It’s Not You, It’s Him


The Westminster Catechism, written in 1646, begins:

Q – What is the chief end of man? 

A – Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. 

Simple, straight to the point, and such a good reminder for us today. And if this is true (and I would argue it is, Psalm 86; Psalm 16:5-11) then this should affect everything about our lives. Including the way we walk through singleness and dating.

Singles, singleness is hard, I know. Couples dating, dating is hard, its messy. And they are both even harder when we make ourselves or our partner the focal point of our pursuit, of our thoughts, of our longings. Can I simply remind us, there is One who is the focal point of all of history, from eternity past to eternity future and it is not you, nor is it the one whom you are dating or hoping to date.

Our chief end isn’t to get the date we really want, it isn’t to marry the person of our dreams, it is to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever. Your singleness isn’t about you, it’s about Him. Your season of dating isn’t about you or them, it’s about Him. Your marriage isn’t about you and your family it’s about Him. Francis and Lisa Chan paint this picture beautifully in their latest book, You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity. Where they remind us that marriage is great but it’s not forever, you see in eternity we won’t be married. Yes, right now, singleness or a rough season of dating can seem like a huge obstacle, but in light of eternity it is simply a small spec.

There is a greater story going on all around us, and we aren’t the main character, from the beginning of time and that is of the Father drawing peoples to Himself and we have been invited into this. Let us not forget that our chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. For all eternity we will do this (see Revelation 21-22) and we have been invited into this story now, don’t delay. It is possible to walk through singleness and dating in a way that both glorifies God and enjoys Him, but He must be our focal point. We can’t enjoy Him when we are, to steal a quote from Chandler, “navel-gazing”. When our focus is on ourself and our circumstances we will never enjoy Him, and if we aren’t enjoying Him we will never glorify Him, they go hand in hand.

What does this look like? How do we glorify Him and enjoy Him, while walking through singleness and dating seasons? Some random thoughts:

  • Singles: I recently heard a sermon from Ben Stuart in which he said, “Singleness is for devotion” (1 Corinthians 7:32-35). Your season of singleness is a gift for you to devote yourself to the Lord. He has gifted us and equipped us as believers for the betterment of the Church, don’t waste this season not using your gifting and chasing your calling because you are so focused on yourself. Pour yourself our for the sake of Church and the Gospel. Live your life in your singleness in a way that glorifies God and shows the watching world that your joy is found in Him.
  • Fellas: If there is a lady friend you are interested in, pursue her in righteousness. Seek to honor the Lord in your pursuit, in the way you talk to her, and in the way you think about her. Be clear with what your intentions are and don’t play games. All the while still running after the Lord and pursuing Him with all you got. Seek to run after the Lord hard and if you find someone running just as hard pursue, but don’t slow down to look. That is not glorifying God nor enjoying Him.
  • Ladies: Don’t sit around waiting for someone to ask you out or to pursue you. Run after the Lord, pursue Him, pour yourself out for Him, His Name, and His Church. You do this and maybe some of the guys around you won’t ask you out, because they are intimidated by your pursuit, and this is good; it will cause them to grow up.  Ladies, the Church and our cities need you, don’t neglect your gifting and calling sitting around waiting for the phone to ring, please I beg you. Use your season of singleness for devotion, seek to know the perfect Father, and to be used by Him for His Glory and your Joy.
  • Dating Couples: Remember you don’t complete each other. In that same sermon Ben stated, “Dating is for evaluation,” his point being evaluating each other to see if marriage is a possibility. But while you are dating, don’t neglect your devotion to the Lord. Date in such a way that honors Him, and shows the watching world around you that your ultimate hope isn’t in each other but in Him. Date in such a way that glorifies Him and enjoys Him. Continue to run your races hard together, serve and pursue the Lord together. The Church and our cities need you.

Finally, remember this life isn’t about us, it is about so much more. It is all about Him.

Longing for someone to date, someone to marry is a good longing. But it can’t take place of what is to be our ultimate calling, to Glorify Him and to enjoy Him forever. There is coming a day when we will do this, lets not wait to begin.

