Hiatus Over!

My hiatus is over and I am excited to continue to share my thoughts on this blog. We have experienced some big changes recently as I have resigned as the Founding Pastor of Pointway Church in Baxter, MN.

My family and I will be moving to Waconia, MN February 1 to begin a new and exciting ministry. I am joining the staff of Freshwater Community Church in St. Bonifacius, MN as a Campus Planter/Pastor.

Freshwater is a great church lead by a gifted pastor. They are going Multi Site and I have the honored privilege to launch the Waconia campus. We are humbled and grateful that the LORD has allowed us to give ourselves to this wonderful mission.

I am also looking forward to sharing this adventure with you as you follow our updates on this blog.

Soli Deo Gloria

Tea with Tozer

DEEP INSIDE EVERY MAN there is a private sanctum where dwells the mysterious essence of his being. This far-in reality is that in the man which is what it is of itself without reference to any other part of the man’s complex nature. It is the man’s “I Am,” a gift from the I AM who created him.

The I AM which is God is underived and selfexistent; the “I Am” which is man is derived from God and dependent every moment upon His creative fiat for its continued existence. One is the Creator, high over all, ancient of days, dwelling in light unapproachable. The other is a creature and, though privileged beyond all others, is still but a creature, a pensioner on God’s bounty and a suppliant before His throne.

The deep-in human entity of which we speak is called in the Scriptures the spirit of man. “For what man knoweth the things of man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God” (I Cor. 2:11) . As God’s self-knowledge lies in the eternal Spirit, so man’s selfknowledge is by his own spirit, and his knowledge of God is by the direct impression of the Spirit of God upon the spirit of man.

~ A.W. Tozer, Man the Dwelling Place of God

Tea with Tozer:

Our Lord knew that in these times there would be those in our churches who are just highly groomed showpieces of Christianity—middle-class and well-to-do, satisfied with a religious life that costs them nothing.

Christianity to the average evangelical church member is simply an avenue to a good and pleasant time, with a little biblical devotional material thrown in for good measure!

Is it not time that we face up to the fact that most of us do only those things for the Lord and for His church that we can do conveniently?

People in the Christian churches who put their own convenience and their own comfort and their own selfish interests ahead of the claims of the gospel of Jesus Christ surely need to get down on their knees with an open Bible—and if they are honest as they search their own hearts, they will be shocked at what they find! I believe that Jesus meant to shake us up!

I delight in the inward knowledge that Jesus Christ, the Son of God and our coming Lord, will be sufficient for every situation which is yet to come to pass. We will never panic along with this present world system as long as we are fortified with our knowledge of who Jesus Christ really is.

Get alone with God and His Word every day. I recommend that you turn off the radio and the television and let your soul delight in the fellowship and the mercies of God.

~ A.W. Tozer

Thought Bomb

“There is plenty of good news in the Bible, but there is never any flattery or back scratching. Seen one way, the Bible is a book of doom. It condemns all men as sinners and declares that the soul that sinneth shall die. Always it pronounces sentence against society before it offers mercy; and if we will not own the validity of the sentence we cannot admit the need for mercy.”

– A.W. Tozer, Man, The Dwelling Place of God

BOOK REVIEW: Convert: From Adam to Christ – Part 1

I was pleased to receive a review copy of Convert and I believe that it is crucial that we understand this topic if we are to engage in fruitful evangelism and discipleship. I was especially interested in this book because I focused on this subject in my Th.M studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Our behaviors betray our beliefs and our methods of ministry flow from our biblical/theological understanding or lack there of.

I operate my ministry on two propositions:

MAJOR PROPOSITION: unless our convictions are firmly based in Holy Scripture; unless our convictions are theologically sound; our theology of ministry will be inconsistent and weak, subject to the latest cultural fad or innovation.

MINOR PROPOSITION: unless we see the correlation between faith and truth, our attempts at ministry will also be inconsistent and weak, careless and indifferent to theological issues.

Convert focuses on the biblical understanding of religious conversion; becoming a Christian’ being saved; going from darkness to light; from error to truth; and from damnation to salvation.” (introduction p. 15)

The book is both theological and practical. While some may protest the necessity of a doctrinal book they need to understand that all of life is theological. Stop me if you have heard this one before but we all have a theology and our beliefs determine and drive our behavior.

My heart was immediately inflamed with a desire to read this book when I read that “Convert was written  because of the need for further convergence between theology and evangelism.”  This theology needs to drive some of us to repent of our lack of participation in Christ’s call to go and make disciples of all people, and needs to drive others to repent of their worldly evangelism practices that produce worldly “disciples”.

