Finding Your Place in God’s Great Story FOR LITTLE ONES coming August 30

We are excited to announce that our newest book, Finding Your Place in God’s Great Story for Little Ones, will be released on August 30. We think you’ll find it to be a fun and engaging story for the little ones in your life.

My daughter, Kari, co-wrote this book with Jim Johnson and myself, and her experience as a mom of four boys (as well as being a teacher) means this was written with you in mind.

The book is available on August 31, and you can pre-order your copy on Amazon.com, BarnesAndNoble.com, or Christianbook.com. (BTW, Christianbook.com is offering a 35% discount right now. Woohoo!)

Thanks for following us!

Paul

Worship Daily

You have lots of habits. Have you ever asked yourself why?

  • Why do you eat? Brush your teeth? Shower? Use deodorant? Shave?
  • Why do you talk to family and friends? Play games and laugh with them? Shop with them? Share meals with them?
  • Why do you go to work? Pay bills? Save money? Invest money? Give away money?

The answer is simple: you prefer order over chaos. If you stopped any of those habits for very long, your life would become one huge mess. Chaos would reign.

Now since we all value order over chaos, we practice these habits regularly. They are necessary for the orderly functioning of our bodies, social lives, and finances. But did you know that certain habits are also necessary if you want to maintain a dynamic relationship with God?

I believe that the single most important spiritual habit you can ever develop and practice is daily worship. It is your lifeline to God. It is the way you abide in Christ. It is how you stay perpetually filled with the Spirit.

For daily worship to be meaningful, you will need to know who God is, what worship is, and why we worship God. You will want to understand how you can worship every day of your life – with others on Sunday, in private on Monday-Saturday, and in your daily life, 24/7.

That was my topic this past Sunday. If you missed my message, I urge you to watch or listen to it right here. If you accept the challenge I give at the end of the message, you will likely establish a lively habit of daily worship.

Let me know if you accept the challenge. I want to pray for you.

My best,

Paul

Celebrating First Responders and Healthcare Professionals

As Covid marches on, two sectors of our society continue to show sacrificial courage: first responders and healthcare professionals.

Those in the healthcare field have given their all to people with the coronavirus, whatever the strain. They’ve given care in offices, ERs, urgent care clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, and rehab centers. At the same time they have been caring for people without Covid, offering the highest level of care to each one. They have literally risked their own welfare on behalf of all of us. 

First responders have done the same. Firefighters, EMTs, and paramedics go into homes to render life-saving emergency aid, knowing they could be infected with the virus as they serve. Law enforcement officers have kept order in the most hostile political and social climate I’ve seen since 1968, when assassinations, protests, and riots were daily news. Were 2020-21 as bad as 1968? I don’t know, but being a police officer either time would be a tough task. They risked their own welfare on behalf of all of us.

When someone risks their life for you, what is the appropriate response? Thanks! 

It seem so obvious. But sometimes we forget.

Luke records a fascinating story in chapter 17 that will help us remember. Here it is.

One day in the spring of AD 30, Jesus was walking toward Jerusalem with his disciples. When they came to the border between Galilee and Samaria they were about to enter a village. Ten men with leprosy suddenly appeared and cried out, “Jesus, heal us!” Jesus said, “It shall be so! Go to the priests, & let them pronounce you clean.” As they walked away, their leprosy disappeared! 

Now what do you think they did? I know what would do. I would celebrate! I would find my family and friends and give them a great big bearhug. I would go to the market, where I had been spat upon, and I’d show everyone my normal skin. I would go to the synagogue and let them know I would be front row center on the next Sabbath. I would go everywhere that I had been forbidden to go. I’m guessing that’s what those men did. At least, that’s what nine of them did. But one of them, a Samaritan, did something different. As soon as he saw that he was healed, he ran straight back to the Healer. He fell on his face at Jesus’ feet and thanked him over and over and over. Jesus, who was a whiz at math, asked his disciples, “Didn’t I heal ten? Where are the other nine?”

That’s the question for you today: are you one of the nine who forgot to say Thank You to healthcare professionals and first responders? Or are you the one who stopped to say I’m grateful for you.

Do you owe some overdue Thank You’s? It’s not to late to be the one.

Gratefully,

Paul

Celebrating Essential Workers

In the midst of the Covid pandemic, some people made life easier and better for all of us. When the virus was at its worst, they were at their best. Despite being unnoticed and often taken for granted, they kept showing up and working. It’s time to say a collective Thank You.

Who am i talking about? Essential workers.

During the boring, numbing days of COVID quarantine, they were the ones who stocked the grocery shelves and filled our pick-up orders. They picked up our trash. They watched our little ones. They served us in fast-food lines. They deposited our checks. They waited on us at garden shops and office stores. They cut and styled our hair. They changed the oil in our cars. They delivered our mail. They delivered our dinner. Your life worked because they were working.

I spoke to bank teller a few months ago and thanked her for being an essential worker over the previous year. She said, “Well, I had to come to work … but I wanted to help people!”

I hope you will pause to thank essential workers for all the ways they have served and continue to serve you.

If you want to find our how serving others is a posture God calls all of us to take toward others, and how we thanked essential workers, check out my message from last week.

And if you want a glimpse into what it’s like to be an essential worker at a local fast food franchise, don’t miss the serious/silly video starting at 29:12.

Let’s say Thank You … Let’s serve …

Paul