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The Younger Brother

This past week we kicked off a new series that found its roots in a book called “The Prodigal God,” written by Timothy Keller. This talk is the first in a series of three leading us up to Easter. Together we tackled the question of why we run from the Father and wrestled with irony that we so often find ourselves running from the very thing that our souls long for. So, what is it going to take for us to come to our senses? How long and how far are we willing to run until we wake up and realize that we were made to be at home with the Father?


Posted in Creative Arts, Spiritual Formation

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Heading towards burnout Part-1

Take a moment to do a quick internet search on “pastor burnout” and the results might shock you. You’ll find pages and pages of articles, statistics, and stories of literally hundreds of men leaving the ministry every single day. Just take a quick look below:

CNNMoney.com posted an article listing 15 “Stressful Jobs That Pay Badly.” Included in this list are #5 “Music Ministry Director” and #10 “Minister.”

Fifteen hundred pastors leave the ministry each month due to moral failure, spiritual burnout or contention in their churches.

Eighty percent of pastors and eighty-four percent of their spouses feel unqualified and discouraged in their role as pastors.

Fifty percent of pastors are so discouraged that they would leave the ministry if they could, but have no other way of making a living.

If you ask me, all of this sounds like a far cry from the words of Jesus in Matthew 11:28-30 where he said: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” So how do you know if you’re headed towards burnout? Below are a few indicators that might be worth taking a look at.

Continue Reading…


Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation

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The Prodigal God

Prodigal God

About a year and a half ago Tim Keller, Lead Pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, wrote a book called “The Prodigal God,” and yes, I’m just now getting around to reading it. In fact my wife and I both read it this past weekend and I’ve got to say that it has absolutely reframed Luke chapter 15 for us.

Traditionally in church-world we have focused merely on the rebellion of the younger brother and the grace given to him by a loving father as he seemingly repents of his waywardness and returns home. Tim Keller blows such a surface read of this parable out of the water and lays out for the reader that there are two ways to be alienated from the father, two ways to be your own savior and lord. In one way we do so by being rebellious and very bad. In the other we accomplish the same aim by being obedient and very good.

The truth of the matter is neither one of these brothers truly loves the father, they’re both lost. The older brother obeys and claims to have done everything right, and in doing so believes that because of his righteous performance that he deserves a reward from the father. The younger brother comes to the father only to get what is owed to him (albeit a bit early) in order to go out and spend it on himself. Neither of these brothers truly cared about the father or about the things the father cared about. They cared only for themselves, in that they cared only about what they could take from the father for themselves.

What really struck a nerve for me though was how he contextualized the story of these two brothers with the previous two parables in Luke 15, the story of the lost sheep and of the lost coin. In which both instances describe someone who went looking for something that was lost, found it, and subsequently there ensued a celebration. In the story of the two brothers, no one goes looking for the “lost son.” The person that should have gone, the older brother, was too busy tending to his responsibilities and “obeying” his father. How many times do we become so busy doing work for our Father that we forget that the heart of our Father is not bent so much towards our acts of righteousness or even obedience but towards the lost son? See, what keeps the father up at night is not the one son who is tucked in safe and sound at home. But the one is out who knows where, doing who knows what, with who knows who! Those who truly understand the heart of the father and aren’t just interested in what they can get from him are moved into action by what moves his heart. So if what truly keeps the father up at night is the lost son, then we’ve got to ask ourselves, do we find ourselves out looking for anyone? Or have we simply taken the approach that if we build it, they will come? Do we find ourselves chasing after people who look like us, dress like us, and have the same socioeconomic status that we do? Or do we ever find ourselves chasing after those who have spent their money on women and pleasure as though we were chasing down a long lost member of our very own family? In church-world I believe we’ve forgotten the fact that the church doesn’t exist for us, we are the church, and we exist for those who have not yet met the father.

At the end of the story ironically enough, the brother who should have been searching was the one that ended up lost and never made it to the party.

And if I’m gut level honest with myself, it’s scary to think about how many times I’ve fallen into the comfortable trappings of older brother thinking.


Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation

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Counterculture Part-2

This past weekend we jumped back up into our series Counterculture at Cornerstone, and I had the opportunity to interview 3 women about their personal experience with abortion. God’s story that He has written in their lives of grace, forgiveness, and freedom is absolutely amazing. I was so humbled to see God use this moment and watch men and women come out of hiding on this issue and walk towards freedom and forgiveness in Christ. To think that a community of people called Cornerstone decide that they were going to be a safe place for this moment to happen, and offer grace to others as freely as they have recieved it was nothing short of beautiful!


Posted in Creative Arts, Spiritual Formation

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arizona cardinal anquan boldin video promo

On Sunday, April 25th Cornerstone will be interviewing Anquan Boldin, an amazing NFL wide reciever who plays for the Arizona Cardinals, in all of our weekend services. We get that for many people telling their friends about Jesus can be difficult, so this is one way we’ve decided to come along side of our church and help them. We promise that if you invite your friends to hear this interview on April 25th, your friends will hear about how Christ has changed Anquan and they will have the opportunity to respond to the Gospel! To promote this moment, our Creative Arts Team has just finished producing a video that is going to go in the Harkins Theatres along the 202 corridor to be shown before every movie that people go and see in the weeks leading up to the 25th. Once again I find myself in awe of our Creative Arts Team. These guys are amazing. You can check out the trailer here.


Posted in Creative Arts, Spiritual Formation