Over a period of a couple years, we got to know Chris, a server and bartender at our favorite Mexican food restaurant. Our friendship grew, and we began to have open and vulnerable conversations with him while he served us. One time when we visited the restaurant, Chris sat down, obviously quite disturbed. He went into detail about how he had gotten sloppily drunk the week before, and while at the restaurant had ended up arguing with a coworker. During the argument, he got so upset that he threw plates and glasses, breaking them around the kitchen. He was embarrassed, in trouble, and very vulnerable. 

I remember sitting heartbroken in a church service the week after my mom had died suddenly, at the age of 64. I was 41 years old. Pam and I had been attending the church for a year, and had been teaching a Sunday school class for several months. But I realized that not one person in the congregation even knew that my mom had died. 

"People loving Jesus and embedded in a broken world, purposefully send waves of the gospel out into the lives of other people..." This is a quote from my message on spiritual generations at the Christian Leadership Alliance Outcomes Conference this spring. Click here to hear the video message!

Social research tells us that despite the proliferation of social media, people are lonelier than ever. Do you ever feel alone? Abandoned? Without anyone you can really talk to?

We’ve been talking about what the Christian response is to a culture that seems to be slipping away from a biblical worldview and life. I want to leave us with one final, important thought on how our culture may be changed.

Many of you have heard that one of the main purposes for salt in the first century was as a preservative – to slow the rotting of perishable foods.  At a conference I visited recently, I heard an interesting take on this preserving role of believers in our world.

When I read the news or watch an update on TV and hear the stories of murder, terror, or civil unrest, I can find myself vacillating between fear, anger, or despair. Do you ever feel powerless or that nothing you do will matter?

You don’t have to wander too far from home or read much news to be reminded that our culture and world are broken. As a whole, we don’t reflect the heart and desires of God. How do you personally respond to that?

When you run into challenges in life, what’s your first reaction?  I’d like to say that I always turn to God right away and remember His promises to me. But if I’m honest, I often turn to other places more quickly. When challenges come up, I try to remember this specific promise from Jesus.

In 2 Chronicles 20, Jehoshaphat heard the worst news of his life—a vast army was marching against him! All this would have been for nothing if he had put his trust in the wrong thing. Imagine if he had displayed these postures toward an idol made of carved rock (as many people did in that day) or modern-day items people put their trust in.