Is This Pandemic Permanently Changing Organized Religion?


“Religion is about turning untested belief into unshakable truth through the power of  institutions and the test of time.”

Richard Dawkins

Organized Religion has been a part of society for thousands of years. Organized Religion predates Christianity. It has given people hope in hopeless times. But, it has also been scoffed at, criticized, and fought against.

Organized Religion is defined by the Merriam Webster dictionary as…

“A belief system that has large numbers of followers and a set of rules that must be followed.”

Now that we are forced to temporarily abandon our normal practice of organized religion, what will be the aftermath of this experience?

I have been a pastor for over 25 years. In that time I have conducted countless weddings, funerals, installations, Communion celebrations, etc. I have trained ministers, talked to people about various struggles and challenges, and listened to amazing testimonies. I have encouraged people to focus on their own spiritual development. The greater part of these ministry encounters has taken place in person. But now, we cannot interact in the same way.

Social distancing will end at some point. We will get back to normal (whatever that will mean). The real question is, “What will the Church look like after this? Will people still want to “come together” and worship? Or, will they simply opt to watch and engage online? Perhaps even worse, will they have completely checked out?

Jesus said (Matthew 16:18 KJV)…

“…upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

I suppose the question we all must ask is, “What is the difference between Organized Religion and the Church?” To some, they are the same. To others, they are very different.

So what do you think? Will your expressions of faith and religion be the same or different after this? Will you still attend live services? Or, will you seek more and more  digital connections?

I believe this Pandemic will significantly change the spiritual landscape. Perhaps there will be a renewed interest in spirituality. Just maybe, what was meant to hurt us…will ultimately be used for our good. I’m choosing to be on the cutting edge of what the future holds for Organized Religion.



Virtual Easter Sunday


2020 was the most unusual Easter Sunday in our lifetimes.

Churches were empty. No candy for the children. No Easter speeches. No fancy clothes. No Easter eggs. In some ways, it barely felt like Easter. But in other ways, it was the best Easter we’ve ever experienced.

As a Pastor, Easter is one of the highest attended days of the year. In fact, the joke is, “Many people are C.M.E. people – Christmas, Mother’s Day, and Easter.” These 3 are normally the easiest days to get family and friends to church.

Easter is the day we have special programming. Special fanfare. Special decorations. Special clothes. For most, it just feels like a special day. But not this year.

This year we were locked in, and felt locked up. This year everything was forced to be virtual, if at all.

In a strange way, this lock down has caused some of us to be even more sociable than ever before. It has caused us to reach out in ways we never have. It has caused us to appreciate personal connections in a fresh new way.

So this Easter Sunday was special. All over the world people sat in front of their computer, smart phone or tablet to experience a spiritual connection. We were all in the same boat. We were all connected digitally. The playing field was leveled. No big churches or little churches. No big budgets or little budgets. We just all did the best we could to connect online. And, how glorious it was.

Virtual Easter might make us more appreciative for Live Easter (when we go back to that). It just might make us appreciate the physical connections a whole lot more. But, it could also make us more investigative regarding how our future Easter experiences should look. For many, it’s easier and better to just sit back and relax and enjoy the Lord online.

When you think of it, maybe church will never be the same again. Many will be forced to re-think church.

What will be your desire and expectation of church after this?

Chime in and let me know.



Is Social Distancing Getting On Your Nerves?

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Can you believe it? You’re locked up in your house.

How did we get here? Seems like just yesterday that life was “normal.” We were going about our business, touching anyone and anything we wanted. Now, we are being forced to stay away from people and avoid touching things.

Does it really make sense?

We are supposed to stay at least 6 feet away from everyone else. We are supposed to wash our hands frequently. We are not supposed to touch our face. Some of the things we are being told to do are completely contrary to our normal tendencies. Other things, like washing our hands, are things we should’ve been doing anyway.

Is it doing any good?

