Showing posts from March, 2016


As a teenager, I spent 4 years playing high school football. During practice, we would routinely have various drills, run-throughs, and scrimmages to prepare for the upcoming games. There were times where the coaches would have us walk through certain plays and situations. At other times, they would have us pick up the pace, going through drills at half-speed. The coaches did this so they could make sure that everyone was in the right place, doing the right assignments. Then, we would be put through full-speed scrimmages, with full contact. I noticed that, usually, most injuries occurred when we had been involved in full-speed exercises, because one of the players was only going half-speed. This half-speed player would be the one injured.   Over my years as pastor, I’ve noticed a similar pattern in the spiritual lives of Christ-followers.    Many folks seem to have a basic belief in Jesus, but resist following Him wholeheartedly — sort of a half-speed Christianity, so-to-s


Albert Einstein was a slow learner as a child and didn’t talk until he was three. But as he matured and came into his own he said, "It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer." He may have understated his intelligence, but he does so to make a point: For more than any other reason, he was successful because he was persistent. I'm no Albert Einstein, but I can also say that the success I have experienced can be attributed to this same principle.   Solomon said, "For though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again." (Proverbs 24:16)    When I'm missing the mark in my life — spiritually, financially, or in my relationships — I have to remind myself several times a day that the difference between my being a wise man and a fool ... the difference between my being righteous and unrighteous ... is determined by my willingness to get up and keep going.    Have you fallen down? Has it happened more th


Think about the goals and plans we’re currently engaged in. Are there any impossible items on the list? Is there anything beyond your reach? If not, maybe it's time to aim a little higher. Jesus said, "With God, all things are possible" (Matthew 19:26). This biblical principle can — and should — be the driving force behind our ministry efforts at Olive Place. It's not enough to play it safe, reaching only for goals within our grasp. We should attempt things so great for the glory of God that unless He intervenes, we will certainly fail. It is important to remember what this promise doesn’t and does imply.   It doesn't suggest that all things are easy. Accomplishing the impossible typically takes extended effort. Also, it doesn't infer that all things are immediate. Reaching worthwhile goals requires a long-term investment of time. Finally, it doesn't denote that all things will be painless. Personal sacrifice is part of the process.   If you’r


How often do we go about our daily lives, without seeking God’s guidance? It is appalling how infrequently we make use of the spiritual gifts which He gives us. It is even more appalling how little use we make of God Himself. Though He is “our God” (Psalm 67:6), we rarely concern ourselves with Him, and ask very little of Him.  In our moment of trouble we first tend to bear our burdens on our own, instead of casting them upon the Lord as He’s requested of us in 1 Peter 5:7. It’s not until we find ourselves between a rock-and-a-hard-place does it seem that we ask for His help. God invites you to take a taste test and see how good He is!   The more you taste of His grace and mercy the more you will welcome every opportunity to cast your cares at His feet. It is your own fault if you do not take advantage of riches of God’s grace.    Therefore, since you have such a friend, He invites you to draw from Him daily. What is your need Christ-follower for you have a great God to go to!