Showing posts from September, 2014

Waseca Congregational Church - Life Apps: Friendship (Proverbs)

I preached this sermon a couple weeks ago at my friend Chris's church in Waseca. The sermon is called "Life Apps: Friendship."  Hope it blesses you.

Brenton Balvin - Proverbs - Life Apps:Friendships from C Meirose on Vimeo.

We're Talking About Practice, Not a Game! #tbt #AllenIverson #Best Ever

Wives, Know Your Place. Thoughts?

I know, I know, the headline is obviously meant to be a bit controversial in order to draw you in to the post. Please forgive me. I saw the same headline in my RSS reader last week and I got suckered into reading the post too. However, I actually found it to be quite interesting. The article was written by a woman and it begins with these words,

"One of the reasons many wives struggle in their marriages is because they refuse to embrace the role God has given them as helper to their husband. The word “helper” ruffles their feather and their pride demands a higher position, a more noble title. But such desires sabotage marriage and prevent us from fulfilling our calling." (Pastor Joe quoting his wife Jen in her article "4 Ways to Live Out Your Role As Helper")

The four ways Jen offers women to live out their role as helper are really good and probably not what you'd expect. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Friendships with Other Christians Must be of Primary Importance

Last Sunday I preached the sermon at Waseca Congregational Church where my friend Chris is the lead pastor. I gave a message from the assorted texts in the book of Proverbs on the topic of friendship. This is a subject I have been thinking about and studying for a long time. Friendships centered on Jesus Christ and demonstrating the Biblical characteristics of humility, love, faithfulness, edification, rebuke and encouragement mean a lot to me. I am deeply convicted that God calls his people to walk through life in close community with other believers.

Not everyone shares the same conviction as I do. There are people in every church who hold to a very loose view of the importance of Christian friendship. These people think church attendance is enough to satisfy the demands of God, and they spend the majority of their time outside Christian fellowship and friendship. I believe this kind of thinking and acting has major ramifications for that person's spiritual growth and developme…

Healthy Marriages Avoid the Emotional Greenhouse Effect

At work we've been watching a series of videos aimed at developing within us truck dispatchers the skills we need to build strong relationships with our guys out on the highways driving trucks. One thing the video instructor said has really stuck with me because I feel like it has applications for relationships far beyond the bounds of trucking. The instructor used the illustration of a greenhouse to describe what it is like for drivers dealing with problems when they are out on the road. He said the cab of a truck acts like an emotional greenhouse that heats up real fast and makes little things turn into big ones quickly.

Immediately I thought of the marriage relationship. In strong marriages little things are dealt with quickly before they can turn into big things. Forgiveness is given, offenses are overlooked, intentions are not questioned, and grace flows freely between each partner. In struggling marriages all the opposites exist. Little things aren't dealt with and they…

Quarry Church - A King with a Heart Like the King's (assorted texts from 1 Samuel on David's life)

15 Reasons to be in a Life Group

I can't wait for our life group to start up again on Wednesday.  It has been three months since our last meeting and it is a part of my life that I have missed greatly.  Regularly getting together with my friends in group means a lot to me.  Plus I'm excited about a really neat new family that is joining us this fall.  I am confident God is going to continue doing great things in all our lives as we draw nearer to Him and to one another.  That said, here are 15 reasons I think everyone should be in a life group (small group / Bible study / missional community...whatever you wanna call it).

1. Having people to pray for you
2. Having people to confess your sins to
3. Having people whose needs you can meet, and who can help meet yours
4. Reminds you that your life isn't that weird and abnormal
5. Encouraging to know, whatever you're walking through, you're not alone
6. Best snacks ever (at least they are in my group!!!!)
7. Having a diversity of experience and backgr…

"Thou You Slay Me" - Soul Encouragement I Needed Today

This morning a good friend from my life group sent me this video to encourage me. I had texted him for some prayer since I've been feeling down about some things recently. The song and sermon audio brought tears to my eyes. God is good, all the time. And I'm grateful for friends who love Him and encourage me to walk faithfully in Him.