Statistics show that Social Distancing is actually working, but it comes with a price. We are disconnected from what was our normal way of life. We can’t go to church. We can’t fly in a plane. We can’t stay in a hotel. We can’t even go to work. We must continue to stay apart for a while. We must force this COVID-19 virus to pass.

How is it affecting you?

Some are experiencing depression. Some are actually tired of being locked up with their families. Some are extremely bored. What are you experiencing? Is it affecting your mental health? Is it changing the way you think? Will it change the way you live from this point forward?

How to improve your Social Distancing experience.

Make the most of this experience. Exercise more. Read more. Think more. Plan more. Love more. Now that you have the time, do all the things you couldn’t (or didn’t) do before. We will come out of this. The real question is, will we be bitter or better because of it? The choice is yours. Choose wisely.



7 Critical Words in the COVID-19 Crisis


There are 7 Critical Words you should consider in this Coronavirus Crisis we all are facing. We cannot always control what happens to us, but we can always control how we respond. Your consideration of these words will help you gain better clarity and come out of this challenge more successfully.

There is a force at work to destroy the lives of many people. This force is spiritual in nature. But, there is also an opposing, and even more powerful, force at work to help you overcome these difficult days. It’s all a matter of your perspective.

The 7 words are:

  1. Isolation
  2. Separation
  3. Sanctification
  4. Illumination
  5. Transformation
  6. Manifestation
  7. Elevation

Isolation. The word isolation primarily focuses on an action. This action is exerted on someone by someone else. It can also refer to someone’s isolation of themselves. Further, it can refer to the isolating things. Many today are in isolation because of the COVID-19 Crisis we all face. We simply have no choice. We have been forced to stay apart.

Separation. Separation is more a state of being. It is the place you find yourself as a result of being isolated. This is often a lonely place. It can be a place of confusion. It can also be a place of reflection. Your attitude and actions while being separated are strong determinants of your outcome. Choose to make the most of your time of separation.

Sanctification. Sanctification is a spiritual word. It means to be separated by and for God. This is the phase where your separation becomes truly beneficial. When your focus is more on God and His will than on your circumstances, the adversities in our life becomes more tolerable and beneficial. Allow God to fully sanctify you for His service. When you do that, you set yourself up for greater success. It will, however, require much patience and surrender to Him.

Illumination. This has to do with the opening of your eyes. No situation is of maximum value unless you gain clarity about what is going on. In spiritual terms, God uses revelation. This is the unfolding of His plan for your life. Sometime the greatest clarity comes from the most difficult situations. Open your eyes and begin to see what is really going on in your life. You’ll be amazed.

Transformation. As your eyes begin to open to what is really happening, you will begin to change. Don’t wait for change to come from the outside in. The best change comes from inside out. Simply surrender to the will of God for your life. You will not have to make anything change. The change will come quite normally.

Manifestation. This is when you start truly looking different. Any time God changes you, you will be obviously different. People around you will begin to see something different about you. This manifestation will set you up for the next thing God has planned for you.

Elevation. This is when you are promoted, so to speak. This is when God opens His treasures and pours out blessings on you that you did not see or expect. This is the true love of God. God does want to raise you to a higher place.

Consider these 7 words as you progress through these difficult days in our nation and the world. Your attitude determines your altitude.

Be blessed.


The Dangers of Running From the Truth

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Photo by Godisable Jacob on

Not everything we believe is true. Not everything we perceive is true. Sometimes our view is distorted. None of us can see ourselves fully and accurately. Sometimes there are people sent into our lives to help shed light on areas we don’t clearly see. Unfortunately, many times people run from the truth. Refusing to believe the truth doesn’t make it untrue. And then there is “delusion”.

Delusion is defined as…

“an idiosyncratic belief or impression that is firmly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality or rational argument, typically a symptom of mental disorder.”

Usually when people run from (or reject) the truth it is because they don’t want to accept the truth. We often reject the truth because it doesn’t fit into our desired reality. For example, a woman meets a man she really likes, who is no good to her or for her. Her “good” friends tell her the truth. She, unfortunately,  refuses to hear them because she really likes him. Her “like” for him distorts her view. She ends up refusing to accept the truth, even though she sees clear warning signs. Of course, there are countless other examples (i.e. financial, physical, spiritual).

