Links for Your Weekend Reading


Al Mohler on There is no “third way” when it comes to homosexuality.

There is no third way. A church will either believe and teach that same-sex behaviors and relationships are sinful, or it will affirm them. Eventually, every congregation in America will make a public declaration of its position on this issue. It is just a matter of time (and for most churches, not much time) before every congregation in the nation faces this test.

Eva Selhub, M.D. on CrossFit bashers, can you be more constructive?

CrossFit is not the problem folks, obesity is. We have an epidemic of obesity that is not only propelling the rising costs of healthcare, but also morbid problems like metabolic syndrome, heart disease, cancer and diabetes. The estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S. was $147 billion in 2008 U.S. dollars. The medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight.

Why one Mom says “no” to electronics for her kids.

When I tell you no to devices, I’m giving you a gift. And I’m giving me a gift. It’s a gift of relationship. True human connection. It’s precious and a treasure. And you mean so much to me that I don’t want to miss a second of it.

6 reasons Millenials aren’t at your church and 7 to draw them to your church.

LifeWay Research found 70 percent of young adults who indicated they attended church regularly for at least one year in high school do drop out of regular church attendance. That does not mean, however, they have left never to return. In fact, according to LifeWay Research, almost two-thirds return and currently attend church (within the time frame of the study). That same study found most don’t make a conscious decision to leave due to a doctrinal dispute or significant disagreement. They simply drift away because the church doesn’t seem as important to their lives as it once did. Many have looked at a church and decided it is no longer relevant.

Cross Fit by Jesus

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How to Reach Your Goal of Losing Weight

I got to share my story over the weekend at a health seminar. It was awesome to see the amount of people putting in the time and effort to live a healthy lifestyle.

If you don’t know my story, I used to weight almost 300 pounds and have a 42 inch waist. Over the course of 18 months, I lose 130 pounds and have kept it off for the last 5 years. It feels incredible. In that time, I’ve learned a lot about what does work and what doesn’t work to lose weight, keep it off, pass on healthy habits to your kids and enjoy life.

So, I put together all the blog posts I’ve ever written on the topic.

Being free from bad eating habits, a food addiction (and other addictions that lead to an unhealthy lifestyle) and poor body image:

  1. What to do on “Fat Days”
  2. Food, Weight, and Stop Being the Victim
  3. How to Examine Your Heart/Motives
  4. When Eating Becomes a Sin
  5. Why We Aren’t Healthy
  6. Women and the Cycle of Defeat
  7. Two Ideas that Should Change how We Think about our Bodies, Weight Loss & Food
  8. Finally Free: Fighting for Purity with the Power of Grace

How to lose weight:

  1. My Journey of Losing Weight
  2. How I got to where I am 
  3. The idol of food (the spiritual side of weight loss)
  4. Have a plan
  5. It’s for the rest of your life
  6. The effects
  7. Do your homework
  8. The idol of exercise & staying in shape

Staying healthy (eating well, avoiding burnout, etc.):

  1. Every Time You Say Yes to Something You Say No to Something Else
  2. What I Wish I’d Known About Energy, Family & Mistakes
  3. Making Room for What Matters
  4. How I Structure my Week
  5. How to Know You’re Too Busy
  6. How to do Crossfit on Your Own
  7. 6 Ways to Stay Motivated to be Healthy
  8. Thoughts on Burnout, Sleep, Adrenaline, Stress, and Eating
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Monday Morning Mind Dump…

mind dump

  • What a week
  • Yesterday was one of those sermons that is hard to preach but is part of the series because it is the next passage
  • This can be one of the blessings and curses of expository preaching
  • I preached on the riddle Samson told in Judges 14-15
  • I’ve been loving the deep dive we are doing into the life of Samson
  • Definitely challenging me as a man
  • If you missed yesterday, you can listen to it here
  • I announced yesterday that we have hired a search firm to help us find the right leader
  • So excited about what this means for Revolution Church
  • I was asked why we’re hiring a search firm and the answer is simple, “This position is too important to get this hire wrong”
  • We have needed a full-time, high capacity leader in Planet Rev for a couple of years
  • I’m so grateful for Jennifer Ingram and the team she leads and how they have gotten us to this point
  • I also love seeing the excitement among the leaders of Planet Rev about the possibility of what this leader will bring to our church and the families we serve
  • Please add this to your prayer list
  • And if you or someone you know should be considered for this role, please let me know
  • I am really excited about the next series at Revolution called All In
  • We’re going to spend the 4 weeks leading up to Easter looking at how to change the world and make your one and only life count
  • I’m hopeful I can get back to doing Crossfit this week
  • Definitely have missed that over the past week after my procedure
  • Last monday I got a vasectomy, so that totally changed how I normally do things
  • Hopeful that this week will be more normal and routine
  • I like my routine
  • If you are a leader, I recently read two books you have to add to your list: People Pleasing Pastors by Charles Stone and Hacking Leadership: The 11 Gaps Every Business Needs to Close and the Secrets to Closing Them Quickly by Mike Myatt
  • Both books are off the charts good and are easily the two best books I’ve read so far this year
  • My agent is meeting with a publisher today about the next step in the process for my book
  • Say a prayer as this is an important meeting
  • This step has been over two years in the making and I’m so excited about how close it is
  • Love all the excited and reports I heard about Rev Up’s disciple now weekend
  • Mike is doing an awesome job with our students
  • Say a prayer for me, I’m starting to work on my Easter message this week
  • Excited for it
  • We’re kicking off a series that day called Change and will look at the things we long to change but why we never do
  • I’m praying it is a series that frees people up to find life, not a list of rules
  • If you’re curious, we’ll be going through Galatians for Change
  • Time to get to it
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Monday Morning Mind Dump…

