About Michael

I am Lead Pastor at North River Church in Parrish, FL.

How Can I Best Support My Pastor? (Ligon Duncan’s Answer To That Important Question)

Ligon Duncan does a phenomenal job answering the question, “How can I best support my pastor.” He identifies 5 things:

  1. Pray for your pastor.
  2. Attend worship weekly.
  3. Thank your pastor for being a faithful shepherd.
  4. Befriend your pastor.
  5. Support your pastor’s family.

Monday Musings (12-11-17)

Coffee cup on Black

  • It has been almost 3 months since I updated this blog. There are good reasons…but you don’t want to hear my excuses!!
  • We have been walking through a difficult time as a family recently.
  • My mother-in-law was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer while my wife’s entire extended family gathered in Charleston for Thanksgiving.
  • The weeks since then have been chaotic as Janie, her brother, and her sister have been trying to care for her mom in her last days.
  • We were reminded how quickly life can change.
  • One phone call…one diagnosis…that is all it takes to turn your world upside down.
  • The last several weeks have given me a greater appreciation for what single parents have to do day in and day out.
  • It is not easy!
  • Our church family has wrapped their arms around us and they have taken good care of us during this time.
  • I’m so proud to be the pastor at North River Church!
  • They are a blessing.
  • A couple of weeks ago I started reading Meg Meeker’s book Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know.
  • As a dad of two girls, I have been greatly challenged!
  • If you have a daughter you need to read this book!
  • My eyes have been open time and time again to new realities I didn’t even know existed.
  • It is impossible to overestimate the impact fathers have in their daughter’s lives!
  • As I worked through my Bible reading plan this morning, I read these words in Psalm 131:2, “I have calmed and quieted my soul.”
  • Wow!
  • I needed this.
  • Too often I allow the “noise” of life to bombard my soul.
  • I need to be still and know that he is God.
  • Maybe you do too!
  • It’s going to be a great Monday!
  • Time to get back at it.

Monday Musings (9-25-17)

Coffee cup on Black

  • I’m sitting in my study at home enjoying the quiet of the morning, a strong cup of coffee, and a Bourbon Maple candle from Bath & Body Works.
  • It is the simple things in life!
  • I have spent time recently in the book of Judges in my morning devotions.
  • What a sad book.
  • The preface to most chapters begins, “The people of Israel turned away from the Lord…”
  • Yet, even in their disobedience, God heard their cries for deliverance.
  • What an encouragement to know we have a God that hears our cries.
  • Yesterday, we were able to gather back together as a church family at our normal location & our normal time for the first time in 3 weeks.
  • It was such a joy to gather back together again.
  • I love my church.
  • I love worshipping King Jesus together.
  • We also had the chance to celebrate Pastor Scott Kerlin’s 1 year anniversary at North River Church.
  • I’m grateful for the incredible pastoral staff I have the privilege of serving with each day.
  • I cheered on my Bulldogs to victory Saturday night.
  • I’m excited about this team and the way Kirby Smart has prepared them.
  • We have a big game this week against Tennessee.
  • In the past, we have struggled to put back to back wins together against good teams.
  • Let’s hope that streak is broken this year.
  • I’m working on an article for spurgeon.org right now about Charles Spurgeon’s emphasis on family worship and discipleship in the home.
  • I have loved studying Spurgeon’s life and ministry.
  • Every pastor should have a dead pastor who serves as a mentor and guide.
  • That is the role Spurgeon serves in my life.
  • Though he is dead…he still speaks.
  • The sun is peaking over the horizon now so I better get going!

