Before You Give Advice To Someone

A few years ago I shared a challenge I was having with one of my children with a friend of mine, CB, who helps care for our church. I so appreciated his first response. ?He asked, “Mark, how are you doing?”

Before you start giving advice to someone, ask how they’re doing.

CB could have begun making various suggestions of things I could do with my child. He could’ve shared pertinent parenting Bible verses. But as a great pastor, he first cared for my soul.

Yes, there was a time for advice and talking about how I should approach the situation. But that came later.

Before you start giving advice to someone, ask how they’re doing.

Introducing: Creative Coaching / Brainstorming

Okay, I had this brain flash. I love helping people be creative. I love helping people overcome their fears and get a project started. I love helping people take something boring and turn it into something creative. So I want to do that. I want to get a bunch of us together online and talk about how we can be more creative.

So here’s what I’m going to do. On Saturday, July 14th, at 12pm EST, I’m going to do my first ever, online virtual creative coaching session. Using Skype (or some other tool), we’re going to talk about creativity, and what keeps us from being creative. We’re going to talk about using our creative gifts for the glory of God. We’re going to talk about songwriting and novel writing and gardening and sewing and all other creative endeavors. I want to help you get moving, get going, get creating for the glory of God.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • How to overcome the fear and actually get started.
  • How to keep going in the face of resistance.
  • How to finally finish that project that.

I want to help you become a creative ninja.

Now here’s the thing: I can’t do this for free. I wish I could, but I’m not that rich. So I’m going to set the participation price at $50 and I’m only going to accept 10 people for this first session.

If more people sign up, I’ll do additional sessions based on a first come, first serve basis.

Are you excited about this? I hope you are, because I am! I can’t wait to get talking to you guys!

If you want to sign up, click on the button below:

Band Alert! Wayfarer…

Dan Koch from the band “Wayfarer” recently informed me that they will be releasing a new album entitled Repurposed Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Now I’ve got to admit, I was skeptical at first. I generally don’t like it when hymns are redone because…well because they’re not redone very well. Please don’t put a CCM sound on a hymn.

But then I listened to the track he sent me and was blown away. I really liked it. I’ve embedded it below for you to listen to. Pay attention, because I’ll be posting more from these guys in the future.

When God Saves An Ecstasy Dealer

Kevin Kubica was a hardcore ecstasy dealer. He was involved in a multimillion dollar ecstasy ring, sold ecstasy to professional baseball players, and seemed to have it all. Then everything fell apart and God stepped in. And everything changed.

You really need to listen to his redemption story.

Listen to it on iTunes.

Stream it below: (RSS readers click through)

Do you have a Redemption Story that you would like to share with the world? Contact me on Facebook or Twitter and let me know.

If You Happen To Win The Lottery, Please Buy Me One Of These

From the description on the video:

Introducing the most thrilling new aerial water vehicle; the Jetovator! Turn your standard high output personal watercraft into a power source for your Jetovator and get ready to reach heights up to 30 feet, speeds up to 25mph, dives down to 10 feet, and insane aerial tricks like 360 degree barrel rolls, and back flips. To get more info on the Jetovator visit

What About All Those Things We Should Do But Fail To Do?

Christ died for all our sins. ?Every single wicked thing we?ve done.

Every command we’ve broken – every violation. ?Every sinful thought, word and deed we?ve done – every ?sin of commission.?

But he died for even more than these.

Christ also died for all the good things we should do but fail to do.

Every ?sin of omission.? ?Like loving God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. ?Anybody done that today for 15 minutes straight? ?Or loving our neighbor as ourselves.

Anybody pray as much as he should? ?Sacrifice as much as she could for Jesus? ?Give as much as he could to the poor? ?Any husbands out there who always love their wives as Christ loved the church? Anybody out there who never fails to rejoice – ALWAYS?

Jesus died for all the acts of kindness we neglect. ?All the times we should speak up for Jesus but don?t for fear of man. ?All the times we should serve others but give in to laziness. ?All the times we should love others but just don?t.

That?s why when God justifies us, he not only declares us to be ?not guilty,? but God declares us to be ?righteous.? Not guilty of the sins we?ve committed because Jesus paid for them. ?But positively righteous because Jesus lived a life of perfect obedience, which God credits to us who believe as a gift.

Justification is sometimes explained God looking upon me ?Just-as-if-I?d never sinned.? But that?s only half the story. ?The other half of justification is that God sees me ?Just-as-if-I?d always obeyed.?

It?s not our own righteousness. ?It?s a righteousness from God:

?…not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith? ?(Philippians 3:9).

Paul didn?t plan to wave his own righteousness before God on judgment day. ?He counted on God welcoming him into heaven because of Christ?s righteousness.

But, you ask, if God sees us as righteous, what?s the point of doing anything good? ?Good question. Scripture says God’s gift of righteousness doesn?t make us passive. ?In fact, we?re to run hard after righteousness.

But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. ?(1 Timothy 6:11)

How can we who have received God?s righteousness live for unrighteousness? ?That?s insane. ?Romans 6 says believers are slaves of righteousness (v18) – propelled by righteousness, ??possessed by righteousness. We serve righteousness. ?We do what righteousness dictates. ?So we pursue righteousness, but when we fail to pursue it perfectly, when we fall short of loving the way we should or serving with a joyful attitude like we should, we don’t sink into despair, because God has counted his own perfect righteousness to us.

Our hope is always in Christ’s performance, not ours.

Now that?s good news!