Category Archives: Spiritual Health

Musings on what it means to be a spiritually healthy person.

How to Teach Busy Kids about God

Front Page Tough Questions

On that day tell your son, “I do this because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt.” — Exodus 13:8

“My kids are too busy!”

Our world is putting increasingly large burdens on our children. Whatever happened to the days when children would come home from school at 2 or 3 in the afternoon and play baseball together in the park, build forts in the woods, or explore the wonders of a nearby creek? These days, it seems that children are busy from sun-up to sun-down. Continue reading

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You need a foundation not feelings

Front Page Spiritual Health

I’ve been doing some thinking recently about where spiritual beliefs come from, and just recently, I had a kind of epiphany. Let’s see if I can explain it:

It all came about because I was having a conversation with a man who was telling me about his faith journey. His story is that he had done a lot of research into all manner of different religious schools of thought. He had been raised in a Methodist home, but had explored Eastern religions and such. At any rate, he settled into a faith that is mostly about “going with the flow” of life and finding harmony with nature. But what intrigued me the most about his journey was the fact that at key moments in his journey, he picked the path that “felt right” to him at the time. Continue reading

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Questions About The Secret

Front Page Tough Questions

Recently, I got this question from a member of our church and thought my response might help others too. Here’s the question:


I received an email from a Ukrainian student that was my roommate.
She was on the border of accepting Christ but she recently wrote me
about how she saw this movie called the Secret and how it changed her
life. Do you know what the teachings are of “the Secret”? I don’t
know how to respond to her.

I’m familiar with the teachings and I have watched the movie… Here’s the gist of it. Continue reading

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Only four logically defensible spiritual paths.

Front Page Spiritual Health

As far as I see it there are only four logically defensible spiritual paths a person may walk.

  1. Accept yourself as the highest authority and pursue whatever interests you, including perhaps the rejection of all religious thought whatsoever.
  2. Accept your logic as the highest authority and rigorously study every single religious system in depth to determine which is most likely, plausible, or important.
  3. Accept your parents or your culture of origin as your highest authority and give yourself completely to their worldview.
  4. Accept one single authority and follow it relentlessly.

Which one is yours? What is your authority? How do you follow it?

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Prayer for the next level

Front Page My Spiritual Life

Lord in Heaven, I’m sensing your call to take my steps into a new level of relationship with you. It’s more than a desire in my heart. It’s more than a thought or a notion. It’s a repetitive prompting that you have more for me and a constant reminder that I need it.

I’ve washed over it quite often. I’ve filled my life with entertainment, tasks, busywork, meetings, and even family responsibilities because of course those things need to be done, but then when I’m alone in the quiet again, and I allow my soul to quiet down, I sense the lack.

My lack is not a lack of knowledge. Although I know there is much still I have to learn, this next level is one you have already taught me about.

My lack is not a lack of desire. I’ve been longing to go to this next level with you for a long time without actually getting there.

Now, I’m convinced that my lack is not a lack of your willingness to take me to the next level. I’m certain that you have something for me.

My lack is mostly a lack of faith—will I step up onto this new level or not?

What’s holding me back? Fear mostly. What if I step up, and you aren’t there? What if I step up and people I love don’t understand? What if I step up, but I fall on my face because I’m not actually ready?

Lord, I want greater depth with you. Lead me deeply into the waters of who you are. Open my heart to see with the eyes of faith where you are moving, and prepare me for the step to come.

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Do Supernovae Give Evidence of a Young Earth?

Front Page Tough Questions

In light of my recent message on science and the Bible and how they relate, some friends pointed me to Answers in Genesis, a website that attempts to explain and defend the position that God created the earth in 6 literal 24 hour days no more than 10,000 years ago. I’ve long desired to see real science done where “the best conclusion to the data” is a young earth. There isn’t much “science” done to support that viewpoint, so I was happy to find this article It puts forth a really interesting argument that the number of supernovae remnants in the sky are best explained by a young universe. Is it convincing? Keep reading to find out.

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Questions on Theistic Evolution

Front Page Tough Questions

NOTE: These questions were emailed to me and I thought they were worth posting here! These come from David Hynes, a deep-thinking guy who’s been coming to our church since our Grand Opening.

Hey Jeff!
I didn’t see how to post comments on your blog, so I decided to email
instead. I’ll go back and try to learn me a thing or two about yer blog

Kristin and I have been talking a bit about your sermon on science vs. the
Bible. Did you receive her link to an article on death from Answers in
Genesis? We can resend it if you did not receive it.

Anyway, I have some questions about theistic evolution, which seems to be
the stance you were taking in the sermon.

Hi Dave! Thanks for your great questions. I would personally avoid the term theistic evolution as I don’t believe it inappropriately conflates two ideas. Evolution is by definition random and based on natural selection. To call something theistic evolution is to say that evolution is or isn’t random, we don’t know and God may or may not be involved, we don’t know.

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Why does God demand total submission?

036 WHY: Life's Biggest Questions Front Page Tough Questions

At Southside Church, we have been going through a churchwide campaign called, WHY> 40 Days Pursuing Answers to Life’s Biggest Questions.

I haven’t posted the sermons yet, but we’re just finishing our second week of the program, and already I’ve been challenged with some pretty big questions.

During the first small group discussion at my house, a man shared a little about his own spiritual journey and posed this question to our group: Why does God demand total submission?

I’ve been pondering it for a while, and here’s my response.

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Great Weekend… Or Not?

My Spiritual Life Prayer Requests

This is just a quick post to say that I had a really fun weekend on one hand and a really bad weekend on the other.

  • At T.G.I. Friday’s (where I just started to work part-time as a waiter), I had a section of two tables only, but in the brief couple hours of lunch, I managed to make over $30 in tips from only $140 in sales. That means I was making people happy and they were tipping me more than 20%. Man that was a good feeling!
  • As soon as work was done, I talked to a core member of our church who has decided to go with his wife and kids to another new church in town. He was supposed to be our drummer for the week, so I spent all afternoon trying to reschedule another drummer and plan a time for practice. None of it came together until about 7pm, and I didn’t get back from practice till after 10:30pm!
  • Though I got 4 hours of sleep and a late start this morning for church, I prayed and asked God to help me have a positive attitude despite the potential stresses of the morning (our first Sunday in the swanky Holiday Inn downtown.) He answered the prayer by giving me an absolutely incredible worship service for me. I was really sensing His presence at work in me and in the people who came. I felt great about it. (Even though we had some big issues with the sound system and the computer).
  • When service was done, I met a man who volunteered to join our setup team for next week!
  • But soon after that, I encountered some people who had been completely frustrated by the hassles of today’s setup and tear-down process with a healthy dose of fear regarding the financial future of the church.

All in all, I had a great weekend personally, but I’m surrounded by frustrated people, and I feel responsible for their frustration.

Lord, teach me the lesson you have for me in this quickly so that I can bring some healing and restoration to others and repair some relationships. Give me the ability beyond myself to organize the systems of the church well. And Lord, please meet our financial needs.

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