Has Original Sin Made you a Bad Parent?

November 10, 2022 // 10 Comments

One of the strangest things I had to get used to as a young father, was my children freely admitting to their sins. Adam and Eve hid when they sinned, but my kids bragged about it. One time I discovered crayon drawings all along the hallway wall. “Who drew on this wall?” I asked. “I did!” replied the [...]

The Three Nights of Christmas

December 18, 2020 // 27 Comments

Pohutukawa by Tepora Watene It’s that time of the year where we gather with friends and family to celebrate Christmas and to tie a bow on the year that was. 2020 has been an interesting year, as the Chinese would say, and few will be sad to see it end. But even though this was a challenging year, 2020 was not [...]

50 Phrases to Say to our Kids

November 19, 2020 // 14 Comments

One of the most important things you can do is speak words of life to a child. This is true whether you are a parent, a grandparent, a caregiver, a teacher, a babysitter, a coach, a family friend, a healthcare worker, or a pastor. Children hear a lot of rubbish, so it’s important that we fill their hearts [...]

What Makes a Church a Family?

February 9, 2017 // 70 Comments

The gospel of grace has exploded over the past few years. Ten years ago you probably hadn’t heard of Joseph Prince, Andrew Wommack, or Escape to Reality. But today many people are preaching grace, writing about grace, singing about grace, and walking in grace. Now there are countless sermons, books, videos and [...]

8 Signs that a Church Doesn’t Get Grace

July 7, 2016 // 136 Comments

A while ago I listed eight signs of a hypergrace church. A hypergrace church preaches the unconditional love of God and the undiluted gospel of grace. A hypergrace church is so focused on Jesus that it begins to look like Jesus, talk like Jesus, and smell like Jesus. To highlight a positive it helps to accentuate [...]

Fatherless fiction

September 17, 2014 // 26 Comments

I have four children under the age of ten so I read a lot of children’s books. Sometimes I even read them to my kids! A recurring theme I have noticed in children’s literature is this: Moms and dads are usually absent. And if the parents are mentioned, they are often negligent kill-joys who hinder and [...]

Three books on parenting

August 6, 2014 // 24 Comments

Recently, I have read three books on parenting. One of them was good, one was not so good, and the third was a surprise. Let’s start with the good one. Grace-Based Parenting, by Tim Kimmel Dr. Kimmel observes that many parents are motivated by fear rather than faith when it comes to raising their children. This [...]

What About Those Who Never Hear the Gospel?

July 29, 2014 // 88 Comments

Everybody responds to God’s love and grace, one way or another. But what about those who die before they get a chance to respond? To pick an extreme example, what about those Palestinian children who perished last week and who presumably never heard the gospel, never heard that God loves them, and never heard [...]

What Happens to Babies Who Die?

July 24, 2014 // 152 Comments

What do you say to the parents of a deceased baby? What would you say to the families of the 80 children who died on flight MH17 last week? I’m not sure what you should say but I know what you shouldn’t say. Don’t ever tell them their children are in hell. “Paul, I would never say such an awful thing.” [...]

“The Jesus Storybook Bible” by Sally Lloyd-Jones

May 27, 2014 // 27 Comments

A question I am often asked is, “What grace resources are available for children?” It seems there are hardly any. In Sunday School children are much more likely to learn about Christian values or the Ten Commandments than they are the unconditional love of their heavenly Father. This should trouble every [...]

What is your dream?

August 28, 2013 // 39 Comments

Fifty years ago today, Martin Luther King, Jr. stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and gave one of the most stirring speeches of all time. His “I have a dream” speech was a defining moment in the American Civil Rights Movement. It captured the sentiment of a nation stumbling towards racial equality and [...]

Would you free a slave? Would you feed a child?

December 15, 2012 // 14 Comments

If you lived in the 1850s during the time of slavery, and you had the resources to purchase and liberate slaves, would you do it? Would you go to the slave markets and buy people in order to give them their freedom? Would you buy orphaned slaves and set them up with new and loving families? Of course you would. [...]