Anything I put before my God is an idol
Anything I want with all my heart is an idol
Anything I can’t stop thinking of is an idol
Anything that I give all my love is an idol

~ Jimmy Needham, Clear The Stage

  • Westminster Shorter Catechism:
  • Related Post: “Singleness and Serving

Come to Me


Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. ~ Matthew 11:28-29



Lately it seems like everyone that I talk to is going through a season of weariness, we are a tired people. Perhaps its work that is going crazy, maybe life is just happening and its a hard season, we can’t sleep, we can’t find time to sit still and rest. The truth is many of us at different seasons in life find ourselves drained both physically and spiritually, and it is here that Christ Jesus declares, “Come to Me.”

Tired? Beat down? Stressed? Cant Sleep? “Come to Me!”

The request is there, far too many times in my life when going through a season of weariness, my initial thought is this will pass I just need to fight through this on my own, I can survive this. When all the while He is there saying, “Come to Me!”

When we are physically beat down and when we find ourselves spiritually drained, rest is found in Him. Look at Matthew 11:28-29, Jesus tells the listener, come to me for rest and I will also give you rest for your soul. Complete Rest! Physical rest for you (v.28), and spiritual rest for our souls (v.29).

Today, if you fins yourself in a season of weariness remember who He is:

Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
    his understanding is unsearchable.

Remember what He has done and does:

He gives power to the faint,
    and to him who has no might he increases strength.

Remember who we are:

Even youths shall faint and be weary,
    and young men shall fall exhausted;

And, remember where are strength is found:

but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
    they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
    they shall walk and not faint.

~ Isaiah 40:28-31

“Here’s the hope for every weary traveler whose feet are tired of the slippery instability of mud of a fallen world. Your weariness is a signpost. It’s meant to cause you to cry out for help. It’s meant to cause you to quit looking for your stability horizontally and begin to cry out for it vertically. It’s meant to put an end to your belief that situations, people, locations, possessions, positions, or answers will satisfy the longing of your heart. Your weariness is meant to drive you to God. He’s the Rock for which you’re longing. He’s the one who alone is able to give to you the sense that all is well. And as you abandon your hope in the mirage rocks of this fallen world, and begin to hunger for the True Rock, he’ll reach out and place you on solid ground.” ~ Paul Tripp

  • Tripp quote from:

You Don’t Have to Be Strong

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. ~ Ephesians 6:10

Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.. ~ Ephesians 6:18a



We haven’t simply been given a uniform to wear, but been given the Power of the Lord to live and to fight in this life. Recently as I was reading the very familiar passage in Ephesians 6, I had this thought.

You see many of us have read and know the passages, let us put on the whole Armor of God, so that we can stand firm (v.13), however recently I have been dwelling on the book ends of this passage, it begins with, “Finally be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might;” and closes with, “praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.”

Therefore how are we to put on the whole Armor of God to be able to stand firm? In and through His power, in and through Him, this is really comforting to me. I have my part, I must put on the whole Armor of God, I seek to put on:


  • Belt of Truth
  • Breastplate of Righteousness
  • Gospel of Peace (as shoes)
  • Shield of Faith
  • Helmet of Salvation
  • Sword of the Spirit (Word of God)

Then once dressed we move forward, not in confidence of the of our own strength because we have on the right uniform, but we move forward in the One who indwells the uniform. In His Strength and in His Power, praying at all times.

The bookends of standing firm in the midst of this world are found in His Strength and in Prayer to Him for that Strength. We do not have to be strong on our own, and this is a very good thing.

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 

~ 1 Corinthians 15:57

Difficulties of Silence

IMG_5004“Be still, and know that I am God.
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth!”              ~Psalm 46:10



To say we are a loud and fast pace culture would be an understatement to the umpteenth degree. For example you are most likely reading this blog from a link you saw on Twitter or Facebook, that you were scrolling while doing laundry for the work week and watching your favorite TV show or sports team all the while cooking dinner and texting your friends about plans this next weekend. Needless to say we are busy and always have plans and when we don’t have plans we seek to make plans, we wouldn’t want to not have something to do, cause then what would happen?  What would happen if we didn’t plan anything, didn’t overfill our calendars, and find time to rest before the Lord in silence, I know the idea is scary, a little uncomfortable even, but wouldn’t it be worth it?

