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21 Days of Prayer and Fasting

Last year revealed all sorts of silliness:  We all imagined our hearts to be full of faith instead of fear. We all imagined that we trusted in prayer more than politics; yet, circumstances always reveal what we actually trust in (eg., money, politics, health-care, job-security). As Jesus puts it, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the…
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Is the Cure Killing Us? How History can Help us Rethink our COVID Response

Whenever history changes due to a single event, people often call it a Black Swan Event. A Black Swan isn’t merely a historical event. It’s an event that fundamentally shifts both our behaviors and views of reality – think 9-11; or when Europe discovered North America. Now, the reason I’m explaining this is because, the…
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The Heartbreak of Ahmaud Arbery – Racism Requires a Response

After watching the video of Ahmaud Arbery being ruthlessly gunned down, I feel numb. I feel outraged. I feel embarrassed that I live in a nation where people pretend that racism isn’t an issue anymore. And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, a video was just released showing a vigilante group of white…
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An Update on Peter’s Injury

Friends and Family, it’s been a rough week for me. Many of you have already heard this last week, I had a bit of an accident. As I was riding my bike (at a decent speed), my chain derailed, and I went head over heels into a pole (and the pole won). My neck isn’t…
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How to Establish a Quarantine Routine (How to Not Kill Your Kids)

Due to COVID-19, a lot of Americans are “Sheltering in Place” – ie., We’re all in a self-made quarantine! And for a lot of us, it’s a massive change. For example, many of you are adapting to your kids being home (and it’s driving you nuts). It’s O.K. to admit it! As a pastor, I’ve…
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Forced Gratitude: Research Shows, even Insincere Gratitude can Help

No matter how good our lives are going, there’s always something in our lives to whine about. People with no family whine about it. People WITH family whine about it. And all this goes to show, we all need the discipline of thanksgiving this time of year. So, if you’re feeling anxious today… I have a…
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How to be a Better Parent – OR – a Better Son or Daughter!

Recently, I preached on parenting – some of the top regrets I hear, & how we can avoid them! We assume that, because we’re socially intelligent, our kids will necessarily catch it. But, it takes a lot more intentionality than most Christians think. To put it simply: life has a way of crowding out many…
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How Vacations can Save Your Marriage (& your kids)!

Marriage don’t fall apart over-night. The initial cracks that eventually crumble a marriage often start long before. And it’s easy for these cracks to start when the kids are young. Here’s why: When you’re dating, the relationship is all about getting to know each other. The relationship is all about dreaming together and treating each…
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How To Invite People to an Easter Service – Practical Advice

Easter is coming! And at Substance, we have been planning an amazing service for a long time. But why? We want you to invite your friends! Did you know that 82% of unchurched people stated they would go to church if they were invited by someone1. Yet, less than 2% of Christians ever invite people.…
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The Art of Confrontation – How to Share Tough Truths in a life-giving Way

Have you ever wondered why some people can say “difficult” things and people receive it, while others simply open their mouths and people freak out? Over the years, I’ve noticed that two different people can share the exact same truth; yet, to the one truth-teller, people respond with anger and to the other, they melt…
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