Advice I Needed To Hear As A Young Pastor

I have been in full-time vocational ministry for almost 10 years. Though I am still young (34) I don’t necessarily see myself as a young pastor anymore. I wish I had read Zack Eswine’s words when I started and I’m thankful to have read them today! If you are a young pastor just starting out in ministry, please take a few moments to read his advice and let it soak in:

“As you enter ministry, you will be tempted to orient your desires toward doing large things in famous ways as fast and as efficiently as you can. But take note. A crossroads waits for you. Jesus is that crossroads. Because almost anything in life that truly matters will require you to do small, mostly overlooked things, over a long period of time with him. The pastoral vocation, because it focuses on helping people cultivate what truly matters, is therefore no exception.” (Zack Eswine in The Imperfect Pastor)

Monday Musings (8-21-17)

Coffee cup on Black

  • Yesterday’s message was a difficult one as we discussed the sin of partiality from James 2:1-13.
  • If you missed it you can listen to it here.
  • I was deeply convicted by the message in my study time.
  • Our world is built on the sin of partiality.
  • We oftentimes don’t even realize it is present but it is there.
  • It is sin.
  • We must confess it and we must kill it.
  • There is nothing more antithetical to the gospel than partiality.
  • The ground at the foot of the cross is level.
  • Paul is crystal clear in Galatians 3:28: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
  • Showing partiality or favoritism is an assault on the gospel.
  • Every single person is created in God’s image and in desperate need of a relationship with him made possible through Jesus.
  • I enjoyed all the eclipse festivities today.
  • Our family took time to look at the eclipse…through approved glasses of course!
  • We also ate moon pies and drank Sunkist in celebration.
  • Well it’s time to get back after it!

Monday Musings (8-14-17)

Coffee cup on Black

  • We had a great day yesterday as we continued working thorough the book of James.
  • The message was titled “Hearers & Doers” and covered James 1:19-27.
  • If you would like to listen to the message you can do so here.
  • I have loved the two weeks we have spent in James so far and I’m excited to keep working through this intensely practical book.
  • I spent some time addressing the issues that transpired in Charlottesville, VA over the weekend.
  • If you missed this news story you can catch up with this article in the New York Times.
  • Racism is not dead in America.
  • The fact that white supremacists and neo-Nazis still exist is a reminder of the fallen world that we live in.
  • This world needs Jesus and this weekend was a stark reminder.
  • Racism must be called out and condemned.
  • It is sin.
  • It is impossible for us to hear God’s Word and not call out what happened this weekend as sin.
  • I took off for an early morning run today.
  • I enjoyed sweating a bit and watching God’s creation wake up.
  • The sunrise was beautiful.
  • I’m so thankful that while I slept, God worked.
  • He held all of creation together and I thought nothing of it.
  • Rest is good.
  • It reminds us that we are not God.
  • It reminds us of our deep need for Him.
  • I have been reading a great book lately.
  • 12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You by Tony Reinke
  • Here are a few quotes that stuck out to me.
  • “If we worship idols, we become like the idols. If we worship Christ, we become like Christ.”
  • “The object of our worship is the object of our imitation.”
  • I would encourage you to grab this book!

Monday Musings (7-3-17)

– Happy Monday friends!

– I pray you had a wonderful celebration of the resurrection of Jesus yesterday!

– We certainly did at North River Church.

– I began a new sermon series through the book of Jonah yesterday.

– If you are so inclined, you can listen to the message here.

– Even though it was a holiday weekend we still had a great time of worship and a great response.

– Oftentimes, pastors can get discouraged on holiday weekends because of low church attendance.

– However, vacations are important for both the pastor and his people.

– Everyone needs an opportunity to break away from normal life and rest for a bit.

– Rest is good and rest is godly.

– Ultimately, we find true rest in Jesus.

– Vacation is not a time to rest from Jesus but in Jesus.

– Last week I did a bit of redesign work on my website.

– I cleaned up the look a bit and changed the name of the site.

– I also began reading a new book over the weekend called 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You by Tony Reinke.

– Wow!

– It is rocking my world.

– Tony’s research and biblical insight is fantastic.

– You need to read this book!

– Tomorrow is July 4th – Happy Independence Day!

– I’m looking forward to a slower day with family and friends.

– We are blessed to live in the USA.

– Enjoy your Monday!