You’ll Know Them by Their Fruit

This is a testimony of the goodness of God, and a ‘Thank You’ to those who serve in Youth Ministry.

Last night my family and I were at Mount Southington skiing with another family from the church. By the end of the night, the little ones had gone home, but the ‘big kids’ ages 8-10, stayed to get in a few runs on the more challenging trails.

We had a major dilemma.

One of the more challenging trails at the mountain is the “terrain park.” It’s fairly steep, narrow, and full of jumps. It also happens to be the trail situated directly beneath the chair lift. So, as you ride the chair slowly up the mountain, you’re treated to a view of the more advanced skiers and boarders at the mountain hitting jumps, grinding on rails, and otherwise navigating the challenging terrain.

 The kids wanted to ski down that terrain park “so bad.” But they were rightfully apprehensive about it also. There was a lot of nervous discussion on the chair lift about whether or not to go. That continued at the top of the mountain after we unloaded from the chair. My Dad and I offered to split up – one adult could take the kids who wanted to do the terrain park, and one could do a different trail with the kids who didn’t.

And then it happened.

As the kids were deliberating, one said, “Hey – we could pray about it.” To my amazement and joy, all four excitedly agreed. “Yes!”, “Yea, let’s pray,” “Let’s do it.” There, at the top of Mount Southington, unprompted by their parents, they prayed. Unashamed, they prayed. As my Dad and I looked at each other in awe, they prayed. As I saw what was happening, I fumbled for my phone to capture the moment.

I share this to give ALL of the glory to our God and to say “thank you” to everyone involved in children’s ministry. If you’ve been to our Sunday services, you’ve probably heard me talk about this. Whenever I have the honor of serving as Host, I am responsible for dismissing the children back to their classrooms. Indeed, I had done so earlier that very day. And it always involves an explanation that our youth ministry is not simply “daycare” during church. It is one of the hardest-working ministries in the church. The kids learn age-appropriate Biblical lessons and are surrounded by other believers.

Iron sharpens iron.

Jesus Christ said you will, “know them by their fruit.” Well – our youth ministry bears undeniable fruit. I never imagined my kids would want to go to church to be with their friends. I never imagined a service that would lack the blood pressure spike associated with trying to keep your kids quiet. And that’s why I will continue to encourage other parents to come, “taste and see that the Lord is good.”

Thank you to all who serve.

By the way, all four kids went down the terrain park, loved it, and did it about another 10 times after that!

One Tip Every Christian Can Use for BREAKTHROUGHS

Here is one tip that every Christian can use to make breakthroughs when sharing the Gospel with the lost. This is so very effective – it comes up constantly in discussions with unbelievers. And you’re getting at basically what the entire Bible is about.

I’ve studied this intently. Not as a Pastor, but just as your typical born-again believer. I think teaching it from that perspective has helped make my Christianity Uncomplicated book series so well received in 13 countries and counting!

The one crucial principle is this: pardoning guilty sinners does not make a judge good, loving, or nice. It makes him corrupt. If someone is guilty of breaking the law, the judge knows he’s guilty, and pronounces them innocent anyway, he’s corrupt.

Countless sinners mis assume that God will pardon them because He’s “nice.” But here’s what the Bible says, “Acquitting the guilty and condemning the innocent- the Lord detests them both” (Proverbs 17:15).

One hundred percent of people are guilty of breaking God’s law. One hundred percent of people are sinners. And the Bible says that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). See, if this get’s a little bit uncomfortable – good. Because people need to know what is so bad about their current state in order to understand what’s so good about the Good News of Jesus Christ.

So, we know God is not corrupt. We know we’re guilty. How do we reconcile that with the fact that God is loving, kind, caring, compassionate, and forgiving? The Bible says that as far as the east is from the west. That’s how far He removes our transgressions from us (Psalm 103:12).

How can God be a good judge, but still forgive me (and you!) who’s guilty of breaking His laws.

Door opened. Because there is only one answer to that question, and it’s found in the cross of Jesus Christ.

This is the transcript of a piece of social media content that can be viewed by clicking HERE.

For a deep dive into this topic and the Gospel overall, check out “What Exactly is the Gospel?”

Why does God allow so much evil and suffering? Part 2 of 2.

