Monthly Archives

November 2017

Daddy Doesn’t Pray Anymore

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Continuing with the music theme…I’ve been listening to a lot of Chris Stapleton. The song that hit me this week was, “Daddy Doesn’t Pray Anymore.”

My dad was a pastor for 47 years. He wasn’t a scholar…he wasn’t a prolific speaker. But, he loved people. He put 100K miles on his car visiting people in the hospital and in their homes. When they were at their worst…he was at his best.

He’s the only man I knew that could walk into a funeral parlor and up to a family going through the worst tragedy of their life and say exactly only what needed to be said….and then right at the right time…he’d tell a joke and have this family who was just crying…laughing and smiling.

I didn’t get that gene. But, because of my dad’s example…I did hold a dying veteran’s hand in a hospital outside of Brainerd, MN. I jumped into counseling many couples in their marriages. I walked beside bros who were going through consequences of poor choices.

My dad spent hours and hours every week praying with people. His love for people was undeniable.

If there is anything we can take from his life…it is that when we have opportunity to be there for people…we need to jump at the chance. You never know what your words…your hand on their shoulder…just your presence will mean to them.

When I was in WA state…on a Saturday night…I came home from church and there was a sheriff in my driveway. He told me, “Son, I hate to break this to you like this, but your father was in a severe car accident and he’s been killed.”

Today I followed daddy down to church
And listened to the preacher read god’s word
We sang his favorite hymn but daddy didn’t make a sound
This afternoon we’ll lay him in the ground
Daddy don’t pray anymore
I guess he’s finally walking with the lord
He used to fold his hands and bow his head down to the floor
But daddy don’t pray anymore

I miss you Pops…thank you Jesus for allowing me to learn to love people from him! Let’s all love a little more…before we don’t pray anymore.

If I Could Kill A Word

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Eric Church’s song, “Kill a Word,” speaks to the idea that our tongues can do a lot of damage. We can make vain promises. We can tear someone to shreds. We can tell ourselves lies with words like “never” and “can’t” – and we can depress ourselves with words like “regret.”

“I’d poison NEVER…Shoot GOODBYE…beat REGRET…I’d hang HATE so that it can’t be heard…”

“If I could kill a word.”

“You can’t unhear….you can’t unsay…”

James 3 likens the tongue to a spark that starts a huge forest fire..and destroys miles of forest. The tongue is the most powerful weapon for good….and yet it can also be the most destructive weapon for bad.

We’ve all said things we regret – we can’t unsay. We’ve all heard things that still ring in our ears and hurt us deeply – we can’t unhear.

Today, prepare your mind to think before you speak…and use your words for good. Kill the bad words…the destructive words.

For those words that someone said to you that cause you deep pain…bring them to Jesus and let him heal those wounds. Jesus can bring you peace and joy!

Have a good day!

Momma, I’m Coming Home

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Times have changed and times are strange, Here I come, but I ain’t the same. Momma, I’m coming home… Ozzy Osbourne

I hear this song ring in my ears when I think of the day when I was shopping for gas grills in Home Depot near Ripon, CA – and my dad called me to let me know I needed to rush home, because my mom was not well.

I flew to Pittsburgh and then drove up to Erie, PA where she was in the hospital. I met with the oncologist and learned that she had metastatic melanoma of the liver and she was being released to hospice because she had only a few days.

As I flew out there…a thousand thoughts passed through my mind. My mom praying for me on her knees on Friday nights as I was out with my buddies partying. I remember her praying every early mornings and doing the My Daily Bread devotional every morning with my Pops.

While we had an up and down relationship during my high school years…she had no idea what finding her each night praying for me meant to me.

And now, I was flying to see her for the last time…Momma, I’m coming home!

Oh, how I wish I had more time…more time to tell her those prayers were answered. More time to prove to her that I was a good kid and could make her proud.

The takeaway I want you to have…is that no matter where you find yourself today – prayer makes a difference. Even when it seems to do no good…stay with it. God might be using those prayers years later to impact the heart of a rebellious big kid who hits a turning point in his life. It can impact a husband or wife who has walked away. A teenager who seems unreachable.

Hit your knees and pray…let Jesus do the rest!

I Don’t Have An Impressive Story

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I can’t tell you how often I hear this in small groups. At DCC, we encourage everyone to discover their story…know what parts of their past are making them believe lies about their present.

So, when people talk about their past…some people have had a rough time…a very hard life. It seems impressive that they are even alive, much less committed to Jesus.

But, then there is everyone else. They feel their stories don’t really matter. They had loving parents, lived a pretty normal and average life, and it just wasn’t that impressive.

But, that misses the whole point. Everyone has a story…and when you really look back on your early life…you’ll find that no matter how “average” you found your life…there were moments when someone made you feel stupid…or ugly…or less than. All it needed to be was a simple comment…but even today – you remember it.