Running from the Truth has at least 6 Unique Consequences…

  1. Ignorance
  2. Indifference
  3. Arrogance
  4. Hardness
  5. Delusion
  6. Failure

Ignorance. When you run from the truth, you ultimately end up Ignorant. The less you really want to know, the less you’ll really get to know. This is not a good position to be in.

Indifference. Running from the truth can cause you to get to a place of Indifference. In this place, you end up “not really caring.” When you stop caring, you start losing.

Arrogance. When you run from the truth, it often ends up inflating your ego. You end up having a sense of pride and arrogance. You get to the place where no one can tell you anything.

Hardness. When you refuse to hear the truth, you heart ends up hardening. The more you refuse the truth, the harder your heart becomes. Ultimately, your hard heart “prevents” truth from entering into your life.

Delusion. As mentioned earlier, delusion is when you reject the truth, despite evidence that contradicts your flawed perspective. This can be a symptom of mental disorder. This is a very good reason NOT to run from the truth.

Failure. When you run from the truth, you often end up failing miserably.


The Bible says, in John 3:20-21,

20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God. 

Jesus said, in John 8:32…

“…you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

What should you do?

  • Seek the Truth
  • Embrace the Truth
  • Respond to the Truth
  • Celebrate the Truth

Stop Running from the Truth…and Be Blessed!


The Dangers of Boredom

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Photo by Min An on

There are many things in life that can hurt, destroy, or simply set us back. Of course, there are the plethora of sins Satan constantly tries to get us to commit. There are the relationships that can potentially hurt or derail us. There is fear, which can keep us from pursuing our destiny. There is laziness, which can cause us to never start in the first place, or cause us to keep quitting. And, there are many, many more. But, of all the things that can hurt us, perhaps Boredom is one of the worst.

The dictionary defines Boredom as, “the state of being weary and restless through lack of interest.” When you are bored, you can have great things going on in your life and still feel unhappy. It is the feeling of wanting more. While there is nothing inherently wrong with wanting more, there is a danger when you already have many blessings, but it’s simply not enough. It is a sense of restlessness.

In one season of my life I was a watch junky. I bought watches like people buy lunch. I bought different color watches, different style watches, and different brands of watches. I justified the purchases because each one was unique. And, sometimes I bought them simply because they were on sale. I definitely didn’t need all those watches. One of the reasons I would find myself watching the channel where the watches were being sold is boredom.

According to some studies, easily bored people are at a higher risk for…

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Drug addiction
  • Alcoholism
  • Compulsive gambling
  • Eating disorders
  • Hostility
  • Anger
  • Poor social skills
  • Bad grades
  • Low work performance

Boredom can also cause you to…

  • Get deeply into debt
  • Be a shopaholic
  • Enter into bad relationships
  • Practice dangerous or unhealthy activities
  • Destroy good relationships

When you are bored, your minds wanders. You constantly look for something else to do. You have a tendency to ignore the goodness God has already given you. You tend to be willing to leave everything you already have in order to gain something you really don’t need…but desperately want.

Ways to overcome boredom…

  • Acknowledge the boredom
  • Focus on your purpose in life
  • Figure out what’s really important to you
  • Create and focus on your goals in life
  • Socialize more
  • Learn something new
  • Change your surroundings
  • Get enough rest

Overcoming boredom will change your life. Make the effort today to confront boredom head on and decide to constantly work to overcome it in your life. I promise, you will be blessed.


The Importance of Stopping


Most people seem to focus on what to “start.” Starting is very important. We should start budgeting, exercising, dieting properly, spending more time with God, spending more time with the ones we love, spending more time on self improvement. Without starting, we can never accomplish anything great. The journey of a thousand miles begins with one simple step.

Sometimes, however, there is an even more important consideration. That consideration is what exactly should we “stop” doing. In each of our lives there are things we no longer need to be doing. Or, even more urgent, things we never should have starting doing in the first place.

