aaron summers


5 important ways on how to finish strong


At 45, I am beginning to have thoughts of what it will take to finish strong. Sitting in the middle of life, I want to be able to approach retirement and grand-parenting with no regrets. How can I make the most of my choices now so I can finish strong? Someone once said, "One thing about getting old is that you can sing in the bathroom while brushing your teeth." I want to believe God has more for us to do! Let's look at Psalm 71 and see five important ways on how to finish strong.

Some say David penned Psalm 71 when he fled from his son Absalom.... [continue]

How should I respond when praised?


Twenty-five years ago, I preached my first sermon, and it was a fiery, cliché-driven message about sex, drugs and effects of media. In my estimation, it was horrible. I kept that cassette for years, but after several moves cannot find it. Whether you preach, speak, teach, etc. we find ourselves in one of several moments:

  • Why did I even try?
  • If only I had … it would have been better.
  • Why did no one start chanting?
  • Other people think I did well.

Sometimes we do well; sometimes not. There are those moments when people want to come and tell you how wonderful... [continue]

4 Things to Leave Out of Your Next Sermon


It is Sunday morning. I have just finished teaching our young married class, have met with my Sunday prayer partner and am now gathering my stuff to go into the worship center. I have:

  • My Bible,
  • My notes,
  • My phone, and
  • My mic

Now I am ready. Like you, we greet others in the hall and in the sanctuary. We shake hands, give hugs and greet guests. A few announcements, songs and an offering later we find ourselves at the brink of stepping up to the pulpit. As you take that first step, remember what not to bring to the pulpit.

... [continue]

Can I trust you?


Anyone who has been in leadership long can recall a person they could not trust. Some people are obvious, others covert. Pastor Scott was approached by a woman and his stomach began to churn. She had never done anything suspicious. It was just a feeling. The Spirit was giving him a nudge that he should not completely buy into whatever was being said. Living in the jaded, skeptical society in which we do has created a community that does not trust. We have been burned. We have been cheated. We have been lied to as well. Maybe you have a face in your mind and a name on... [continue]

Can't we get rid of the Old Testament already?


This question is being asked more often. I was asked this just the other day by a group of 20- and 30-somethings whether or not we, as Christians, need to follow Old Testament regulations. When we talk about a theological position several considerations must be made. Proper biblical interpretation must find a balance among the scriptures as a whole. We believe scripture does not contradict scripture. With that said, let's examine this issue together.

The question was sparked from the very words of Jesus when he said He did not come to... [continue]

More and more selfies are becoming about self-worth and value


I take them. You take them. We all take them.

We take them at parties. We take them on the beach. We take them at gatherings. We take them in front of the mirror. We put them on Instagram. We wait for comments. What do selfies tell us about ourselves? Often, I find people who are in need of approval. They are hoping someone will comment and tell them they are beautiful, or wonderful, or courageous, or that they made a great choice on their hair, makeup, attire, car, house or pet purchase.

Why do we need approval? Most of us... [continue]

Crazy Hope


Hope.

We all need hope.

We have earthquakes shaking, winter storms freezing, sickness ravaging, bad news surrounding, ISIS killing and kidnapping, families breaking, jobs dropping and gas prices rising! We don't need regular hope. We need CRAZY HOPE.

Hope for New Leadership

It often seems that national leadership seems unaware of what is going on with the common man. Those in power keep giving themselves more power. Those in power interpret the laws to suit their own need, fill their own pocketbooks and do as they wish. They travel and dress to the nines on the... [continue]

6 decisions staff children want you to make


Raising kids is messy! I don't mean teaching them to bake with flour all over the kitchen messy. I don't mean having muddy tracks through the house after playing outside messy. I don't mean the handprints on the wall, crayon murals in the bedroom or a water-logged baseboard around the tub messy. What I do mean is that raising kids in this societal context can be very difficult. How can those in ministry raise their kids to meet the challenges with grace and awareness?

I have been a pastor for 19 years and my wife and I have a 13-year-old... [continue]

7 vital signs to check with your child


Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people. Luke 2:52

This school year has been marked by sickness. With two strains of the flu hitting in the fall, many schools were finding it difficult to have class. As we move through the winter months it appears that strep is now taking its toll. I called Urgent Care the other day to see what the wait time was; they told me four hours! We know the health of our children is important, but I am not just talking about physical health. I am finding that for most parents the... [continue]

​7 Essentials Before You Pack for a Mission Trip


God has called us to change the world. There have been many forays into changing our world through humanitarian efforts. While each have their positives, they only change the present without an eternal perspective. Feeding the hungry, cleansing the water of the thirsty and repairing the huts of the homeless are wonderful and heart-warming. But, if we don't take the Gospel, what change has really occurred?

A few years ago, while organizing an overseas trip I became aware of all the fine details of travel. Nehemiah went through the same... [continue]