This is an excerpt from my current work in progress – a book all about sharing the Gospel. I’m putting the finishing touches on the first draft and am due to submit the manuscript to my editor next week. I’ll have more info soon! In the meantime, please enjoy the excerpt:

Scripture is clear that God has comprehensive power to do everything and anything He wants to do. God is holy, all-good, all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving, and completely sovereign. Still, somehow, the world He created, the world we inhabit, is full of evil. How do we reconcile this? 

Here is the answer: God allows evil agents to work then overrules evil according to His own wise and Holy plan.[1] Ultimately, He is able to make all things- including all the evil of all time- work together for (1) the greater good of His people and (2) His glory.

There is a lot there, so let’s draw out some key points: 

Evil proceeds only from the creature – never from the Creator. All evil is committed in rebellion against our Holy God and his Holy law. God is neither the author of nor the approver of evil. On the contrary, He is “Holy, holy, Holy” – separate from everything that is sinful and evil. God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all.

Evil is not a disruption to God’s eternal plan. He isn’t scrambling around trying to figure out a “Plan B.” 

God has a good and morally sufficient reason for all evil He allows. Evil is allowed for the greater good of His people and for His own glory. 

To illustrate the answer, we will apply it to the single most vile, rebellious, evil event in history: the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Follow me here:

God allowed evil agents to work. Our Holy, sinless Lord was put to death in an act of rebellion against God. However, this evil was no disruption to God’s eternal plan. The crucifixion was always in His plan. As discussed in Chapter 15, God had been forecasting the crucifixion quite literally since the dawn of humanity (Garden of Eden). We can read prophecies about the crucifixion that were recorded centuries before Jesus was even born. And why was this evil allowed? For the greater good of His people and for His glory. The greater good is the Gospel – the salvation of all who put their faith in Jesus Christ. The glory of God is a demonstration of His perfect attributes. As John MacArthur summed it up: “We wouldn’t know God is as righteous as He is if it hadn’t been for unrighteousness, we wouldn’t know God is as loving as He is if it hadn’t been for sin, we wouldn’t know God is as holy as He is if it weren’t for judgment.” 

There it is, friend. The most evil act in history is no disruption to God’s eternal plan and neither is any other evil. In the moment, the crucifixion was an unspeakable tragedy. But God knows the end from the beginning. It’s His eternal plan. Today, we light up at the sight of a cross – we decorate our homes with them, wear them on chains around our neck, get them tattooed on our bodies, and we thank God for the cross. He took what the enemy meant for evil and turned it for great good. 

There is immense peace that can come from understanding this truth. Now- that doesn’t mean that evil isn’t going to hurt in this life. It will. But we’ll conclude this topic with one more reminder: we have a Savior who can sympathize with us. Jesus Christ willingly became a man and experienced evil. He was tempted by the devil, He had friends who betrayed Him, He was assaulted, He was scorned, He was reviled, He was abandoned, He suffered, and He wept. Jesus willingly experienced every pain that you could possibly experience. And why? Why would He do this willingly? 

Because we are His children, and He loves us. We can take any and all of our pain and bring it to Jesus. He invites us to:

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. -Matthew 11:28

Why does God allow so much evil and suffering? Part 1 of 2.

This is an excerpt from my current work in progress – a book all about sharing the Gospel. I’m putting the finishing touches on the first draft and am due to submit the manuscript to my editor next week. I’ll have more info soon! In the meantime, please enjoy the excerpt. Sign up for email updates to have these posts delivered in advance to your inbox!

Brother in Christ, Sister in Christ – your ability to address this challenging question is a powerful tool for your Gospel-sharing toolbelt. I regularly receive comments on social media like these:“If he exists why does he allow so much hate n murder n crime in his so-called loved children?”What kind of God allows kids to get cancer and murders to occur? A sick god.”Now- this “problem of evil” is a worthy question to tackle for Christians and agnostics. It is important, however, to understand that the existence of evil is a truly absurd reason for an atheist to use as justification for why they reject the God of the Bible.According to atheists, God does not exist. We are cosmic accidents with no ultimate meaning in a universe that does not care. So, what exactly is the problem with a purposeless accident of nature being hungry? Or being killed? Why should anyone care? In an atheistic worldview, there is no good or evil. Dr. Richard Dawkins, the poster child for modern atheists, puts it this way, “The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.” That is atheism in a nutshell. No good, no evil, just pitiless indifference. The holocaust? Not evil. Slavery? Not evil. Terrorism? Not evil. Because there is no such thing as evil in their worldview. Things just happen and then you die, and you’re gone. So, when an atheist says something like, “Tell that to all the starving children in the developing world that God seems to have forgotten about” – their conscience is revealing the hypocrisy of their purported beliefs. Their moral indignation is a direct contradiction to their stated worldview. Why are they upset if they believe that these starving children are meaningless overgrown germs? It is, in fact, evidence that they are suppressing the truth of God as stated in Romans 1:18. The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.   This argument is summarized masterfully by former atheist, CS Lewis. “My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But just how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe to when I called it unjust? If the whole show was so bad and senseless, so to speak, why did I, who was supposed to be a part of the show, find myself in such a violent reaction against it?” 

