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Walk in Love – Morning Musings

One of the challenges of preaching a text like Ephesians 5:1-14 is how straight-forward it is.  There is really no wiggle room and there is very little elaboration from Paul.  On the flip side, it’s a challenge because the text is so straight forward, there’s not a lot of examples that have to be given for explanation.  Some have asked me if it’s hard on…

The Way You Learned Jesus – Morning Musings

It’s always interesting to me the way that things ‘go’ during a sermon that I didn’t necessary expect.  For one, I was really uncertain how to close the sermon yesterday.  I had a few thoughts written down but nothing seemed to settle in my mind about it.  Then, when I was working through the prep all week, the sermon never seemed as somber as it…

Equipped for Service – Morning Musings

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned a sermon by Thomas Chalmers. I couldn’t remember the name of the sermon, until…the moment I walked off the stage:).  This sermon is about how a growing affection for Jesus, will expel sin from our hearts.  This is a sermon that’s great for people like us….who’s hearts are “a factory of idols.”  Here’s the link that will lead…

Philippines Report

Well, after a really crazy spring, I thought I would take this musings to give you a report about my Philippines trip.   Last year, I was approached by our Sovereign Grace leaders about helping out with ministry partnerships in the Philippines.  For almost 10 years now, I have had a growing passion for that country, for reasons unknown to me.  I had a friend,…

Morning Musings – May 15

It is so good to be back home in my home church. The Philippines trip was a good one and in the very near future, I will send out a report about that trip.  But it’s always good to be home.  I missed my family, dearly.  And I missed you.  There is nothing like worshipping Jesus with the church I love the most on earth.   Now,…

Morning Musings – Apr. 15

The tension in the room was palpable when I read through Ephesians 1:1-10 on Sunday.  I always find it interesting, when God’s word is read to a congregation, to “feel” the “gasps” or the “anticipation” about what is in the text.  Many people told me after Sunday…”I was wondering where you were going with that text!”  My sincerest hope on Sunday was for us to…

Morning Musing -Apr. 9

I was asked this question after church yesterday and I thought it would be a good way to start: “how do I boast in Christ, when I’ve got to bid on jobs and try to sell what my company does?” That’s a fantastic question. Here was my answer: boasting in Christ does not mean, “let go and let God”. Nor is it…

Morning Musing – Mar. 26

Let’s start this edition of musings off with a minor correction from Sunday (some of you might think this is major)…I know that I misstated which superhero tossed Loki around and called him “puny god”…it was Hulk…I had it written in my notes correctly, but got so excited that I said it was Thor who did that…oops…and yes, you know you’re a…

Morning Musings – Mar. 18

My daughter, Abi, who’s one of our most direct, honest communicators, said to me last night…”Dad, I have to admit, I can never tell a difference between your inside voice and your outside voice.”  My voice isn’t in “mid-season form” yet, as one of my coaches recently told me and luckily the Lord kept me from sounding like I had gone back to…

Morning Musings – Mar. 14

Well, two weeks in a row now, we have hit on topics in Galatians 4 that have inspired me and challenged me.  These texts really get my emotions flowing because of their content and depth.  Galatians 4:21-31 is definitely one of the most challenging texts to preach on and one of the most challenging to understand.  My prayer is that I was able to preach…

Morning Musings – Mar. 5

There are many passages of Scripture that are difficult to preach from because of interpretation challenges. Then there are passages that are hard to preach from because of the emotions those texts bring.  Our text from Sunday was one of those.  The reason this text had so many emotions in it is because of the pastoral emotions that Paul mentions.  As a pastor, I can…

Mike Keller’s Thoughts on Romance

No one will ever have a successful marriage, let alone one filled with intimacy and romance without a firm understanding of what that is supposed to look like form a biblical standpoint.  (Ephesians 5) Every marriage is unique because couples are unique.  Your marriage will not look exactly like mine or anyone else’s.  But every marriage between two born again believers joined…

Morning Musings – Feb. 27

On Saturday afternoon, prior to the Marriage Banquet, I texted the elders this:   “Hey guys, as you know Galatians 4:1-7 is one of the most dense, glorious texts on redemption in Paul’s writings. Would you pray for 2 things: 1) that I could do this text the justice it deserves. God has been really kind in my prep this week & my…

Morning Musings – Feb. 21

I’m still laughing this morning at one of the weirdest moments in preaching that happened yesterday in my 29 years of preaching…I forgot what I was talking about in the middle of my sermon! Those of you who know me best, were giving me that “you’ve literally just lost your mind” look.  It was so fun…and scary at the same time.  Weird.  I’m glad I got…

Morning Musings – Feb. 4

I received this fitting text from Bruce Wells, one of our faithful members, on Monday: Run John, run the law commands; But gives you neither feet nor hands.Far better news the gospel brings.It bids you fly and gives you wings” -John Bunyan What a fitting way to describe Sunday’s sermon. I love it when our people send those kinds of texts my way.…

Morning Musings – Jan. 29

One of the things about writing a weekly blog post that has been tough for me is getting it into my weekly routine. If I don’t do this thing on Mondays, more than likely it’s not going to get done. And Mondays are normally a short work day because I try to take at least 1/2 of the day for time off.…

