Life

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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6 Golden Rules for Creating Your “Life Plan”

There is something almost magical about a written life plan. Years ago, at the beginning of each year, I would write down my “roles & goals.” Over time, I’ve started revising and expanding that plan every three months. In some ways, it’s a master plan for my year; but, it’s also a prayer journal. As…
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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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Address the Mess – God’s Plan for Sexual Brokenness

In the last year, we’ve heard a lot about the “Me Too” movement. And to be honest, I’ve honestly LOVED the national conversation. After all, it’s the first time in years that our culture has started talking about America’s out of control rape-culture. Don’t get me wrong, it’s actually quite irritating and disheartening when a  topic like…
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How to Get Your Kids to Fall in Love with the Church

If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been traveling a bit more lately. From Canada to London to Pittsburgh to Orlando…the last few weeks have been a bit crazy. So, one of the more common questions I’ve been asked is this: “How do you parent your kids with such a crazy schedule?” Well, keep in mind, when…
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How to Survive Young Kids – a Marriage tip that can change everything

Being a parent with young kids can be one of the most chaotic seasons of life. And if that’s you right now, don’t give up! It only gets better (IF you don’t kill them or force them into orangized crime). My wife & I complicated our lives by planting Substance Church while having 3 kids under…
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