Recognizing the Kind of People Circling Around You


Helping My Son Transiton Into Manhood

Parenting is a trip isn't it. Especially when dealing with the first born child. You get no guidebook and no practice. Every developmental stage is trial and error, learn as you go. Mostly you throw in a bunch of prayer, trust Jesus and see what happens. Our oldest turned 11 on Sunday and right before our eyes he is turning into a little man. As exciting as the transformation is, it doesn't come without its challenges.

My wife sent me a link to a great article by Amy Roberts about "Boys and Their Attitudes." Here is a quote I found interesting and worth being mindful of.

Boys go through hormonal changes, but they also go through dominion changes.  Honestly, I think all boys have an innate sense that they are supposed to conquer something.  Often, the first manifestation of this need to conquer starts with those closest to him…his own family.  In boyish foolishness, he sets out to be in charge.

Amy goes on to share a few helpful thoughts on how to help boys make the…

To Act Like Men, Men Act Like Jesus.

Came across this quote yesterday in a post by Ed Stetzer. It comes from this blog post by Pastor Eric Mason. Pastor Mason is a man I've been following and listening to for the last few years. He's a great preacher and pastor at Epiphany Fellowship in Philadelphia.  I have also read and enjoyed his book Manhood Redeemed.

Perhaps, then, men are so unclear about who they are supposed to be because we in the church have failed to give them a true picture of the ultimate man Jesus Christ. This man alone was unflawed and untouched by the destructive properties of sin. Yet this man was still born with all of the limitations and temptations of humanity (Heb. 4:15). Jesus, and Jesus alone, has exemplified manhood. If we want to be conformed to His image, most especially as men, we need to understand this example more deeply.

Enough With the Ray Rice Video

Yesterday, Janey Rice, the wife former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice posted this message on her Instagram account,

"I woke up this morning feeling like I had a horrible nightmare, feeling like I'm mourning the death of my closest friend. But to have to accept the fact that it's reality is a nightmare in itself. No one knows the pain that the media and unwanted [opinions] from the public [have] caused my family. To make us relive a moment in our lives that we regret every day is a horrible thing... What don't y'all get? If your intentions were to hurt us, embarrass us, make us feel alone, take all the happiness away, you've succeeded on so many levels."

 In his ESPN article Jason Whitlock writes,
"Let's end the assault on Janay Rice by taking the elevator video off the 24-hour, TV hamster wheel. The video no longer holds probative value. Its use now is sensational at best, exploitative at worst -- and is, more than likely, damagi…

Need a Fresh Idea? Go Take a Walk

I've really enjoyed reading this article by Ferris Jabr in The New Yorker entitled "Why Walking Helps Us Think."  The article presents some fascinating research related to the connection between walking and creative thinking.  Here's a quote,

"Walking at our own pace creates an unadulterated feedback loop between the rhythm of our bodies and our mental state that we cannot experience as easily when we’re jogging at the gym, steering a car, biking, or during any other kind of locomotion. When we stroll, the pace of our feet naturally vacillates with our moods and the cadence of our inner speech; at the same time, we can actively change the pace of our thoughts by deliberately walking more briskly or by slowing down.

Because we don’t have to devote much conscious effort to the act of walking, our attention is free to wander—to overlay the world before us with a parade of images from the mind’s theatre. This is precisely the kind of mental state that st…

Is This You in the Morning?

“When you wake up, you have this gift of a blank brain. You could fill it with anything. But for most of us, we have this kind of panic. Instead of wondering what should I do, we wonder what did I miss. It’s almost like our unconsciousness is a kind of failure and we can’t believe we’ve been offline for eight hours.”

- Michael Harris "The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We've Lost in a World of Constant Connection" (quoted in this excellent article)


I'm not sure who said it but I believe it.

"The declaration of God over the life of believers is not that we are innocent but that we are pardoned."

Pardoned. Set free. Released. Let go. No longer condemned.

This pardoning was accomplished through the death of Jesus Christ and God's resurrecting Him from the dead.

This pardon is appropriated by God to those who, by grace through faith, have declared Jesus as their Lord, Savior, and Treasure.

This pardon is experienced by the Christian who lives in freedom from the curse of death brought about by sin.

Some verses to memorize and sink these truth deep into you heart.

Colossians 2:13-15 "God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him."

Ephesians 2:8 "For by gra…