How to get closer to God when you're afraid of him

How to get closer to God when you're afraid of him

A reader recently asked, “How do I draw closer to God, if I have a fear of him?” I was touched by the bravery and vulnerability it took to pose the question. Whatever the reasons for your fear of God, you deal with the issues and start drawing nearer to him, right now, today. Here’s my quick and painful guide for overcoming fear of God caused by traumas in your life.

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How to run a multi-generational family church service

How to run a multi-generational family church service

Every other month, our church celebrates a Family Sunday where we keep the kids, youth and adults together all morning. If you’re from a liturgical/sacramental church, then this may sound very normal to you, but the rest of us are more accustomed to running separate programs for different age groups. There are some benefits to this approach but there are also a few significant drawbacks. Family Sundays help us address those issues and keep the entire church together as one. Here’s how we do it.

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When God rescues us

When God rescues us

The journey of life is convoluted and often confusing. Sometimes we can see our desired destination right in front of us but the road we’re on takes us through deserts and the valleys before we get there. It’s that journey which forms us into people of greater stature, but our hearts can be hurt during the process. We might find ourselves asking, “God, do you even care?” But he does care, and in our hour of distress, he promises rescue.

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How to be powerful

How to be powerful

Some men are pigs. Some women are manipulators. It’s all too common to see ugly power being used by men over women, but it also happens from women to men, and from men to men and women to women, especially as relates to race. Whatever the direction and angle, toxic power is no power at all. It manifests the inner reality that we have no control over ourselves. True power looks very different: it looks like a person on their knees.

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When your prophetic word doesn't happen

When your prophetic word doesn't happen

The gift of prophecy is a helpful, edifying tool for the church. When we hear God’s heart for us, expressed through another flesh & blood person, it can encourage us, inspire us, sharpen our focus and help us course-correct when necessary. Something many of us struggle with is what to believe when a promise does not come to pass. Did we hear things wrong? Did we mess something up? Has our sin blocked God’s blessing in our lives? I think there are 3 things to consider.

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How to disciple your children while you're deconstructing

How to disciple your children while you're deconstructing

Deconstruction is a valuable part of the renewing of our minds but no one wants to live in a construction zone. How do you raise your children in faith when you’re not even sure what you believe about God yourself anymore? Here are my 4 tips for discipling your kids while you’re deconstructing.

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The boys are nicer now

The boys are nicer now

We recently entertained a bunch of 9-10 year old boys for my eldest son’s birthday party. We had planned to take them all to a virtual reality arcade and as we were loading everyone into our SUV I ran into a dilemma: one of the parents had dropped off a booster seat for their son. The problem was not that the other boys needed booster seats as well, but that only one did. How was I to get that booster seat installed without drawing attention to the fact that he was the only one who needed it, and risk the kid getting made fun of?

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The Deep Dive

The Deep Dive

As you reach your 30s and beyond, three categories of people will emerge around you: those who have done a deep dive, those who have not done a deep dive, and those who can’t do a deep dive. The majority of people will fall into the middle category; they are neither driven enough to stick with something nor sufficiently wounded to be stuck. They’re just busy. And busy is tempting because it looks productive and normal. But busy people can’t do a deep dive.

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How to turn your husband down for sex

How to turn your husband down for sex

In an ideal scenario, sex is a manifestation of loving commitment, but housework, children, jobs, miscarriages, emotional withdrawal and porn all keep us from celebrating sex as it can be. For those times when sex just isn’t practical or when we’re not in the headspace to connect, how can we turn our partners down while avoiding an emotional backlash?

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How to take privileges away without becoming a monster

How to take privileges away without becoming a monster

Controlling access to certain privileges is one of the most useful tools for healthy parental discipline. By intentionally using things our kids want to help foster responsibility and delayed gratification, you can help your children develop resilience and self-regulation. This is very different from simply taking things away when our kids make us angry.

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When God hardens Pharaoh's heart

When God hardens Pharaoh's heart

I sat in my office chair clenching and unclenching my fists beneath the table. Breathe in. Breathe out. Be gracious. Take the heat. Don’t respond in like manner. Eventually I asked God, “ What on earth is going on here?” His response: “I have hardened Pharoah’s heart. It’s time go to.”

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Practical discipline tips for parents

Practical discipline tips for parents

Much of our limited view of ourselves and our potential is due to the way we were disciplined as children and the bad theology underpinning it. To help parents raise their standard I’ve introduced the concept of un-discipline: parenting that is rooted in the self-sacrificial love of God. Here are 8 practical tips on how sacrificial parenting can be done on a day-to-day basis.

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