Life

Confessions of a White Male Pastor – I Haven’t Talked Enough About Racism

After Ferguson, Baltimore, and Charleston… I can’t take it anymore. I feel like I have to say something, and it’s this: it’s time for white pastors to talk about racial discrimination. People pretend that discrimination doesn’t exist anymore. I’ve heard numerous people say, “We have a black president, so clearly discrimination doesn’t exist.” However, this…
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Imagine: How to Increase Your Happiness x’s 7!

Anyone who’s come to Substance for any period of time has likely heard me talk about the top two predictors of spiritual growth: (1). How many intimate Christian friends you have; (2). And do you have a weekly ministry in your church that charges you up? Recently, I found another study on volunteerism that makes…
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Fix Me: Dealing with Sexual Brokenness

All of us have sexual brokenness. The question remains: How do we deal with it? Thankfully, we serve a God of redemption. Our church is filled with people from every imaginable background who’ve been restored to a lifestyle of joy. Indeed, repentance is actually a joyful process – the gateway to “refreshment” (Acts 3:19). Unfortunately,…
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Fifty Shades of Truth: Shocking Research Facts about Sex & Porn

With the movie, “Fifty Shades of Grey” coming out, people are starting to talk about topics of sexuality more. It seems like almost every magazine in my local grocery store is doing a featured article on how “sex-whips” and porn can increase your sexual satisfaction. Unfortunately, none of this syncs with the research on sexual fulfillment.…
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Fasting Has Never Been This Fun

If you’ve come to Substance in the last few years, you’ll know that we start out every new year with a season of fasting. Of course, nobody “has to” fast; but, when you understand what the Bible teaches on fasting, you’ll realize: we “get to” fast.  It’s actually an incredible opportunity. In both the Old…
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The Strange History of Trick or Treating … Prayer?

Throughout the middle ages people believed in a theological concept called purgatory…a place between heaven and hell where certain people could pay for their sins before entering heaven.  Of course, Evangelical scholars don’t believe the concept even exists in the Bible.  Some credit Pope Gregory the 1st (late 6th century) as the originator.  But keep this belief…
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Why Doubt and Skepticism are a Healthy Part of Faith

Doubt is a regular part of faith.  As strange as it might sound, doubt is God’s way of making us hungry for deeper revelations.  It’s not something we fear; it’s something we explore. Keep in mind, there’s a huge difference between Skeptics vs. Cynics.  Skeptics are people who attempt to remain as intellectually neutral as possible but Cynics…
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Surviving the Fall Rat-Race: How to keep Your Family Sane during School Season!

By popular demand, I wanted to repost a prior blog on how to survive the Fall Rat-Race! As I sat outside my kid’s school last week, it was amazing to see all of the parents scurry here and there.  Everyone looked exhausted… like I was watching the finish line of a super-marathon.  Kids fumbled in…
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Why Anger is More Contagious than Joy (& Why It Makes Me Mad : )

Did you know that angry tweets have a much higher rate of being retweeted.  At least that’s what a newly released study from China’s Beihang University says.  To be specific, anger tended to “spread faster” than joy, disgust, or sadness by a factor of three.  But researcher Rui Fan and his research team also found…
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Your Friends Affect Everything – So Choose them Well!

Having good Christian friends is one of the greatest ingredients that predicts your likelihood of spiritual growth.  Like I demonstrated in my book Pharisectomy, your friends are actually one of the greatest statistical predictors of life-expectancy, obesity, and happiness.  For example, I recently found a study showing that, if you have a larger number of…
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