Archive for the ‘faith’ Category

Hello, Dalai!

The Dalai Lama, speaking at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, May 2010

On May 14th, I attended an event here in Indianapolis featuring a 75-year-old Tibetan watch repairman named Tenzin Gyatso. He is better known as the 14th Dalai Lama, the Buddhist spiritual leader of Tibet, who lives in exile in India. This was his second visit to Indianapolis; and, having just taught on Buddhism at Heather Hills, I decided to see first-hand what the Dalai Lama was all about.  There has always been a curious side of me in relation to people of fame, whether in religion, politics, sports, or entertainment.  I want to see beyond the mask.  This doesn’t always work out so well. For example, I remember when I was a pastoral intern in 1992, I went to a faith healing service with famed religious leader Ernest Angley. I made two mistakes: I took a video camera with me and…my mom. Continue reading

Strategic Ministry Planning and Implementation

One of the first things I led as pastor at Heather Hills was strategic ministry planning.  Now, I know some people don’t like this sort of thing because they think we are limiting God or putting or plans before what God may have for us.  I understand that sentiment and logic; however, I believe both in God’s sovereignty as well as careful planning.  Throughout the process, we constantly went to the Lord in prayer, asking Him to direct us, give us wisdom and show us if we were on the wrong track.  Even now, in our second year of our ministry plan–the result of that initial process–we regularly ask God to show us if we are pursuing a path He does not desire for our church.  We believe in the sovereignty of God (Proverbs 19:21; 21:31; Zechariah 4:6; John 15:5).  The Church is His Church.  Jesus purchased her with His blood; it belongs to Him. We are His bride. Continue reading

God was there.

Lake Monroe, IndianaSave me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in the miry depths, where there is no foothold. I have come into the deep waters; the floods engulf me. I am worn out calling for help; my throat is parched. My eyes fail, looking for my God. (Psalm 69:1-3, NIV)

These words pretty well summarize what David experienced–not the David who penned these words but David Richards, my brother-in-law.

David died last Friday.  He drowned in Lake Monroe, about 60 miles south of Indianapolis.  He was a strong, 33-year-old father of three who was just out to have some fun with his boys, like they had done many times before. Continue reading

Learning More about Jon Kirby

Here is the audio from our public question & answer time with Jon at Heather Hills:
Q&A with Jon Kirby

Here is the audio from Jon’s teaching on spiritual development at Heather Hills:
Four Essential Commitments for a Spiritual Development Ministry

Live From Hollywood!

hollywood_signToday, Deborah and I had the day off from the Shepherd’s Conference so we tackled two prestigious locations.  The first was the resting place of my favorite U.S. President.  The second was the resting place of the most famous sign in the world. Continue reading

SHEPHERDS, DAY THREE: “If we seek to please God, it does not matter whom we displease.”

Steve Lawson at Shepherd's Conference 2009

Dr. Steve Lawson, Shepherd's Conference 2009

Once again, this final “official” day of the Shepherd’s Conference was a bright, sunny, and beautiful California day.  The first session of the day was begun with Grace’s Sunday night worship team, which is the more contemporary styled service.  They led a really wonderful medley of songs all pointing to the holiness of God: God of Wonders, Indescribable, Be Unto Your Name, Holy Holy Holy, and Refiner’s Fire.  John MacArthur followed this with some biblical reflection on God’s holiness in regard to evangelism.  One particular quote I wrote down was “You have an ally in the heart of every unregenerate man, that is the law of God written on the hearts of men.” (Romans 1)  He then encouraged us to use the law in our soul-winning to show man his need of a Savior in relation to God’s supreme holiness.  Phil Johnson, director of Grace to You, then preached from Titus 2:7-8 on “Sound Words.”  Here are my notes: Continue reading

SHEPHERDS, DAY TWO: “2 Sermons, 1 Interview, and a Spinning Wheel”

Dr. Rick Holland, Shepherd's Conference 2009

Dr. Rick Holland, Shepherd's Conference 2009

Today was the most beautiful March day I have ever experienced in my life.  It was just a perfect day, sunny and warm.  When I got out of my car after finding a parking space on a nearby street this morning, I was almost overwhelmed by the aroma of flowers and blossoming trees and bushes.    The glorious morning continued with an outstanding message from Rick Holland, the Executive Pastor at Grace.  His message was sourced in chapter eleven of Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians.  Here are some of my notes: Continue reading