Posts Tagged ‘grace’

My daughters first bike was not put together when it came in the box from the store. So as a father who was rarely handy with tools, I was a little nervous that I might put her surprise bicycle together poorly. The morning of her birthday I decided to ride the bike myself in my neighborhood to “test” it out. I imagine my neighbors thought I was crazy as they were looking out their window at a thirty year old man riding a five year old’s bike. I rode that little girl’s pink bike down my street and back, making sure the handle bars were steady and the brakes were sufficient.

When Jesus brought kingdom vision to the earth, He was amazing in showing the power of God’s love in miracles to the earth. Had Jesus stopped there by only doing the miracles Himself, the kingdom would not have advanced forward so we could enjoy it today. Jesus had kingdom vision of the future of His disciples doing greater things than Him. Did you know Jesus had you in mind as the “joy” set before Him to endure the cross? Jesus always had vision for the future that drove Him to love. Jesus sent his disciples out two by two to minister the kingdom on earth as He had showed them to do Himself. Kingdom vision always has a plan to invest in the next generation to do greater things than them.

Without daily Kingdom vision, contentment is elusive and our life will be a breeding ground for anxiety. Did you know that I received greater joy watching my daughter ride her bike for the first time than riding my bike for the first time myself? Can you imagine if I never let my daughter ride her bike but chose to ride it myself? There are grown adults that are spiritually responsible to disciple no one. Just riding their own bike, isolated by themselves (or worse a children’s bike), and wondering why they are anxious in life. Kingdom vision takes the last thing Jesus told us before ascending into Heaven to heart, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, (Matthew 28:19)”

But what if you didn’t have a father to teach you to ride a bike? Can we be real? This is where so many Christians in the faith were not discipled by the generation before them so they repeat the insecurity pattern of holding tightly their spiritual gifts. Insecurity struggles to rejoice when the young people are discovering their gifts because maybe they never received a time of parental rejoicing for themselves. A generational curse of poor fathering and mothering can either be our identity or we can look to Jesus who became our curse and receive kingdom vision lessons from Him. Jesus is always supplying vision for those hungry to receive!

John 14:12-14 NKJ12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. 13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.



I have a real concern for the Body of Christ today, that the value of marriage has decreased in our churches and homes. When you value something, a price is paid in order to know the value of that object. Today marriage has daily payments that declares value to the relationship. According to John 13 the world can see if we are Jesus disciples by our love for one another. I know the greatest evangelism work we do is through our marriage. I say this often, I believe the world’s perception of God’s love is hinging on the local church.

The Bible has a lot to say about marriage but the root of a marriage’s value is Jesus. You see I used to think that I could carry out the second commandment and love my wife as myself and be okay. Except my wife didn’t want to be loved the same way as I loved myself, which was all over the map by the way. I was an emotional roller coaster, hating myself some days and thinking I was super holy others. I valued my wife the way I valued myself which was always self righteous. Then Jesus showed me His value and perception of me, buried and hidden in Christ. That I am the righteousness of God, approved by God because Jesus became my sin and I His righteousness. He made me a new creation and was speaking now to the new man not the old.

Jesus gave us a new command in John 13:34 saying, “Love one another as I have loved you.” No longer was love one another as you love yourself, good enough for Jesus. Jesus always had this way of dropping difficult love bombs on the self righteous. For example in Matthew 5, Jesus steps up from the ten commandments, “Don’t even look upon a woman to lust and don’t even be angry with your brother”. Jesus knew that people would justify in their hearts why they could treat people like they valued themselves. People didn’t know their own value and it would cause them to love by emotion which was a temporary modification.

One of things I am most saddened by my marriage in the past, is how I used to water the fruit of my wife’s tree. Of course this was right after I spent time trying to water my own fruit. Healthy fruit is always grown from watering the root. Jesus is the vine and the root. So self behavior that is healthy comes from abiding (intimacy) in the vine. Imagine a tree that is making loud noises struggling to produce fruit. Now imagine a farmer walking out with a water hose and hosing down the fruit, pretty stupid right? That was my marriage when I would meditate on my behavior or hers and try to fix it, instead of meditating on Jesus and what He finished on the cross. If Jesus calls me righteous, then He calls my spouse righteous! Do I wait to treat her like that until she has great fruit, or do I call things not as though they were from Heaven’s perspective? Watering your spouse’s root can begin simply by speaking over them and praying the word of how they are seen through the lens of the cross. How does Heaven see you and how are you known in Heaven? Being born again means you are now seen from Heaven as crucified with Christ. Value your spouse the way Jesus values you and continues to fight for you!

Brandon Pollard
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Remember when baseball home run records were seemingly being broken weekly? Then to only find out that most of our favorite athletes in that era were taking some kind of illegal substance (performance enhancing drugs). The side effects were destructive to the players and the game of baseball, but it’s amazing how sports can mirror the every day Christian life.


