Super Bowl Sunday

Confession Time: I used to guilt people into attending church on the night of the Super Bowl because they obviously didn’t love Jesus as much as I did. Legalism is a strange bird. It breeds judgmental, arrogant attitudes. It’s baptized in fear and control and pushed as gospel. It brings people to attendance and guilt […]

The One True Church (Doesn’t Guilt or Hurt Others)

I made a friend a couple of years ago. Before I knew it she became a Jesus follower and, within the past year, has already read the entire Bible and is starting it again. She is kind, good, and passionate about her walk. She loves others well and does what she can to serve. She […]

Jesus for 2020?

I added a frame to my Facebook profile recently proudly stating Jesus for 2020. And then it got me thinking, am I serious about that?  It sounds really good but what if it means: doing away with the death penalty and dissolving our military and defense programs because I’ll be too busy loving my enemies […]

What God Is Doing In the Pandemic

A few weeks ago, when life changed for all of us, I took the Children’s Ministry online (as many did) and began recording lessons for my kids on Facebook and YouTube. As I walked into the family room that first day, I noticed a children’s Bible on the shelf. I couldn’t remember whose it was […]

That’s Church

If you don’t feel like going to church, then don’t go…for you. Go for the struggling. Go for the broken. Go for those grieving the love of their lives. Go for those raising children. Go for those who haven’t heard from their children for too long. Go for those who long for children. Go for […]

Jesus Loves You, This I Know

What’s your favorite worship song? Lately, mine has been ‘Jesus Loves Me’. I sing it on Sundays and Wednesdays with kids who know it well and during the week with kids who are learning the words. Anna Bartlett Warner wrote the poem that was put to music sometime around 1862 and it quickly became a […]

Christ > Culture

Please don’t confuse Jesus with our celebrities.  Please don’t confuse Jesus with our politicians. Please don’t confuse Jesus with our news organizations. Please don’t confuse Jesus with our religious teachers, preachers, worship ministers, and pastors. Jesus is the one who calls us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and visit the imprisioned regardless of […]

When the Women Pray

I’ll never forget the first time I heard a woman pray in a public setting. I stood in a large room at a kid’s event with my young family and, without warning, a woman who had been giving instructions for the day begin to pray for our meal. I barely heard a word she said. […]

The Spiritual Rhythm of a Good Dad

My relationship with God has changed over the years. At first, he was someone I could only worship on Sundays and Wednesdays at a designated time and place. He always seemed just out of reach and unapproachable, unless I had the right words and I didn’t. He was inconsistent and appeared angry. I would guard […]

Responding to the Culture- What We Can Learn from a Cartoon

Recently, writers for a popular kid’s cartoon married a male character to another male. Someone suggested that since I work with children and write, I should tackle this episode so others will be encouraged to respond. It is, after all, imperative that we do so. I’ve thought and prayed about our response and this is […]

Love Them Through This

When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home” (John 19:26-27). Jesus looked at two people he dearly loved and said, “Friend, […]

When God Doesn’t

We were talking about God and the way he works on our behalf in a kid’s Bible class recently and one sweet kid sat on the edge of the seat. This child wants to go home but instead they go to someone else’s house everyday. It’s a good place but not what they want. The […]

Luke 19

If you’re doing the December Reading Plan in Luke with me this month, then today you found yourself in Luke 19. One of my favorite stories is here. Zacchaeus the dreaded tax collector. If you were to ask the local church people, you would have been told he was he a crook, stole from the […]

Seeing Truth in the Silence

I received a surprising text message from someone I don’t know attacking my character the other morning. It was rude, unprofessional, and unchristian. I wasn’t hurt by it but I did think about it all day (so maybe I was a little hurt). It arrived early and all day I stewed. I thought of clever […]

The Rebellion of Father’s Day

Another Father’s Day is upon us and I can’t help but think of my dad and his rebellious lifestyle: As a popular high-school football player he decided to spend his life telling others about Jesus. As a young preacher he switched pulpits with one of his close friends, a young, African American preacher. In the […]

Gigi (A Tribute by Guest Writers Audrey Coughlan and Halie Brown)

By Audrey, 10th grade, and Halie, 9th Grade, 4th and College Church of Christ, Cordell, OK   “What is a good person?”  I get asked this question all the time. When asked, a few people come to mind. Patty Doran, or as she’s known by myself and the rest of the 4th and College Youth, […]

A Call to Worship in the Face of Fear

I drove my seventeen year old to school the other morning. I haven’t been able to do that since she got her driver’s license so it was a nice reminder of how life used to be. About a mile from the school we saw the banners reminding us that going to school is not a casual […]

What Do We Know of Holy

  A young woman preaches grace and truth and receives death threats from other Christians. College students are hurt by their school and then wounded even more on social media by other Christians. A preacher spends weeks agonizing over a sermon, praying it will bring glory to God and encourage the Kingdom only to be […]

What You Have To Do

  I received this note from a kid at school the other day. I especially like the second line. “I love God and Jesus so you have to love God and Jesus.” I can hear her attitude loud and clear and it cracks me up. This sweet, innocent child of God has some bad theology […]

A Prayer for our Graduates

To our dear graduates, We pray for you to be as mighty as Samson, the world’s original “Strongman” as faithful as David, a man after God’s own heart as dedicated as Nehemiah, who rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem and as patient as Job, who refused to curse God for his suffering. We challenge you to […]