Sunday, November 22, 2020

Judges 19-21 Small Group Questions


Our church is doing a twelve-week sermon series through the book of Judges called: "Flawed Heroes." We are studying the Old Testament book for a couple reasons. One is that Judges is a book of flawed heroes and none of us are perfect. The book reminds us that God is the divine hero of the story. Judges is a period of transition for Israel, a transition from God as their leader to a monarchy. For this series I volunteered to write the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone.

Small Group Questions ::: A People with no King ::: Judges 19-21

The conclusion of the book of Judges is one of the most gruesome chapters in all of Scripture. We read about a woman who treated as an object and lost her life. Her marriage to her husband should be shocking to us in the fact that he was a Levite. Her death led to a civil war in Israel which lead to more sin. It is interesting that such horrific events are what united Israel to work in unity for the first time since Judges 3. The story reads like Israel was trying to solve their sin problem with a sin problem. The conclusion of Judges is like being stuck in a dark tunnel and feeling very hopeless. The story is meant to leave us longing for a hero without flaws. The book of Judges is intended to push our eyes, and heart, to the New Testament to find Jesus. We need a better leader than what has been presented. We need an eternal King! 

1) We’ve all been in dark times in our lives. Neal shared a story about his brother-in-law going on a cruise for his honeymoon and the trip being a total failure. Share about a vacation that went bad but had a highlight at the very end. 

2) Read Judges 191:-8, 20-30. How did this story get so bad so quickly? The vile actions of what took place are completely against God’s will. How does God want us to treat each other? (Read 2 Thessalonians 3:13 and 1 Corinthians 10:24)

3) The Levite stretched the story to get revenge on the offenders (read Judges 20:1-7). How did his stretching the truth impact God’s people? What would happen if we stopped telling stories that paint us as the hero and reveal more of the truth?  

4) Neal gave us a crash course on forgiveness. Read Matthew 18:21-35. In the parable Jesus tells us about the lavish love of God that offered forgiveness to a man who didn’t deserve it. How can we act more like God in forgiving others? 

5) Read Judges 20:43-48. The people of Israel not only engaged in battle but practiced genocide by killing so many people in their rage. How does the darkness of this passage, and the evil nature of mankind, push us to Jesus?  

6) In Judges 21, God’s people made a number of unwise vows that hurt more people. (read Judges 21:15-25). How have you seen sin lead to more sin? 

7) The book of Judges is filled with flawed heroes. Turn to the New Testament and talk about how Jesus came to save us. (see Matthew 1:21, John 10:9-10, Acts 4:11-12, Romans 5:6-10, and 1 Corinthians 1:18). Who can you share this message with?  

Close your time in prayer. Talk about who you will invite to Coastline this week 

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Judges 17-18 Small Group Questions


Our church is doing a twelve-week sermon series through the book of Judges called: "Flawed Heroes." We are studying the Old Testament book for a couple reasons. One is that Judges is a book of flawed heroes and none of us are perfect. The book reminds us that God is the divine hero of the story. Judges is a period of transition for Israel, a transition from God as their leader to a monarchy. For this series I volunteered to write the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone.

Small Group Questions ::: Micah, the thief ::: Judges 17-18

As we near the end of the book of Judges the author makes a shift in the focus of the book. We will not study a particular Judge but turn our attention to the people of Israel and see how they lived in this time. If Judges 1-16 were a 30,000 foot view of God’s people, then Judges 17-21 will be a sea level view of what took place in Israel. Starting in Judges 17 we read that Micah’s family created their own homemade religion. Micah believed in God but didn’t know God. Micah set up an idol that lead to apostasy. His actions in turn spurred the men of Dan to steal his priest and idols which lead to a larger sin. Judges 17-18 teach us what happens when we turn our back on God, the effect is much larger than any of us think.  

1) Micah was a thief because he turned people from worshipping God. Neal shared about having his car broken into and what it feels like to be stolen from. Share about a time someone stole from you and how it felt.    

2) Read Judges 17:1-6. Micah stole the money from his mother and returned it. The money was dedicated to the Lord but wasn’t fully given to the Lord. How have you been obedient in giving to the Lord? (see Malachi 3:10, 2 Corinthians 9:6-8)

3) Micah continued to steal from the Lord (read Judges 17:7-13). Micah cheated this priest, read the Levitical Law (Deuteronomy 18:1-5). How have you cheated God and how did God turn your heart back to Him? 

4) The sin of idol worship continued to permeate in Israel (read Judges 18:1-6). There is another time in Scripture where God’s people don’t wan to seek God (Read 2 Chronicles 18:1-7). How does this type of behavior impact others? 

5) Read Judges 18:18-20. The men of Dan returned to steal Micah’s idols and priest. We live in a culture where it’s easy to care more about self-promotion and prideful decisions. What does Scripture teach on these things? Share a Scripture.   

6) The questions Micah asks in Judges 18:24 are the hinge of the entire story. Micah feels like his idols are more important than the Lord. Do you have something in your life that you have given higher importance than your walk with Jesus?  

7) Our story ends with an example of how bad it had become for the people of Israel (read Judges 18:30). What do we learn from this story about continuing to seek the Lord with all our heart (read Matthew 22:37-40) 

Close your time in prayer. Talk about who you will invite to Coastline this week 

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Accountability in a Wild World


There is a big part of me that is hesitant to write this post. There are a couple reasons. First, I am not an expert in this subject. Second, I have been blessed with a great group of guys and I don't want to lessen the value of the group I'm a part of by writing this. Third, there has been yet another scandal in the church and it weighs on my heart. 

About a week ago I was talking with a good friend in ministry. He said this exact line: "Did you see what happened to Carl Lentz?" I quickly replied that I hadn't. I could hear the tone in his voice change. I've known him for almost twenty years and I could tell by his long pause that it was bad. He sent me a link and all it took was one Google search to read that another pastor had a moral failure. 

For my friends who don't attend church, I want to apologize for the actions of this man, and many others, who have commited a moral failure. I know it's my fault but I see how it hurts you and the witness of the church. It hurts my heart that you may never trust Jesus because of stories like this. 

