Blessed Are the Upsizers

Jeff FAITH, KINGDOM, Spiritual Growth Leave a Comment

Two thousand years ago the earliest followers of Jesus Christ were asking the wrong question.  Coming out of the soul-stretching season of watching their Messiah betrayed, crucified and entombed, only then to experience the ecstasy of seeing Him raised, the disciples were eager to understand what Jesus would be doing from that point on. Here’s what Luke records as the …

Strong Kingdom Currents

Jeff FAITH, Holy Spirit Leave a Comment

For many, when they first begin hearing intentional teaching about the Kingdom of God, there can arise an unsettling in their hearts. Because most Western Christians have been indoctrinated with a less-than-Kingdom version of Christianity, the concept of a literal Kingdom of God, currently invisible but fully visible in the future, can seem foreign and awkward to them. Suddenly their Christianity …

CHOICES: Momentum or Museum

Jeff Cultural Observations, FAITH Leave a Comment

When I read yesterday that a Brazilian museum had tragically burned down, destroying countless ancient and priceless relics, I got to thinking about how we all treasure a connection to the past. Most times, this is a healthy desire. We want to both honor and learn from our histories. I sense loss for those people in Brazil who lost something …

When God Interrupts

Jeff FAITH

Sometimes God changes things up on you when you were not looking for anything to change.  Our of nowhere comes an intrusive ripple in your normally manageable pond. He did not announce it was coming beforehand. He did not dialogue with you to see if it was convenient for you. Also, God did not ask your permission. He just initiated …

No-Fret Zone

Jeff emotions, FAITH

Sometimes it lodges in pretty deep before we are even aware of it.  Somewhat like a blemish that appears on the face overnight while we sleep – we wake up and discover something is gnawing at us.  Often the result is irritability, or perhaps a heaviness of heart that attaches itself to us like undesirable emotional lint – we can’t …

God Uses Your Mistakes

Jeff FAITH, grace

A recent change for me in ministry has turned out to be a source of blessing and fulfillment. When New Bridge Church merged with the Atlanta International House of Prayer, we added a Sunday evening service to accommodate the increased numbers of weekly attendees. On those Sundays when I preach, the Lord guided me to do an entirely different message …

4 Questions We Should Consider

Jeff FAITH

The more I read Scripture, and the older I get, there is a growing awareness in my mind that I linger over the questions in the Bible far more than I used to. I once preferred the decrees, the commands, the prohibitions and the promises. I’m naturally wired to take satisfaction in dogmatic declarations…but in recent years I find myself …

And Afterward…

Jeff FAITH, Heaven

We have all heard this quaint saying which is actually rooted in solid truth:  God loves you and has a great plan for your life.  While this is a true statement, it is not sufficient in the way it is communicated, specifically because we have been trained to associate the concept of God’s love with pleasure and ease.  Also, when …

Firing Drake, Reuben & Gad

Jeff FAITH, Vision

When I was in the fourth grade I made up my mind that I was going to be a disk jockey when I grew up.  I had a dream of working by myself in a radio station with fat headphones on my ears and a big silver microphone in front of my mouth.  I wanted to talk and make people …

When Your Nets Are Empty

Jeff FAITH, Hope, Ministry

“On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on Jesus to hear the word of God, He was standing by the lake of Gennesaret,   and He saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets.  Getting into one of the boats, which was Peter’s, He asked him to put …

When Doubts Arise

Jeff FAITH

I once spent around six years struggling in a particular area of my life and ministry.  Hear me clearly: this struggle was not a mild irritation, an uncomfortable, occasional sense of annoyance or some vague, peripheral nagging.  It was a daily dagger. It taunted me like Goliath before he had his head-on encounter with David’s stone.  I fasted, meditated on …

Emotional Resurrection

Jeff emotions, FAITH

In my previous post, I addressed the reality of the Christian’s periodic valley-like experiences. In that season we can experience one or more of the following undesirable realities:  1) dryness 2) distance 3) discouragement and 4) desperation.  My own personal testimony is that breakthrough typically comes when we have gone fully though our times of desperation for God. Desperation is …

