Unbelievable Words

Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. (Luke 24:12a)

unbelievable words move me,
send my heart shivering.
could this be what He meant,
or is it the nonsense of grieving hearts?
in that reeling moment,
suddenly i am running to the tomb,
leaning in, and looking at the
empty linen strips.
His body gone, but no angels for me;
none for me who left Him to die.
i feel so alone and confused,
like a soul in exile from the world.
what can all this mean?
what did Jesus mean?
were these all unbelievable words?

[This is the eighth in a group of original poems composed for Holy Week.]

Calling (discussion questions)

jesus-on-the-move-series-gfx_app-squareHere are the discussion questions that accompany my message, “Calling,” from this past weekend at Eastbrook Church. This is part of our series, “Jesus on the Move.” The texts for this week are from Luke 5 & 6.

Discussion Questions:

  1. We continue the series “Jesus on the Move” by looking at a series of stories about calling in Luke 5 and 6. Before we start ask God to speak to you from His Word.
  2. Read Luke 5:1-11 aloud. Jesus is by the Sea of Galilee (another name is ‘Lake of Gennesaret’) by Capernaum teaching a crowd the word of God from the boat of Simon Peter. What does Jesus ask Simon to do and why is this odd according to Simon’s response?
  3. What happens in 5:6-7 and what does it tell us about Jesus?
  4. Why does Simon respond the way he does and what does Jesus ask him to do? How does the event in boat relate to the work Jesus asks of Simon Peter?
  5. Now read Luke 5:27-32 aloud. Jesus visits the low-level taxman, Levi (also known as Matthew), and invites him to become a disciple. Why might this be shocking?
  6. Levi throws a party in Jesus’ honor and invites all his sinful friends. Why are some of the religious leaders upset with Jesus about this (5:30)?
  7. Jesus responds with a bold declaration about His life and mission in 5:31-32. What is the point of what Jesus is saying here?
  8. Why do you think religious people sometimes miss the point of Jesus’ mission?
  9. Now read the third episode, Luke 6:12-16, aloud. Here Jesus is calling a select group from within the large crowd of disciples to a specific role and purpose. What is it? Why is this important for Jesus?
  10. The life with Jesus is a journey of discipleship with defining moments along the way. What are 1 or 2 defining moments in your own journey with Jesus?
  11. What is one way God is calling you into a deeper life with Him through this study? If you are with a small group, discuss that with one another and pray for one another. If you are studying on your own, write it down and share it with someone.



Daily Reading Plan

To encourage us together in our growth with God, we are arranging a weekday reading plan through this entire series with the Gospel of Luke. As you read each day, ask God to speak to you from His word.

Follow along with the reading plan below, through the Eastbrook app, or on social media.

  • Jan. 9- Luke 5:1-11; Mark 1:16-20
  • Jan. 10 – Luke 5:27-32
  • Jan. 11 – Matthew 9:9-13; Hosea 6:4-6
  • Jan. 12 – Luke 6:12-16
  • Jan. 13 – Mark 3:13-19

Trouble (discussion questions)

Chosen Words Series Gfx_4x3 TitleHere are the discussion questions that accompany my message, “Trouble,” from this past weekend at Eastbrook Church. This continues the series, “Chosen Words,” where we will journey through John 13-17 over the next number of weeks.

Discussion Questions:

  1. When did you face deep troubles in your life? What happened and how did you deal with?
  2. We continue our series, “Chosen Words,” by studying John 13:18-14:4, where Jesus faces into deep troubles. Before you read those verses aloud, take a moment to ask God to speak to you as you read His word.
  3. The first section of this passage, verses 18-30, focuses largely on Jesus’ expectation of betrayal at the hands of Juda. Judas is mentioned five times in John 13 (vss 2, 26, 27, 29 30). What do you notice about Judas from these verses?
  4. Jesus clearly knows that someone will betray Him (vs 21), but it also appears that this is part of God’s plan (vss 18-19). How could these both possibly be true?
  5. In the second section of this passage, verses 31-38, how would you summarize Jesus’ description of what He will face next? What do you think this means?
  6. In verses 34 and 35, Jesus offers “a new command.” Although this may be familiar, what do you think it means practically to fulfill this command? Why do you think there is a direct connection between this command and identification of Jesus’ disciples?
  7. Jesus confronts Simon Peter’s bold declaration with a hard truth about his upcoming failure. Why do you think Jesus said this to Peter?
  8. When do you think it is the loving thing to do to confront someone with a hard truth?
  9. The third section is found in 14:1-4. Here, Jesus balances words about His departure (13:31-33) with the reassuring work of God. What does Jesus promise to His followers?
  10. How do Jesus’ words here help your perspective on the challenges of your own life or the global events unfolding around us?
  11. What is one specific thing that God is speaking to you about life with Him through this study? How will that shape your life in the next week? If you are with a small group, discuss that with one another and pray for one another. If you are studying on your own, write it down and share it with someone.

 [Next week we will study John 14:1-31; 15:26-16:15. Read it ahead of time to prepare. Join the 40-day journey associated with this series by visiting http://www.eastbrook.org/chosenwords.%5D


Chosen Words Series Gfx_ThumbWhat do betrayal, failure, and peace have to do with one another? In one way or another, they all relate to trouble.

We continued our series,”Chosen Words,” this past weekend at Eastbrook Church looking at the trouble of Jesus, His disciples, and in our lives. I took us into John 13:18-14:4, exploring Jesus’ encounter with Judas’ betrayal and Peter’s failure. This highlights our own need to be watchful of our temptation to betray Jesus or deny Jesus when trouble comes down upon us.

You can view a video of the message and the accompanying outline below. You can listen to the message via our audio podcast here. You can join in with the “Chosen Words” devotional online.

Connect with us further at Eastbrook Church on VimeoFacebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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Glimpses of Glory (discussion questions)

Here are the discussion questions that accompany my message at Eastbrook Church this past weekend, “Glimpses of Glory,” from Mark 9:2-13.

Discussion Questions:

  1. When was a time where you powerfully encountered God’s presence in your life? What happened? How did you know it was God?
  2. Our Scripture passage this week is Mark 9:2-13. Whether you are alone or with a small group, read these verses out loud. Ask God to speak to you as you continue the study.
  3. There is some debate about exactly where this event happened. Tradition associates it with Mt. Tabor (southwest of the Sea of Galilee), while some Bible scholars think the location may have been Mt. Hermon (northeast of the Sea of Galilee) or Mt. Meron (northwest of the Sea of Galilee). What is clear is that the location of the ‘mountaintop’ is critical. There are likely echoes of Moses experience at Mt. Sinai during the Exodus. Take a moment to compare Mark 9:2-13 with Exodus 19:16-20 and 24:15-18.Read More »

Glimpses of Glory


We continued our series, “King Coming,” this weekend at Eastbrook Church as I preached a message entitled, “Glimpses of Glory.” The message focused on Mark 9:2-13, a story traditionally entitled the Transfiguration.

You can listen to the message at the Eastbrook web-site here. You can also follow the RSS feed for Eastbrook sermons or follower Eastbrook Church on Twitter or Facebook.

The outline for the message is included below:

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