Keys to Reading the Bible in 2016

For many, the beginning of a new year brings a new resolve to spend more time reading the Bible. For some, that resolve comes from an awareness that 1) they should read the Bible and 2) they would benefit from reading the Bible. Both of these are true. But I often observe that such resolve doesn't result in a sustained lifestyle of reading scripture. In this blog, I want to offer three keys to approaching your reading of scripture that might help. Focus on long term understanding. Your ... Continue Reading

I Love Catch the Fire DFW

I love our church community. There's a deepening connection, a building momentum, a tangible joy and love that permeates our church family. But that isn't the result of a program. It's not the product of a philosophy of ministry. We are who we are as a church family because of people. People like Tim and Dawn Martin. The very first time we setup to meet as a congregation, they came the night before and worked tirelessly to make sure everything was just right. Tim is a treasure of ... Continue Reading

I Love Catch the Fire DFW

I love Catch the Fire DFW. I love our people. We have this core of leaders who serve so sacrificially and faithfully. They are catalysts for community. They give with joy. They worship with abandon. They minister with power. I think about people like Justin and Laurie Wade. After church on a Saturday night, you will often find them vacuuming the auditorium, picking up trash, making sure things are just right for our Word of Love friends who will be gathering the next morning for ... Continue Reading

Tithing | A Joy to Discover

Just the other day I received some income and before I even deposited the check into our bank account, I opened up my Catch the Fire DFW App on my iPhone and returned the tithe. This means I made a donation of 10% of the income to our church family. I use the language "returned" the tithe instead of "gave" the tithe for a very specific reason. The principle of tithing is not a giving principle. It's a "returning" principle. The tithe belongs to the Lord, so we don't "give" it to him, we ... Continue Reading

The Rumor is We Don’t Believe in Heaven; Here’s the truth.

I've heard this hinted at here and there. Yesterday someone contacted me to ask me directly. A friend had shared with her that she had heard that we don't believe in the existence of heaven. Usually by the time such rumors reach my ears, they are fairly widespread. So...please allow me to clear that up. Of course we believe in heaven. My dad passed away in August of this year and I take great comfort in knowing he is with the Lord in heaven right now. 2 Corinthians 5:6–8 (ESV) 6 So ... Continue Reading

Signs of Spiritual Abuse – Part 3

Another sign of spiritual abuse is when authority enforces rules they are themselves exempt from. Organizational policies are about protecting the unstated value of control instead of protecting the stated values. As a result, the enforcement of rules is aimed down the org chart unevenly rather than consistently throughout. Behavior that would result in confrontation and discipline lower on the organizational chart remains un-confronted at the highest levels. As an example, consider ... Continue Reading

Signs of Spiritual Abuse – Part 2

The second sign of spiritual abuse is that authority plays the God card to manipulate or control. Playing the God card happens when someone avoids confrontation or accountability by claiming divine sanction for their choices. This strategy dodges accountability in two key ways. First, God does give direction and guidance to people and therefore a claim to divine guidance cannot be categorically dismissed. In leveraging the claim "God told me," they are able to avoid confrontation and ... Continue Reading

Signs of Spiritual Abuse – Part 1

The first sign of spiritual abuse is that it's not safe to question authority. This dynamic indicates that the fundamental understanding of authority within a group or organization is rooted in fear. Unhealthy leadership assumes that effective leadership must present an unquestionable confidence, which makes their confidence unquestionable. This is fear-based because such a projection of confidence ALWAYS serves to mask insecurity, and insecurity is ALWAYS about fear. If my projection of ... Continue Reading

Joy and Laughter in Worship

Sometimes we experience outbursts of laughter in our meetings at Catch the Fire DFW. Why? It's rarely because I'm funny. That's for sure. It's a good question. If you're unfamiliar, let me first describe the phenomenon. In our gatherings at Catch the Fire DFW, it's not uncommon for some people to laugh. There is a wide range of ways this can be expressed. Sometimes it's one person. Sometimes it's a few. Sometimes it's more than a few. It can happen during preservice prayer, or during ... Continue Reading

Why I Do Not Hope For A Rapture

For many of us raised in evangelical Christianity since childhood, an expectation for the rapture is deeply ingrained in our understanding of the end times. It is simply assumed that there will come a time when God snatches all the believers away from the earth and into heaven. The only discussion usually involves just how much tribulation believers will have to endure before that happens. Rarely, if ever, do we question the basic assumption that God wants us to anchor our hope in escaping the ... Continue Reading