If you believe (agree with) a lie about yourself…then you’ll also believe a lie about others….and ultimately about God.

If you haven’t taken the time to really go back and discovery your story…then I highly recommend you join a Wild at Heart group (men) or a Captivating group (women). The group will be a safe place for you to think about lies the enemy has sown a long time ago…that still affect how you live today.

Think You’re Tough?

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I grew up part of my life in rural town where it paid to be tough. If you were going to say some smart_ statement, you knew you might get punched. It was just how we rolled. We’d bail hay together, pick up rock together, mend fences together…and we’d play just as hard.

But, I do remember a time where a fight happened…and some of our group, well, they disappeared. They looked at the people we were up against and quickly retreated. (In hindsight, probably not a bad idea)

In James 1, we encounter this word hupomone – or perseverance. It’s a military word. It was used by the Greeks to describe a man who looked at the enemy coming towards him, saw that they were greatly out-numbered, and yet dug his heels into the ground and would not retreat – no matter the odds. What is more…he did this when all those in his unit…turned and fled.

James tells us that when we decide to respond well to a trial…a circumstance that greatly tempts us to sin…to do something damaging to our character. That when we decide to resist that urge to sin…that it builds the steel in our backbones…that will make us hold our ground no matter what the attack of the enemy brings.

So, we want to encourage you to build up this character in your life. Take stands, resist damaging your character, and if you do…it will only make you stronger against the enemy!

We’ve Given The Wrong Definition To Meek…

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In our culture, we are raised with this idea that the word Meek is a negative. That is is someone who shrinks back, who runs and hides, who is weak kneed, and is the opposite of bold.

But, that definition is not the true definition of the word Meek, when Jesus says “blessed are the meek!”

That word is derived from a Greek word that referred to a bit in a draft horse’s mouth. Have you ever seen a draft horse? Like a Clydesdale? They are huge animals and strong…they can pull just about anything.

Yet, a powerful horse is controlled by a bit. The word meek really means: Power under control.

I don’t know about you, but I look up to men and women who are bold powerful leaders, but they remain under control. I admire that quality, probably because I don’t often have it. Through my life…I’ve struggled with my temper or my passion. I can get intense. But, I so aspire to keep my passion…and my drive….but have complete control over how I express those.

I strongly desire to be MEEK!

If We Do Not Love…It’s Just Religious Noise!

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Paul gives a big list of impressive actions at the beginning of 1 Corinthians 13. He really stretches the illustration by even drawing supernatural abilities into the mix. You could almost hear him, if he were talking today, say something like, “If you could throw Thor’s hammer…if you could stop bullets in mid-flight….if you could leap tall buildings…but”

All of those illustrations work to set up his main point which is:

No matter what we’re capable of…no matter how talented and skilled we are…no matter how beautiful or successful we are…no matter how many small groups we lead….

If we fail to LOVE….it is ALL just religious noise!

Did You Know that God Gave You Worth and Value?

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Did You Know that God Gave You Worth and Value? The cool thing is – others can’t earn more worth from God by being “good” and obeying all the rules – nor can you! But what is the coolest is the fact that no person can lose any worth or value to God because of their past, their present or their future – and that’s true about you as well. When God gave Jesus’ life to redeem yours – in that moment he gave every person infinite worth and value. We can’t add to it and nothing we have done or will do can take away from it! And now Jesus simply calls us to recognize that worth in others and ourselves!

A Difficult Road Can Lead to a Great Destination

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A Difficult Road Can Lead to a Great Destination. In Romans 8:18, it says:  “Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.” In my life I have faced moments where I had no answers. I had no hope. Our circumstances were, to me, insurmountable. In one of those dark moments, I heard a Third Day song that said “there’s a light at the end of this tunnel for you.” And while my first response was to chuckle – and in reality, God didn’t wave a magic wand and make all of my problems go away – he started me on a new journey that changed my life and circumstances. Since then, I’ve faced other dark days – but that experience helps me always to find hope even in darkness.

Performing Or Hiding

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Performing or Hiding. We are given a choice in life – one is to find life in Jesus, the other is to find life in anything else. The one is a life of freedom, transparency, openness and truth – because there’s no need to pretend to be anything than who we are. The second way to find life will lead us to pretend to be something we are not. Unfortunately, many of us perform an act of what we think will bring us love, respect, and praise – all the while hiding the truth about ourselves that would ruin that performance. That way of life actually robs us of true love and happiness- because if you praise my performance- that compliment never truly reaches my heart – I know you’re only believing a lie. If you knew the “true me” you might never look up to me.

At DCC, we want to encourage you to drop the performance and find real life and love in Jesus! His love doesn’t change because your story is jacked up! If you let him, he’ll redeem that story.