The FULL Serenity Prayer

My pastoral counselor prescribed for me the daily practice of praying the famous Serenity Prayer for the next couple weeks. I’m not struggling with addiction or substance abuse, and I haven’t joined an AA group, but this prayer has much broader application for many other personal afflictions. I discovered two new things as I accepted…

Lessons from the “Rule” of Benedict

by Pete Scazzero Benedict (480-547 AD) lived during a time when the Roman Empire was disintegrating and eventually founded twelve monasteries near Rome. To guide these monks to live a simple, orderly life around Christ, he wrote “a little rule for beginners” now famously known as the “Rule of Benedict” (RB). This “Rule” became one of the most…

The Secret to Feeding 5,000

Ever feel overwhelmed by the number and size of the needs around you? Ever wonder how one person can make an impact in this broken world? One side-effect of the digital age of social media is that we’re constantly made aware of all the tragedies and suffering around the globe: abducted children, famine, sex trafficking,…

The Weeping Pastor

“You’re name is NOT Jeremy!” the large, black man shouted into my ear with his thick Caribbean accent. His hands were heavy on my shoulders as he stood over me as I sat helplessly in a chair in a dim-lit room. “Your true name is Jeremiah! You are the weeping prophet!” he continued in his…

It’s a Long Slow Process

“Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you. But we must hold on to the progress we have already made” (Phil 3:16). Paul is first and foremost a pastor.  Every pastor must grasp one simple but crucial truth of…

God’s Gift of Limits

by Pete Scazzero Limits are often the last place we look for God. We want to conquer them, plan around them, deny them, and fight them. We attend leadership conferences so we can step out in faith and break through the limits before us. The problem is that when we fail to look for God…

What Keeps Me Awake? Pt. 3

I worry we’re preaching the love of Christ while ignoring the wisdom of Christ. I worry we’re raising up a generation of Christians shaped by the shallow and spineless gospel of the Beatles: “All you need is love, love, love.” Yet, take away wisdom and all you have a bunch of “foolish lovers” driven along by fluctuating emotions and trendy causes. Love must be accompanied by wisdom. Wisdom guides us to love rightly.

What Keeps Me Awake? Pt. 2

What keeps me awake at night is wondering if all of my pastoral efforts are actually producing disciples. Are we just keeping people busy with programs and gatherings, or are people being gradually (and imperfectly) formed into Christlikeness? I felt Paul’s exasperation lately over his beloved church when he wrote, “Oh, my dear children! I…