Continued in Part 2…

Need an Ark? I Noah guy. Part 2.

Saturday 11/08/2021

“Umm… Sir. I just want to let you know that there’s only about 3 hours until we close for the day.”

I knew we were in for an experience when the parking lot attendant seemed genuinely concerned that we had only 3 hours available to explore the Ark Encounter. There would be a lot to take in. The attendant directed us to park and then head over to an on-site bus station where we would catch a shuttle to the Ark site. My jaw dropped as I looked out the shuttle window and saw this gargantuan Ark off in the distance…

As we stepped off of the shuttle, we were greeted by this awesome sight. The rainbow, a symbol of the covenant God made with Noah following the flood.

Did I mention that this Ark is absolutely ENORMOUS? It’s built to the specifications outlined in the Bible– 510 feet long, 85 feet wide, and 51 feet long. Just how large is that? It’s so large that the woman we asked to take our picture with the Ark couldn’t fit it in the frame!

We continued to marvel at the sheer size of the Ark as we approached it. It was time to do some exploring…

The craftsmanship on the Ark’s interior was a sight to behold in it’s own right…

Beyond the engineering marvel that it is, there was a wealth of information about how how many animals were on the Ark, how they all fit, how the calculations for the Ark were determined, etc.

It was also super-helpful to see just how the animals were housed, fed, and cleaned up after.

I appreciated the apologetic resources that the Ark provided to defend against common attacks on the Biblical creation story (aka the truth).

Every Christian parent is tasked with preparing their children to live in this fallen world. We’ve done our job if we train them up to build their lives on the good news of Jesus Christ– the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Him. The Ark could make for a great family trip before sending off our kids to encounter woke atheist professors and students at our universities!

And for those with younger kids, there is even an on-site petting zoo…

Overall, both the Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter were amazing. They were both faith-building experiences and a lot of fun. We did them both in one day, but they each easily could have been full-day excursions. I most definitely would not try to do both in one day if you’re bringing kids. And if I only had one day and had to choose, I think you have to go for the Ark. Our God is so awesome – it’s a joy to explore what He’s created!

My feet were sore from a day full of walking, but that didn’t stop us from waking up the next morning and running 13.1 miles around Louisville! We had a blast completing State #14 in our Fifty State Half Marathon Challenge. And, of course, no race day is complete with our crushing some post-run pancakes!

ALL of the glory, ALL of the honor, ALL of the praise be to our King, the one true living God.

I hope you enjoyed this and I’ll talk to you soon. You can get me at


Need an Ark? I Noah guy. Part 1.

Friday 11/07/21

Twenty-two months. 

Could it really be twenty-two months since our last trip? Nothing like a global pandemic to slow down travel, but we’re back in business. Tiff and I flew down to Louisville, Kentucky on the advice of a friend, and it did not disappoint. 

We spent less than 3 hours in the air – not that we would have minded if the flight had been longer. Sitting quietly and reading on a plane is a vacation unto itself! 

Louisville’s airport gets a thumbs up from me. 

  • It’s clean
  • It’s easy to navigate
  • Rental cars are onsite (no shuttle needed)
  • It’s only 15 mins from downtown

No complaints here. 

After checking in and enjoying a great “Bailiff” burger at SideBar, we hit our first Louisville landmark. Since we are baseball fanatics enthusiasts, our first stop was the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory. 

The tour was awesome! It ran about an hour, which felt like the right amount of time. There was plenty of history to keep everyone engaged, as well as bats being made for current major leaguers. Very cool, and the mini souvenir bats they give out at the end make for an awesome memento. At $16 a ticket, this place is a home run (Pun intended. All three of my kids are rolling their eyes right now at this Dad joke. You’re welcome.) 

