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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Making your Teaching Memorable
Posted by Clare
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Make_teaching_memorable

For years, I’ve made a study of some of the most effective ways to teach the Bible and a biblical worldview.  I’m still a student myself but I’ve come to this conclusion: My job isn’t really to teach.  It’s to help others understand.  So these “teaching tips” are really practical ideas for making what you teach, understood and memorable.

To begin with, I have these criteria for my teaching:

•  Be true to the Bible
Teach the Bible.  Don’t try to make it say something it doesn’t clearly teach, or soften it’s teaching when God seems hard or uncompromising.  Let the Bible speak for itself.

•  Be intellectually honest
Be honest about when the Bible or God “appears” to make no sense to you.  Don’t try to put the best spin on hard truths and admit it when you don’t know the answer to every Bible question.

•  Be gracious
Admit that there are Christians who love God deeply and have a high view of scripture who disagree with you.  But, be kind in your critique of them and their ideas.  Also, be gracious with non-Christians.  They simply don’t know better.

1.  Give those you teach a simple, memorable framework for remembering the most important ideas.
Remember the three-point sermon?  Do the same with your teaching.  Recently, I taught on “Why bad things happen to good people” I gave the group, in writing, the five reasons I’ve found, then challenged the group to think of a sixth.  When they couldn’t, we went back over all five in detail with illustrations for each.  My list and the illustrations became a visual template for remembering and framing the discussion.
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Unaccompanied, Illegal Child Immigrants: What Would Jesus Do?
Posted by Clare
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I was recently asked by a small group I was teaching, if the Bible had anything to say that would be helpful to understand how Christians should respond to the mass immigration of illegal children along our southern border.

Just in case you’ve been out of the loop, or are not a U.S. citizen here’s the issue; Tens of thousands of unaccompanied children (under 18 and as young as 6) are making their way to the U.S. from a number of Central American countries, specifically Honduras and Guatemala.  These are violent countries where parents fear for their children’s lives.  San Pedro Sula, Honduras has the highest murder rate of any city in the world.  So, parents are sending their children north, all alone, with the hope of living safely in the U.S. with relatives already here.  The trip is so dangerous, it’s estimated that only 60% ever arrive at the U.S. border, the rest give up, die, are kidnapped, sold into slavery into or the sex trade.

Technically, the majority of children entering the U.S. are not orphans – they have parents.  But, from the time they leave their parents, they are some of the most vulnerable children on the planet. It also needs to be said that both the parents and their children know what they are doing is illegal.  But parents are so desperate for the safety of their children; they’re willing to risk everything!  Still, without their parent’s protection, I believe the Bible requires us to treat these children as both orphans and aliens.

So, how should Christians respond and are there practical, biblical ways to address this issue?
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The New and Extra-Biblical “We Will Serve the Lord!”
Posted by Clare
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Joshua once said, what many of us have declared for our families, “But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15b  But Joshua had something completely different in mind than most Christians do when they use the phrase “serve the Lord.”

Have you ever thought what Joshua and the average Israelite actually did in the course of their week to serve the Lord?  In Joshua’s day there was no synagogue worship on the Sabbath, so no Sunday school classes to teach, no parking lot attendance, or choir practice or missions committee meeting to attend.  There were no para-church ministries to volunteer for, or give money to and yet they served the Lord.

How did they do that and what are we missing?
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Why Should Christians Care What Others Do “Behind Closed Doors?”
Posted by Clare
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closed_doors
Last fall I attended a conference on human sexuality at a local Christian college.  I spent several hours after the lectures meeting with several gay Christians or those who were in support of same sex relationships and marriage.  Some of the heterosexual newcomers to this subject kept coming back to this question:

Why should Christians care what gays do behind closed doors?  If it’s a sin – it’s their sin. In any case, doesn’t affect you!

If you’ve heard that argument yourself, here’s why gay marriage and a gay lifestyle does matter to the rest of us!
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