mind dump

  • Yesterday was off the charts at Revolution
  • This series on manhood has simply been one of my favorite series, although Beautiful was a close second
  • Yesterday I preached on the battle we fight against sin, temptation, negative emotions and addictions
  • I’m blown away by the example that Samson is for us of what not to do
  • Loved all the conversations I had afterward as people continued to wrestle with things
  • I think for many people, the pain of being chained to something is so great, they just feel like they can’t move forward
  • Always shake my head at the guy who tells me porn isn’t a temptation
  • Let’s say that’s possible
  • If you missed it, you can listen to it here
  • I also have a long list of books, websites and other helpful things here to help you fight temptation and sin in your life
  • Not overly sad that the Olympics are ending
  • We barely watched any of them
  • I’m a bigger fan of the summer ones
  • It also means we are canceling our cable until the NFL rolls around again
  • For the first time since starting Crossfit, I’m taking a week off from lifting this week
  • It will be interesting to see how my heart and emotions deal with it, but I think it will also be good for my body
  • I have my next coaching appointment this week with Brian Howard
  • I’m already seeing the payoff to this
  • Pastors, if you don’t have a coach, you should get one
  • Started a book over the weekend that you should read if you are a pastor
  • It’s called People Pleasing Pastors
  • Good heart work for pastors
  • I can’t remember if I said this last week, but I’m going to Indonesia for 8 days this summer
  • Really excited about how that will change my viewpoint
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Monday Morning Mind Dump… [Lunch Edition]

mind dump

  • The past 3 weeks have been a growing time for me personally as a husband and father, but also as a pastor
  • I’ve really enjoyed preaching specifically to women in our Beautiful series
  • I tweeted out that all pastors should do a series for women, if only to learn more clearly the struggles the women in their church go through
  • It created some great conversations in our missional communities
  • The response from women about the conversations they are having with their spouse or the things they are wrestling through personally has been overwhelming
  • Definitely what we prayed this series would do
  • If you missed yesterday as I walked through Proverbs 31, you can listen to it here
  • Paul and I spent a day last week learning about taking Revolution to multiple sites
  • So excited for the future of church planting at Revolution
  • What was once just wishful thinking 5 years ago (having more than one Revolution Church) is getting closer to a reality
  • So excited for Fight to kick off this week
  • Seriously, if you have been wanting to invite a guy to church, this is the week to do it
  • I took Gavin to a U of A basketball game last night
  • Such a fun daddy date
  • He couldn’t get over how cool it was
  • One of the things I love about this time of year is being able to watch the Olympics with the kids
  • They are so intense
  • Pretty excited because we are celebrating a birthday in our house today and going to see The Lego Movie
  • Heard great reviews about it
  • Speaking of movies
  • Katie and I went to see Lone Survivor on Friday night
  • Wow
  • So moving
  • I was simply astounded by the courage of those men and others like them
  • Seriously, you need to see it
  • We are beginning the process of looking for a full-time children’s pastor at Revolution Church
  • This is such an important hire for our church
  • Planet Rev is exploding and I’m excited for this person to help take it to a new level
  • Last week, Katie and I spoke at MOPS about how to communicate and fight well
  • It was great to interact with that group of women and help to push some of their thinking
  • It was also incredible sad talking to many of them afterward and hearing story after story of brokenness in their own life, their husband or their marriage
  • Heartbreaking
  • All I could think of was, “Why don’t their pastors challenge their husbands more?”
  • It was a good reminder to me of one of the many things that are at stake every week at Revolution when I preach
  • The ripple effects of brokenness go for generations
  • Sorry to end this on a sad note
  • I need to do some lunchtime “Murph” in honor of Lone Survivor
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Links I Like

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.


Lara Croft on Depression and the Pastor’s Wife.