You know you’re in a cool town when you can hit multiple historic spots in a span of about 20 minutes. Next stop: Churchill Downs. 

Even for people who aren’t into horse racing, this place is a sight to behold. Amazingly, they’ve run the Kentucky Derby at this location for 146 years straight. I can only imagine what it’s like during the Derby, but these off-season races made for a fun, laid-back afternoon in the sun. I think the tickets were something like $7. Another steal. 

After a 3 AM wakeup call and a whirlwind afternoon, we were shot. We called it a night after a great dinner at the Fat Lamb (get the spicy fried chicken). We knew we had a BIG day ahead of us. 

Let’s go. 

Saturday 11/06/21

Louisville has two of the leading Christian-themed attractions within an hour and a half of downtown. The question is… with only one day available, how do you choose? 

We opted to do both! We’ll get to whether I’d recommend that later on. 

After some scouting, we opted to do the Creation Museum first. It was a mostly uneventful 90 minute drive from downtown. Mostly…

The 75,000 square foot museum is located on a beautiful property with walking trails, ziplines, a lake, and even a playground for the kids. 

As scenic as it is outside, the real magic is inside. I love how this museum is structured. The exhibits are organized to proceed through “7 C’s in God’s Eternal Plan.” 

We started all the way back at the dawn of creation and took a stroll through the Garden of Eden…

The exhibits hammer home a crucial point: there is no “war between science and religion.” Rather, atheists and Christians are dealing with the same evidence. The exhibits compare how the same scientific evidence can be interpreted through a Christian worldview vs. a Naturalist/Atheist worldview. Evidence like this reminds me of one of my favorite books: I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist. Indeed, it requires massive blind faith to believe there is no God. 

There were exhibits that addressed the problem of pain…

We also appreciated that the museum did not shy away from sharing the Biblical view of abortion. I thought they shared the truth in a compassionate manner. 

Finally, even though this was a rare kids-free trip for us, we had to check out what the museum had to offer for the little ones. There were some fun exhibits for them, a bookstore, fossils, and even a playground outside. 

Personally, we think our kids are a bit young (9, 7, 5) for a full day at this museum. That said, not everyone feels that way, because there were lots of young kids there who seemed to be having a great time. This is the part where I’d normally insert a relevant photo, but since I wasn’t going to take a picture of someone else’s kids, I’ll just insert this photo of mine being their usual goofy selves…. 

Overall, this museum is outstanding. It was amazing to see people of all different shapes, colors, accents, and backgrounds together to learn about how GOD created the universe and everything inside of it. We spent about 2 hours there, but it’s definitely the type of place you could spend all day at if you wanted to. Our time was limited since we had a life-sized Noah’s Ark to go explore. A structure so massive needs a post all to itself, and that’s what I’ll cover in part two of this email series. 

God Bless and talk to you soon.


Stunning Views in Vacationland

My family and I spent last weekend at one of our favorite places on Earth: Wells, Maine, USA. Those of you connected with my Facebook page know that time involved coffee, reading, and some amazing views of God’s workmanship. It also involved a pretty awesome conversation with my 8-year-old son, Anthony. We were throwing a football around on the beach, enjoying the sights and sounds of the ocean. Watching the waves roll in gave us the opportunity to talk about our Creator. I told him to think about every single grain of sand on that beach and every single drop of water in that ocean – God created it all from NOTHING! If this is the work of His hands, how magnificent must our God be? If we stand in awe looking at nature, will we not fall to our knees and praise the King of kings when we someday stand before Him?

The Top 5 Objections to Christianity Exposed has identified the top five objections to Christianity. Those who have left the church and those who were never part of the church share the same top five. 

-The Christian faith and I have different views on social issues like abortion and gay marriage. 
-Some Christian groups are too intolerant. 
-I don’t like how some Christian groups meddle in politics. 
-Many Christians are hypocrites. 
-There are lots of religions, and I’m not sure only one has to be the right way. 

There is an omission so glaring that I had to re-read their list to make sure I wasn’t missing it. Do you see it?  Amazingly, not one of the top objections to Christianity even mentions Jesus! These objections reinforce what we already know: most people aren’t unbelievers because of a lack of evidence. They’re unbelievers because of a lack of obedience. Putting our faith in Jesus means we’re no longer living for ourselves, but for Him. 

