Executive Pastor & Church Planting Resources Link List

This will be the official dumping grounds of all the links and stuff I come across that might be useful to church planters and/or executive pastors. Mostly, I want to be able to find them when I need them. Hope they help you. Feel free to drop any helpful links you have in the comments. […]

What to Pack for GORUCK Challenge – My AAR

I just finished my first GORUCK Tough and wanted to share my packing list AAR (After-Action Review). Prior to my challenge I read as many posts (like this, this, and this) and watched as many YouTube videos as I could to know how to best pack. In adding my AAR to the interwebs, I hope to help others […]

Saturdays Are For Suffering

I have two very physically demanding events coming up in the Wintergreen Spartan and a GoRuck Tough and I’m using my Saturdays between now and the events for specific training. I have mentioned it on Facebook and some poor souls have said they wanted to join in. For that reason, I’ll be posting my weekly game plan […]

Money for Seminary

When I first thought about attending seminary, money was a big consideration. I remember searching for scholarships, but it was a tedious and somewhat futile venture. The main reason was that there were hundreds of poorly designed sites that offered scholarships with any number of limiting criteria that a may or may not meet. I […]

Bible Study Magazine Articles

I have recently had the opportunity to write for Bible Study Magazine, a print magazine put out by the good folks at Logos Bible Software. My particular articles focus on using their software and resources to study various passages. You can find my articles below. You can also grab a subscription at www.biblestudymagazine.com.    

What I Do in My Free Time

UPDATE UPDATE: On top of the stuff in the update below, I launched a new project to help seminary students find money for seminary. UPDATE: The church job project described below has gone into a holding pattern and now occupies very little of my free time. Alas, I’ve picked up some new projects recently. Most notably, I am […]

Translating Important Texts

I once had the privilege of working as a marketing manager at Logos Bible Software. Since leaving the company almost 4 years ago, I have been amazed at the pace at which it has grown and the new projects and initiatives they’ve undertaken. One such initiative is translation projects in which they seek to make […]

Charles Simeon on the Resurrection of Jesus

In preparing to preach on Jesus’ resurrection this week at Redemption Hill Church I read a great sermon by Charles Simeon (see also) from his Horea Homileticae. Whether I quote from it on Sunday or not, it was a great encouragement to my soul. Thought I’d share for you as well. ——— THE NECESSITY OF CHRIST’S […]

Jesus and the Table

I’m preparing this week to preach from Matthew 26:1-35. In studying and praying, I’ve found N.T. Wright’s commentary, Matthew for Everyone, to be more than informative–it has been both a weight and wind to my soul. It only seems fitting that meditating on the hours leading up to our Savior’s death would cause, in the […]

Pastor Arrested for Not Preaching Loud Enough

My kids thought I should be aware of a law they discovered in school today. Apparently in the Corpus Juris Civilis, also known as the Code of Justinian, it was against the law to preach in such a way that your audience couldn’t hear you. I was particularly struck by the last paragraph of the […]

Running With the Apostle John

Chris DeRoco, a pastor at Redemption Hill, in his sermon on 1 John 4:7-12 made reference to a story about the Apostle John in which the Apostle runs after a wayward disciple. In an online forum, a friend asked where the reference was from. I couldn’t find it in google books, so I’ve copied the excerpt from […]

Jesus Died – Good!

The term “Good Friday” seems like such a paradox. Whether you’re a Christian or not, the brutal torture and execution of a man on a Roman cross is far from anyone’s definition of a “good” Friday. At best, we might be able to come to the conclusion that such an end to a man may […]

WordPress Hacked – Easy Fix

I had a WordPress site hacked today, and was able to get it fixed and live in less than 5 minutes. Really, it was nothing short of amazing! The reality is that I’ve had numerous WordPress sites hacked over the years. I do the best I can to follow the majority of “best practices” for […]

What is it like to be a Living Kidney Donor?

On November 9th, 2011, I donated a kidney to a friend. As the days following the surgery progress, I found myself forgetting some of the details of my experience and decided to record them here both as a reminder to myself and, hopefully, as a resource to anyone who is considering being a living kidney […]

Church Audit Guide

As the director of operations for a young (4 years old today) mid-sized church, one of my goals in 2011 was to position our church’s financial structure and systems in such a way that we could successfully conduct our first internal financial audit in 2012. The goal behind the goal is to be in a […]

31 Great Questions to Start Your New Year Asking

Life is busy. We all (well, at least I) have the tendency to rush through each day trying to accomplish as much as humanly possible. A day turns into a week. A week turns into a month. Then *blink* it is Christmas again. All the while, much of what we do is simply rote repetition: […]

Are You Kidneying Me?

On November 9th, 2011, I am giving away a kidney. The left one to be precise. Seriously. The journey to this point has been a long one. For the recipient of my kidney, the story is even longer. Ryan (that’s his name) has a rare disease in which his body attacks his kidney. In his […]

Calvin Robert Burns

On July 4, 2011, we welcomed the newest member of the Burns family, Calvin Robert. For those wondering about his name, I thought I’d share a little about where it comes from. To begin with, Robert is a family name. Both Jenn’s father and grandfather are “Robert.” Her dad was the only boy out of […]

What should a pastor do?

