I think Jesus would have been an amazing parent. One of the reasons I say that is because Jesus was totally free to live in the present. This means he was not bound up with bitterness, resentment, and anger about the past or fear, anxiety, and worry about the future. Being free to live in the present means being free to fully love.Read More
A question for each local church is whether or not engagement in long-term missions is optional. It’s treated that way at times, it seems. We often approach local missions as mandatory, but long-term missions as for the select few.
There are reasons this is detrimental for the Kingdom, but also for the local church. Engagement in missions will develop the church, but it also serves as a barometer of church health. The more missionaries, the more it says about the church.Read More
One of our favorite passages to quote and to celebrate at Hope Church is the Apostles' prayer in Acts 4:29-30: "And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus."[i]
In light of this passage and others like it, we want to pray for God to give us boldness to proclaim His Word and that God would move powerfully to authenticate the truth of His gospel. We want God to empower us to accomplish our primary goal as followers of Christ: to make disciples through the proclamation of the gospel (Matt. 28:18-20).
But what I've found in my life is that it is easy to talk about sharing the gospel and proclaiming God's Word to nonbelievers, but it is much more difficult to live a lifestyle of evangelism. It doesn't come naturally to me to live a lifestyle of disciple making and fearless witness to the Word of God. And yet, that's exactly what God calls each of us to do.Read More
When it comes to overseas missions, we all like to talk about a “calling.” We often make it seem mystical and mysterious, almost impossible to attain. It keeps us up at night and is constantly on our minds. We worry if we don’t have it, or if it doesn’t compare to someone else’s calling. And if it isn’t some radical event, we wonder if we really have a calling at all. That leads to the big question we all face… how do we know if we are “called” to overseas missions?Read More
It’s interesting how anxiety can rule me at times. I run countless scenarios through my head of what could go wrong, what I should’ve said, what people think of me, or what I wish would happen.
I know intellectually the truth of what we teach our Hope Kids: “Worrying doesn’t do any good. It can’t change anything. It only makes us feel bad.”
And yet to my shame, I worry. A lot. About far too many things.Read More
I remember the moment the light bulb went off for me. I remember sitting on the Metro bus headed home from working in downtown Houston, listening to my iPod.
I remember the pastor preaching on Colossians 2 in that podcast, and how that passage teaches that for the believer in Jesus, all of our sin – past, present and future – has been completely paid for at the cross. And I was transformed differently in that moment than ever before.Read More