I have read hundreds of books on evangelism and have found that many of them lack the theological roots necessary to be worth the paper and ink they consumed. I am eager to dig into this work and to share my findings with the people God has entrusted me with as a  Warrior in the Kingdom of God.

Stay tuned!

Get your copy of Convert: From Adam to Christ HERE

“But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”

~ Acts 20:24

Nothing Good is Easy and Nothing Easy is Good

Life is Hard!

I remember when the truth and reality of that saying took deep root in my soul. I was in my mid twenties and had gotten my youthful idealism steadily beat out of me and the fallacies of “the way it should be” whipped away by the way things are.

Now you might be thinking that I am being pessimistic here, but let me assure you that I am an extremely optimistic person. My wife describes me not as one who sees the glass half full, but as one who sees the glass as overflowing.

That being said I think it is good and right to acknowledge that life is hard. After all it is a truth that no one can legitimately deny. We live in this creation after Eden and the curse has saturated this sin soaked world. We are all subject to the dreaded sinful nature that plagues us all. Some of us wage war with the flesh and through the Spirit are putting it to death and others have quit and/or never begun to fight succumbing to defeat.

Back in the Garden of Eden that old Serpent the Devil pointed Eve and Adam to an easy path, but it was not good. It was not easy either though it looked appealing at first glance.

Life is indeed hard and nothing good is easy. Yet we are so corrupted in our inner most beings that time after time we are tempted to take the path of least resistance. We have a tendency to derail ourselves time and again.

As a follower of Jesus Christ this is even more true. Our King told us that if the world hated him they will surely hate us as we faithfully walk in his purposes. Paul wrote to young Timothy and told him that all who desire to live godly lives in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. Peter wrote to the Christians of the Diaspora to not be surprised by the fiery trial when it comes upon them to test their faith as though something strange were happening to them.

To many Christians are caught up in the winds and the waves of worldliness. They merely go with the flow, but if you look in a river you will see that only dead things go with the flow!

I am thankful for the men and women in my life who are sold out for Jesus and willing to do whatever it takes to see the Kingdom of God advanced in our spheres of influence. I am thankful for those who are willing to be thought of as fools by the world, but in reality are shining stars.

May the God of Glory raise us an army of people willing to go wholly/holy bonkers for Jesus and may he turn us loose on this modern day Sodom and Gomorrah.

“And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.”

~ Daniel 12:3

The Earth is Filled with HIs Glory

I went to the beach at 5:45 this morning for a training swim. As I got out of my Jeep I took note of the air temperature – 56 Degrees. I slipped into my wetsuit and enjoyed the stillness of everything. The sun was just beginning to wake up and make its presence known to our part of the world. Walking down to the lake I admired the glassy surface of the water.

As I walked in I was pleased to feel the warm sensation of the water on my skin as the water temperature was about 10-15 degrees warmer than the air. I got my swim cap and googles in place and pierced the stillness of the water. It took my breath away. Refreshing and cleansing I had to stand up and catch my breath. The water filled my wetsuit and warmed now I was ready to swim.

I quickly settled into a rhythm and soaked in the experience. I was between two worlds. When my face was in the water I took notice of the underwater world I was invading. Looking around me I began to notice an occasional sunfish. It was amazing to me that my presence did not bother them in the least. As I continued my swim a small school of sunfish swam with me for a time. Off in the distance I noticed a largemouth bass with hunger in his eyes and breakfast on his mind.

When I turned my head to breathe I could see the sun rising and shining its brilliant light all around me. I took note the lake shore, the trees, the sounds of nature waking up to a new day.

The sun was beautiful and the words of the prophet Hosea came to mind:

6:1 “Come, let us return to the Lord;
for he has torn us, that he may heal us;
he has struck us down, and he will bind us up.
2 After two days he will revive us;
on the third day he will raise us up,
that we may live before him.
3 Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord;
his going out is sure as the dawn;
he will come to us as the showers,
as the spring rains that water the earth.”

Just as sure as the sun rises every morning are the promises of King Jesus. My heart rejoices in this great truth and drives me to seek his face. We can trust him for all that he has promised us. He is the King of Glory and he has invited us into an amazing, life-transforming relationship with him. A simple truth that floors me when I ponder the depth of it.

As I reflect on my morning I think of the experience of the prophet Isaiah who fell on his face before the throne of the LORD and heard the angels declare that “the whole earth is full of his glory.” Also the words of John Calvin come to mind, “The world is the theater of God’s glory.” What an honor it is to be a kid of the King and to be a player in his Divine Drama as he brings his plans and purpose about in the world he created.

Who Is This: The King of Glory

Soli Deo Gloria