This brings me to the reason for this post. I know that I am far from perfect (just ask my kids). I have seen enough leaders fall and it hurts my heart. Maybe thirteen years ago I was invited to join a group of pastors that would provide a greater level of accountability, friendship, and ministry connection. I joined the group, bought a plane ticket, and had to resign myself from the group. My seminary schedule changed and I was more committed to finishing my degree at that time in my life. Sometimes I regret that choice. 

A couple years later I was talking with my friend who started this group. I asked him to bring me into the group now. After a couple calls he let me know it wouldn't work. There was a cohesion in the group and I understand that. But he said the best line: "Start your own group." 

If you're still reading, I began to pray about starting that group. I remember praying for months at the gym. I had a short list of guys that I wanted to do life with and sent them this email: 

Hey Guys,


I hope you’re all doing well. Its been on my heart for the last couple years to start a group. Before you think, “I can’t do one more thing in my life.” hear me out. We are all called to pastoral ministry. In my church context I have come to realize that in most situations I am looked to for spiritual care and leadership. I have a select group of guys who I can go to for prayer. But I’ve come to the conclusion that I need more. I need a band of brothers to do life with.


Here is what I’m thinking:

Meet once a year

Go away for 2-5 days

Meet in a central location


At this point I’m thinking the purpose of this group would be:

  • Spiritual Growth 
  • Deep accountability
  • Encouragement
  • Prayer

I don’t have everything work out but am convinced that I need something like this in my life and my guess is that you do also. You may have guys you connect with but I can see this group growing into something special. I know getting away for 2-5 days can be tough with family, work and other commitments but I think the benefit is going to far outweigh the cost.


I’ve been praying about this all week long and am finally acting on something I think God has been putting on my heart to start for about 2 years now. If you’re in just reply and let me know. Right now I’m thinking about October 10-11, 2016 for our first gathering. Aiming for the San Bernardino Mountains for the location. There may be a few guys on here you don’t know but they are good dudes, trust me!


Sending that email changed my life. 

Everyone of those guys said: "Yes!" 

I'm writing this email not to give details about the group but to encourage you to have people you do life with. We live in a society that is so easy to feel connected and be so distant. I am saddened to see of people throwing their marriage away, hurting others, and sabotaging their lives. 

Maybe God will use this post to help you deepen community and relationship in your life. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Judges 15-16 Small Group Questions


Our church is doing a twelve-week sermon series through the book of Judges called: "Flawed Heroes." We are studying the Old Testament book for a couple reasons. One is that Judges is a book of flawed heroes and none of us are perfect. The book reminds us that God is the divine hero of the story. Judges is a period of transition for Israel, a transition from God as their leader to a monarchy. For this series I volunteered to write the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone.

Small Group Questions ::: Samson ::: Judges 15-16

The second part of Samson’s life leaves little hope for Israel and their next deliver. Once again we see that Samson choose to be with women instead of being with the Lord. His selfish desires turned into vengeful wrath when he slays the Philistines. From there Samson goes into hiding and we read that Judah would rather live at peace with the world, and worship their idols, than be delivered for the holy purposes of God. Once Samson’s lust wins again and he finds himself in the arms of a greedy woman who has the potential for national fame. After revealing his secret, Samson is captured. It isn’t until Samson is unable to see that his heart truly turns to the Lord. Sometimes we have to loose our vision to find our Lord. Samson truly is a powerfully weak hero. 

1) Many of our heroes are powerfully weak. Neal shared about his love for Superman as a young child. Superman was perfect in almost every way but his weakness was Kryptonite. Who is your favorite superhero and what is his/her weakness?   

2) Samson had finally begun to deliver Israel from their enemies but Judah preferred the comfort of idol worship (Judges 15:9-13). Is there is something in your life that has become a comfort that hinders you from following the Lord? 

3) Read Judges 15:14-20. Samson is gifted by the Spirit in a remarkable way, but he fails to grow in holiness (Romans 6:22, Ephesians 4:22-24). Read Galatians 5:22-23 what fruit of the Spirit do you long for as you grow in holiness?

4) Samson is a display of a powerful human being (read Judges 16:1-3). Share about a time where you saw the power of God at work. In addition, where do you long to see the power of God at work in your circumstances? 

5) Samson enters into a relationship with a woman with opposite values that God’s people hold (read Judges 16:4-19). Share about a time in your life that someone pressured you into doing something you didn’t want to do. How’d it turn out? 

6) Read Judges 6:20-30. It took Samson loosing his freedom and his eyes to turn his heart to the Lord. What do you notice about Samson’s character, his actions, and his tone in the final hours of his life? How has God changed him? 

7) Contrast Samson and Jesus. Jesus prayed for God to forgive His enemies (Luke 23:34). Jesus stretched out His arms to save us (Mark 15:37-39). Jesus conquered the grave so we can have life (Matthew 28:1-10). 

Close your time in prayer. Talk about who you will invite to Coastline this week 

Judges 14 Small Group Questions


Our church is doing a twelve-week sermon series through the book of Judges called: "Flawed Heroes." We are studying the Old Testament book for a couple reasons. One is that Judges is a book of flawed heroes and none of us are perfect. The book reminds us that God is the divine hero of the story. Judges is a period of transition for Israel, a transition from God as their leader to a monarchy. For this sermon my good friend Hylke Hylkema wrote the small group questions that go along with this sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone. 

Small Group Questions ::: Samson ::: Judges 14

1. Do you remember a secret as a child or as an adult you tried to hide but it became known? Share the story.


2. Samson was a man of many secrets. He tried to hide his failings repeatedly. This is not unlike many of us. What is it in us that turns to secrecy and even lies to cover our sin?


3. Samson was ruled by his untamed desires. Read James 1:13-15 and 4:1 and 1 John 2:16. How do these passages shed light on your own inner struggles?


4. How should followers of Jesus respond to sinful desires? Is failure inevitable? Do we just need to try harder at following Jesus or is there a better option?

a. Psalm 32:5

b. Galatians 5:16-25

c. Matthew 26:41

d. 1 Corinthians 10:13

e. Galatians 2:20

f. Colossians 3:1-4

g. Colossians 3:5-11


5. As you look at Judges 14 and consider the entire story, how significant is verse 4? Explain


6. How does verse 4 encourage you? Is there a challenge in your life you need to trust Him with?


7. Verse 6 and 19 talk about the Spirit empowering Samson, giving him incredible strength. He used his Spirit empowered ability poorly; he did not steward his gift well. Can followers of Jesus misuse spirit-enabled gifts? Read 1 Corinthians 13:1-3.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Judges 10-12 Small Group Questions


Our church is doing a twelve-week sermon series through the book of Judges called: "Flawed Heroes." We are studying the Old Testament book for a couple reasons. One is that Judges is a book of flawed heroes and none of us are perfect. The book reminds us that God is the divine hero of the story. Judges is a period of transition for Israel, a transition from God as their leader to a monarchy. For this series I volunteered to write the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone.

