A better motivator for Christian service than gratitude

It’s the season of Advent, and I’m enjoying wonderful songs about the birth of our Savior; this season it’s ones like Lauren Daigle’s “The Light of the World” and Francesca Battistelli’s “You’re Here.” These songs increase my deep joy and gratitude for our Lord Jesus Christ’s willingness to descend to earth and accomplish our great salvation for us, freeing us from sin and death and calling us to Himself. I sometimes stand stunned with gratitude at the outpouring of His grace.

But this gratitude is not my motivator to serve Him. Continue reading “A better motivator for Christian service than gratitude”

Four ways teaching Christians to embrace “I’m the worst sinner I know” is harming the church

SermonTitleSome background of the teaching

When CJ Mahaney began proclaiming “I’m the worst sinner I know” somewhere around the late 1990s, it certainly wasn’t the first time this teaching had been promoted. But from what I could find, this was when it began to go mainstream.

Mahaney himself claimed it regularly, often even as a way of introducing himself when he would stand up to speak. “I’m CJ Mahaney, and I’m the worst sinner I know.”

But it isn’t only Mahaney who is supposed to be the worst sinner he knows. Each one of us Continue reading “Four ways teaching Christians to embrace “I’m the worst sinner I know” is harming the church”

“If you died tonight, what would you say to God to get Him to let you into His heaven?”

I had opened the front door to find two women standing there. I think they may have introduced themselves, and possibly told what church they represented. But then one of them said this line. This memorized line.

My first thought? What a confrontational thing to say!

My second thought? This is what it feels like to be on the other side of the door. Continue reading ““If you died tonight, what would you say to God to get Him to let you into His heaven?””

Lessons from Teaching English as a Second Language

Teaching English as a Second Language has taught me something about English: There are loads of rules. People from other countries who just have to learn the rules and then all the rules about the rules (meta-rules?) can feel utterly overwhelmed with the complexity of the language we speak naturally. They can even become resentful. They could wish that English were their first language, but of course that cannot be.

But if you grew up in a home where English is spoken all the time, and spoken correctly, then it will seem natural, and the rules will come easily. In fact, you’ll be able to intuit rules you’ve never even heard. “Oh yes, I see. I thought so.” Continue reading “Lessons from Teaching English as a Second Language”