Jesus is Crazy!



























Sometimes, I think Jesus is summed up best in one word…crazy! If you really watch him, listen to what he teaches and apply it to your life, you might agree with me. This man is nuts! Consider for a second one of his more famous teachings:

“Don’t resist and evil person!

If you are slapped on the right check, turn the other, too.

If you are ordered to court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too.

If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles.

Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow.”

What was he thinking? Does he really understand what he’s asking us to do? What are the end results of a life like this? Do I really have to allow myself to be beat up to follow Jesus? Do I really have to freely give my stuff away, without resistance — even more — does he really expect me to give more than what they are trying to take from me or to serve more than what is being required by a person in authority over me? Do I really have to live this way?

That’s what’s amazing about the way of Jesus! It doesn’t make any sense from the perspective of self-preservation. But that’s just it. That’s the complete wrong perspective.

Jesus has invited us to follow him, which means that we live life like him. That we watch how he talked…how he interacted with people…how he touched the untouchable…how he loved the disgraced…how he accepted the prostitute…how he forgave those who were intent on killing him. We stand at the shadow of the cross and hear his words echoing, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves take up their cross and follow me.” And from that vantage point, all rebuttals that Jesus was just talking rhetorically disappear.

Here is a radical God that is recklessly demonstrating the depth of love he has for us. It’s a love that transforms us to the very core. So much so, that it becomes who we are. It becomes what we offer. Radical, recklessly loving people (click here to be taken to

And at this point, we stop asking, “Does he really want me to do this?” and we begin asking, “Who is the next person I can share this with?” And this sharing is so much less about what we say…it’s about who we are. It’s about being willing to die so someone else might live!

Yeah, this is crazy – but what a beautiful way to live!

(click book image to be taken to the Reckless Pursuit Book website)



It’s More than Mario!

This summer I have watched some amazing people put down their pride in order to love on children. Some of them have transformed themselves into imaginary people. Some have given a weekend to kids from another part of town. And some have traveled to another country – just to share their love and increase the joy of children.

Do you remember what it was like to be a child? The imagination you had? The capacity for play? Take for instance, your first experience with a gaming system. Do you remember the fascination you had with the images on the screen? And the new addiction that was created as you became determined to conquer the game or at least better your latest score?

My first exposure to this world that effortlessly combines imagination and competition was at a friend’s house. As soon as I walked in, he told me he had just gotten an Atari and asked if I wanted to play. I said, “Sure!” – not really knowing what I was getting into. And then, for the next few hours, I was introduced to the now classic games of “Pong,” “Pitfall,” and “Centipede.” I have to admit, I wasn’t that good but it didn’t matter. It was an amazing experience and I couldn’t wait until I got to play again.

A couple of years later, I got my own system, but it wasn’t an Atari. It was the next generation…the new and improved system…you know, the one that was going to put Atari to shame with its updated graphics and more expansive game options. You know…Colecovision! I was so impressed with my parents for getting me such an advanced system. My brother and I dove in. We were totally consumed with all the newness and wonder of games like “Donkey Kong Jr.,” “Lady Bug,” and a game we affectionately came to call “Bomb & Burn” – simply because the only way we could get through the maze of obstacles was to go guns blazing as fast as we could.

But then, it happened. My family was invited over for dinner to a young couple’s house. They had become good friends with my parents and my brother and I thought they were pretty cool too. They were in their late twenties, didn’t have any kids and always made time for us.

We had dinner, talked for a bit and then Bobby, the cool family friend, invited us over to see his new toy. He turned on the TV, plugged in a few wires and up comes a screen unlike anything I had seen before. The images were amazing! “This is the latest thing,” Bobby said. “This is a Nintendo!”

That was the first time I ever saw Mario. The first time I ever imagined jumping over a mushroom or intentionally hitting my head against a brick to gain more points. And to this day, if I hear the Mario Brothers theme song – there’s a little bit of joy that comes over my heart.

Childhood is such a magical time. It’s experiences shape us deeply. Both its joy and it’s struggles have a way of hanging on and working their way into the fabric of our hearts as adults. The love we experience. The lessons we learn. The time spent with family. The loving adults who gave selflessly to us – it all impacts us in ways we can’t explain but are forever grateful for.

Question: Who introduced you as a child to little but unbelievable moments of joy? Who is that person who loved you enough to invite you into their world? Who in your past deserves a really big, “THANK YOU FOR LOVING ME LIKE THAT!”

And possibly more important than that…Who are you offering yourself to as an adult? Is there a child in your life that you are pouring yourself into? That you are intentionally working to increase his/her joy?

Believe me, even if it’s just sharing a video game, it could impact a heart forever!

Preserved vs. Repressed Sexuality

Sex plays such a dominate role in our culture. It drives our advertising and our entertainment. Whether it’s overt or subtle, it seems to be everywhere.