Small Group Questions ::: Jephthah ::: Judges 10-12

As we move into the second half of the book of Judges it is evident that Israel will continue their pattern of walking away from the Lord. In the beginning of Judges 10 we read that God saved Israel from themselves. At this point we read that Israel continued in their cycle of sin and finally was remorseful for their actions but remorse isn’t repentance. Israel needed to repent for idol worship and turn their hearts back to the Lord. After they do they we read about our next leader; Jephthah. Jephthah is proof that God can use anyone for His holy purposes. He is also a reminder of how strong faith and bad theology are detrimental to our walk with Jesus. 

1) Neal started the sermon by talking about a five-week old baby who never received the medical treatment she needed. What is your thought about this story? We know its emotional so think about sharing a concise thought. 

2) Read Judges 10:6, 14-16. Look at how the Israelites turned to idol worship. Talk about how God responded to Israel and how Israel responded to God. Think about a time in your life that you didn’t repent of your acknowledged sin quickly. 

3) When we think about sin we have to remember its a human condition and a human issue. Read Romans 3:23, 5:8, 10:9-10. Talk about how sin hurts our walk with Jesus and how Jesus reconciles us back to God. 

4) The way leaders are chosen is done in a variety of ways. Read Judges 11:1-11. What were some of the top reasons that Jephthah was chosen to lead Israel? Would Jephthah be your first choice? Why or Why not? 

5) We read that Jephthah made a vow to the Lord if he would win the battle he would make a sacrifice to the Lord (read Judges 11:29-33). Human sacrifice is strictly prohibited in Scripture (read Deut 10:18, Leviticus 18:21). Why would Jephthah had made a vow that was so in contrast to God’s Word? 

6) We all makes vows on a daily basis. We commit to call a friend, help someone on the weekend, or a marriage vow that we live out from years ago. Read Ecclesiastes 5:4 and Matthew 5:33-37. How important are the words we speak? 

7) Jephthah had strong faith and horrible theology. If you had to describe the quality of your theology, how would you rank it? How can you keep a strong faith and a solid theology? Read Romans 12:1-2, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Titus 3:3-7 for reference.  

Close your time in prayer. Talk about who you will invite to Coastline this week 

Monday, October 12, 2020

Judges 9 Small Group Questions


Our church is doing a twelve-week sermon series through the book of Judges called: "Flawed Heroes." We are studying the Old Testament book for a couple reasons. One is that Judges is a book of flawed heroes and none of us are perfect. The book reminds us that God is the divine hero of the story. Judges is a period of transition for Israel, a transition from God as their leader to a monarchy. For this series I volunteered to write the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone

Small Group Questions ::: Abimelek ::: Judges 9

After God used Gideon to save Israel from the hands of the Midianites he slowly drifted from the Lord. Gideon rejected the kingship offer from Israel but had a son with a concubine who lived in Shechem. This son was named Abimelek (meaning: My father is the king). Abimelek is the only leader in Israel who is not a judge called by the Lord. Abimelek promoted himself as a leader through a violent uprising. This chapter makes it seem like God is absent in the lives of His people. We read about how quickly Israel forgot about the Lord. But God never forgot Israel. The three short years of Abimelek is a horrific time in the history of Israel. 

1) Neal started the sermon and the violence of Saddam Hussain that he watched as a teenager. Think about some of the worst leaders from history. What is a common thread that makes them so despicable and horrific in their leadership? 

2) Read Judges 9:1-6. Abimelek hires reckless scoundrels who are willing to mass murder all his brothers on a stone. Discuss why Abimelek would have acted in such a violent manner to his family. 

3) We have a leadership vacuum in America. It seems there are more leaders who are self-promoting than others serving. What are some traits that people praise in a leader that are not found as godly leadership in the Bible? 

4) One of Abimelek’s brothers escapes and gives an example of the unwise decision the people of Shechem made (read Judges 9:7-20). What are some ways that God warns us of our potentially disastrous decisions?

5) Think about a time in your life when you were about to make a poor decision. Did you consult with another person before making that decision? What would have happened if you reached out for help? (Proverbs 12:26, 17:17, 27:6)

6) The result of Abimelek’s grasping for power is a civil war. The ending of the war is Abimelek’s death (read Judges 9:50-57). Talk about how even when it seems like God is silent, that He is still present in the lives of His people. 

7) It almost seems like Israel had spiritual amnesia, how quickly they forgot about the Lord. How come we so easily fall into forgetting about the Lord? What is in the heart of man that is prone to rebellion and sin? Can that change? 

Close your time in prayer. Talk about who you will invite to Coastline this week 

Sunday, October 04, 2020

Judges 6-8 Small Group Questions



Our church is doing a twelve-week sermon series through the book of Judges called: "Flawed Heroes." We are studying the Old Testament book for a couple reasons. One is that Judges is a book of flawed heroes and none of us are perfect. The book reminds us that God is the divine hero of the story. Judges is a period of transition for Israel, a transition from God as their leader to a monarchy. For this series I volunteered to write the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone.

Small Group Questions ::: Gideon ::: Judges 6-8

Israel experienced forty years of peace after Deborah but fell back into their old habits of sinning. For seven years they were oppressed by the Midianites. The Midianites would come and raid the land of Israel; stealing food and livestock was a normal occurrence. God called Gideon to be the next leader. Through a series of God-inspired events, we read that God give Israel the victory over what scholars think to be an army of 120,000+ soldiers. Initially Gideon was a humble servant but the battle went to his head and he became prideful. The end of his life is a disaster; he is worshipping the false gods he torn down and making a golden ephod for worship. 

1) Think about a time in your life when you felt oppressed by external circumstances; it could have been a school project, a demanding supervisor, an unwelcome family addition or more. How did God show up when you needed Him? 