There is an illegal substance in the Kingdom of God, Paul addressed it in Galatians 3, but today in this blog let’s modernize it a little, let’s call it the performance enhancing gospel drug (P.E.G.)

P.E.G– The lie that God’s love and His favor can be earned by our performance. (Which every religion in the world believes about their god, but Christianity)

The side effects: bipolar Christianity which always asks and wonders “He loves me… He loves me not”- the performance roller coaster allows highs of self righteousness and lows of unworthiness based on performance.

Remember the first time you heard the pure gospel? You believed that God loved you, right there in your moment of life, when you were still a sinner and God sent His son Jesus to die and become sin for you, so that you could have a right relationship with God.  You were excited because not once in your whole life was your performance good enough for God. But then you accepted Jesus as your Lord, to take your sins and save you, and you really felt loved!

Fast forward a few years and for some of us, we may have been exposed to an illegal substance (P.E.G.). It may have been offered from a friend or even a pulpit. Once we receive this drug, our performance appears instantly better, possibly because we are comparing ourselves to our friends and leaders at home, church or at work. Our words seem much more controlled, because we don’t want God mad at us, unless we are talking with our wife or kids. And now we may even point other people to our performance and behavior for the blessings and favor of God upon our life. We may not consciously be trying to earn Gods love with our performance, but we do have a seven step method to modify and improve our friend’s behavior, because our view of God’s favor is performance based.

A few questions to ask people when offered this drug…..

What if God is not this angry old man that takes His presence or His love away from His children because of their failures? What if He really did place all our success and failures and nail them to the cross in exchange for Jesus’ success? Because even our successful performance is like filthy rags compared to His righteousness. What if God based His favor and relationship toward us on Christ alone? What if He knew that the only way for us to have great fruit (performance) and experience freedom was to abide in Jesus? What if God doesn’t want us so self performance conscious, but Christ conscious? What if the effects of a performance enhanced gospel results in a bipolar Christian, but the effects of the pure gospel is a child confident in their Father’s love based on the performance of Jesus Christ? What if for all eternity we need the grace of Jesus Christ, because without Him we can do nothing? What if there was someone that could believe this today?

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As my family celebrates my role as “dad” in the home this weekend, I took a moment to reflect on what was accomplished as a father of three children these last twelve years. Quickly I was reminded of some failure moments and became deeply concerned how quickly time has flown. In the relatively short amount of time left with my kids in the house, what could I do to improve my effectiveness as a father? I came up with the top 5 things I could continue to grow and be better at as a dad.

1. Celebrate Victories With The Family

It seems like so often I play the sheriff of the home that my kids need to remember I see their successes. Nothing like a family celebration at the snow cone stand, amusement park or movie theatre to celebrate victories of my kid’s character and achievements.

2. Respond In Love Don’t React In Anger

I want to respond not react to my kid’s behavior. Manipulation and control is often a reaction to their bad behavior, but if I respond with giving them a choice of consequences good or bad, then I empower them to make their own choices. Home should be a safe testing ground for children to make bad choices and receive consequences. When I don’t give them choices and try and modify their behavior with my control when they are around me, it’s only “fools gold”. They should be learning the fruit of the Spirit which is “self control” not “dad will always be around to catch you so you better watch out” control. Now if I can just remember this when I’m tired and grumpy.

3. Find Their Dreams And Passion And Help Them Pursue

I’m embarrassed to say it took me 13 years of marriage to know and help pursue my wife’s dreams and passions. My children on the other hand, I knew partially each child’s when they were toddlers because I spent a lot of time praying and asking what their future would hold. Each night I put them to bed and pray over them I ask God to show us more of their gifts and where He is leading them in the future but I honestly need to spend more time and resources preparing them for their God given passion.

4. Pray For Their Future Spouses

It’s never too early to pray for my kids’ future spouses. I pray for their protection, family life and relationship with Jesus to be incredibly strong. I must spend more time in prayer because today’s prayer makes tomorrow’s outcome.

5. Create A Home Of No Condemnation

No matter how they behave they are still loved and accepted by me. I realize their perception of my love effects their reception of God’s love. What an incredible responsibility I have to represent the Father God to my children. This is why I have to create a safe environment in my home of no judgement that would ever disconnect our relationship. Many times I have to pursue my children to remove guilt and condemnation with hugs and affirmation.


There’s so many more ways that I could be a better dad and I have some really great friends who are great dads and great mentors! Please take a moment and share your thoughts on this or more ways I can improve as a dad as we celebrate this Father’s Day!

