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Love Your Mormon Neighbors
June 19, 2019
I was raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly referred to as Mormonism. Since my parents were active members of the LDS Church, I went to church every Sunday. And like many of those raised in the church, I had a testimony, was baptized when I turned 8,...
When Muslims Dream of Jesus
June 11, 2019
In 2007, Dudley Woodberry and others published a study that recounted interviews with 750 former Muslims who had converted to evangelical Christianity. Many of the reasons they gave for their conversion would be expected—the love of God, a changing view of the Bible, and an...
All You Need Is Love...Really
June 05, 2019
For the next few weeks, CIBOLOCREEK is presenting a series called “Understanding Your Friends’ Faith.” I suspect the importance of learning about the faith of others may be a very foreign concept for many of us. In the fundamental Christian household where I gre...
What’s the Connection Between Hospitality and Evangelism?
May 28, 2019
Don't Follow Your Heart
May 22, 2019
“Follow your heart” is a creed embraced by billions of people. It’s a statement of faith in one of the great pop cultural myths of the Western world, a gospel proclaimed in many of our stories, movies, and songs. Essentially, it’s a belief that your...
12 Characteristics of Christian Friendship
May 15, 2019
Some friendships start because of a shared interest. Others grow from proximity or common life circumstances. Friendships can be based on many things. But there is something uniquely special about a Christian friendship. A Christian friendship is based upon a shared devotion to ...
The Grace and Truth Paradox
May 08, 2019
What if we could reduce Christ’s attributes to just two qualities that we could wrap our minds around? John 1:14 does exactly that. It describes him as “full of grace and truth.” To be Christlike is to be full of what He was full of: grace and truth. ...
Book Review: The Principle of the Path
May 01, 2019
Back in March I was passing through Atlanta, GA and had spent the night at my friend Nathan’s place in Alpharetta. While I was there, Nathan took me to his church, North Point, where Andy Stanley is the lead pastor. That particular Sunday, Andy preache...
8 Blessings We Get From Serving
April 03, 2019
We all want our lives to matter. It’s the reason we do the things we do. We chase promotions and leadership positions because we want to make a difference. We encourage our kids to go to college, get a good job, and make lots of money, in hopes that they, too, will make a d...
Learning From the Prayer Life of Jesus
March 27, 2019
Luke 11:1 reads, "One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, 'Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.'" There's much to learn from this passage beyond the significant Lord's Prayer that follows it. For one...
CIBOLOCREEK Builds Beds for Kids
March 20, 2019
Saturday was one of the last mornings of spring break for most schools around the city, one of the last chances for many kids and their families to sleep in and relax before returning to school on Monday. But there was no sleeping in for the crew at Cibolo Creek Community Church....
Messiah, Our Passover Lamb
March 13, 2019
***This past Sunday, Pastor Paul talked about Communion and its importance for Christians as a remembrance of Jesus. He also mentioned it's deep symbolic connection to the ancient Jewish celebration of Passover. In his establishment of Communion, Jesus was drawing on imagery that...
Do You Believe These Myths About the Holy Spirit?
March 06, 2019
Pictures of God the Father and God the Son line the hallways of churches and fill religious galleries, but the Holy Spirit is like a mystic figure we aren’t sure what to do with. Most pictures of God the Holy Spirit are nebulous light forms or a dove. It&rs...
5 Reasons God's Grace is Sufficient for You (Even in the Darkness)
February 27, 2019
Why does God say, “My grace is sufficient for you?” And what does it mean that God’s power is made perfect in weakness? Ponder, for a moment, all the ways God displays his power. He controls the raging, torrential storms and the crippling droughts. He causes p...
Sins We Don't Discuss: Gluttony
February 20, 2019
In his 9:15 Q&A session on Sunday, Pastor Paul mentioned gluttony as one of those sins we never think about as sin. Though it’s talked about in Scripture as something that God hates, we usually make jokes about being gluttons even as we’re pointing fingers at thos...
Loneliness in Marriage? One Simple Secret to Turn Things Around
February 12, 2019
He was a good man. A cofounder of a megachurch, Chaplain for the Detroit Lions, inspiring on stage and a leader of men. Everyone loved him and wanted to follow him, but I was left in his dust. My heart felt bruised and cold like the chilling winds that skate over Lake...
Nothing Brings Parents Greater Peace
February 06, 2019
Shortly after our engagement, my fiancé and I traveled to meet her 104-year-old grandfather. Though our visit with her grandfather lasted no more than half an hour, I’ll never forget those precious minutes. Grandpa Rausch greeted us with joy and soon began sha...
8 Ways to Persevere in the Parenting Marathon
January 30, 2019
Earlier this month, more than 50,000 people ran in the New York City Marathon. Last year my daughter participated in this famous race, and she introduced our family to marathon culture. Sharon and I went to cheer her on. Having never attended or run in a marathon, I was sur...
