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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Pushing Back Darkness Through Confession

Pushing Back Darkness Through Confession

Between planting a church and my family, I tend to stay pretty busy. We have 5 children. My kids play sports, and my friends throw parties. My Saturdays are often filled with basketball games and work days at our new church building. All of this makes it easy for my yard work to get away … Continued

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Learning Your Limits

Learning Your Limits

I quickly poured my cup of coffee as soon as the percolating was finished. However, I may have been a little too “industriously eager” because, before I realized it, the cup was suddenly filled to the brim. Everything seemed just fine as I stopped and looked my situation over. After all, full is good. No … Continued

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Community

What’s Missing from Your Sermon Podcast or Bible Study

I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life. — Philippians 4:2-3 We … 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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When Depression Creeps In

When Depression Creeps In

I remember thinking, after struggling with severe panic attacks for over a year, that I would never be on stage again. I’ve always felt called to ministry, but I assumed this was God’s way of telling me that my role would not include public speaking. Generally, I see myself as more of a behind-the-scenes guy, … 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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Simple Truth: Why We're Okay with Repetition in Worship

Simple Truth: Why We’re Okay with Repetition in Worship

Last week, my four-year-old walked around the house for at least twenty minutes singing, “You are good, good, oh!” We sang “King of My Heart” that morning at church, and I think he could hear the church singing from his classroom. Our church already sings quite loudly, but that refrain always brings out the loudest … Continued

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