The Generation Who Says YES

Jeff FAITH, Fear

“…and You brought them into the land that You had told their fathers to enter and possess. So the descendants went in and possessed the land, and You subdued before them the inhabitants of the land…” – Nehemiah 9:23-24   These two verses contain both greatness and sadness in them.  Upon first glance, we might even pass by them without …

3 Essentials

Jeff FAITH

After being off of work and out of the office for several days, I woke up with the itch to post something on the TT blog today. I’m going to keep it short and sweet today as we consider this simple verse from Isaiah’s writings. The pen is Isaiah’s, but the words are from the Father. “You are My witnesses,” …

There Is Always Something To Fear

Jeff FAITH, Fear

Peter left the boat while the other eleven Jesus-followers stayed put. The impressive King David fled his own realm when his renegade son, Absalom, facilitated a coup. Peter, the aforementioned water-walker, was the same man who trembled in the presence of a teenage girl and denied his Savior. Frankly, all the disciples scattered like birds when the rock of man’s …

Ugly Doors Which You Will Need To Open

Jeff FAITH

What if I told you that you that it is essential for the good of your soul for you to experience some trouble. As a matter of fact, without some shake-ups in your life, you would remain a Kingdom toddler. If God does not allow some significant sifting and shifting through difficulty, you and I would hit our later years …

Vision Test

Jeff FAITH

It was 1974, and I was a child in an intimidating lobby of a doctor’s office.  Though so long ago, I can clearly remember standing in front of a fish tank in the lobby looking through my one eye at the colored little fish darting amidst the bubbles in the water.  A few days before, I had endured a surgery …

Surge or Substance?

Jeff emotions, FAITH

You don’t always feel your faith, do you?  The strength that God has given you – there’s not a constant sense of it being there each moment of every day.  The peace that Jesus promised us, and has given- why do you not always experience that inner tranquility? What about confidence?  None of us have experienced even a full week where …

Taking It Back

Jeff FAITH

The journey of the Christian is a journey of faith. We begin our relationship with the invisible God by faith. By faith, we bow before a King who is alive in another realm and, in complete abandon, we pledge our lives and eternities to Him. We give significant portions of our income to a mission by faith. We devote intentional …

God Says It With A Smile

Jeff FAITH

Is your God demanding or delightful?  Involved or indifferent?  When you sense His countenance is it stern or smiling?  If someone told you that His hand is moving toward you, would your instincts tell you that His hand would be nudging you back into line or graciously moving things out of your way so that you would make progress? These …

When He Is Bringing The New

Jeff FAITH, Prayer

Father, help us to joyfully embrace and seek after new things from You.  Give us enlightenment to what You have placed in Your word about how You love to give us what is new.  Nearly 150 times You word connects You with something new happening.  Beyond that, there are scores of other times where my bible mentions Your commitment to bringing …

How To Respond When Idiots Rule The World

Jeff FAITH, Worship

Occasionally we just need something poured into us. Life can often feel like a high powered-vacuum cleaner that is sucking everything out of you down to the very last grain of competency that you have within. It seems that many of us find ourselves lacking time, lacking energy, lacking money or lacking motivation. I have personally spent moredays in seasons …

Jesus & His Chisel

Jeff FAITH, Humility

I’m keeping it somewhat short and potentially sweet today. I want to submit some scriptural taffy for us to chew on this morning from the life of that unlikely Old Testament hero, Gideon, and his life lessons. A hundred years ago, Christians understood the concept of God’s method of employing the takeaway. My great grandfather’s generation had a firm grasp …

God Is Working Hard This Weekend

Jeff FAITH

God is always moving us toward something. We rarely pause long to consider this but the core of God’s desire for us has a trajectory, a forward moving direction. We usually think in terms of God’s plan being stationary, anchored in time and location and present circumstances, but God does not think in those terms on our behalf. God is …

Does My Behavior Really Matter?

Jeff Church Life, FAITH, Spiritual Growth

In my last post, I shared from the Apostle Paul’s words to the young pastor, timothy, concerning Timothy’s need to rise above some of the stereotypical pitfalls of young people, specifically, young men, even more specifically, young male zealots. As we move farther into looking at what else Paul wrote to Timothy, the field of applying his words to everyday …