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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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 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

Over the last year, we’ve heard a lot about the “Me Too” movement. I’ve honestly LOVED the national conversation on it — mainly because we been avoiding the topic of sexual brokenness for too long. Indeed, we live in a culture that has essentially said: “There’s no such thing as sexually broken. Indeed, that’s ‘who…
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How to Get Your Kids to Fall in Love with the Church

All of our kids went through phases where they hated church. Sometimes, the problem was simple: They lack friends. Other times the problem was more complicated. But it’s critical that parents learn how to negotiate these seasons. After all, 75% of Christian kids are walking away from church when they graduate. Think about that stat.…
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3 Ways to Increase Your Hunger for the Bible

This last Sunday, I admitted that, years ago, I had a major struggle trying to get into my Bible (And if you missed that message, click here). But, thankfully, over the years, I’ve gotten better at feeding myself. And I’d love to share a few secrets with you. Of course, it’s especially important to learn…
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Before Promotion, comes Devotion – Story Behind “Surgical Love”

Doesn’t it sometimes feel like everyone is on a faster track than ourselves? In a social media age, it often feels like everyone is having a good time but you; however, remember: You’re looking at everyone’s highlight reel; not their behind-the-scenes. But often times, there’s something else going on. This last week, Substance Input/Output, released a…
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3 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Suicide and how to Prevent It

Like many people, it’s been hard for me to process all of the celebrity suicides of late. First it was Robin Williams, then Chester Bennington of the band Linkin Park. Then it was Prince (who was initially thought to have simply overdosed [1]; then it was Avicii – one of the wealthiest electronic dance music…
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