Doing Theology Together

Doing Theology Together

Valley Life Churches are essentially a network of churches that choose to cooperate together. We believe that we can do more together than we can do apart. Of the things that make up our connection to each other like common vision and sharing of staff members, none are as important to who we are as … Continued

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4 Things I Learned About Shepherding Core Team Members

It snowed in Phoenix, Arizona, on January 1, 2011. It was the only snow we have seen since we moved here from Oklahoma that same day seven years ago. That first year in Phoenix was completely devoted to identifying and building a core team that would help me launch Valley Life Church 53 weeks after … Continued

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An Exercise to Grow Your Wife's Trust

Believe Your Wife: An Exercise to Better Your Marriage

Most married men just do what comes easy, natural, and whatever others are doing. However, I’m going to ask you to deny yourself, prize your spouse, and enjoy the fruit that grows as a result. Receive and Believe I do this with my wife Brooke about 5-6 nights a week. Make her comfortable. Give her a … Continued

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3 Ways to Grow in Your Biblical Competency

3 Ways to Grow in Your Biblical Competency

One of the exciting developments at Valley Life | Tramonto is that we have leaders who aspire to be elders. Before sitting down with them, our current elders outlined three aspects of qualification that we hold to be essential in potential elders: character, compatibility, and competency. In our first informational meeting, they covered these qualifications … Continued

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I Did Not Invite Her

Why My Friend Didn’t Come to Church

Every week, I hear stories about what is happening around Valley Life Church. I know that you want to invite someone—maybe several people—to the Christmas Eve service at Tramonto, Surprise, or Arrowhead. And I know you are probably a little nervous to take that step, maybe even scared. So, when I heard this story about … Continued

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Sexual Assault, Jesus, and Me

Sexual Harassment, Jesus, and Me

I was a freshman at a Christian university in South Carolina. He was the head of security for that university. He paid me $50 a week to take part in an exercise program, and he monitored the results, observing my technique, measuring growth, and checking muscle tone. He told me it was for his doctoral program … Continued

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How to Become a Bible Reading Family

How to Become a Bible Reading Family

Early this morning I was drinking coffee and reading the first five chapters of Psalms, since it is the first day of the month. I noticed Brooke was drinking coffee and looking at her phone. Then and there I made a decision. It’s a decision that earlier in our marriage I have been scared to … Continued

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How to Understand the Difference Between Husbands and Wives

Hard to Understand: Recognizing Your Wife’s Differences

We have very few important items in our home. We try to be pretty low maintenance people, especially when it comes to things. We’re church planters, missionaries who have invested everything we have in people, relationships, and church. However, while unpacking after our most recent move, I reflected on one piece of crystal that means … Continued

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Dealing with Discouragement

Dealing with Discouragement

The sun doesn’t shine much in Portland, but on this day the clouds surrendered and the boggy playground near our Portland suburb exploded with color, warmth, and my daughter’s excitement. Bailey was 10 years old, and a 10-year-old girl has the ability to ride a small bicycle faster and with more daring than any grown … Continued

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Reflections on My 21st Anniversary: How Wives Are Made

Upon reflection, marrying a beautiful woman isn’t that hard. I was an underemployed, college dropout when Brooke married me. We later found out that someone literally planned to interrupt the ceremony when the pastor asked: “If anyone has a reason for these two not to wed, speak now or forever hold your peace.” When I … Continued

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