1. The Christmas My Children Refuse to Forget

    November 12, 2015 by Paul Chappell


    The way I remember Christmas morning when our children were small was a row of eager children sitting on the couch—excited to open their presents, but first basking in the warmth of hearing Dad read the Christmas story. And of course, meditating on the grace of God in taking on human form and…

    Unfortunately, that’s not the way our old VHS tape preserved one of those Christmas morning memories.

    In one particular home video, rediscovered in recent months by our son, Larry, and watched with interest and delight by our other adult children, our four kids were not in a row (or even on the couch). I was reading the Christmas story—or rather, trying to—over Matt’s three-year-old interruptions. (more…)

  2. 14 Highlights from 2014

    December 31, 2014 by Paul Chappell


    I’m not much of a slow-down-and-look-back person. Ask me right now about God’s greatest blessings, and I’m likely to tell you about what happened last Sunday or what I’m looking forward to in the coming days.

    But I did something this December that I don’t normally do: I listed specific highlights of God’s blessings from the past twelve months.

    To be honest, 2014 had its challenges. But it also had its blessings. And as I, with the help of my calendar, looked back over the past twelve months, I was amazed at some of the great blessings God gave our family and ministry in 2014.

    Here are fourteen of the highlights—in the order they came: (more…)

  3. What Christmas Tells Us about Setting Goals

    December 26, 2014 by Paul Chappell


    The week between Christmas and New Year’s has long been claimed territory on my calendar for goal setting. In the weeks previous, I’ve jotted down general ideas for goals for the New Year, but on this week, I prayerfully finalize these goals.

    I don’t know if you’re a goal-setter or not, but consider the advantage in setting goals immediately after Christmas: Christmas reveals profound theological truths that should impact our lives on every level—including the level of how we plan for a New Year.

    Consider for a moment what would happen in 2015 if you set and planned for goals like you really believe these three truths: (more…)

  4. Growth Points 60: How to Respond to Unmet Expectations

    December 24, 2014 by Paul Chappell

    Christmas is a time of high expectations. Actually, life is a time of high expectations.

    We all carry expectations—whether we specifically identify them or not. Often these expectations are brought to our attention when they go unmet—when life suddenly goes very different from the script we envisioned.

    Certainly Joseph was there during that first Christmas. Nothing in his life was going the way he had planned or envisioned it. And I believe his response to the unexpected challenges he faced is worthy of our meditation.

    In this growth points video, consider with me three responses of Joseph to an unplanned moment in his life that can help us even today:

    (If you cannot see this video in your RSS reader or email, you can watch it here.)

    Make sure you get all future Growth Points videos by subscribing to the Spiritual Leadership Podcast.

  5. The Gospel in the Genealogy

    December 22, 2014 by Paul Chappell


    As our family gathers for Christmas each year, we read the Christmas story.

    Actually, we read part of the Christmas story. We don’t include the genealogies found in either Matthew 1 or Luke 3.

    But these 32 verses are part of the Christmas story. In fact, they are a significant enough part that God included them in our Bibles.

    What does Jesus’ genealogy reveal?

    From a historic and prophetic standpoint, the genealogies listed in Matthew (Joseph’s line) and Luke (Mary’s line) confirm that Jesus was of the line of David, the nation of Abraham. From a theological standpoint, they confirm that He became an heir of Adam, although not sharing Adam’s bloodline.

    But from a gospel perspective, these genealogies reveal rich truths: (more…)