I volunteer on a ministry team that got away this weekend for a prayer retreat and one of the asks for the weekend was to turn your phone off as you were leaving Dallas. Initially my first thought was turn my phone off for “x” amount of hours on a weekend? What if someone needs me? What if something happens back home and no one can get ahold of me? Or if national news breaks, we will be a day behind all the coverage and have to play catch up; I lead a Home Group and help out in Student Ministry, one of those guys may really need me this weekend. And a thousand other reasons to not turn my phone off went through my mind, and this revealed several things in my life to me about the difficulties of silence (disconnecting):

  1. Control – We (I) love the idea of being in control, no matter how fleeting that thought really is. Sitting in silence is uncomfortable, and we (I) don’t like it.
  2. Busyness – We (I) love to be busy, love the idea of accomplishing something; also when we are busy we don’t have to think, we can let our minds focus on what we are currently doing, and this can even be good things like serving on a ministry.
  3. Lack of Focus – We (I) love the term “multi-tasking” when in reality, study after study has come out that there is no such thing as multi-tasking, and doing it all well. Basic definition of focus – is to put something at the center of your attention. We (I) often lack the ability to completely focus on one thing at a time, (one reason we have multiple social media platforms, one simply isn’t enough). Sitting in silence requires us to focus on one thing, what should be the priority in our lives anyways, the Lord.
  4. Listening – Due to our busyness and our multi-tasking skills, listening has become a lost ability in our culture. How many times are we talking to someone, while thinking about the million other things we need to do that day, or that email we have to send later, or simply scrolling through Twitter or Facebook while talking to someone. Sitting in silence requires us to listen, an ability many of us, myself included, have lost or are losing.

So this weekend I uncomfortably turned off the phone, and went to this retreat with one prayer in mind, a song from a good friend of mine:

“Teach me to be still / Teach me to lay down / I give up all my strength/ lay my armor on the ground / Show me how to rest/ On the altar of Your Will/ I know that You are God/ Teach me to be still”

~ Micah Tyler

In the midst of the quiet and the sometimes awkwardness the Lord taught and reminded me a few things about the silence through Psalm 46:

  1. Control – He reminded me that He is in control and I am not, and this is really a good thing
  2. Rest – He reminded me that He is my: Refuge, Strength, and Help (verse 1); We don’t have to do everything on our own, He is with us, and in Him we find our strength and rest. Too many times I’m busy seeking to be used by Him, asking Him to pour me out for the sake of those around me that I neglect to first be filled by Him.
  3. Safety – He reminded that me that is with me, and is my fortress (verse 7). And in this, where else would we rather be. The thought of being in a fortress, in there you find safety, you feel protected, and find rest because you feel safe. He is our fortress, in the silence we are reminded to rest and find safety in who He is.
  4. Stillness– Remember who He is. We all know verse 10 of Psalm 46, to be still and know that He is God. One thing the Lord showed me this weekend was being still comes to those who remember who He is. As I walked though Psalm 46 this weekend I was reminded that He is: Our Refuge, Our Strength, Our Help, With Us, Our Fortress; all of this is listed out in the first nine verses, then comes verse ten: “Be Still and know that I am God.” It’s as if the Lord is using the writer of the Psalm to say because the Lord is all these things, be still and marvel at who He is!

Silence is often difficult and uncomfortable, but in the silence we remember who He is, and thus who we are, and that is very comforting.

“There are times when solitude is better than society, and silence is wiser than speech. We should be better Christians if we were more alone, waiting upon God, and gathering through meditation on His Word spiritual strength for labour in his service. We ought to muse upon the things of God, because we thus get the real nutriment out of them. . . . Why is it that some Christians, although they hear many sermons, make but slow advances in the divine life? Because they neglect their closets, and do not thoughtfully meditate on God’s Word. They love the wheat, but they do not grind it; they would have the corn, but they will not go forth into the fields to gather it; the fruit hangs upon the tree, but they will not pluck it; the water flows at their feet, but they will not stoop to drink it. From such folly deliver us, O Lord. . . .”
~ Charles Spurgeon


Singleness and Serving

5075ab6954a4fc548da990d485939f1f-d27iw52I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.