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imageDid you know there are two types of ministries we can offer to our family, according to Paul in 2 Corinthians. One ministry is the kind you can learn and study just about anywhere, in any religion, and they all agree that it comes down to being a good person on this earth so we can love God with all our strength and love people. Sounds doable, right? Then there is another ministry that points to Jesus loving us so much, becoming sin and believers becoming righteous, regardless their behavior, to eternally be connected with God. One ministry points to fruit and the other points to the root ( the vine where fruit is produced). Both ministries have glory but only one is permanent and unchanging.

One ministry (which I like to call bi-polar Christianity) is called condemnation and always points to self behavior. Paul also calls this ministry the “ministry of death” or the Ten Commandments, which Jesus lived under while on the earth and He fulfilled. The other ministry is righteousness and points to who we already are in Christ Jesus. How do we know if we are living in the ministry of condemnation or righteousness in our home? The fruit of freedom is in a family’s home ministering in righteousness. Your spouse and children will be overflowing in joy and freedom. The law will always point families to self-help behavior to earn favor with God and the fruit of that ministry is self-righteousness. I heard a family say once that “the teaching of righteousness in Christ is for baby believers and that it’s the very beginning salvation process” but my response was, “not only is righteousness in Christ the foundation, but according to Paul, it is the spiritual meat to be devoured by the spiritually mature (Hebrews 5:13).”

I am learning as a husband and a father not to mix these two ministries of condemnation and righteousness in my home. The main thing is to seek first His righteousness, because I can only give in power what I myself have received from Jesus!

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One of the most powerful and effective witnessing tool to the world can be the Christian’s marriage and family life. Marriage for the believer is a mirror of the love affair between Christ and the church. Christian parenting can be a reflection of the unconditional love and forgiveness the Father has for His children. Of course it is incredibly difficult to love our spouse and children if we don’t take the time to receive the love that Jesus has for us. Jesus said those that have been forgiven little, love little (Luke 7:46-48) and I used to think that I had a very little to be forgiven since I had received salvation at such an early age. The truth is, we have all have fallen short of the glory of God. We all have been forgiven exactly the same, because if you break one commandment then you are guilty of breaking them all. As Christians we don’t all meditate on exactly what was paid by Jesus for us and because of that, we don’t all love the same. We all were born into a kingdom of darkness and the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4) was our father. Once we were saved, we were completely forgiven and given the gift of righteousness (Romans 5:17). By the way, gifts never require payments in this new family and will not be returned. How can a Father be this loving? When we meditate on this kind of forgiveness and unconditional love, then we begin to receive it for ourselves and can’t help but overflow to our spouse and children.  Yes, the first recipients of our ministry begins in the home but you can only give (in power) what you have received from Jesus (Mathew 10:8). Meditate on the cross and how much you have been forgiven and paid for, because your family needs that kind of unconditional love!

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When I was a kid I loved the puppet show in children’s church. Kids today aren’t easily impressed with puppets but amazingly there still is a ventriloquist in the church today!  Last week I had a long conversation with my ten-year old son, we were talking about how the enemy loves to imitate the voice of God! Proverbs 19:12 says, “A kings rage is like the roaring of a lion” and most people know that 1 Peter 5:8 says “the enemy goes around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour”. What children need to know is the devil is imitating the voice of God’s anger. Even adult Christians and sometimes leaders of churches believe the lie that God is angry with disobedient children. Every religion in the world believes their god rewards obedience and is angry with disobedience, but Jesus tells the story of a prodigal son who was extremely disobedient and then only because he was hungry decided to return to His father. All was forgiven in the story without the child even asking (yes sons and daughters have this incredible favor). The wrath of God was poured out on His son Jesus on the cross and Jesus was forsaken so that His children would never be forsaken. Can’t believe in this kind of undeserved favor? Neither could the brother in the story of the prodigal son. The brother wouldn’t enter the house of his father to join in the party because he had worked so hard at being obedient and never saw this kind of favor! But then again, he never asked! Am I for my children being disobedient to God? Absolutely not, but I understand receiving God’s love and redemption gives them power against disobedience! Relationship is greater than the law in God’s eyes and He fulfilled the law through the cross. When He speaks, God always reminds His children who they are in Christ Jesus and their destiny, not their past.

How did Jesus empower the women caught in adultery to sin no more? He spoke no condemnation and then said go sin no more. Our children will never hear condemnation from God because they are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). They will however hear the enemy giving their best God impersonation and it is our job as parents to call a dummy a dummy!

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It happens often in many homes and I didn’t realize I was speaking a different language until the Lord opened my eyes to what I was doing.  How does a parent speak a different language than their own child, you might wonder? Gary Smalley, author of “The language of love“, says that there are five love languages a person or child receives love from. When I read the book nearly fifteen years ago, I was preparing to be married and wanted to be the best husband I could be and never dreamed of having to apply the languages to future children. If you haven’t heard of different love languages, I highly recommend reading Gary’s books. Here are the five that I still have to remember to speak on a daily basis:

Quality time is a love language that Gary touches first and actually is my number one love language. My oldest son, Graceson, shares this language with me and after hours of playing together outside, we can just walk back in the house and my son ask, “Dad let’s do something together”.