Morning Musings – Jan. 14

Straight gospel…that’s the way I would describe the last two weeks of sermons. It’s fascinating because often as a preacher, I find this temptation to make the gospel “more exhilarating” or “more interesting”…and then I think about that again…slowly…and I realize how dumb that is. The gospel is “the power of God for salvation”. It’s the dynamite of God. It hits the…

Morning Musings – Jan. 7

Yesterday morning, as I prayed for our Sunday gathering, I was overwhelmed with gratitude as I thought about all the servants at CLF.  The joy that our people take in serving each other and making Sundays happen so that we can gather to worship Jesus together is simply remarkable to me.  As I quoted to the church on Sunday from Philippians 1, the people…

Morning Musings- Jan. 4

Well, last Sunday we finished up our Esther series.  With the holiday this week, I gladly took a couple of days off and so I’m a tad behind in my writing musings.  So, maybe this week’s addition should be Weekend Wonderings (or Wanderings, depending on where I end up).  So here it goes: From the cutting room floor: One of the things that really stood…

Morning Musings – Dec. 24

Preaching from narratives are a lot of fun for me. One of my favorite series that we’ve done at CLF was our series through Judges. I loved it because of all the strange characters, twists and turns, and seeing God’s hand in all of it. That’s why I have loved preaching through Esther. The genius of the book is that God’s name…

Morning Musings – Dec. 18

Often in my sermon prep, I come to the end of each week and I think, “I have no idea how the Lord is going to use this awful manuscript.” There are very few times when I finish writing that I am completely at rest about what I wrote and what I think the Lord wants me to say to our church.…

Monday Morning Musings (Tuesday Edition)

Personal thoughts: The last couple of weeks have had all sorts of emotions for me. As most of you know, my dad passed away on December 1. This was not necessarily unexpected, but his Parkinson’s did hit him harder in the last 9 months than anytime in the previous 3 years. It was so good to be in Texas with my family…

Esther 4 – Monday Morning Musings

Here are some random thoughts from this past week & Sunday, in particular.  Hope you enjoy! With a heavy heart Many of you have asked how my dad is doing.  Well, today I received word that Parkinson’s is in its final stages with my dad.  He’s no longer swallowing and hospice has been called in.  It’s with a heavy heart that I…

Monday Morning Musings – After the Retreat

Hey CLF, This edition of musings is a bit different. Since I didn’t preach yesterday, I thought I’d just shoot some random thoughts your direction. I hope this is fun for you. It’s been helpful to me to get a few thoughts off my mind. Where were you guys? This past weekend (Wednesday-Sunday) our elders and wives were gone to Brookings for…

Monday Morning Musings – Esther 2:1-18

Here are some rambling thoughts from Sunday’s sermon (and really from the weekend)… Men’s Breakfast I am still thinking about the thought provoking time from our men’s breakfast on Saturday when James Ellis, Todd Crouse and Mike Keller shared. The highlights for me were that these guys are dear friends who are trying to live their lives for Jesus as best as…

Esther 1

Monday Morning Musings What I’d like to try to do, is after Sunday’s sermon, write down a few different (random) thoughts about a variety of things. My hope is to expand your appreciation for the text & also to give a brief glimpse into the “cutting room floor” of sermon prep. So, let me start…

2018 Church Campout

Our church campout’s purpose is to literally hang out with our church family in “uninterrupted” fellowship together for a week. The last five years we have done this at Lone Pine Group Campground, which is the most fantastic group site on the planet! A paved circle with 11 different campsites allows for our kids to ride bikes easily & room for over…

Bible Reading Plans

This past Sunday we started a new sermon series on the Sufficiency of Scripture. It was fun. There are times and themes that we teach on periodically that are just a blast to talk about. And this one is one of those themes for me. I can’t wait to learn throughout this month how Scripture is sufficient to equip me, help me…

Sleep well

Part of my morning routine is reading from Mornings and Evenings by C.H. Spurgeon.  The January 6th morning read was another reminder of how caring God is for His people.  Maybe you’re like me and you’re a bit of a worrier.  Most of my worry comes in the form of stress.  I worry about my health, about my kids, and about church-related things.…

The Way to Satisfaction

The start of the New Year is always interesting for me.  Like most, I spend some time reflecting on the past year and wondering what was good and what was not good.  I examine what spiritual disciplines I should change and what routines of life I need to adjust.  And for the most part, this usually leads me to something new that…

Examine yourself…to a point

This past Sunday we studied Hebrews 5:11-14 in our series through this book. So far in this book we have studied three different warnings and each warning has caused us to take time to do a spiritual check-up. This past Sunday was no different. These type of texts in Scripture are challenging and convicting. In these texts, we see places in our…

Elevated Service

Recently as I was reading through John 13, I was struck by John 13:3 and John 13:5, which says, “Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands…began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.”  This text tells us that although Jesus knew that “all authority in heaven and…

Open it, write it, and remember it.

Like many people, several years ago I really got into the digital craze. I got my first iPhone was given an iPad.  I love using these devices.  From everything from keeping up with my mileage, expenses, reminders and my calendar.  They were very helpful.  I began to read my bible from my devices and wrote notes on my iPad or iPhone bible…

When Things Don’t Go Your Way

At some point in all of our lives we will all be faced with teh challenge of things not going the way we we had hoped.  It could be a job promotion we lose, an award that we thought we deserved and someone else receives, or something we diligently work for and it flops.  How do we handle this type of thing…