Passion, Love, and the Holy Spirit

Three necessary ingredients to the Christian life and ministry.

Honest Thoughts from a Pastor

Each of us is passionate about something. For some, it’s sports. Others are passionate about yard work, hunting, or fill in the blank with one of your favorite things.

Today, I had the privilege of attending the Creative Evangelism Summit at Southern Wesleyan University. It included three generations of the Clyde Dupin family. Clyde is the patriarch. His two sons (both are pastors) and three grandsons (two pastors and one who is not in vocational ministry) were all on stage. My friends, Pastors Mark Wilson and Heath Mullikin led the discussion. They shared several things about this often dismissed subject of evangelism. Many pastors and churches have emphasized discipleship to the point that they fail to remember that disciples share the gospel and led unbelievers to Christ. There were three key elements that kept popping up to me in this event: passion, love, and the Holy Spirit.

Passion is contagious…

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Why Friends Come and Go

This post will help bring some perspective about why some friends can’t stay in your life. It may not be what you think. Go read this and follow my new blog site.

Honest Thoughts from a Pastor

Friendships are much like a revolving door. I have had a ton of friends come in and out of my life. Think about it. It’s going to happen when you serve 11 churches in 24 years. (Gotta love when the nature of your ministry is short-term!😂) I made some pretty close friends that I wish I could have held onto moving into the next season. Most of those now are acquaintances at best, or we no longer communicate. Why is that?

Location – Out of those 11 churches, 4 of those are in the area in which I live now. So 7 of those are in other states or other parts of this state. Unless you have plenty of money to travel, most of these friendships will decrease in intensity. That’s just how life goes. Other people close in proximity are more convenient and can better provide a depth of…

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Coming Back to Life

If you have lost your enthusiasm about life, you need to read this.

Honest Thoughts from a Pastor

Tears easing out the corners of my eyes, I sat there and listened to a man who had given his entire life to ministry speak passionately about his love for the Lord and serving others. Something awakened within me that had been buried for quite some time. I had allowed life’s circumstances to suppress the fire that once burned within. For the last several years, I have been in survival mode because striving to get back up might cause disappointment. Have you been there?

Such is the story of my life. The year 2012 was a year of struggle and victory. It was the most passionate year of ministry I ever had. I went into 2013 with that same passion, but the circumstances that lurked around the corner were some for which I was not adequately prepared.

The demise of my family had been long in the making. It was…

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Go Get Some Real Friends!

My newest post on my new blog site. Go follow if you haven’t already.

Honest Thoughts from a Pastor

Cue up “Friends Forever” by Michael W. Smith. That song drove me crazy because every end of school chapel service contained this song along with some senior girl crying about how she will miss her friends. I was in Christian school, so this will sound foreign to many of you. It was very much part of our Christian school culture.

Fast forward almost 22 years. I don’t want to admit I graduated high school that long ago, but I did. How many of my friends from high school are still friends? What about college? What about those from 5-10 years ago?

Many of you think you have friends. They are great to hang out with, party with, but how do they treat you when you’re wounded? You know those moments in life like a job loss, divorce, disease, etc.? If they aren’t ministering to you in your worst moments, they’re…

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Missionary/Pastor to Pastors – Why Is It Needed?

I encourage each of you to read and reblog. I minister to pastors and ministry leaders because congregations hang in the balance.

Honest Thoughts from a Pastor

One of the last sermons I preached before I stepped away from the church I started

In October 2018, I began reaching out to pastors. I was coming out of a season of burnout and depression after giving nearly two years to the church I started. Because of that, I knew other pastors and ministry leaders were experiencing what I was on varying levels. I didn’t want them to walk the road alone, so I started sending messages to the ones I knew, asking them how I could pray for them. The responses confirmed what I already knew. In my heart, I knew I wanted to minister to those in ministry.

Why would this be a necessary ministry? Don’t pastors and Christian leaders have homies they hang with all the time (gotta love the word choice😂)? Often, the answer is no. Ministry leaders are often competitive and are out to…

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Three People We Need in Life

The latest post from my new blog. Please go follow this one as I will post all original content there.

