How Do You Know If You Are Too Confident?

There are at least two aspects of overconfidence: perceived and actual. Externally, some people are viewed by others as too confident. These people might be humble on the inside, but people don’t see it. This is a reflection of their foolish lack of self-awareness. Naturally, some people are too confident on the inside, and their pride is a reflection of …

Why Relational Connections are Important to Me

I recently spent a little time thinking about my friendships and thanking God for their impact in my life. Fellowship is a gift! We aren’t entitled to friends, we have to be a good friend to develop significant relationships. As I was considering the benefits I receive from my close friends, the following blessings bubbled to the top: Laughter and …

Two Responses to Conflict

Let’s face it, no one likes conflict. However, conflict is inevitable. It’s never a question of IF a conflict might occur, it’s a question of WHEN. If a conflict is handled with maturity, it can lead to tremendous growth. We can grow closer to God, others, and even develop personal insight. Conflict creates unique opportunity. There are two common responses …

Surviving the Sting of Rejection [updated]

No one likes rejection. It’s sting is so painful because it’s personal. Get a black eye from an injustice and it’s because the world isn’t fair….rage against the world! Get knocked down from a rejection and it’s because I’m not good enough….you can try to rage against the world, but you always end up attacking yourself. How do you respond when …

SERMON: how to go deeper with your words

Most of the time, we talk to make conversation. Instead, what if we talked to make a difference? This sermon highlights what the Bible says about going deeper with our words. DOWNLOAD FILES (PDF and Word files with notes, blanks, teaching notes)

three teachings: pain, prayer, conflict resolution

Everyone on staff had a vote to choose the meeting’s topic.  You can download the notes to all three options below. CS Lewis On Prayer (PDF-for phone, tablet, or printing) (.zip file for editing)   Conflict Resolution (PDF-for phone, tablet, or printing) (.zip file for editing)   The Problem of Pain (PDF-for phone, tablet, or printing) (.zip file for editing) …

The Power of a Parent’s Words

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29 Words are powerful! Whoever said, “sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me” was a liar! Or stupid. Words can build up …

One Way that Time with God Impacts our Relationships

Below is one way that the time we spend with God in his Word and in prayer impacts our relationships with others. No doubt there are many connections! This is not exhasutive! Loving people requires forgiving them (and grace) Forgiving others requires receiving forvigeness (and grace) Receiving forvigeness requires confession (and grace) Confession requires conviction (and grace) Conviction requires knowledge …

Different kinds of doubled mindedness

Sometimes a person is double minded because they are deceitful. Their agendas are hidden and their aggression is passive. Sometimes a person is double minded because they are genuinely conflicted. They feel one way in one moment and another way in the next. The pros and cons are so close that they waver back and forth. The first kind of …

shooting yourself in the foot

“Such are the paths of all who go after ill-gotten gain; it takes away the life of those who get it.” Proverbs 1:19 There will always be people who look for ways to take an unfair advantage over the innocent. We often ambush the ignorant under a deception which weakly justifies our actions. We may say something like: “It’s just …

Three Dollar Grace

Every morning, I drive my oldest son two miles to his school. I love that time. I look forward to it. I consistently pray about it and ask God to give me the right things to say. Every morning looks a little different—and this is a result of my personality rather than my design. Some mornings, I pray for the …

The McGill Family Christmas Pregame

A few years ago, I noticed a pattern developing on Christmas morning. The kids would wake up far earlier than I ever felt necessary … with more energy than I thought possible. After being dragged from my bed, we’d pause long enough for me to get a cup of coffee, and then my kids would descend upon their gifts with …

Why do we irritate others?

“…her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her.”(1 Samuel 1:6) What moves us to provoke others? Even when we are so richly blessed, why do we feel the need to grind others down? Perhaps it is a lack of thankfulness, we fail to remember and acknowledge God as the provider of everything we need. Our lack of gratitude …

A Parent’s Prayer

Then Manoah prayed to the Lord: “…teach us how to bring up the boy who is to be born.”  (Judges 13:8)  

Speak the truth in love

“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow…” (Ephesians 4:15) The self-righteous wield the truth like a weapon of mass destruction, ambivalent to the the devastating consequences. When confronted, the predictable response follows: “WHAT? All I did was tell the truth?” Their fortress of foolishness is unassailable. Mostly. Speaking the truth without love ignores the greatest truth: we are …

You should tell more lies

… there is nothing false about [Jesus]. (John 7:18) I’ve seen people tell lies–“white” ones too–for the following reasons: To ACCOMPLISH their agendas. To AVERT undesirable, yet deserved, consequences for their actions To AVOID conflict with others. The first group is far too practical, they will say whatever works in the moment in order to get what they want. Justification is …

What good comes from telling the TRUTH?

[Jesus] is a man of truth. (John 7:18) Why should we tell the truth, what good comes from it? When we tell the truth, we follow Jesus’ example. He is our model, the shape our souls ought to take is his. The spiritual life is about becoming more like Jesus. This means fighting off the powerful temptation to bend the …

Seek Approval From Others

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:10) Why do we work for the approval of others? One reason is that the results are immediate. Irrational fathers and nazi …

let your gentleness be evident to all

There are some verses we love because we already do them well. We remember these scriptures, and when we are humble, we thank God for his blessings. Some teachings we hate, because they challenge the very core of our brokenness–time and time again. When we are humble, we ask God for his strength. For me, Philippians 4:5 falls into this second class: …

Trust: A Conversation with my oldest son, Max

After church last weekend, I asked my oldest, “What did you talk about at church today?” He’s 11 … so I want to have the appropriate expectations for his response. More importantly, he’s a human, so I don’t want church to become a meaningless ritual. My goal: I want our conversations to be as natural as possible. The last thing …