Question: How do we deal with this as followers of Jesus? How do we participate in this sex saturated culture and yet live differently? What boundaries do we place in our lives?

And possibly even more important…how do we guide our children and our single adults through this extremely difficult maze? This is a question we really need to spend some time on. What we teach here really matters. It will influence not only their actions but their hearts. It could directly impact whether they receive the gift of sex truly as a gift or as something else entirely.

Last week, I ran across a tremendous post about this. It directly addresses how so much of our Christian community has dealt with sexuality and the potential struggles we create within the hearts of our children and single adults. Take a look, it’ll be well worth your time!

Preserved vs. Repressed Sexuality.


Jacob’s Dream…Our Reality!

A few years ago, Abilene Christian University commissioned this sculpture to be constructed just outside of their School of Theology building, called “Jacob’s Dream.” It depicts the dream Jacob (Abraham’s grandson) had in Genesis 28, where he saw a stairway reaching from earth to heaven and angels climbing up and down on it. It was in this moment that God reconfirmed the promises he made to Abraham…to give his descendants the land he was on…to multiply his descendants like the dust on the earth…that all the peoples of the earth will be blessed through him…and that God will not leave him.

What an incredible story! What would it do to someone to see a glimpse of the eternal so clearly? And to hear the voice of God, loving you and promising to use you to bless the entire world! How would it change the way you would think of God? See the world? See people? Could you ever go back to the way things were?

The two girls standing underneath the ladder are my daughter, Reagan, and her friend, Sidney. They were just finishing their week of camp at ACU and had to have one more look at the sculpture. They had an amazing time and shared their experiences with — well — enthusiasm. They told us about their friends and all the fun they had. Then they talked to us about God, his promise to come back and that he will recreate a place for us to live with him forever. As they talked, I couldn’t help thinking that we were, in that moment, experiencing some of God’s promises spoken during Jacob’s dream. That these two beautiful little girls have received a taste of the kingdom of God!

In the camp’s closing ceremony, they showed a camp video for the parents to enjoy. Then, in their final act of camp, they asked all the students to stand and repeat a pledge that grew out of their week. It was a tremendous site, seeing a couple hundred elementary students declaring who they intend to be as they participate in the Father’s kingdom.

Here is that pledge. As you read it, consider how different our experience in this life would be if we commit to living this way with every breath we take. If we declare that we have encountered the God of Jacob, been invited into his kingdom and there is no turning back!

Kingdom of God Pledge

Because I have been invited into the throne room of God

Because I have been adopted into the family of God

Because I want to be a citizen of the Kingdom of heaven forever

I hereby renounce any allegiance to the kingdom of earth

and any other god other than the One True God who created me and loves me.

I hereby declare that it is my heart’s desire to do God’s will on earth

just as it is done in heaven

So I will work to heal those who need healing

I will seek to know God’s will and obey it

And I will seek to fight injustice wherever I encounter it

Until God calls me home or Jesus returns to take us all home to heaven.

To the glory of God the Father. Amen.


Do You Have Time To Be Interrupted?

A phone call from a friend, when you feel like you are all alone. A meal delivered the moment you realize there is nothing in the house to eat and you are out of money. A text from someone you haven’t heard from in years, asking how she can pray for you on a day that you don’t have the strength to talk to God. Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever had someone step into your life at exactly the right time? Have you ever been cared for in extraordinary ways when you hadn’t mentioned your need to anyone?

I can’t tell you how many times this has happened in my life. Every time, I am taken back. Humbled. Honored. And reminded that I am deeply loved!

This is what happens when Jesus followers say, “Yes!” to God. Indescribable love is expressed and the Father’s heart is extended. In a very real way, we become the hands and feet of Jesus.

What is amazing is that most times, the people who offer this love have no idea how important their little expression is. They just were thinking about someone and followed through. It happens in all kinds of ways. Sometimes they’ll have a dream about someone or wake up thinking about them. Sometimes a person’s face will come to mind while they’re driving down the road. Sometimes, a difficult situation will come up in conversation and there is a pressing feeling that a phone call needs to be made.

I am embarrassed to think about how many times I have missed these opportunities. When God prodded me and I excused it and continued on my day. When I have been too consumed with my agenda to stop and represent the Father. Wow! The incredible life transforming moments I have arrogantly walked right by.

But…those days when I have listened – those are days I will never forget. Days when people open their hearts. Days when freedom erupts, as much for me as it does the people I am caring for. Days that I can’t get enough of.

In the past couple of months, I have been loved by God through his people like this over and over. It has been amazing. And I want more of it. Yes, for myself but mostly, I want to offer it. To live a life, completely interruptible by God. Completely available to the movement of his Spirit. I truly can’t imagine a better way of life!

How different could today have been for us with this was our goal when we got up this morning?


5 Ways to Move from Selfish to Servant as a Single – by Mark Driscoll


The single years tend to be the most selfish years of our lives. Many singles spend their time being self-serving rather than serving those around them and the church.