The other day, Desiring God tweeted a quote from John Owen about the principal duty of a pastor. The tweet alone was challenging. I decided to pull the full Owen quote up in context. It is indeed more challenging than the tweet version. The first and principal duty of a pastor is to feed the […]

My Good Friday Confession

Good Friday seems like a good time for confession. So, here it is: The last several weeks I have worked (hard) to try and pull off something our church has never done before–have two Sunday morning services. Currently, we have about 400+/- people show up for our regular Sunday service. With Easter we decided to […]

How to Pray Before You Start Reading Your Bible

The next time you sit down to read your Bible, take a moment to reflect on the prayer of a pastor who, in March of 2010, held the New Testament, in his own language, for the very first time (Prayer is at minute 1:45 of the video, but watch the whole thing). O God, O […]

A Thousand Times A Second

While reading Zacharias Ursinus’ commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism the other night, I came across a quote that I had once heard, but had since misquoted and, honestly, never knew where it was from. I was happy to finally come across the quote in print. Our safety does not lie in our own hands, or […]

Death is an enemy, not a friend

I was reading Michael Horton’s new book, The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way, and that line struck me. Death is an enemy, not a friend. Perhaps it is my longing to be with Christ (Php 1:23) or my love for the song “I’ll fly away,” I often, in the life […]

Thither will I go.

A footnote in Leon Morris’ commentary on John 1:14 caught my heart and mind this morning. I hope you enjoy it as I did: Laurence Housman brings out something of the wonder of it all: “Light looked down and beheld Darkness. ‘Thither will I go,’ said Light. Peace looked down and beheld War. ‘Thither will […]


O Living God, I bless thee   that I see the worst of my heart as well as the best of it,   that I can sorrow for those sins that carry me from thee,   that it is thy deep and dear mercy to threaten punishment     so that I may return, pray, live. My sin is to […]

Sullied Streams of Great Saints

I started reading John Piper’s The Legacy of Sovereign Joy: God’s Triumphant Grace in the Lives of Augustine, Luther, and Calvin the other night. In his intro about the importance of studying the great saints of the past, Piper reminded me, through the words of Luther, how often I stop there and how insufficient that […]

Valley of Vision – Praying with Puritans

I am indebted to Joe Thorn, pastor of Redeemer Fellowship in Saint Charles, IL, as he has help to inspire an awakening of prayer in my life. He recently shared on his blog a discipline he’s incorporated into his life of stopping, three times a day, to meet with God in prayer. This isn’t simply […]

Charles Spurgeon on Death

I can’t say that many books I read talk about death much, however I find that it is a topic that I often encounter when reading Charles Spurgeon. What is even more interesting (in a good way) is that I always leave Spurgeon’s writings on the subject with greater peace and comfort. Here are two […]

Baptism: Its Purpose, Practice and Power

I was flipping through my Logos library the other day and randomly came across Michael Green’s, Baptism: Its Purpose, Practice and Power (Logos | Amazon). I decided to give it a glance, and I’m really glad I did. I’m only two chapters in, but I have to say that I am really enjoying Green’s clear […]

John Calvin and Singing from the Heart

I wrote the other day about John Calvin’s call for depth in the music we sing in church. In it was a challenge for those who lead worship to not simply play and sing in such a way as to “tickle the ears” of the listeners, but to sing deep, theological songs that glorify God. […]

John Calvin Says No Ear Tickling in Church Music

There was a lot of different worship music being played in the office today. Of it all, I was particularly drawn to the stuff done by Red Mountain Music, whom I had never heard before. While I am more naturally inclined to a folksy sound, I was mostly taken away by the beauty and depth […]

How to Save Money When Your Check Engine Light Comes On

The first thing I noticed when I hopped into my 2000 Honda Odyssey after it completed its 3,000+ mile cross-country trek on the back of a big-rig was that the check engine light was on. Nervous about the thought of potentially having to spend hundreds of dollar at mechanic after just moving to town, I […]

Who Can Baptize?

I enjoy reading John Calvin on baptism. The other day I read something that has stuck in the back of my head, so I thought I’d share it and see what you think. Here is Calvin’s comments on who should administer the sacrament of baptism. It is here also pertinent to observe, that it is […]

John Owen Needed to Live Life

In reading Life of Owen, I came across a great section where Thomas points out the importance of actually living life. He says (emphasis mine), A wish has sometimes been expressed, that men who, like Owen, have contributed so largely to the enriching of our theological literature, could have been spared the endless avocations of […]

John Knox WAS a Bouncer

I wrote yesterday about the fact that John Owen didn’t need a bouncer. After reading the post, a friend of mine mentioned that John Knox, the 16th century Scottish minister and Protestant reformer, was a bouncer. After some googling, I discovered that he did, in fact, spend some time serving as a bodyguard for George […]

John Owen Didn’t Need a Bouncer

John Owen, the 17th century pastor and theologian, apparently doesn’t take any crap from smart @$$ kids who decide they can do whatever they want to in the classroom. After taking over as vice-chancellor of the University of Oxford, amidst a time of hardship which included a nearly empty treasury, mounting debt, and many empty […]

Spurgeon and Means of Grace

Today I worked on a video that will be shown at Redemption Hill Church this coming Sunday. The video highlights some of the recent baptisms and, as I was editing the footage, I was reminded of what a amazing means of grace God has given us in the sacraments. So much more than empty rituals, […]

John Owen Didn’t Need a Rock Star Pastor. He Needed the Gospel.

There are a lot of “rock-star” pastors these days. But, that’s nothing new. Heck, even before podcasts, blogs, and Twitter, people flocked to hear the big name preachers of their day (See: Whitfield, Spurgeon, Wesley, Finny, ect). It would seem that this can be traced all the way back to the early church where camps […]

Baptizing Young Children

My wrestling with the idea of baptizing children began in 2004, when my wife was pregnant with our first child. At the time, my struggle wasn’t about baptizing children, rather it was specifically about the baptizing of infants. I draw this distinction between baptizing infants and baptizing children because I believe it is an important […]