Honest Thoughts from a Pastor

I’m not sure what crossed your mind when you read the title. I don’t know if you were receptive, or if you are one who is all about the self-reliance, letting no one into your life but you. If that is the last, I must warn you that isolation is worse. Just saying!Anyway, we have three types of people we need in our life.

Everyone needs someone older and wiser in his or her life. I have always been blessed with those people. In the Bible, Paul was that to Timothy. I have been blessed with both men and women who gave sound advice to this young, struggling boy. Among my favorites was a lady named Myrtle Griggs. Myrtle went to be with the Lord nearly three years ago. I still wish I could pick up the phone and call her, but God has blessed me with several others who…

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I Am Not a Failure

The months of November and December were met with financial setbacks are almost every turn. In November, I had to take time off for my mom’s shoulder replacement. When I don’t work, I don’t get paid. Some people have the benefit of leave. Not I. In December, I missed time when my daughter was hospitalized. I also had to take time from my regular job for my interim role at church. Then, to close out December, I missed a week of work due to the flu. Just when I thought the financial gifts from Christmas would catch us up and get us slightly ahead, I was wrong.

Today, I felt like such a failure because I could not completely meet a financial obligation I had to someone. What is the truth? The truth is I’m not a failure. The devil would love me to feel paralyzed and defined by my current (and temporary) financial plight. My financial status has always mattered. I have wanted a comfortable lifestyle for years, but I have not experienced that since 2013. This is the most difficult area of contentment for me. While I won several contentment battles in 2019, I have yet to win this one. Once again, this current situation does not define me. God will meet the need, yet I feel so responsible.

You may be reading this today, and you feel like a failure in some area of your life. Don’t believe the lie! You may be struggling right now, but you are not the struggle. I am not the struggle! May you know you are not along in the struggle. You may be in the fiery furnace of affliction, but the Son of God is right there with you. Let that encourage your heart tonight!

I Don’t Wanna Change!

I’m only 39 years old, but I like things a certain way. This year, I had to face some facts about myself and accept who I am – I had to accept who God wired me to be versus who I wanted to be. Some of you would do well to accept this reality; it’s quite liberating!

Please understand I’m not the guy in church who is constantly complaining about every little change. You know the kind – the ones who gripe about music, decorations, the type of pulpit, etc. On this side of ministry, I have tried to be the kind of person who is a blessing to the pastor and staff because I know what the opposite looks like.

As I was driving on Christmas Day (normally a 4-hour round trip to pick up my oldest kids), I began thinking about how some things have changed that I wish would have remained the same. Why would I want these things? They bring back memories of good days and times. Here’s a list of some of those things. These will indicate that I’m an old soul.

  1. I miss the days of Dick Clark being the host of the New Year’s program. He’s dead. Would I bring him back? No. But it’s a nice memory.
  2. I would have kept Darlene Zschech as Hillsong’s worship leader into her 90s. Please don’t go on a Hillsong rant. Her music touched my heart at a key time in my life. Brooke Ligertwood’s presence in Hillsong’s music has come close, but there’s something about Darlene. (I’m not crushing on her.)
  3. I miss the worship-leading church choir. I’m not talking about the choir that struggled to sing but the one who understood its biblical purpose and blew the roof off the worship service. You have no clue what I’m talking about until you’ve been in that kind of worship service. The last time I saw that was October 2014 at a church I previously served. The choir there no longer exists, but it once helped people encounter God’s presence. Does that mean I hate contemporary services with a few singers (worship team) on stage? No. That was my service of choice at our church before I was asked to lead the traditional service. Once again, the memory stirs the heart of powerful moments of worship in my life.
  4. I miss the days of enthusiastic preaching that was solid and demanded a response. Some say it is no longer wanted, necessary, or it just played on people’s emotions. There are still many great preachers today, but we have come to a time when either enthusiasm exists with no substance or vice versa.

Why did I share these? Because I’m a grumpy young man who wants to be the next Jack Lemmon or Walter Matthau (look up “Grumpy Old Men” if you need to). Seriously, the point is that memories are good, but make new ones. The past is great, but we’re not done creating the past. Let’s write a great history book so that people can continue to see progress for the glory of God!