15 Signs of a Good Pastor

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I used to be of the mindset “give him a bible and let him preach!” I’d shake my head at anyone who mentioned any sort of qualifications needed for someone to do ministry, thinking those were just made up legalistic rules to create a sense of order. I’d argue how of all of the disciples were extremely uneducated and unqualified, yet preached the gospel and reached the masses. Continue reading

Stop Praying for the Easy Way Out

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My girlfriend and I were talking one night about how people always pray for the easy way out. How anytime they endure any form of suffering, mild or severe, they complain how could God ever do that to them and instantly start praying for Him to take the pain away (easy to say when life is pretty comfortable). My pride blinded the fact that I was talking about myself. Continue reading

Men, Lets Stop Preying and Start Protecting

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Men,

This week at the end of a church service, I watched as several men and women gave their testimonies and got baptized. It was unsettling how many of the women’s testimonies included some sort of wound stemming from a past boyfriend or a guy at some party. Many of them having been raped, manipulated or talked into doing something that they didn’t want to do. Continue reading

Ladies, You’re worth More than That

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This week I spent a lot of time packing and moving. I was so busy that I kind of forgot to eat, I guess. Then I’d make a plan to cook an elaborate and healthy meal once I was finished packing. The packing took longer than I thought, and I was starting to grow hungry and impatient. I found a tupperware full of frozen Christmas treats from my mom. I ate a couple, then a couple more, and then a couple more again. I didn’t have the patience or time to wait and put together a healthy meal. Instead, I was left initially satisfied. But in the end I felt like crap. By the way, I think this might be Taco Bell’s business strategy. Continue reading

God Loves the Porn Addict as Much as the Pastor

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My neck started to ache as I was jogging backwards on one of the trails behind my high school in northern Minnesota. My gym teacher told me that if I could run the 1.5 miles backwards, then I didn’t have to go to class the next day.

Exhausted, I went up and down those hills, trying not to fall or run into anything. Being an athlete, I was probably a little overconfident in my fitness level. But I had started, so I couldn’t give up.

Eventually I made it back to the front doors and, disoriented, walked forward up the stairs and to his office. “I did it!” I said proudly. “I made it the whole way, without running forward once.” “Nice work, you don’t have to come to class tomorrow,” he replied, “but neither does anybody else.” Continue reading

Why You Should Stop Being Ashamed of Jesus

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A few years ago, my cousin and brother were in the middle of nowhere in eastern Montana. It was Thanksgiving weekend and they were invited on an annual family pheasant hunting trip for the first time. Not really knowing what they’re doing, my grandpa drops them off to walk up a slough and tells them he’ll meet them at the end.

After a while, it starts getting dark and they are wondering where exactly they were supposed to regroup with our grandpa. Soon it’s pitch black and the temperature is far below zero. Continue reading

What Photography Taught Me about God

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All the time people see my photos and ask what kind of camera I have. They think if only they had the same camera then they could automatically be a great photographer (not that I consider myself a great photographer). Anyway, I can’t blame them because I used to do the same thing. I’ll tell them what I use but then go on and explain how it’s not worth the money unless you really plan to study photography and learn the camera inside and out. Continue reading

I Didn’t Wait for My Future Spouse, and You Shouldn’t Either

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It’s true, I didn’t wait for my future wife. Even as a Christian and someone who wants to do ministry, I’m still not waiting for her. Even though I grew up in the church where, at a young age, I was taught that I needed to wait for my wife who was somewhere out there. I was taught how blessed my future marriage and sex life would be if I waited and didn’t ruin it ahead of time. I was promised that it was worth the wait, and that she was worth the wait. Continue reading

Why You Need Alone Time with God

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I started doing it in high school. Actually, I didn’t even know what I was really doing. But I was drawn out into the wilderness. Alone. I didn’t even know what to say when my parents asked where I was going. So I’d make something up. I didn’t know how to explain it. I would drive out of town and park my car near some woods and just start walking. I didn’t have any idea where I was going, and I didn’t really care. It wasn’t just exploring for the sake of exploring, rather as if I was looking for something. As I was, I was looking for God. Continue reading

5 Things for Dating Christians to Do

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Lets face it, it seems like every time you go on Facebook somebody new has either gotten engaged, gotten married or had a baby. Hundreds of people show their support by giving it a ‘like’ or leaving a comment. In the same way, I see a lot of articles that are for married couples, single people or maybe those who are engaged. But what about the rest of who don’t blow up your newsfeed because we are only, dare I say it, dating.

Maybe when we get engaged people will start to show their support or give us some godly direction about relationships. But until then, it seems as though we are on our own to figure out this whole relationship thing. I’ve never been married or engaged, so it wouldn’t make sense to give advice about how marriage should work. But with God leading, and us intentionally seeking out older couples for advice, my girlfriend and I have learned a few things about pre-marriage, pre-engagement, dating. Continue reading