We’ll explore all of this and more in Jesus: Fib, Dead, or God? And look out because we finally have an official release date! We expect to be live on all retailers beginning November 20th! The clock is ticking…

Excerpt from “Jesus: Fib, Dead, or God” 9/24/21

Americans drink about 400 million cups of coffee every day. We drink more coffee than soda, tea, and juice combined. It’s serious business. For many, coffee is an integral part of their daily routine. So much so that over half of all coffee consumers would rather skip a shower in the morning than skip their coffee. I must say these stats are very comforting to me. It’s nice to know I’m not the only lunatic who sometimes goes to bed already looking forward to the next morning’s black coffee. 

In terms of variety, there seems to be as many ways to take your coffee as there are coffee drinkers– hot, iced, cold-brew, nitro, cappuccinos, lattes, frappes, espressos, flavors, sweeteners, different types of beans; it’s endless. Some people get their fix from local coffee shops, and others brew their own at home. Personally, I make most of my coffee at home. With a coffee maker right in my office, it’s both convenient and budget-friendly. I also think the coffee tastes better from a mug than in a paper to-go cup.

The only problem is the temperature. As good as the coffee is when brewed hot and fresh, it goes downhill in a hurry as it sits in the mug and cools off. To combat this, I’ve worked out a system where I brew the coffee into a special covered thermos that keeps it molten hot. I can then pour it into my mug in small increments and enjoy it at my preferred temperature.

There’s iced coffee on the other end of the spectrum, which is also delicious, especially when the weather is sunny and hot. Here in New England, many welcome the change in season from Winter to Spring with a change in coffee from hot to iced. 

In summary: it’s great when it’s hot, it’s great when it’s iced, but it’s lousy when it’s lukewarm. 

Do you realize that our faith in the living God is also lousy when it’s lukewarm? I call this a Room Temperature FaithSomeone with a Room Temperature Faith is not “on fire” for God, nor are they a diehard atheist. Instead, they’re undecided, uncommitted, and generally indifferent. Rather than follow the facts to their only logical conclusion, these people choose to draw no conclusion at all. They remain on the fence, which is a treacherous place to be. 

Pastor Todd White tells a true story about an atheist who has a dream. The man dreams he’s in a vast field, and there’s a fence that goes right up the middle. On one side is Jesus with a group of people, and on the other side, there’s the devil with another group of people. The guy stands up on the fence, and all of a sudden, he’s by himself. The devil comes back into the picture and says, “There you are; I was looking for you.” And the man says, “Hey, I didn’t choose Jesus, but I sure didn’t choose you.” The devil says, “Sure, you did. I own the fence.” The man woke up a Christian.

What I’m telling you is, “I’m not sure” means you’re rejecting Jesus as GodParadoxically, when you avoid deciding, you are actually choosing to be an unbeliever. Jesus said, “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” In other words, there is no middle ground.

Love Requires Hate- 9/10/21

Adolf Hitler was responsible for the genocide of about six million Jews and the killing of over 50 million people overall. That’s an unfathomable level of evil. So would it seem right to you if, after unapologetically sinning until he committed suicide, God rewarded Hitler and welcomed him into heaven with open arms?

Of course not. And the reason that idea is so repugnant to us is that we are created in the image of God. God is perfectly just, so we are made with a deep yearning for fairness and justice. We can even see it in our children. Virtually as soon as they can communicate, they begin to let us know what they believe is “not fair.” I say that as someone who was recently told to “Take a chill pill, Dad” by a five-year-old.

Because we naturally yearn for justice, deep down, we know that sin must be punished. God cannot be perfectly good and also be apathetic toward evil.

In contrast, what we’ll often hear from unbelievers is, “Jesus preached love, so you’re not living like Jesus unless you support [insert virtually anything].” Sound familiar? 

Do you see the error in that position? The argument basically says: God is love, so He cannot hate. But the reality is that God is love; therefore, He must hate (that which is evil). 

This illustration from Pastor Paul Washer helped me understand that, to truly love that which is good, we must hate that which is evil. 

  • I love babies. Therefore, I must hate abortion.
  • I love Jews. Therefore, I must hate the holocaust.
  • I love African Americans. Therefore, I must hate slavery.

Friend, as Christ-followers, we are in the business of loving what He loves and hating what He hates. Naturally, that information is not determined by what pop culture deems offensive this week; rather, we find it in the unchanging authoritative Word of God, the Bible. We’re living for an audience of One.  

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” -Romans 12:9-10