2) Read Judges 6:25-32. Gideon obeys the command of the Lord to tear down the altar to the false gods his tribe has worshipped. What are some false gods that we currently fall into worshipping in our culture? How do we eradicate them? 

3) There are times we can follow Gideon’s lead in being faithless to God (read Judges 6:33-40). Do you think it pleased the Lord for Gideon to put God to the test in this way? Have you ever laid out a fleece for the Lord to answer a prayer?  

4) Thinking about you prayer life, where do you need God to act in a mighty way? Read Luke 18:9-14 and talk about the difference in the two men that Jesus illustrated. What can we learn from this story about prayer and God listening?  

5) Gideon finds out that his army is too big for God to use. Someone once said we have everything we need to accomplish everything God has called us to accomplish. Where have you lacked faith in trusting that you have all you need right now? 

6) Read Judges 7:19-25. It was obvious that God had given the Midianites over to Israel. Why do you think Gideon had the people shout his name when they smashed their jars? Where do you look for praise from others instead of looking to God? 

7) The conclusion of Gideon’s life is a sad event. He returns to idol worship (read Judges 8:25-27). The story has a thread that reminds Israel of Aaron and the golden calf (see Exodus 32). How come we are so quick to turn back to idols?

Close your time in prayer. Talk about who you will invite to Coastline this week 

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Judges 4-5 Small Group Questions



Our church is doing a twelve-week sermon series through the book of Judges called: "Flawed Heroes." We are studying the Old Testament book for a couple reasons. One is that Judges is a book of flawed heroes and none of us are perfect. The book reminds us that God is the divine hero of the story. Judges is a period of transition for Israel, a transition from God as their leader to a monarchy. For this series I volunteered to write the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone.

Small Group Questions ::: Deborah ::: Judges 4-5

The story of the Judges continues with Deborah. Deborah is the first, and only, female judge that God called to lead Israel. You might not have expected to see a female judge but here we have a great leader of Israel. Let me point out two positions Deborah holds in Israel. A prophet is one who speaks for the Lord. I always think of the prophet as a mouthpiece of God. She was a mouthpiece for God. She was also a judge; she was leading Israel. Another word for Judge, at this time in Israel, was leader. As we study this book remember that she was the only judge who ruled without a sword. Pay special attention Judges 5 and the song of praise Israel sings to the Lord 

1) Neal opened the sermon with a story about the late Maya Angelou talking about courage. Think of how you’ve developed courage in your life. What are some of the steps that you took to develop courage? Who helped along that journey?  

2) Once again we see the downward spiral of defeat (read Judges 4:1-3). What sin do you feel like you continue to circle back to? What practice do you need to put in place to avoid that sin and find victory? (see 1 Peter 2:11 for encouragement). 

3) God sends a deliver to Israel but not the person we might have imaged. Deborah leads as a mother (Judges 5:7) and not warrior. Deborah held two roles in Israel: Prophet (mouthpiece of God) and Judge. Where has God invited you to have a role of speaking God’s truth? 

4) Initially Barak was hesitant to enter the battle (Judges 4:8) but subsequently had the confidence to obey Deborah (Judges 4:14). Share about a time you were scared to do something but learned to trust the Lord. Do you have trouble trusting God? 

5) God is the ultimate hero of the book of Judges. He routed the enemy (Judges 4:15 and 5:4-5) and saved Israel; all they had to do was trust God. Read Psalm 20:7, Proverbs 3:5-6, and Romans 15:13. What are the benefits of trusting God?

6) Judges 5 is a song about the faithfulness of God. Israel literally sung the praises of the Lord. Have you used your voice to praise the Lord lately? Scripture teaches us about praising God all our strength (Psalm 96:1, James 3:9, and 1 Peter 2:9).  

7) The conclusion of the life of Deborah is a reminder of God’s faithfulness to us (read Judges 5:31). Israel had peace for forty years. Where do you long for God to bring you peace in your life? What battle needs to be won so you can live in that peace?  

Close your time in prayer. Talk about who you will invite to Coastline this week 


Thursday, September 24, 2020

Coastline Staff Values

About two years ago I began working on staff values for Coastline. In a normal situation I wouldn't post them online, it would remain and internal document. But with all the changes happening in the church world right now it seemed like the right time to post them.

Now, I can't take full credit for these. First, I started a list but needed help processing my thoughts. I'm grateful for my friend Rob Hall who shared a similar document with me and I borrowed from him. After talking these through with trusted ministry partners I brought them to our staff. I knew that our team would do an infinitely better job on these together than I could alone. In other words, these wouldn't be what they are without the staff of Coastline Bible Church. Thanks for the help! 

Coastline Staff Values

1) Leadership Matters- As leaders we must first lead ourselves. In doing so we will earn the right to lead others. We work hard at leading ourselves and developing leaders for the future. It might take longer to develop a leader, but in the long run this is what we are called to.

2) We give our best- We will do the best with the resources we have to advance the kingdom. Never settle for mediocrity knowing we serve a great God. We regularly strive to get 1% better every week.

3) We greet each other- We believe that everyone wants to be known and loved. When you walk into a room, greet those in the room. It is important to our mission to acknowledge each other and be known as we seek to advance the Kingdom.

4) Intimacy with God- Our work and mission happen when we pursue God. We are not professional but servants of The Lord. We make our relationship with God a high priority. We focus on a growing walk with Jesus

5) Health Matters- Unity is vital to our mission. A healthy staff culture will not magically happen, knowing that we will work hard to create a healthy staff culture. We will work hard to build a team that trusts, honors, and respects each other. We will engage in healthy conflict as needed and work hard for a health team.

6) Over Communicate- Make sure to listen to others and not just hear them. Don’t enter a conversation and simply wait for a person to stop talking so you can prove your point. Also make sure to say the last 10% when appropriate.

7) Risk is part of the job- Life is a lesson, learn from it. Take appropriate risks for Kingdom expansion. In most cases failure is not detrimental. When we make mistakes it can be our greatest learning lesson. Learn from your mistakes and allow them to teach you & others that you lead.

8) Family First- We will never ask, or expect, you to sacrifice your family on the altar of ministry. Your personal health flows from a healthy you. If you are single we want you to have space for friendships, community & safe places. If you have a family we want your family to love you and where you work. When those closest to us feel loved, valued, and important we will have our greatest moments of ministry.

