I'm currently reading through the Psalms with a new commentary I got. I like that the psalms cover every emotion, especially pain, depression, and loss. I don't like those specifically because I'm morbid and like to dwell there, but because that is often the place where we need to hear from God the most. It's in those places that we need to be reminded that God is God. He is in control. He is the Creator. He is righteous. He sees our struggles, hears our prayers, and will care for us. The Psalms point us back to God in those situations.

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For a while now I have been reading a book called Resilience by Eric Greitens. It's a fascinating look at what it takes to be a resilient person. Now I have no idea what the author's theological bend is or if he is even a believer but today I was reading a portion that just struck me.

"Human beings learn by imitating other human beings. Probably the most complex intellectual feat any of us will ever acheive is learning to talk. And we do it simply by listening to others, trying to do what they do.

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Last week I climbed a mountain. It was Mt. Quandary with a total elevation of 14,265 feet. It was physically the hardest thing I've ever done. I expected that. I probably underestimated how difficult it would be. I did know that it would be hard, especially in light of my current exercise routines (few and far between). What I didn't expect is to be emotionally and spiritually drained as well. On that mountain I gained a new appreciation for Jesus and His Church in my life. Here are three things I wanted to share from that experience.

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...I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord... I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him... I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death.

- Philippians 3:8-10 (NIV)

I'm in a pretty big transition time in my life, and I just want to give you a glimpse into what God is doing in my heart right now.

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Sunshine, beaches, lakes, family, road trips, sports, no school...and no church? Summer is a great time to be with family. But, did you know summer months is also a very challenging time for many church members? As a pastor, I’ve seen “Christians” take these three vacations every summer...

#1 - Take a vacation from church!

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In my role here at ThornCreek I have a front row seat to all the decisions made whether they be spiritual, financial, or otherwise. Obviously over the last four or five months things have been happening in rapid speed regarding the purchase of land and a future home for ThornCreek Church. That said, it seems as though a significant amount of my time is spent working on items that pertain to the land and our future building. Because of this, I have found myself looking at the book of Nehemiah in some of my personal times.

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Following God changes our lives. It not only affects our ‘life after death,’ it changes how we live every day. One of my favorite Parables of Jesus is the Good Samaritan, found in Luke 10:

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In my moment of New Year's reflection, I looked back at a journal entry that I wrote last year during one of the first days of 2014.  In it I said, "God is preparing us." [Referring to my family.]  "God is going to move and make it apparent what we should do.  It is both terrifying and exciting.  I feel like I've been focused on moving possibilities and job situations.  But what if it's not that at all?  What if it's those things and more?"

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“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’-which means, ‘God with us."-Matthew 1:23

I love reading all the different names of Jesus in scripture.  King of Kings.  Lord of Lords.  Alpha and Omega.  Everlasting Father.  Prince of Peace.  If you asked me what my favorite name would be, I would have to say Emmanuel, which means God with us.

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