Welcome to my blog. I spend half my life in coffee shops having honest conversations about how following Jesus works in real life. So, let’s learn together, grab a cup and – join the conversation.

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I’ll post every Monday and invite you to weigh in.

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Quick Bio
I’m a businessman, elder in one of the more conservative mega churches in Grand Rapids, Michigan and for over 25 years a full time spiritual mentor of men. I love introducing people to Jesus and truth from God’s perspective. I’m also an NPR listener and student of our culture because I want to understand how the world and a younger generation think, so I’m prepared to engage in conversations which are true to the Bible, intellectually honest and gracious.

Following Jesus is the only hope I have of living this life with purpose, energy and expectation. I hope to end my days on earth still meeting young men at Starbucks who have no interest in God, being the patriarch of my family, cheering them on to godliness, making sad people smile and the lonely – laugh, giving the poor hope, pointing wayward men back to their families, teaching the whole counsel of God and keeping myself unstained – God’s reputation and mine intact.

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Welcome to my blog.
I spend half my life in coffee shops having honest conversations about how following Jesus works in real life. So, let’s learn together, grab a cup and join the conversation.

This edition from Simon and Schuster has been totally revised with expanded teachings and a study guide. Available in stores and online now!


   
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Christmas Isn’t Just for Christians
Posted by Clare
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The following is a blog I edited slightly, by Amy Hauptman, that I thought was relevant to my blog last week on evangelism. Let her counsel seep into your bones this Christmas day.

Jesus did not come for Christmas pageants, Christmas trees, or cookies. And he didn’t come for Advent wreaths, live camels, gingerbread houses, or Christmas light shows in sync with the Trans Siberian Orchestra.

Jesus’ Mission Statement
Jesus told us why he came. He came into the world for this:

The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. (Luke 4:18-19)

It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners. (Mark 2:17)

I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. . . . I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:7, 9-10)

So, Here’s a Thought

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Jesus Hung Out With Sinners So Often, He Was Accused of Being One!
Posted by Clare
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Decades ago, after the Holy Spirit lit my fire for God and evangelism, I intentionally began hanging out with non-Christians. Once I was on a very large boat owned by a man I’d known from childhood, who had a terrible reputation. We were coming through a channel out into Lake Michigan and wouldn’t you know it, but my mother-in-law and a group of her church friends watched, stunned as I passed them, not 100 feet away, out on the deck, with a drink in hand!

Of course the next time our family was together, she just had to know what I, a Christian was doing hanging out with this guy and his friends on a party boat. I tried to make light of it by reminding her that as an evangelist, that boat was a “target rich environment.”

“Well, be careful. You hang out with people like that and ‘other people’ (meaning good, church-going Christians) will think that’s the kind of person you are.” I didn’t want to argue with my mother-in-law, so I just dropped it.

“While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples.  When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?’

On hearing this, Jesus said, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.  But go and learn what this means: I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’” Matthew 9: 10-13

So why blog on this topic, at Christmas?
Because many of us are going to office Christmas parties, or gathering with non-Christian friends and neighbors in the next few weeks. So, I’ll share some advice with you, that I gave our grandson Max when he headed off to the University of Michigan.
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Just Stop It!
Posted by Clare
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If you haven’t seen this famous video of “psychologist” Bob Newhart yet, you’ll want to.

Obviously, not all fears and phobias can be erased by an act of the will. My fear of snakes won’t just go away instantly if I “just stop it!” But, the reason that video “works” is because we all know many of our bad habits or sins can “stop” – must stop! But here’s the crux of the problem;

The primary reason believers continue to sin is because we’ve not decided to stop!

Here’s why: Most Christians have come to terms with an acceptable level of sin in their lives and feel it is either unnecessary, too difficult, or too costly to be much better. This attitude is rooted in this truth: Each of us subconsciously measure ourselves based on our observations of other Christians or people we know, and once satisfied that we are at or above the “average,” are content to stay there. But how can Christians break from good enough?
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Respecting Women: A Few Simple Ideas to Teach Your Sons or Grandsons
Posted by Clare

Last week, I blogged about what God may be doing through the sexual scandals in the news, every day. We can complain about the Hollywood and Washington sex scandals at the coffee shop and on the job, but how can Christian men or women actually begin making a difference right in our own families? It begins with courtesy and respect.

Paul reminds us of God’s standard. Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.” 1 Timothy 5:1, 2

Environmentalists have a slogan. “Think globally. Act locally.” How does that apply to respect? Susan and I have 13 grandsons ages 6-19. Here are a few simple ideas we’ve used to help these young men respect women more.
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