9) Be a shepherd- We are called to care for people and it’s a high responsibility. People trust us with their most important moments of life. Don’t take the attitude of a hireling and bail at critical moments. Don’t use people to complete projects but pastor people for our common mission & vision. Strive to help them grow in their personal walk with Jesus and empower the saints for the ministry. 

10) Have Fun- We take God serious and not ourselves. Fun is a vital part of the workplace. We work hard, honor others, and have fun while doing so. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Judges 3 Small Group Questions

Our church is doing a twelve-week sermon series through the book of Judges called: "Flawed Heroes." We are studying the Old Testament book for a couple reasons. One is that Judges is a book of flawed heroes and none of us are perfect. The book reminds us that God is the divine hero of the story. Judges is a period of transition for Israel, a transition from God as their leader to a monarchy. For this series I volunteered to write the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone.

Small Group Questions ::: The First Three ::: Judges 3

The firs two chapters of Judges served as an introduction to the entire book. They gave us an overview of how Israel would act, why they would turn away from the Lord, and what the result of their disobedience would be. In Judges 3 we read of the first three judges in Israel who proceeded Joshua. Each of their stories are different but the theme is the same in each story: God is the Hero. As you study the questions take special notice of how God acted on behalf of His people. Then, keep in mind that no human is able to save us. The book of Judges points us to our need for Jesus to save us. The book of Judges points us to our true Savior. 

1) Doug shared a story about traveling to France and getting stuck in a roundabout. Think about a time in your life that you felt stuck. It could be physically stuck (like Doug was), emotionally, or spiritually stuck. What was it like? 

2) Read Judges 3:7-11. Israel did evil in the eyes of the Lord so that God sold them into slavery. But when they cried out to God He acted on their behalf. Share about a time when you cried to God and He acted on your behalf. 

3) Doug taught us about the cycle of defeat: sin —> suffering —> supplication —> salvation. When you think about this cycle of defeat is there something in your life that sticks out to you? Is there something that is winning over you right now?  

4) Read Judges 3:12-30. Ehud was a left-handed leader in Israel. This allowed him to sneak in a small dagger to kill the king of Moab with. When you read about Ehud, what sticks about his story? What is unique? 

5) Israel called on the name of the Lord (read Judges 1:2, 2:4-5, 3:9, 3:15). Read Romans 10:9-13. What does Scripture teach us about the Lordship of Jesus Christ and calling on His name?  

6) Scripture of full of people who called on the name of the Lord. Read Jonah 2:2, Matthew 14:28-33, Luke 23:39-43, and Acts 9:1-6. Each of these men called out to the Lord and He saved them. What do you need God to save you from today?  

7) A trait of people who follow Jesus is a life of thankfulness (read Hebrews 12:28-29, 1 Corinthians 15:57, Colossians 3:15, and Philippians 4:6). Israel didn’t seem to be grateful when God saved them. What are you thankful for today? 

Close your time in prayer. Talk about who you will invite to Coastline this week 


Monday, September 14, 2020

Vision Sunday 2020 Small Group Questions

Our church took a break from our Judges sermon series to put the vision of Coastline back in front of us. I think the last six months have created a great opportunity for the Church to refocus on the mission Jesus gave the Church. We need to use this time to recalibrate ourselves back on what matters most. For this sermon I volunteered to write the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone.

Small Group Questions ::: Vision Sunday 2020 ::: Acts 3 & 4

One year ago Coastline cast a new vision for our church. The vision will take us to the 100 year anniversary of Coastline serving Ventura, the county, and reaching the world. This vision is a God-sized goal that will require all of us stacking hands to unite on. There is no better time to refocus our lives. Today is the day to recalibrate ourselves back to the holy truth of God. COVID-19 has provided the Church an opportunity to seek the Lord in a new way. This season has given us the chance to examine how we are living on mission for Jesus. Our vision is to reach 800 people, baptize 50 people, and have 35 small groups by Easter 2022.

1) Neal shared about being a young boy and learning a short song about the church. He reminded us that the church was never intended to be a building but the holy people of God. How does this resonate with you? 

2) Read Acts 3. Take notice of verse 6 where Peter addresses the power in Jesus’ name. Then in verses 11-24, Peter shares the greatness of God’s plan. When you share your faith how do you like to engage people for Jesus? 

3) As a part of our vision, we are writing down the names of five people to pray for every day. Share the names of the five people you are praying for. Did you set a reminder at 5pm to pray for them every day?   

4) Read Acts 4:8-13. The passage starts with Peter being filled with the Holy Spirit. Read John 14:15-17, Acts 2:4, Acts 9:17, and Ephesians 5:18. What changes in a person when they are filled with the Holy Spirit?  

5) One aspect of our vision is to baptize 50 people. Read these passages and talk about the importance of baptism: Matthew 3:13-17, Matthew 28:18-20, and Titus 3:4-5. What is our responsibility, as believers, in baptism? 

6) Read Acts 2:42-47 and Hebrews 10:24-25. What does Scripture teach us about gathering together? Is God asking your small group to multiply? Is God tugging on your heart to launch a small group to reach people who need Jesus?  

7) Talk about how this small group, or another group, helped you walk through a tough time in your life. Think about how being involved in community impacted your spiritual development. Who do you know that needs something like that? 

Close your time in prayer. Pray for the vision God has given Coastline. 


Wednesday, September 09, 2020

Judges 2 Small Group Questions


Our church is doing a twelve-week sermon series through the book of Judges called: "Flawed Heroes." We are studying the Old Testament book for a couple reasons. One is that Judges is a book of flawed heroes and none of us are perfect. The book reminds us that God is the divine hero of the story. Judges is a period of transition for Israel, a transition from God as their leader to a monarchy. For this series I volunteered to write the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone.

Small Group Questions ::: A Lesson in Obedience ::: Judges 2

The book of Judges is the seventh book in the Old Testament. It is thought to have been written by Samuel as a transition from Joshua to the Monarch of Israel. Judges 2 has many similarities to Judges 1. Most scholars consider both chapters to be a paralleled introduction to the book (notice the reference to Joshua in Judges 1:1 and 2:6). Both chapters teach us of Israel’s half-hearted faith and failure to fully receive the Promised Land from the Lord. The book of Judges teaches us this major theme: God relentlessly offers His grace to a group of people who don’t deserve it, ask for it, or seek it! Study Judges 2 and learn about a lesson in obedience from the text. 