My struggle with depression is not the result of being a pastor’s wife. If my husband was in another vocation I believe I would still struggle. However, being a pastor’s wife intensifies this struggle. The exhausting nature of caring for the church, the temptation to carry the burdens of those who are struggling in our midst, the demands on our time and on our family, and the spiritual battle that we daily face all contribute to exhaustion and vulnerability. This exhaustion is especially intensified as we try to do all of these things in our own strength, apart from God. Therefore, finding pastors and their wives struggling with depression is not uncommon.

Kayla North on May have a compromise? Great parenting advice that we use.

When people hear our kids ask, “May I have a compromise?” they tend to look at us a bit funny. They seem completely confused when we respond to our kids as if their request for a compromise is normal. But at our house it is normal. In fact, it’s a request we hear no less than a dozen times each day.

10 possible reasons your church isn’t growing.

In the end, healthy things grow. The mission of the church at its best throughout the centuries has been an outward mission focused on sharing the love Jesus has for the world with the world.

Chad Pierce on The Religion of Crossfit.

CrossFit is demanding. It can be expensive. It takes time, commitment and a willingness to be pushed beyond your comfort zone. It does not make things easier to get more to sign up. The opposite is true. People are flocking to it because it demands much.

Trevin Wax on Why pastors should engage in social media and what they should know.

Here’s the truth: people are communicating through Tweets, Facebook, and blogs. I recommend pastors join Facebook and Twitter in order to be involved in the conversations of their people.

Brandon Hilgeman on 5 common preaching mistakes.

Being a pastor is hard work. This is especially true for those of us who carry the heavy expectation of preaching a mind-blowing, original sermon every seven days. Because of this difficulty, many pastors make simple preaching mistakes that can be easily corrected. These common mistakes can often be the difference between a memorable message and a forgettable one.

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Top Posts of January

top 10 list 2010-resized-600

It was a great first month of 2014 on my blog. Tons of traffic and interactions. If you missed anything, not to worry, here are the top 10 posts for the month:

  1. When a Staff Member or Volunteer says, “I’m Done”
  2. The 3 Most Destructive Words a Man Hears Growing up Are: “Be a Man”
  3. Finally Free: Fighting for Purity with the Power of Grace
  4. What I Eat
  5. 10 Gospel Truths about Homosexuality
  6. Photoshop, Beauty & Women
  7. 6 Ways to Stay Motivated to be Healthy
  8. Leading Up
  9. The Weight of Pastoring
  10. Why do a Series on Men & Women?
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Christmas is Over, Now What?


I don’t know about you, but I woke up this morning feeling really down. Just had a blah kind of a feeling. Unmotivated. Not depressed or sad, but kind of down.

My first thought as I finished breakfast was, “Is this the after Christmas blues?” Or, “Am I just getting old now?”

Maybe you feel like that. Maybe you don’t (if not, pass this blog onto a friend that needs it).

I shared this quote on Sunday in my sermon that encapsulates what a lot of people feel around Christmas (I can’t remember where I found it):

Christmas Eve. The perfect picture of anticipation: sleepless excitement for something we’ve been waiting for all year. Every year on December 24, my parents let us open a present. This was a teaser, a taste of things to come, and we kids relished it. Of course, it wasn’t much of a surprise – my mom always got us new pajamas, even when we didn’t need them. But still, it was a ritual of hope, one in which we celebrated the gift of giving and the joy of gratitude. Christmas morning. An unfortunate picture of disappointment. I am obviously only one person with his own set of experiences, but as I talk to others, I find similar feelings of frustration. As they get older, many people seem to develop a general distrust toward any day that promises to fill the emptiness they’ve felt all year long. This explains the rise in suicides during this season and why, for some, Christmas is a reminder of the inevitable letdown of life. The unfortunate answer to the question, “Did you get everything you wanted?” is, of course, no. And we feel terrible about this. Why can’t we be happy? Why can’t we be satisfied? Will we ever be content with what we have – with the gifts in our stockings, the toys under the tree? Why is there this constant thirst for more?

As I thought about it today (after I destroyed myself with Crossfit), I started to wonder if we set ourselves up for failure leading up to Christmas. Christmas in many ways can be like a wedding and the letdown after on the honeymoon, follow me for a second. All of this pressure, build up, energy, stress and thinking and money goes into Christmas and a wedding. Then it’s over. The parties, the gifts, family, friends, the tree, decorations, cards, Christmas specials, church services, meals, over. Then we sit around looking at our gifts, watching our kids play with them and get tired of them and play with them some more.

You wake up on December 27, 28 or 29 and wonder, what now?