Selfishness begins in childhood. The more our parents coddle, accommodate, and center their lives around us, the more selfish we become. For those who were an only child, this propensity toward selfishness is often higher, as you didn’t have to share your toys, room, and life with siblings who inconvenienced you. As we grow older, selfishness is often mastered during singleness. Then when we do marry, we expect our spouses to serve us humbly, only to find they were expecting the same thing. Conflict ensues along with disappointment and frustration.

As a single person, if you’re planning on marrying, the best way to prepare for marriage is to use your single years as an opportunity to stop being selfish and start serving. Here are five practical ways you can begin moving from selfishness to servanthood.


First and foremost, be part of a Jesus-loving, Bible-teaching church. Serve that church, humbly learn from those who have more life experience than you and who have developed a life-long relationship with Jesus, and grow as a disciple of Christ under solid, qualified elders and leaders.


If you have a family, honor them. Though you may be no longer living at home, the opportunities to serve your family still exist. Help you family out with projects around the house, offer to babysit siblings, cousins, and nephews and nieces to give your married family members time out together, and find other ways to love and serve. Also, allow healthy and wise family members to speak into your relationships and your life.

This is doubly important for young women who have Christian parents who love them. Any man who wants to be with you should want to get to know your church friends and your family, live openly before them, and gain their approval. Any guy who takes a woman away from godly community and family is dangerous and up to no good.


Men, do you have a mom? Stepmom? Sister? Cousin? Serve and honor them. Here are some practical things you can do now to discipline yourself to serve and honor the women in your life: walk them to their cars, open doors for them, get their coats, pull out their chairs when eating, and more.

Serving the women in your life will best prepare you for serving your future wife. These are simple things that we can do, and even teach our sons, when we have them, to do for their moms or sisters.

Further, the Bible teaches us in 1 Timothy 5:1–2 to treat Christian women as sisters. This means that men should respectfully get to know a woman they’re interested in without any sexual pressure and contact and to serve other women in the church as they would a sister.

If you know how to serve and honor the woman in your life now, then you will be well prepared to serve your wife and children when you have them.


For singles who do not have Christian parents, I encourage you to seek out older, more mature Christians from the church you are a part of to learn from and serve. We see this precedent clearly spelled out in Titus 2:1–10.

The older women of the church are to train the younger women (Titus 2:3–5), whereas the older men are to encourage the younger men (Titus 2:6–8). God, through Paul, is telling us the importance of training up the men and women of our churches to live godly lives as a man and a woman.

At Mars Hill Church we encourage singles to join Community Groups. Being involved within these groups gives singles an opportunity to meet other singles, serve the church together, get to know others on a personal and spiritual level, and have great mentors to speak into your life and—if you do begin a relationship—speak into that as well with godly wisdom and counsel.

If such groups are not available at your church, then I suggest seeking out the leadership and asking for their help to point you in the right direction to someone who may be willing and available to mentor you.


Too many singles have a list of what they’re looking for in a spouse instead of a list of what they’re looking to be for a spouse.

There are many problems with this, which I’ve laid out elsewhere. As a single person in the church, one of the most important prerequisites to dating and marrying is being the right person for your future spouse rather than worrying about if they’re the right person for you. This means having your identity firmly rooted in Jesus rather than in your identity as a single person, what the culture says about being single, or what the culture says about marriage.

Singleness is not a disease to be quickly remedied. Rather, singleness is a gift that should be stewarded well until the time comes when you begin another stage of life as a married person. Accept that singleness affords you freedom and benefits you won’t have when married, and use this time of life wisely to finish your education, travel for missions, serve the church, establish your career, and create a solid financial base free of debt.

Until you are ready to marry, focus on those issues, and then pursue a relationship. Live your single years to God’s glory to grow from selfishness to servanthood. Don’t waste them.


More than a phone call?

How many minutes do you spend a day talking, texting or posting on your phone? In our world of social media today, we interact at an amazing rate. We are highly available to each other and seem to keep this unending stream of communication constantly going.

Because of this, we are more in touch with friends from the past. We are more aware of our kids’ movements. We are more aware of the details of each other’s lives. And for all of this, I am grateful!

But it makes me wonder…is it possible to live this way with our God? Is it really possible to live in a constant conversation with him – minute by minute – like we do with our friends on our phones? Is there a way of connecting to him that tethers our hearts to his so deeply that we are never out of touch with him? Can our prayer life with him be more than a phone call? Can we really live in his presence, deeply dependent on him?

The answer to all of this is a resounding, “YES!” And it’s not just available to the “super-religious” – whatever that is. It is what our Father longs to have with us. A transforming intimacy that reaches into every moment of our lives.

A few months ago, we talked about living this kind of life with our God at Journey Christian Community. Click on the link below, take a look and re-imagine what could be!