~ 1 Corinthians 7:32-35

I talk to a lot of Singles in the Church, being part of the group myself, and there is always a debate on how the Church should minster to us. Minister to us directly and we feel like the Church is setting up a speed dating event; minister to the church as a whole focusing on families and we feel like we are “lesser” Christians because we aren’t married yet or have a family. Often times I feel the Church is in a no win situation when trying to minister to the singles they have been granted the task to shepherd and oversee. This isn’t a post on how the Church should minister to us, perhaps that one is coming, today I want to look at our role in the Church as a Single.

Looking at Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, we see a very familiar passage and one that most Singles know and have probably heard taught before, but what has recently caught my eye is the reason Paul is writing this section. He says in verse 32 he says, “I want you to be free of anxieties,” this is the purpose he begins this section on those who are single and those who are married and the benefits of being single. Lets be honest Singles, we aren’t always free of anxieties, we worry if this or that girl likes us, we worry about will this guy ever ask me out, will we every be married, how come I’m not married, God why do I have an urge to be married but I’m still single, etc. We worry about a lot of things, and these things can very easily become idols in our lives which in the end become unhealthy longings and desires in our lives. But Paul’s point here is as a single, we can be free of anxieties because we have the ability to focus fully on the things of the Lord. Where as the married couples focus is divided between the Lord and each other, Paul says hey you Singles, you have the unique opportunity to focus fully on the Lord and be about the things of Him.

Singles, we have a purpose in the Church, and the unique opportunity for a season of our lives to be fully focused on the things of the Lord, lets not waste this season. As Singles, I truly believe we ought to be at the forefront of service within the Church. I talk to too many Singles who aren’t sure if they have a place in the Church. What is your special gifting from the Lord? Use them! If it is teaching, look for opportunities to teach, it may not be from the main stage, it may be to a group of 3rd graders, but praise the Lord for the opportunity to teach His Word; maybe your gifting is hospitality, then look for those opportunities; if your gifting is prayer look for those opportunities to be a prayer warrior in the lives of people and in the lives of your churches staff; etc. Perhaps in this season the Lord has blessed you with a job that allows you to have disposable income, then you have the opportunity to support missions, ministries, and church plants.  Or use your free time to serve the greater Church, so go and do missions, maybe in your hometown, or the other side of the world,  while living your daily life on mission by looking for those opportunities to be the hands and feet of the Lord.

Singles, we have plenty to opportunities to look at ourselves and question what is going on, and why am I still single, but at the same time we have been blessed with a season to pour ourselves out undivided, for the things of the Lord. Too often we focus on what is the Church doing for us, instead of looking how can I use my unique gifts, talents and season of my life to serve the Lord and His Church. Paul’s argument is that singleness should bring us less anxieties, for we are able to focus on the Lord. When I find myself stressed over singleness it is often because I am looking at myself and not the Lord and how I can love and serve Him in this season of my life.

Your money your singleness marriage talent your time
They were loaned to you to show the world that Christ is Divine

~ Lecrae 

A Time to Mourn

zpage082For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

~ Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

In our Nation and with me personally it was been a rough few weeks. From the heart breaking news of the Church shooting in Charleston, the Church fires in the South, last weeks Supreme Court decision on redefining marriage and the passing away of my MawMaw last weekend. How do we process all of this? How do we respond? To what do we cling to? In the day and age of social media, you don’t have to look far to see how people are responding to these incidents, you also don’t have to look far to see what people have put their hope in trust in,.

Church family, can I remind you that this is not our home, our citizenship belongs in Heaven. The bible continually reminds us of this truth, and that things will become far worse before they get better. But Church Family, there is coming a day when all things will be made new. That’s where we are to place our hope, that is what we are to cling to. Our hope isn’t in a judicial system, a president, a nation, or the false notion that we live in a Christian Nation. Our hope is in Him who reigns, He wasn’t asleep  during last Friday’s decision, He wasn’t away when our brothers and sisters were shot down while crying out to Him, and He isn’t up for reelection next year. He is on His throne, and we have the promise that He is coming back; will He find us faithful?

As I’ve thought through responding to all of this, as I’ve mourned the death of a MawMaw that I loved tremendously, I found myself studying the Letters to the Churches in Revelation 2-3, to teach last weekend. And in it I found hope, and in it I was encouraged to fight one and endure.