1) Neal shared a story about how a pearl is formed. Through great pressure a small grain of sand enters the oyster shell. What has caused great pressure in your life that later formed a beautiful pearl? 

2) Read Judges 2:1-3. The angel of the Lord makes a couple promises to God’s people about enjoying the Promised Land. But the Israelites will be trapped by foreign gods who will distract them from the Lord. What distracts you from following Jesus? 

3) Read Judges 2:1-5. The Israelites wept over the depth of their painful decisions. Read Romans 3:23, Psalm 51:1-4, and 2 Corinthians 7:10. Use these verses as an opportunity to share about a time you messed up and repentance lead you to Jesus.  

4) Think about a person who has discipled you, served as a spiritual role model, or mentored you. What did they encourage you do to? How did they encourage you to live? How did their example help you grow in your faith? 

5) The New Testament teaches us about making disciples. Read Judges 2:6-10. What did Israel fail to do? Read Matthew 28:18-20. What does Jesus call us to do? Discuss ideas of who you will invest your life as a way to follow Jesus’ call to make disciples here on earth. (see Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and Timothy 2:2 if time allows). 

6) Part of making disciples is having spiritual conversations with others. Read Luke 21:4, Acts 18:11, and 3 John 1:14. What do these three verses teach us about helping others grow in their faith? 

7) Read Judges 2:20-23. We read the personal nature of our faith and how our decisions can impact the community. What does it look like for you to walk in the ways of the Lord at this stage in your life?  

Close your time in prayer. Talk about who you will invite to Coastline Online? 


Saturday, September 05, 2020

REI good & used


Have you ever found something so amazing that you wanted to keep it to yourself but you knew you had to share it? This is what I'm talking about with the REI good & used site.

About a year ago I stumbled on this portion of their website. I wish I could remember how because it would make that portion of the story that much more epic... but I have three kids, work full-time, and am constantly tired. I have been an REI member for about 18 years now so I think I'm kinda in the loop on REI.

Let me get to the story. I was prepping to hike Half Dome and needed a new pair of shoes. I was looking all over the REI site and couldn't find a pair I was stoked on. Time was ticking on the trip and I needed to act quickly. I found the good & used portion of the website and it started to click. I found a pair that was my size and in excellent condition. I have to be honest that I was a bit nervous at first but am an avid REI garage sale fan so I knew it would be good.

The shoes arrived and I think they were brand new. Read that sentence again; brand new! So new looking that I put my nose into them and took a huge wiffffff. I was convinced they were brand new. I just got brand new shoes for like 33% off. They were so comfortable and brought me to the top of Half Dome with no issues.

This is where the story continues.

At the beginning of this year I made a commitment to try to buy as much used gear, clothes, bikes, kids toys, and basically anything I could. I want to do my part to make sure the earth is a safe place for my kids to grow up in. I know there are finite resources on our planet and if we keep throwing things in the land fills it's a sad future. This is one reason that I love the REI good & used site. They are giving gear, backpacks, tents, sleeping bags, jackets, shoes, trekking poles, and more a second chance in life. Maybe their first owner had a bad hike and didn't want to keep participating. Maybe a family had a bummer camping trip and gave up. This is where we come in. We find that gear and give it a second chance to live it's life in the outdoors.

Just last month we picked up:
REI duffel bag
Brand new chaco shoes
Rash guard for my daughter
40 oz HydroFlask
Patagonia sweater for my daughter

All of this gear was a great deal.
All of this gear was in great shape.
All of this gear will get a second chance.

Now when I buy gear, I've primarily stuck to excellent condition items. That has been a personal choice.

The HydroFlask was basically perfect.
The Patagonia sweater looks brand new.

As a dad, I get it. You buy your kid something and then a week later it doesn't fit. You return it to REI. REI doesn't put it in the landfill!
Now my kid gets to wear it.
Now I get to take those shoes to Half Dome.
Now my daughter has a HydroFlask for when she volunteers at the ranch she rides at.

As bad as I want to keep the REI good & used gear site to myself, I just can't. There are too many great deals on there right now! Maybe you will follow my lead. Maybe you will take it for a test run and find yourself looking to purchase pre-owned before brand new. Imagine the possibilities.

* I get no commission from REI for writing this post. Just trying to help out. 

Monday, August 31, 2020

Judges 1 Small Group Questions


Our church is doing a twelve-week sermon series through the book of Judges called: "Flawed Heroes." We are studying the Old Testament book for a couple reasons. One is that Judges is a book of flawed heroes and none of us are perfect. The book reminds us that God is the divine hero of the story. Judges is a period of transition for Israel, a transition from God as their leader to a monarchy. For this series I volunteered to write the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone.

Small Group Questions ::: Take the Land ::: Judges 1

The book of Judges is thought to have been written by Samuel the prophet. It is an account of the Israelites settling in the Promised Land. They settled in two different ways. First, they began to live in the land flowing with milk and honey that God promised to them. Secondly, the settled by not driving out the inhabitants of the land. We will see that the occupants of the land will prove to be a snare to them and lead them to worshipping false gods. Chapter one serves as an introduction to the entire book. We must look back to see that Joshua led the people after Moses brought to the edge of the Promised land. One theme will arise in the book: God wants Lordship over all areas of our lives, not just some areas

1) Neal started the sermon with the story of the conquistador Hernando Cort├ęs and his fascinating leadership decision to burn their ships. Share about a time when you made a brave move that required 100% commitment. 

2) The book of Judges begins with the life of Joshua. Joshua and Caleb were the only two men born in Egypt that entered the Promised Land. Read Numbers 13 and discuss their faith. Discuss how they viewed things versus the other ten spies. 

3) Read Judges 1:1-3. Israel wanted to hear the voice of the Lord. Read 1 Samuel 3:1-12 and Psalm 46:10. How do you go about learning to hear God’s voice?

4) Read Judges 1:12-18. We read about Aksah and her brave faith. The Bible is filled with stories of brave faith. Read Matthew 14:22-36. We see Peter express his trust in Jesus with action. Where is God asking you to be brave in your faith today?  

5) In the sermon on the Mount, Jesus teaches us about asking God for our needs (read Matthew 7:7-12). Share a story about a time when you asked God for something and He came through with meeting your needs. Now share something you are currently asking God for with bold faith. 

