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Before You Take a Sip, Consider This

Posted September 24, 2012 by Steve Hafler

I’ve never seen a beer commercial featuring battered children, broken lives, fractured families, or teenage amputees. It’s all about beautiful people, fashion, party time, and success! Somehow that 12 ounce can of beer is presented as the secret to popularity and fulfillment. That dark bottle is marketed as ‘liquid awsomeness.’ The commercials haven’t changed much since I was a boy, and I’m assuming from the staggering statistics of alcoholism and alcohol influenced crime that it still sells. I was no stranger to Jim Beam, Jack Daniels, wine coolers, ice cold Corona, warm cases of Schaefer, and an impressive assortment of other alcoholic beverages. I know the thrill of sitting around a table with friends playing drinking games. I know the adrenalin of breaking into the liqueur cabinets of my friend’s parents for a free bottle... Read More


Simple Isn't Always Easy

Posted August 27, 2012 by Steve Hafler

How do you define ministry? Here is what many people do, they begin by describing the beautiful campus and structures their church has, or the buffet of programs and activities their church offers. They draw attention to their children’s programs that run with Pixar precision and Disney creativity, or they highlight the top 40 Christian musical groups that perform at their church. Ministry to them seems to be wholesome “entertainment” the entire family can enjoy. The reality of the church giving to God, serving Him, and making disciples who will make disciples is as foreign to them as the Antemanambondro people of Madagascar. The church has become a service provider for those attending. The attraction is understandable – there’s something for everyone every night of the week! One person recently told me, “I am so excited that my ch... Read More


Satan’s Hunting Blind Satan has his finger on the trigger of his .375 H&H magnum and waits patiently as he settles the crosshairs directly over our heart. A hunting blind is a cover device often used by African hunters when targeting big cats. This is especially effective with leopard. A “blind” is a small camouflaged encampment designed to reduce the chance of detection. A carefully designed blind is nearly undetectable to the target species. The blind can be built near a watering hole or in open savannah where the hunter waits “locked and loaded” ready to ambush his unsuspecting trophy. Satan is a master hunter who has us “blinded.” He has set up camp right in our backyard and continues to take lethal shots at us while he remains undetected. Not a single news headline identities him! How? He’s got us believing he&... Read More


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Another massacre on the Front Range. This week our Dark Adversary has revealed his true murderous character and intentions once again. A rogue gunman wearing full tactical gear mercilessly and systematically unloaded his arsenal into infants, children, and adults. 12 dead; 58 wounded. Theatre 9 at the Century 16 multiplex cinema in Aurora became a killing field. People react. We must react. Sorrow. Fear. Anger. Doubt. Cynicism. We even risk becoming jaded with life. Fatalistic. Even worse, we turn away from the only one who can help. A New York Times article entitled An All-America City Turns Inward in a Search for Answers That May Never Come captures the hopelessness of many. No satisfactory answers will come for a country whose god is often not much bigger than themselves – a nation content to openly reject God’s loving rule over them (Romans 1). James ... Read More


Edifying Conversation

Posted July 17, 2012 by Shaun Walker
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Backyard Barbecue What happens when a group of Christian men get together in a backyard to celebrate an upcoming marriage for one of the young men in the church? Good grub, competitive games of bean-bag-toss, and rich edifying conversation occurred at the last HBC Tool Time Party. Good grub is expected because how can you go wrong with wings and bratwurst! Competitive games is a given. What man doesn’t have at least some competitive spirit? Edifying conversation? Even saying those words might invoke a black-tie formal event in your mind where large family Bibles are opened and boring lectures begin. In reality, edifying conversation that genuinely builds looks much different. In fact, it wasn’t a boring lecture the author of Hebrews meant when he instructed his readers to “consider how to stir up one another to love and good works” (Hebrews 10:... Read More


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The Black Mamba ranks as one of the five most dangerous snakes in the world and is Africa’s longest venomous snake. It tops the charts not because its the most toxic or because its the largest. The Black Mamba ranks with the “big guys” because he has earned the nightmarish reputation of combing its speed and venom with an assertive attack – often going out of its way to put a bite on something. I was driving from Kitwe to Lusaka, Zambia to pick up a coworker from the airport where we would then travel another seven hours to pick up a veteran missionary and his daughter in Livingstone. I was traveling south at about 120km (go do your math) through a very rural and bush area a few hours north of Lusaka. It was early morning and the air was crisp. The sun was peaking up causing the shadows to fall long. There was a peculiar soft orange glow on ev... Read More


Angry Birds or Angry God?

Posted May 15, 2012 by Steve Hafler
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Angry Birds is a greater dilemma for this generation than an angry God. God is approached with the childish expectations of instant gratification and entertainment. Front row seats are coveted to Brian Regan, MercyMe, and LeBron James, but back row seats (where I can sip coffee and check sports headlines) work just fine when gathered together for God. We live in a PCWorld where technophiles worship Apple, devices become iGods, and Tweeted lines of sermons are sufficient. Step back for a moment and consider an aged apostle’s instruction to a young man in the ministry. A young pastor who dealt with many of the same distractions we face. The discerning Paul writes a letter to Timothy and warns him of a challenge looming on the horizon. “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching” (2 Timothy 4:3). I am not exactly sure what form f... Read More