter down the isle and giving her to this young man in marriage. And the 83 year old spiritual grandfather helped officiate the wedding ceremony. I cannot tell you the thankfulness, comfort, and joy I had in God. It was amazing to see how God used His multigenerational design for His house to heal, restore, and prepare my future son in law and daughter for marriage. What a comfort to know the good things that have been deposited in their lives by many of God’s people. Is a multigenerational focus on legacy in God’s house a good thing? You had better believe it! The fruit is great and it only strengthens my resolve to work to see God’s house live according to this design.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Just Released: The Lost Treasure

I just got done with my second book: The Lost Treasure, Reclaiming the INheritance of the Church.
In our current culture the idea of family is in turmoil. It has been abandoned, broken, redefined, reformed, and broken again, resulting in generations adrift in the waters of confusion and hopelessness. There seems to be a wider gap in the generations than ever before. Out of this uncertainty, foundational roots which promote stability and identity are not being passed on as an inheritance.

What has been the church’s response? Instead of leading the way with the light of God’s alternative, many churches have been so concerned with preserving the last generation they have lost touch with the next. Young people are leaving churches in record numbers feeling there is nothing there for them. The biggest mistake any church can make is becoming one generational.

The Biblical perspective is that the church is to be multi-generational. Every generation is to be connected to and concerned with the generations behind and before them. If the church fails in this area, instead of being a spring board launching people forward, it becomes a road block that must be avoided in order for people receive their spiritual inheritance.

The Lost Treasure reveals the Biblical design for a multi-generational church. It deals directly with sins of the older generations “spiritually retiring” and the younger generations “spiritually rebelling,” and offers solutions to both. If we discover and reclaim this treasure, the church can become the answer to the current cultural crisis.