Encouraging words is the love language that my youngest son Zeal speaks. I purposely wrestle with him alone and tell him that not even the Incredible Hulk could break free from my hold. I make sure that he frees himself and during this, I pour out words of praise for his strength and determination! Also when I see him doing something noble or kind, I make sure to lift him up in front of his siblings.

Physical touch and closeness is my wife’s love language and includes things like hugs that are non-sexual, holding  hands and gentleness (all things I really struggled learning early in marriage).

Gift Giving is my daughter’s language. I often times will bring home a gift for Jocelyn that is small but greatly appreciated (Normally I will take her away from her brothers and make her feel it is our secret). At Christmas time she makes sure everyone she knows has some kind of gift from her (usually a homemade craft) and I know to make sure she receives more gifts (usually smaller) than her brothers!

Acts of Service is probably my wife’s second language (yes it is possible). Just washing the dishes or her car can make me a hero in her eyes!

One last thing, if you don’t know your child’s love language, then you probably are speaking your own. Are you constantly chasing your child down to give them hugs they do not want to receive? Are you constantly praising your child and get the “whatever” look? Are you never there to play but bring home gifts galore and the child is not happy? The bible says to “train up a child in the way that they (individually) should go” Proverbs 22:6. Every child is different and wonderfully made by God! Are you speaking the same language or a different love language than your child receives?

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Parents usually have that feeling that something died in their mouth early in the morning, so for us to remember to rush to our toothbrush is natural and easy! Kids on the other hand have to be constantly reminded because their body isn’t detoxing years of coffee and bad food into their breath.  Well in a effort for my kids to remember to brush their teeth twice a day (yes it is recommended three times a day but we only ask for twice) I couldnt explain the importance of brushing their teeth clearly enough until I came up with a comparison to help them realize how gross it is to not brush your teeth.  You are welcome to borrow this because it works and it gets them thinking. It’s simple but effective. When I ask did you remember to brush your teeth and the answer is no, then I reply “do you remember to wipe your behind when you go potty? ….. then you are old enough to remember to brush your teeth, both are exactly the same kind of gross to forget!”

Would love to hear your suggestions and I will add them on my podcast and include your name and city if you like!

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Show me a parent who has won thousands to Christ all over the world and built a hundred churches and I will ask one question, “where are their children during this time of ministry?” For years my wife and I would arrive at church hours before the doors opened and then we would be the last ones to leave, fortunately this was only a season and before my wife and I had children. I love being at church and my passion is people at church! Today, however, we still have the opportunity to volunteer as much as we like, and when we do, our children must wait in a classroom or sit quietly in church while mom and dad minister in whatever capacity.

Often times life and our actions speaks louder to our kids than we do about church. For my six-year-old, he sees church as a place where adults make him get up early (Mom and dad have to practice hours earlier for worship), sit still and don’t talk loud in the sanctuary (His name is Zeal, his normal voice is loud) and then go to a classroom and sit still and don’t talk loud (did I mention that is what he does best?). Church is like school to my six-year-old, he doesn’t understand why he has to be there for so long and be quiet for so long, but it has to be good for him, right?My wife and I are a little unique in that we minister together in worship and have for nearly fifteen years but I am very protective of my children’s time spent at church.

My father was a pastor and missionary when I was a child and I remember being at church five times a week. His passion and calling for the church was very strong but he struggled in including his family in that passion. My father was unable to keep our family together, despite winning thousands to Christ, seeing thousands of miracles, dead people raised to life and starting a Bible School that today has graduated hundreds of pastors.  Moses struggled with including his family as well, when all the miracles in Egypt took place, his family was nowhere close to being apart of it. Why couldn’t Moses’ children lead the people to the promised land when Moses died? Because he failed to include his family in ministry!

As my kids are getting older, we are including them more in times of ministry outside of the church building (no one can light up a nursing home like a child) but they still are unable to join us in music ministry while we are at church. My job as leader of my family is to get my whole family involved in their calling and purpose at church even at the expense of my desire of volunteering in church being scaled back. Dana and I have friends that are pastors and full-time ministers doing a fabulous job at including their kids in ministry but everyone needs the grace of God to purposely protect their children!

We recently recorded a worship album for my wife ( and my children sat quietly on the couches in the studio, my heart ached as we constantly had to quiet them for hours upon hours, day after day! Then the final group voices were needed and we were able to convince the producer that our children could sing and would do great! I stood beside my family and about ten other people as we sang praises to God while the microphones recorded for over an hour. The kids were not perfect singing, their timing was off which probably made the producer a little irritated, but finishing the album with my family by my side meant so much to me.  I wouldn’t trade that one hour of family togetherness for a lifetime of ministry alone!