do something about it

I heard of someone who used a piece of electrical tape to cover over the check engine light that had come on in his car and was bothering him to look at. Problem solved. Rather, problem ignored. Eventually he had a much bigger problem that he had no choice but to deal with.

Ignoring problems doesn’t make them go away. Pretending they aren’t there doesn’t make them go away. But in different ways we all do this. Why? It’s easier to just buy bigger, baggier clothes than it is to eat healthier and start working out. It’s less work to just give a child throwing a tantrum what they want than it is to discipline and work on the behavior. Watching tv is less work than having a conversation.

I have even seen churches do this. A certain ministry or programming element that hasn’t been effective for years (if ever) is just kind of ignored, and half-heartedly announced from time to time as it limps on, instead of being eliminated like it needs to be. That, by the way, is a very difficult trigger to pull in the church world, because the inevitable response is, “but we’ve always done it that way…” Or, “but people will freak out if we…” In reality, there are probably a few loud people are going to complain when you pull that band-aid off and deal with that ineffective area of your ministry. Everyone else will probably be invigorated by the change.

If there is something in your life, family or area of responsibility that needs tweaking, fixing, or deleting; don’t ignore it. Do something about it.


Nothing healthy grows in the dark

Darkness is dangerous. Anything in your life that you are trying to keep a secret, hidden in the dark, is holding you back and will harm you eventually. Think about it. Nothing healthy grows in the dark. Flowers, trees, fruits, and vegetables–the kind of things that you want to grow–they all require sunshine. Mold spores, fungi, moss, these are the kinds of things that thrive in dark environments. The kind of growth you don’t want is what you will find in secret, shady places.

John 3:19 And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil.

If there is any part of your day, any activity, habits, media you consume, websites you visit, or relationships you foster that you wouldn’t want your wife, your kids or your parents to know about; it’s a fungus. It might be small and containable now, but it won’t stay that way, it will eventually spread and grow more and more toxic until it poisons you and harms people you love. Plus you need to remember these two things: 1. it’s not going to stay a secret forever–your sin will find you out. and 2. It’s not a secret now. God knows. He sees what happens in every shady place.

The only thing to do is to kill it with bleach and expose it to the light of day. Forgiveness comes from confessing our sins to God, healing comes from confessing our sins to other believers who will hold us accountable. And from now on, no more secrets. Walk in the light, that’s where the fruit is.

Romans 13:12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.


An American Hero

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It’s not everyday that you get to shake hands with someone who shook hands with Adolf Hitler. Last night at the Harvest Crusade I had the opportunity to do just that when I met Louie Zamperini. He was interviewed by Greg Laurie in front of the capacity+ crowd that had gathered at Angel’s stadium and I had the chance to speak to him backstage.

Shaking the hand of Hitler is not the only unusual item on his resume either. Not by a long shot. He also competed in the Olympics, was a fighter pilot in WWII, crashed a plane called the Green Hornet into the ocean, spent 47 days floating at sea in a raft where he punched a great white shark in the nose, survived imprisonment and torture as a POW, and then was saved at a Billy Graham crusade.

If you are thinking that this guys life needs to be a movie, that is exactly what is going to happen. His life story was documented in the book “Unbroken” by the author who wrote the book “Seabiscuit” and is going to be made into a movie. It was a huge honor to meet this eloquent and funny man who has lived enough for four lifetimes but isn’t done yet, he continues to share his story. And God is using him in major ways, including the more than 40,000 people who were blessed by him last night!


Meeting the Soul Surfer

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Last night 32,000 people gathered at Angels stadium and 3,045 people made public professions of faith in Christ! I am always in awe at these events as I stand there watching God move so powerfully in the hearts of so many and it is a massive honor to get to be apart of these events.

There was music from Kutless, Crystal Lewis, and David Crowder Band; Greg Laurie brought the heat in the pulpit with a message on the conversion of Levi the tax collector.

Legendary pro-surfer Bethany Hamilton also came and shared her story last night. She had her arm bit off by a shark and then went on to surf professionally. Amazing. If you haven’t seen Soul Surfer, the movie based on her life, you have got to check it out. Her faith in Christ and desire to be used by Him is all over it. It was a real joy to get to meet her.


Don’t take it for granted

Do you realize how fortunate you are? I’m serious. Do you have any idea what a massive gift you have been given? There are so many people who are way cooler than you are who would have been willing to punch a great white shark in the nose to get to stand where you are standing right now. Don’t you dare take it for granted.

That is basically what Jesus told His disciples one day. Here it is as it actually appears in the Bible: “But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.” Matthew 13:16–17

Jesus was reminding them that they were getting to experience something that all of the saints in the Old Testament only dreamed about. What was that? Him. They were getting to walk around with Immanuel–God with us. Hebrews 11 says that the OT saints all died longing for and looking to the coming of Christ in faith. And while there is no mention of shark violence, we do read about them being willing to suffer all sorts of things for their hope that they held onto.

The disciples needed to realize that since better men than them lived and died wishing they could experience what they were experiencing, they better not take it for granted. They should be thanking God everyday and not wasting one ounce of the opportunity they had been given. Otherwise, Abraham, Isaiah and Zephaniah are going to be waiting to pummel ’em in heaven. You think I’m exaggerating? When cities didn’t honor Him and failed to realize what they had been given, Jesus said that in eternity Nineveh and the Queen of Sheba would be waiting to rise up in judgment against them because they responded to far inferior preaching. The disciples got with the program. They took what they had been given, gripped it and ripped it–turning the known world upside down in their lifetime.

This should cause us to give a second thought about how we are using the tremendous resources at our disposal. Unlike all the Old Testament saints we have been given full access to the Holy Spirit, the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead, that He sent after He ascended. We have the promise that Christ will build His church through us and that not even the gates of Hell can’t stop that from happening. And unlike any other Christian generation, through the profusion of technology and the ease of modern travel, there is nothing stopping us from fulfilling the great commission and preaching the gospel to every creature. In other words, we have no excuse. We can’t afford to not podcast and do multi-site and harness the technology that God has put in our laps.

Don’t you think John Wesley, who travelled on horseback and preached two or three times each day in up to 30 cities a month as he gave something like 40,000 messages in his lifetime, would have walked over a bed of coals to have access to an airplane or use a webcast to preach the gospel? What about George Whitfield? He preached to crowds of up to 30,000 people without a microhone! What kind of damage do you think he could have done with some speakers? The reality is that we have been given much, far more than better men and women who have gone before us. Don’t you dare take it for granted. Not unless you want John Wycliffe and Martin Luther to give you a fat lip when you meet them in heaven.


Last Night’s Party

Last night we kicked off the month of August with a bang! Exquisite weather, Gourmet burgers from the Flathead burger company, excellent music from the Skull Church band & Emery. Best of all we saw many people respond to the gospel, giving Jesus total control of their souls. A lot of things went wrong and we had to roll with crazy stuff like power surges and equipment failure on the fly, but hey, no one ever said it would be easy. The Uprising continues…


Skull Church Missoula Artists

I am super excited that we are taking Skull Church on the road for the first time this fall! On September 16-17 there are going to be two explicitly evangelistic nights of outreach at the historic Wilma theater in downtown Missoula. In addition to music from the Skull Church band and gospel messages, there will be musical performances by Blindside and Family Force 5. Join me in praying that God will move and that many will come to know Christ!

The Missoula event will be webcast live (as every Skull Church event is, including the one this week in Kalispell) so you can invite people to watch online, or post a link on FB, Google+ or Twitter. You never know how God might use it.