Busyness, Sabbath, and Work As a Gift: An Interview with Eugene Peterson
January 22, 2019
Eugene Peterson was a renowned minister, scholar, and author of over 30 books who died in October of last year. In connection to last Sunday's sermon on the Sabbath, take the time to listen to Peterson's wise thoughts about work and rest in this short interview. ...
How to Reset Your Joy in God
January 16, 2019
You started last year with a tankful of gas — overflowing with energy, motivation, joy, and optimism. Twelve months on, you were empty, running on fumes, joyless, and dreading the new year. You wonder if you can even go another day, far less another year. Three questions ar...
Making and Breaking Habits
January 02, 2019
We all want good daily habits. But instead we sleep in, check our email in bed, and have “just one more.” So, how do we start breaking bad habits and start making good daily habits? Isn’t there a simple three-step plan or a good habits list that will set me free...
December 12, 2018
Nothing increases the darkness of the heart like being surrounded by joy you feel unable to reach. This time of year, it’s almost as if everyone has an obligation to feel happy, so when you don’t, it makes that sadness even deeper. Maybe the fact that other...
The Self-Forgetfulness of Real Love
December 05, 2018
Self-Love vs. Real Love I remember a junior high science teacher telling our class that, were an astronaut to sit somehow on the surface of a black hole and try to signal his spaceship with a flashlight, the black hole would suck the light of the flashlight back into itsel...
When Blessings Become Idols
November 28, 2018
I was in the hospital on bed rest for nine weeks after my water broke at 23 weeks pregnant. It was a terrifying time, a nightmare of wondering if the next monitoring session would show that my son had died in the womb, or that a sudden fever would mean I had contracted a dangerou...
Discerning Idolatry in Desire
November 21, 2018
Most of us realize that enjoying anything other than God, from the best gift to the basest pleasure, can become idolatry. Paul says in Colossians 3:5, “Covetousness is idolatry.” “Covetousness” means desiring something other than God in the wrong way...
Why I (Still) Love Church
November 14, 2018
In my short 30 years, I’ve been in a lot of churches. When I was a baby, my parents took me to a little Southern Baptist congregation that we continued to attend until I was in middle school. I remember growing up learning about Jesus on felt boards in Sunday school, freq...
How to Love People You Don't Like
November 08, 2018
“Nothing makes me more unsure whether I will persevere until the end like spending too long in his presence.” Months had gone by, interactions multiplied, and good intentions no longer were strong enough to sustain my friend. According to him, this particular g...
3 Ways the Church Can Build Better Community
October 31, 2018
I slipped into the back pew and stood there fidgeting with the Bible in the rack in front of me. The church I was visiting met in an old Presbyterian building from the time when churches actually built huge, impressive structures complete with steeple, stained glass, and an ornat...
Good Lovemaking Is About God
October 24, 2018
Years ago a friend named John met with a group of young men. He was the only married man at the time, and the rest were dabbling with pornography. In a moment of brutal honesty, one of them said to John, “I just don’t understand how you can have sex with the same woma...
Porn-Proofing Your Home
October 17, 2018
Do you recycle in your home? If so, chances are you have discussed with your children the importance of recycling in order to better the environment. Unfortunately, the younger generation is now taught more about the dangers of NOT RECYCLING than about the dangers of ON...
3 Ways Facing Shame Can Take Away Its Power and Help You Ditch Porn
October 12, 2018
Disarming the Power of Shame Shame is the painful feeling that tells us that something about us is unwanted or unworthy of love or belonging. Shame is experienced most acutely when we are seen by the eyes of another. We’ve all had those moments where something we at...
Generosity Changes The World
October 03, 2018
The Pay It Forward movement is something that has been going around for years. Every once in a blue moon though, someone gives it an extra boost. It can start by paying for an item for a stranger. It can simply start by passing on a smile. However,...
2 Reasons Christians Lose Their Joy (And What To Do About It)
September 26, 2018
How did you first become a Christian (if you are one)? Remind yourself of the story. Now ask yourself this: did I become a Christian after I’d sorted my life out, or by putting my faith in Christ? That’s Paul’s challenge to the Galatians in 3:2–3: I would...
The Greatest Thing You Can Do With Your Life
September 19, 2018
One of the most wonderful and hopeful things you can know about yourself and your life is captured in a rather unassuming, simple sentence: Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. (1 Corinthians 7:17) The verse ...
5 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Studying the Bible
September 13, 2018
1. We don't let the Bible speak for itself. It is a common mistake to ask the wrong questions when reading the Bible. Rather than asking "Who am I?" and "What should I do?," Jen Wilkin, author of Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds, ...
She Never Came Home: When Forgiveness Seems Impossible
September 05, 2018
We may understand the biblical theory of forgiveness, but life will blindside us with messy situations. How do we forgive when forgiveness seems impossible? Some Christians suffer because they live with pain inflicted by an unrepentant family member. Others struggle to understand...
Lay Down Your Life: Self-Sacrificial Love as Masculine Strength
August 29, 2018
Just after midnight on April 15, 1912, in the middle of the North Atlantic, hundreds of men faced the challenge of going against their natural instinct for self-preservation and laying down their lives for their women and their children. As they tucked their wives and children sa...