6) Look at Judges 1:19-36. Much of the final half of this chapter is an example of Israel having faithless faith. That is not the entirety of the Old Testament. Look at Hebrews 11, as a small group, and talk about the examples of faith we read in Scripture. 

7) The failure of Israel to fully take the land reminds us of the times we experience heart-hearted discipleship. Neal encouraged us to not stop short of what the Lord wants to give you. What one thing can you do this week to grow in your faith? 

Close your time in prayer. Talk about who you will invite to Coastline Online? 

Miss the worship gathering? Check it out here

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Thoughts on the current state of our country


It’s no secret that I dropped out of high school. I don’t know a ton about US history or politics. I’ve voted for people and regretted it later (maybe you have too). Some years I totally forgot to vote because I was so tired from changing diapers the night before. But this is a big year for our nation and I don’t have any diapers to change.

As we move into the election I want to share some thoughts that are swirling in my head:

1. The Constitution. 

Right on top of the document it says: “We the People.” We means it speaks to more than one political party. The is a descriptive word. People is us. People who surf. People who hike. People who play tennis. People who watch baseball and people who don’t. People who BBQ and Vegans. The constitution was written by the people and for the people. 


2. It’s a voting year.

You might not like the way I vote but it doesn’t mean we have to hate each other. Your neighbor might have a sticker on their car that upsets you, but you can still talk to them. As adults we can have civilized conversation. We can actually disagree on things and still be friends. 



We had a guy leave our church one day and we got a coffee to chat. He pulled a list out of his pocket and shared a couple things he didn’t like about my leadership. He shared how my teaching was surface and I tell too many stories. I kindly listened. At the end of the conversation I said: “You know, we have more in common than you think.” I could see a change in his eyes. The couple things that bothered him were a drop in the bucket in the big picture. 


3. Christ followers. 

Let me speak to those who follow Jesus. I need you to act like a Christian. You might want to blast someone on social media. You might want to comment on something because your fingers are itching for the keyboard strokes. You might want to speak up in a situation. I’m not saying don’t. I just don’t know any one who ever came to Jesus because someone blasted their political view. We are called to love others (John 13:34-35). We are called to be selfless (Philippians 2:3). We are called to the be the light of the world (Matthew 5:14).

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Unboxing my first Carin Box

My first box!

Just got my first box from Carin! Super stoked to open it with you. You get to see my first glimpse at the box and what is inside.

Let me tell you, I am satisfied with this box! I think they say that items will be worth $30-$50. I’d say we are in that range for this box (package).

I got this box with Cairn, a subscription service that delivers curated outdoor gear once a month based on my subscription. I think you'd really enjoy it as well, so here's a referral code to get $10 off your first Collection.
Referral Link: https://www.getcairn.com/collections/subscribe?ref=wgb7ps

Here’s a link to the humangear FlexiBowl Convertible Silicone Eating Bowl (24oz), Blue
https://amzn.to/3hHPYjX

Here’s a link to the humangear GoBites Quattro Parent
https://amzn.to/3hubpEJ

I did get a FREE CotoPaxi backpack for signing up!

You can get this pack on Amazon right now:
https://amzn.to/2EiwfZm

Remember, they are ONE OF A KIND! Each Del Dia product is made proudly in the Philippines by an employee who has total creative control over the pack's colorway. No two are the same!

Filmed on my GoPro Hero 8
https://amzn.to/31rMMmv


Monday, August 17, 2020

The value of children


In the gospel of Mark we read about this encounter that Jesus has with some children (read Mark 10:13-16). Put yourself in the scene with me today; use your imagination. Children are swarming to be around Jesus, they long to be in His presence. This was completely unexpected and contrary to cultural norms. A Rabi wouldn’t allow children to touch Him, but Jesus had them sit on His lap and blessed them. In the ancient world children were considered to be of lesser value than livestock. Many children weren’t given a name until the age of 5. The child mortality rate, at this point in history, was about 50%. At a time when children had such little value, we see Jesus place such a high value on them.

In the middle of the gospel we read that Jesus was with the children. Jesus showed them value. I like to think of Jesus playing duck duck goose with the kids. Maybe a kid brought out a jump role and they are laughing while jumping rope. What if Jesus did the old pull a quarter from your ear trick on one of the little kids? The unspoken blessing here was invaluable for these children who might have felt unwanted. For Jesus to show these children this much attention would have been a cultural norm breaker. It was one of those things that sticks out in your mind because it is so unordinary.

You might be wondering why I’m talking about Jesus spending time with children in a sermon about abortion. I need us to see how much Jesus valued kids. Of everything that Jesus did, Mark thought it was important enough to write this in his gospel account of the life of Jesus. Of all the miracles, the healings, the teachings, the feeding of thousands of people, Jesus spent time with children. It was important for Jesus to invest His time into them.

Before I trusted Jesus I thought abortions were fine. In my mind, they were a solution to a problem for careless behavior. Most of the friends I knew who had an abortion was because they were careless in their sexual activity. Abortion was another form of birth control to solve a mistake. When I look to my past and see my old way of thinking I’m convicted on how I viewed life. I didn’t view life through the eyes of Jesus. Through the eyes of Jesus there is value in all people. Jesus sees the world from a better perspective than I see it.

Early in our marriage, Charity worked at a crisis pregnancy center. I’m not sure if this is still what they are called, but it was a place for women to learn about their pregnancy before making a life or death decision. It was a group of people who loved the Lord and wanted women to know they weren’t alone in their pregnancy. It was a resource to ladies of all ages who might have been confused about their pregnancy and what to do. Conversations about ultrasounds and abortion became the norm at our kitchen table. I learned about the developmental stages of a baby inside the womb. I learned that some women feel ill-prepared to be a mother. Some women who have an abortion are pressured. A study shows that 88% of women were encouraged to get an abortion and others never wanted a child. Many fear the financial cost is too much and think abortion is the only choice.

What if God is asking us to be like Jesus and show how valuable children are? Is God asking you to come alongside a pregnant woman and help her through the rollercoaster of emotions of an unwanted pregnancy? Maybe your small group would throw a woman a baby shower? We have a ministry here that does this. It’s called My Baby’s First Teacher and people from Coastline walk alongside mothers during their pregnancy. The class ends with a baby shower. If this is something you want to be apart of, reach out to the church office and we will get your connected. In my mind it’s one of the best things we do as a church body.

