Excuses

Acts 21:1-17 Excuses are for losers. We’ve all heard the saying. But do you know where I think we’d find more excuses than the losing team’s locker room? The sidelines — on why we shouldn’t, couldn’t or didn’t get in the game at all. Spirituality is little different than sports. We reason our way out of life on mission and … Read More

Compelling Leadership

Acts 20:13-38 We’ve all seen some semblance of the scenario in a movie when a relationship is holding on by a hair and the one who wants to make it work essentially says, “Just tell me what to do!” When he goodbye is pending or there’s a lot to lose, we tend to cut to the chase. Acts 20 provides … Read More

Encouragement Starts with Attention

Acts 20:1-12 We continue making our way through Acts in this week’s message out of Acts 20:1-12. Acts allows us to witness Paul’s fervor and effectiveness in sharing the Gospel, resulting in nations converted, individuals transformed and lives saved. What is his formula? How does he do it? Let’s zero in on the first three verses of Acts 12 as … Read More

Displacing Idols

Acts 19:23-41 My family and I went to an Illini football game and I couldn’t help but think about the words from Acts 19:32 as I looked around: “The assembly was in confusion: Some were shouting one thing, some another. Most of the people did not even know why they were there.” Instead of a football game, much of the … Read More

More Than Looking the Part

Acts 19:1-20 A few months ago I walked through a gym during a high school AAU basketball tournament. After watching a few games, it was apparent there was just a handful of great talent, but plenty of average talent. Do you know what was interesting? Most of the guys looked the part. They had the arm sleeves, the logos, the … Read More

My Why

Acts 18:18-28 Have you ever come back from a vacation more tired than you were before you’d left? If you have young kids, the answer is most likely an emphatic yes! You may have found yourself wondering, “Why did we spend time, money, energy and effort in doing that?” Why? It’s a powerful question. Seventeen years into his ministry, Paul’s … Read More

Teaching vs Criticizing

Acts 18:1-17 “The butterfly comes from this?!” That something so big, bright and beautiful could come from a fat, brown cocoon never fails to delight my boys with every read of The Hungry Caterpillar. Corinth might well be the cocoon of the ancient world. Given proper context, we should wonder how a budding Christian church could explode from such a … Read More

Chat Transcripts

Acts 17:16-34 Wouldn’t it be interesting if we could read a transcript of our conversations from the past week? Month? Year? I wonder if we’d find recurring themes. How much do we talk about sports? How much do we talk about our worries? How much do we talk about money, about the new purchase we just made or the ones … Read More

Before and After

Acts 17:1-15 This week’s Parade Magazine held the title “The Stories Behind the Songs.” It explored the meaning behind songs written by The Beatles, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan and more. I couldn’t help but wonder at the way simple stories, expressed through song, went on to become recognized, memorized, sung and spread through countless of adoring fans and beyond. Storytelling … Read More

Can’t Put God In A Box

Acts 16:16-40 Most of us arrange our lives the same way I do my suitcase — compartmentalized. We draw boundaries between school, social, work, family or fun. The potential for awkward interaction in two of our worlds colliding is often what keeps us upholding the walls between them. We treat our spirituality little different, keeping it confined to “church activities” … Read More