What is Love?
August 22, 2018
Last Sunday, Pastor Paul brought our attention to the numerous passages of Scripture that underscore how love is the bottom line in a Christian’s life. This simple, distilled truth is the short answer Jesus himself gave for the purpose of our lives lived for God alongside o...
You Are Not Enslaved to Your Past
August 15, 2018
Christianity means change is possible. Deep, fundamental change. It is possible to become tenderhearted when once you were callous and insensitive. It is possible to stop being dominated by bitterness and anger. It is possible to become a loving person no matter what your backgro...
Faith in Suffering: An Interview With Joni Eareckson Tada
August 08, 2018
If you've never read one of Joni Eareckson Tada's books or heard her speak, you're missing out on some heavy wisdom from a faithful woman who knows intimately what it means to be a suffering Christian. Paralyzed from the neck down in a diving accident when she was 17, Joni has si...
10 Ways to Grow Your Marriage While Having Young Kids
August 01, 2018
My wife, Esther, and I live in a small parsonage next to our church. So does Isaiah. So does Naomi. With biblical names like these, you’d think Isaiah and Naomi would be the ideal roommates. But we’ve noticed that Isaiah (who just turned 3) can be pretty moody, and N...
How Far Does God's Grace Go?
July 25, 2018
Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.” So he told them this parable: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he...
Can We Still Grieve Our Suffering When God Makes All Things Good?
July 18, 2018
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) There have been many times in my life when I hated this verse. It was given to me by other Christians when I was i...
July 08, 2018
There is a kind of doubt that goes hand-in-hand with faith in God. We experience it when we’re facing failure. We know that we depend on God. We know that He is the great I Am. He is attuned to our needs, and has promised to be our fortress and our refuge. ...
June 23, 2018
After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus replied, “You do n...
June 22, 2018
Every life has a story and your story is important to us. We want to celebrate what God is doing and what He has done in your life.
Be Light. Be Generous.
June 05, 2018
Do you ever wonder about the people who ask for money at stoplights? I do. It happened today actually. I was stopped at the traffic light and I saw a gentleman walking between the cars with a sign that read, “Anything helps, God Bless.” We made eye...
Is Your Glass Half Full?
May 23, 2018
2 Corinthians 6:1-13 NIV "As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. For he says, 'In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.' I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, ...
May 01, 2018
Now early in the morning, as Jesus was coming back to the city, He was hungry. Seeing a lone fig tree at the roadside, He went to it and found nothing but leaves on it; and He said to it, “Never again will fruit come from you.” And at once the fig tree withere...
Fear - Spoken Word
April 14, 2018
How to Beat FOMO: The Fear of Missing Out
April 13, 2018
You’ve heard of FOMO, right? It stands for “Fear of Missing Out.” There’s so much going on in our lives, sometimes we fear if we decide to do one thing, we’re missing out on something even more fun or valuable. But overcommitting is how you c...
Sadie Robertson Connects the Dots Between Heartbreak, Pursuing Love, and ‘Live Fearless’
April 11, 2018
In my new book, Live Fearless, the chapter titled “Connect the Dots” was the hardest for me to write. However, as the chapter states, if I want to be free, strong, and happy, I can’t draw my way around any of the dots life throws at me. I have to put m...
Parenting Your Way Through Childhood Fears
April 09, 2018
Several years ago, I had an encounter with one of the biggest childhood fears facing mankind. Let me explain. My family stayed at a hotel with an indoor water park. As a dad, I watched my kids run to each of the water areas including the pool, lazy river, and the kiddie slides. ...
Bringing Up Girls In A Sex-Crazed World
March 22, 2018
I enjoyed dance and cheerleading for many reasons. Not only did I enjoy the athleticism and social time with girlfriends, but there was the prestige that came along with being a dancer and cheerleader. People automatically assume you are attractive, well-liked, and the life...
March 10, 2018
I stink at making a fire. Well, I did. To my defense, I never had a fireplace growing up. My brothers and I would go out to the fire pit (really it was just the place we burned the trash) gather up pine needles, throw in some sticks, light it and there you go. Nothing fan...
March 09, 2018
I am so tired. I wake up and not long after, I just want to go back to bed. Unfortunately, I express my fatigue through anger. And it’s true that I’m angry. I hate being tired. I hate trying to function through a fog of exhaustion. And yet, I do. Everyday. And it...
Rose Bushes & Cutie Pies
March 07, 2018
Last year, I planted 5 rose bushes. The very interesting thing about roses – at least these kind – they only produce buds on new growth. So, once a rose blooms and dies, the leaves surrounding it get left behind as new growth is sprouted on top of it. About a...
My Book So Far
February 26, 2018
I view my life as a book. Certain seasons become the chapters in the story of my life. My childhood is one, my teenage years are a painful chapter, my marriage could be a book in and of itself. My children each have their own continuing stories. But, I honestly have to sa...
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