Monday, August 10, 2020

The cost of substance abuse


It was a sunny Sunday afternoon in January 1961. A father and his oldest daughter were driving home. Imagine the conversation as a dad listens to his chatty fifteen year old daughter. She might have told him about the dress she wants to wear to prom next year. Maybe she shared about what she was learning in school that semester. She might have been looking at the floor board, with red cheeks, as she told her dad about the boy she had a crush on. They playfully laughed the entire drive and cherished the moments they were able to spend together.

In an instant the laughter ceased. The car was t-boned by a driver who didn’t see them coming. The glass shattered, the metal twisted, and headlights broke. It was the father’s worst nightmare. When the horror of the accident ceased it was evident that that at-fault driver had been drinking. Alcohol evaporated off of his breath; he slurred his words. The ambulance came and transported his little princess to the nearest hospital. The drunk driver was just fine but heart-broken at his actions. Rosemary lay in a hospital bed. For days her family prayed for a miracle. Her mother called the priest. Her little sister begged God to heal her.

But it didn’t work, Rosemary died on January 21, 1961 at the age of 15.

How many of you have been impacted by someone who has a drug or alcohol problem?

Studies show us that one in every eight Americans have an alcohol problem.
That is 12% of the US adult population.
Each year, an estimated 88,000 people—62,000 men and 26,000 women—die from alcohol-related causes. This makes alcohol abuse the third leading preventable cause of death in the U.S. Every day, 29 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. This is one death every 50 minutes.

Rosemary was my mom’s sister. Technically she is my aunt. My aunt who I never met because he life was taken. The man who killed her was driving drunk after a day of skiing. His actions led to such a deep pain in my grandparents lives. His actions took away my mom’s only sibling. I never my aunt. I’m not trying to guilt or shame anyone right now, I’m trying to show the true effects of what can happen. If you are struggling with a substance abuse problem today you are not alone. Reach out to someone. Place your trust in Jesus and find hope!  

Monday, August 03, 2020

Lament


For the last couple months I’ve felt emotions that I don’t always feel.
I’m generally the eternal optimist. I think that pretty much everything will work out for the best. Then March hit… Things seemed dark and confusing. Our kids stopped in-person school. Our church stopped gathering in-person. My favorite restaurants weren’t open. Laws changed. Social distancing was a new word. Zoom fatigue became a real thing. I could keep going, but you get the picture.

While on vacation this word came to mind over and over again: Lament.

I thought about the loss and grief that I’ve experienced over the last couple months (we’ve all experienced loss). Here are some things that I’m lamenting or have lamented over the last couple months:

+ Hanging out with people I love

+ Going to summer camp

+ Taking my wife on a date every week

+ Going out to Slurpee’s with my kids

+ Canceled camping trips

+ Missing our church family

+ Canceled weddings

+ Doing premarital counseling only on Zoom

+ Seeing people walk away from the church

+ Reading about increased depression and suicide rates

+ Not being able to go to the Dominican Republic to start a new partnership with Coastline

What have you lamented or are currently lamenting?

Thursday, July 02, 2020

Racism isn't Biblical


On Sunday June 28, I preached against racism. At the bottom of this post I'll share the entire worship gathering. This post isn't about that sermon but about resources that we all need to read to understand the deep seated racism happening in our world. Not just our world, but our nation. Not just our nation, but our cities. Not just our cities but our churches. Some people have allowed subtle and overt racism to take place in their life and we need to actively work to stop that.

Sunday June 28 follow up email

Hi Coastline,

This morning we kicked off a brand new sermon series. At the end of our worship gathering I shared that I would send an email with follow up resources. We want to engage our mind so we can apply what God asks of us in our actions.

Here are some links/ideas to books, videos, and resources to help us have a Biblical view of the harm of racism.

Scripture to read
Genesis 1:26-27
Galatians 3:28-29
Romans 10:12
Micah 6:8
John 3:16
Colossians 3:11

Books to consider 
Not all the books on my list are from Christian authors. Most are, but some are not. That means there might be language or stories told that you might not agree with. My hope has always been to read far and wide. Please note that not all thoughts represented in these books are the belief(s) of Coastline but are the authors own thoughts. We are seeking to grow and learn during this time from others. If you are curious about a certain book, reply to this email and let's talk about it.

Divided by Faith

Consuming Jesus: Beyond Race and Class Divisions in a Consumer Church

Be the Bridge: Pursuing God's Heart for Racial Reconciliation

Woke Church

Just Mercy 

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

Small Great Things: A Novel 

A Movie to watch 
Just Mercy (Currently free for Amazon Prime customers)
https://amzn.to/3hYJfCA

For Families
ARTICLE: Four Questions to Ask Yourself Before Talking to Your Kids About Racism

Sermon:

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

A Prayer For Marriages


About two months ago I read an article explaining how marriages are struggling during the pandemic. Having grown up in a divorced home, I was interested and kept reading. The author went on to share that domestic violence is increasing, child abuse is on the rise, and marriages that were struggling are splitting apart at the seams. The article shared that the pandemic would cause an increase in divorce rates around the world. I stopped and thought about how much pain would be felt from this. I hurt for the kids who see their parents fighting. My heart sinks for the spouses who have to move out. I thought about the divide that might happen because of this. Then it hit me; we need Jesus.

I started thinking about what Paul said to the church in Ephesus:
“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Ephesians 5:21

As I think back on life, no one told me that my marriage would be easy. But people did tell me that marriage would be worth it!

We are living in a time where the word of God is diminished and devalued.

We are living in a stress-filled time.

We are leading in uncharted waters.

We are living in a time where non-believers are looking for believers to lead the way.

Paul goes on in Ephesians 5 to talk about the value and importance of marriage (I encourage you to read it). Marriage doesn’t have to be bad. Marriages can be healed by our Lord. It requires both parties to submit to Jesus and live a selfless, Spirit-filled life.

Prayer Points:
Today, will you join me in praying for marriages in your neighborhood, your family, and across the world? Let’s get on our knees and ask God to heal broken hearts. Let’s ask God to help us to love our spouse in the way He has asked us. Let’s pray for God to heal marriages so that families can serve the Lord together!