Welcome to my blog. I spend half my life in coffee shops having honest conversations about how following Jesus works in real life. So, let’s learn together, grab a cup and – join the conversation.

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Quick Bio
I’m a businessman, elder in one of the more conservative mega churches in Grand Rapids, Michigan and for over 25 years a full time spiritual mentor of men. I love introducing people to Jesus and truth from God’s perspective. I’m also an NPR listener and student of our culture because I want to understand how the world and a younger generation think, so I’m prepared to engage in conversations which are true to the Bible, intellectually honest and gracious.

Following Jesus is the only hope I have of living this life with purpose, energy and expectation. I hope to end my days on earth still meeting young men at Starbucks who have no interest in God, being the patriarch of my family, cheering them on to godliness, making sad people smile and the lonely – laugh, giving the poor hope, pointing wayward men back to their families, teaching the whole counsel of God and keeping myself unstained – God’s reputation and mine intact.

More? Go to About.

Welcome to my blog.
I spend half my life in coffee shops having honest conversations about how following Jesus works in real life. So, let’s learn together, grab a cup and join the conversation.

This edition from Simon and Schuster has been totally revised with expanded teachings and a study guide. Available in stores and online now!


   
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God Isn’t My Co-pilot
Posted by Clare
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Co-pilot

When I was a kid, I watched a lot of black and white war movies on TV. My parents didn’t seem to care because WWII especially, was a “virtuous war.” The Americans were fighting evil and we were Christians, so of course God was on our side. (And I think he actually was!)

One of the more popular movies was entitled, God is my Co-Pilot. As the title implies, it’s about a fighter pilot who lives through a terrible dog fight with the Japanese, but makes it back because he believes God was right in the seat next to him, protecting him all the way and “talking him in.” The movie wasn’t about theology obviously, but I grew up believing God was my co-pilot and I meet with lots of Christians who still think that.

Here how I’d describe “God-is-my-co-pilot theology.”
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Dark Arrow and Light Arrows
Posted by Clare
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arrows
Christians talk about “walking in the Spirit” or, being “led by the Spirit,” all the time, but what does that really mean in everyday life? I posted this blog three years ago, when my readership was much smaller. I’m posting it again because so many people I meet with one-on-one, have found it helpful for living out the Spirit-filled life. I hope you will as well.

“Alright Clare, I have a very important and potentially tough meeting today. Exactly what does it mean to be led by the Holy Spirit in that meeting?”

That’s the question a CEO of a major company posed to me a few years ago over breakfast. He didn’t want the theologically correct answer; he wanted advice in a way he could understand and use. Today! So, here’s what I told him.
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What’s Your “Life Verse?”
Posted by Clare
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LifeVerse
I have a life verse. My children, our older grandchildren and my close friends know it. It’s Matthew 5:16. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

This verse reminds me that I can bring God glory by how I live. But the inverse is also true. By not living virtuously, I can actually rob God of the praise he would have received.

A life verse is generally a reminder of who God wants you to be. It’s much like a personal mission statement, but God has written this one. Here are some examples of life verses others have chosen and why I believe they’ve chosen them. (Perhaps you’ll find one for yourself, or share yours with us.)
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How Much “Bad Theology” Can you Believe and Still be Saved?
Posted by Clare
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BadTheology

Thirty years ago, as a new follower of Jesus, I went with several reformed pastors in my city, to the World Conference on the Holy Spirit and Evangelism in New Orleans. Here I was a Dutch Reformed guy, new to serious faith, in the Super Dome surrounded by 40,000 charismatics!

I went to that conference for the same reason I’ve since attended masses, gone to a monastery and attended healing services and evangelistic revivals. Most of my life I’d arrogantly written off other expressions of faith, as being either in error or a bunch of misguided goof balls. As I wrote in The 10 Second Rule:

My people are Dutch. Responsible. Wary of spontaneity. We knew where that led. We’d seen them on Christian TV sitting on gold thrones, with helmets of white hair, jumping up praising the Lord after getting some “word” from him. We were not about to let that happen us – get ourselves bushwhacked by emotion. Ours was a sensible faith.

So, when I had repented of my cultural Christianity, I began my quest to understand why other Christians believed things I didn’t, or worshipped in ways that were really uncomfortable to me. 

So, one evening after a long day in the Super Dome, we were discussing what we had heard and seen. I asked the question, “How much bad theology can a born-again Christian believe and still be saved?” (I’ve also since repented of the assumption that all theology I didn’t agree with was “bad.”)
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