Here are some things that came to mind as I prayed through this feeling for me that might be helpful for you:

  1. Stop and take a breath. Slow down. December is a mad sprint for most of us. You went to more parties than you can count, ate more calories than you care to remember. You are tired. Take a break. Maybe take a nap. Read a good book or your Bible. But give some time to slow down. Stop rushing.
  2. Get moving. For me, I went and worked out, listened to some good worship music, prayed and got moving. Maybe you need to get moving and do something active. Most Americans will join a gym this week, maybe you should. At least take a walk, a run or a hike.
  3. Say thanks. Be thankful for what you have. Remember, someone is grateful with less than what you have. You may not have as much as someone else, but you have what God has seen fit to give you right now. Also, you may not see the next Christmas or someone you just celebrated with may not see the next Christmas, so savor the moments. Take a little longer in those hugs or laughs or cries.
  4. Get out of your house. I love being at home, with my family and friends. But, sometimes it is good to get out of your house. Go see a movie, do something fun, go see some Christmas lights. Don’t just sit around (sometimes you should sit around), but get going.

What do you do to fight the after Christmas blues?


Top Posts for the Month of November


If you missed them, here are the top posts for the month of November:

  1. What do Stay-at-Home Mom’s Do All Day?
  2. Accountability
  3. What do you do With Kids in a Missional Community?
  4. Why Doesn’t Revolution Have a Women’s Ministry
  5. Martyrs Read Joel Osteen Tweets!
  6. How to do Crossfit on Your Own
  7. Make Church Memorable
  8. Planning a Preaching Calendar
  9. Interacting with the Opposite Sex as a Pastor
  10. How the Church Should Respond to Homosexuality (and other Sins)

How to do Crossfit on Your Own


I get asked a lot about how I workout and motivate myself to do it. The other day I was talking to a pastor that goes to a Crossfit box and he said, “I don’t know how you motivate yourself to do crossfit by yourself. I have to have the people at my box to motivate me.”

I get it.

If you can afford to go to a crossfit box, get the coaching, etc. That is awesome and you should do that. It helps you stay motivated, on track and keeps you from getting injured from exercising incorrectly.

If you are like me, a crossfit box is out of your price range. I don’t have $200 a month for it. I know all the benefits from it, but my family goes to the Y for 25% of that and it has free childcare. Not as nice, but I can take my wife out for a few date nights each month from the difference.

I’ve done crossfit on my own for the last 16 months and have learned some things. Here’s how to do crossfit on your own:

  1. Be smart. There is a lot of debate about crossfit and injury. Most of the time that people get injured from working out, it is because they do it incorrectly or push themselves too much. Be smart about it. It will take time to to learn all the lifts. You won’t walk into a gym and do a snatch on the first try. That’s okay. It will take some time to learn double unders, kipping pullups and a whole host of other things.
  2. Have a plan. If you want the results promised in a workout program, you have to do it that way. For me, I follow a box. This helps me to get a workout program from a trained professional. Crossfit is a full body program and it is easy to overwork muscles when doing it. Following a training program helps me to keep that from happening. I also can see the times from that box so I’m able to see what I’m shooting for. This helps to push me when I start getting tired. Going along with a plan, you will need to learn when to go to your gym to do Crossfit. Since you will sometimes you multiple bars or multiple pieces of equipment, you need to go when this is more feasible.
  3. Don’t be discouraged. Most people quit exercising because they get discouraged. It will take some time. It took me 18 months to lose 130  pounds. It will take time to lose weight. Then as you lift weights, you will gain weight. At first, this can be very discouraging. Keep at it.
  4. Know your limits and when to push through them. This goes with being smart. But know what you can and cannot do. Yes, there are videos on line of people doing “Fran” in under 2 minutes. People can snatch 300 pounds. That probably won’t be you. If a WOD (workout of the day) is too heavy in the prescribed weight, scale it. Don’t be too proud to scale it. Scaling will also help you to build up strength and endurance to do the lifts at their prescribed weight.
  5. Eat right. Eating is more than half the battle when it comes to losing weight or putting on muscle. I do Crossfit 4-5 times a week. This means that I need to eat enough protein so that my muscles can recover. Especially if I do it 3 days in a row. You don’t have to eat paleo, although I’d encourage you to do that. You will feel a lot better if you cut wheat, bread and carbs out of your diet. Drink lots of water each day. I shoot for 100 ounces each day. Also, limit your alcohol intake. Yes, red wine is beneficial for your heart, but if you drink more than 2 glasses a day, you lose all the benefits. Alcohol also hurts recovery and has empty calories.
  6. Do research. If you don’t know how to do a lift or an exercise, watch it on youtube. Coaches have instructions for everything on youtube now. Then practice it. I still struggle with double unders so I do them several times a week in my warmup just to get better at them.
  7. Stretch. Stretch, a lot. Before, during, after. Do yoga on an off day. Your body is working hard and you need to keep it limber.

If you do crossfit on your own, what things would you add?