We cannot fulfill our destiny and fully enjoy our lives until we eliminate the following activities…

  1. The Unnecessary
  2. The Distracting
  3. The Detrimental

These things serve to derail us from true progress. These things zap our energy to do greater and more important things.

In order to properly “stop”, we must do 4 things…

  1. Evaluate each thing we do from the perspective of our destiny.
  2. Prioritize the things we do, in order of importance.
  3. Discover the things we do that have negative consequences.
  4. Stop doing things we should not (or no longer) be doing.

When we adequately learn to stop doing the wrong things, it frees up more time for doing the right things. It’s okay to say “no.”

Learn to be a good “stopper” and you be further on track to fulfilling your destiny.



The Danger of “The Way We Were”

Some people get so stuck in the past. Always focusing on what used to be. Always trying to move forward, but ever looking backwards. This is a recipe for failure and disaster. 

This happens a lot in church. People constantly thinking about the way things used to be, or “the way we were.” They remember the so-called “glorious days.” The funny thing is, many times they didn’t feel that way when they were living in those days.

When you constantly focus on your past, several things happen…

  • You lose direction
  • You lose momentum
  • You lose fulfillment
  • You lose attraction 

The price is extremely high. It’s actually rather delusional. The only time we have is now. In fact, we are not even promised tomorrow. We must…

  • Learn from the past
  • Plan for the future
  • Live for today

Keep your eyes looking upward and forward. Upward to God, and forward to the future. As Pastor Rod Parsley once put it, “The atmosphere of expectancy is the breeding ground of miracles.”


The Importance of Leaning on God

There is a false assumption many of us live under. That assumption is that we can lean on ourselves. Have you discovered that you sometimes let yourself down? Whenever we are fooled into relying solely on ourselves we end up delusional, disoriented, and disappointed.

A further development of that same idea is relying exclusively on other people. When we rely solely on other people, we set ourselves up for failure. No one was ever created to fully support you. That’s not the way God designed things.

We are here to help each other, but that role is somewhat limited. 

Our God is the only One we can fully rely on. He is the only One we can consistently lean on. He is amazing. He is incredible. He is powerful. He holds no grudges. He does not constantly remind us of wrongs we have done. He does not condemn us, yet He constantly convicts us. He convicts us because He wants us to be better. In fact, He wants us to live up to our full potential.

Do not be frustrated when people let you down. Do not be disillusioned when people can’t (or won’t) help you. Sometimes God places us in positions that only He can help us out of. He is teaching us to rely on Him. He wants us to always be comfortable leaning on Him.

Liberate the people in your life. Free them from the bondage of having to be your source. Love them enough to be okay when they can’t (or won’t) help you. Place your absolute faith and trust in God. He will never let you down.

Do it today. Lean on God. Watch Him do the incredible in your life.


The Importance of Knowing Your False Self

Did you know there are actually two you’s? There is the TRUE you that God created you to be, and there is the FALSE you that Satan wants you to be. Let me explain.

The TRUE You

God created you to be a specific and unique individual. In fact, once He created you, He never created another you. The “you” He created is destined to walk in a specific purpose. You will only be truly fulfilled if you discover the True You. This is the Spiritual You. This you does not rely on people or things to make you happy. This True You enjoys people and things, but doesn’t rely so heavily on them.


Satan tries to counterfeit what God does. He is focused on the False You. This “you” is the carnal side of you. It is the side the goes by its “feelings”, rather than its intuition. This False You needs people and things to make it happy. People and things become like a drug. This False You (the Flesh) is at war with the Will of God. It does not want to comply with the true purpose of God.

Wisdom is discovering and discerning the difference between the two “you’s”. Each of us have this struggle. The struggle is real. Most of us don’t pay enough attention to this matter.

May God richly bless you as you better identify your False Self so you can walk in your True Self. Then, you will be fulfilled. Then, you will have joy. Then, you will find true happiness.

Be blessed.