You see in it, all seven letters follow the same flow: Christ introduces Himself with a specific attribute to the condition of that church; He address the current condition of that church; calls for a response; and then offers a promise for the Conquerer (the one who endures to the end, or overcomer some of your bibles may say). It’s in this last section that I found hope, you see these letters were written to seven specific churches, but they also are written to the universal church, as they represent characteristics of churches. So what does the Lord have for those who endure to the end, to those who conquerer?

To the one who Conquerers:

  • I (the Lord) will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God (Rev. 2:7
  • Will not be hurt by the second death (Rev. 2:11)
  • I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it (Rev. 2:17)
  • I will give authority over the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father (Rev. 2:27)
  • Will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father ad before His angels (Rev. 3:5)
  • I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God, and the name of my God, and the name of the City of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven and my own name (Rev. 3:12)
  • I will grant him to sit on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on His Throne (Rev. 3:21)

Church family fight on, as we are pushed to the margins, as we are ridiculed, endure. In the end will gain so much more home with the Lord, then we are asked to endure for for a short season. Whether we live 20 years or 120 years, that is short compared to entirety.

Remember, nations will fail you, judicial systems will fail you, presidents will fail you, but Christ Jesus will never fail you, and He has promised that He will be with us until the end of the age (Matthew 28:20).

And thats a promise we can hold on to!

Constant Voice of Encouragement

IMG_456519113-2“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord”

~ Ephesians 6:4

My all time favorite movie, Gladiator, begins with this epic battle scene, in which we see Maximus riding a horse before his men who are about to enter the battle yelling out,  “Hold the Line! Stay with me!” A reminder to them to stay steady, trust their training, trust their plan, don’t waiver or give up. As I thought about writing something for Fathers Day, this scene popped into my head, you see in my life my dad has played the role of Maximus, always reminding me to “hold the line!”

Through the years this has played out in various different ways, most recently as I went through a season in my life where I found myself unemployed for several months, my dad was the constant in my life reminding me daily that everything we face and go through is all prep work. Whatever we face the Lord is teaching us something and preparing us for something in the future. My dad would also constantly tell me this season is rough, but learn what the Lord is trying to teach you, or you may have to go through it again.

I have learned so much from him, here are a few things I am thankful for this Fathers Day:

  • How to be a Man of God – My dad is one of the most Godly men I know, and I have seen over 33 years that this isn’t an act, the man you see at church, work or where ever is the same man I saw at home. I have seen him spend time on his knees before the Lord, I have seen him bypass lesser things to spend time in God’s Word preparing to preach.
  • How to be a Godly Husband and Father – When I read in the Word of God what the Lord would call a man to be as a husband and father and examine my dad’s life, it lines up.
  • How to Work Hard – My dad is one of the hardest workers I know. Between working at a refinery, being a pastor and also having lawn care business, he is always going and working, and willing to help anyone out who may need it.
  • How to Set Priorities – In a day in age when we are all being pulled in a million different directions, and priorities are always changing, I have seen my dad set the Lord as priority over everything in our families life and that has remained constant. Sometimes that meant driving over an hour to church on Sundays and Wednesdays (even if a school night) and never missing. Sometimes that meant if I was playing in a sport and practice or a game was scheduled on Wednesday or Sunday that I was going to miss, and this wouldn’t be discussed. All these years later I don’t remember missing practice or games, but I remember that the Lord was priority over all in our families house, and for that I am thankful.
  • How to Faithfully Love and Shepherd a Flock – For a majority of my life my dad has played some role in ministry, as my youth pastor and for the past 11 years as a pastor. And in this I have seen him faithfully love the flock the Lord has placed before him. I have seen him weep over them, pray over them, proclaim the truth to them. To be bold and take stands because that’s what the Word would call him to do; and to spend time alone with the Lord to be refueled to pour himself out all over again. And in this he has also taught me that we are all a small part of the Lord’s greater flock. To remember this and pray for those of other churches and celebrate what the Lord is doing in their midst as well as ours.

Through the ups and downs of life, my dad has always been that constant voice of encouragement to me, always pointing me towards Christ, and for that I am thankful. Happy Fathers Day!

Dad, I have learned so much about my Heavenly Father, simply by watching you. Thank you!