Wednesday, October 31, 2012


After Sunday's message, I've had a few conversations about the foundation of our identity. I simply want to give you what God says about you, if you have placed your faith in His Son. And after you work through these passages I want to remind you that this is not your RESUME, it's your DNA! Here is the bit from Sunday, and it's in the Rooted Guide as well:

One of the common knocks against Christianity is that it’s just a bunch of rules. I hope by now, you’ve seen clearly that it’s all about a relationship with God the Father, through the grace and cleansing of Jesus the Son, by the power of God the Spirit. God loves us, saves us, frees us, heals us. He has made us in his image for a purpose, and now he calls us to live a life of high calling and huge impact. Since he is the author of life, his commands are not only for his glory, they are for our best. But we want to make sure that you understand the Christian life is not fundamentally about what you do for Jesus. It is primarily about who you are in Jesus.

 The Bible defines our identity clearly (and its quite incredible, really):
I am a child of God (John 1:12)
I am a son or a daughter of the Lord of the Universe (Romans 8:15,16)
I am Christ’s friend (John15:15)
I am a temple of God—His Spirit and his life dwells in me (1 Corinthians 3:16,6:19)
I am a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)
I am a member of Christ’s body (1 Corinthians 12:27, Ephesians 5:30) I am a fellow citizen with the rest of God’s family (Ephesians 2:19)
I am God’s workmanship, born anew in Christ to do his work (Ephesians 2:10)
I am resourced with everything I need to live for Christ (1 Peter 1:3)
I am hidden with Christ, in God (Colossians 3:3)
I am a citizen of heaven and have a place in heaven right now (Philippians 3:20, Ephesians 2:6)
I am born of God and the evil one cannot harm me (1 John 5:18)
I am a partaker of Christ, I share in his life (Hebrews 3:14)
I am the light of the world (Matthew 5:13)
I am the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:14)
I am a member of a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession (1 Peter 2:9,10)
I am a joint heir with Christ, sharing his inheritance with him (Romans 8:17)

 And since we are in Christ, by God’s grace: I am completely forgiven and made righteous (the theological word for this is “justified”) (Romans 5:1)
I died to the power of sin’s rule over my life (Romans 6:1-6)
I am free forever from condemnation (Romans 8:1)
I have been given the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:16)
I have been bought with a price, I belong to God (1 Corinthians 6:19,20)
I no longer live for myself, but for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:14,15)

 What we do for the Lord will flow joyfully from who we are in the Lord. The closer we sense we are to our loving Father, the more confidence we’ll have in our identity. The more confidence we have in our identity as his son or daughter, the more his life will flow through ours—and the more people will be impacted by his love.

Understand your identity. 
Be intimate with him, and experience his power in your life.

Today’s response Look up a few of the passages above, and read them in context.
How often do you consciously remember that these verses are what is MOST true about you as a follower of Jesus?
How would your life change if you WERE more conscious of your identity in him?
Spend some time in prayer affirming these truths in your life and thanking Jesus that you are indeed a new creation by the power of his Spirit.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Preface (and HOPE)

This is a magic book… Not because it will give you hope that you can triumph in all things, although there is a bit of that. This is a magic book… Not because it will assure you that you are accepted and loved exactly as you are, although there is a bit of that. This is a magic book… Mostly because it empowers you with the truth: Whoever and wherever you are, God loves you and is calling you into something glorious. Even in the midst of your mess. No, wait. Especially there.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Glorious Mess is FREE!! Happy Father's Day!

I had a great time speaking in Restoration Church in Denver last weekend, as well as sharing at Northshore in Bothell a couple weeks ago! God is doing incredible things in and thru these churches, and it was an honor to spend some time together. I'll be in BelPres on July 1, sharing more about God's Relentless Grace for Imperfect People! My reason for mentioning my speaking schedule (not so you'll think I'm cool...although if you thought I was cool, I wouldn't count that a bad thing) is simply to point all these folks, as well as yourself if you're not at one of those churches, to a free gift today...Glorious Mess is being offered for free download on Kindle and Nook!! Not only that...but it's JUST in time for Father's Day! I polled my dad, and myself (a dad as well) and we BOTH thought that Glorious Mess would make the PERFECT Father's Day gift! That's two out of two polled! Those kind of stats are really hard to come by... SO, you're welcome. Download Glorious Mess for dad! You both will be glad you did! And celebrate that guy, because even though I'm guessing he's a mess like me, God's glory shines in, thru, and despite the mess...

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Rock Parable

I was asked by a friend to find a story that I had shared in a past message…it took me a while, but I found it. In it, Tim Keller quotes a parable that Elizabeth Elliot used to use…it’s in the form of a fictional PARABLE (in other words, it’s not in the Bible): “One day, Jesus asked the disciples to pick up a rock and to follow him on a journey. Peter picks up a pebble, like us, he’s thinking “What is the LEAST burdensome way to fulfill this command?”, and they journey all morning long, Peter is thinking: I nailed this one. Then, Jesus tells them to get their stones out, and he turns them all to bread…tells them: lunchtime! And each disciple’s stone turns to bread, of course Peter had only a small pebble, so that’s all the bread he got for lunch. Peter is a bit put out, and he’s hungry. Then, after lunch, Jesus tells them Pick up another stone, we’re going on another journey. So Peter…I’m gonna be starving by dinnertime, picks up a HUGE rock…boulder. Sweats and staggers under it’s weight all afternoon. Then, Jesus calls them over to the edge of a stream and has them all throw their stones into the river. Again, Peter is put out, sulking, and thinking: “What! No bread!?” Jesus comes to him and gently asks him: Peter, why are you upset? Who were you carrying the rock FOR?” Not once was Peter carrying that rock for Jesus…he was carrying it for himself! His motivation was completely for what he would GET! How can Peter take care of PETER? How often are we exactly like that in our devotion to Jesus? The challenge for all of us is that we do all that we do for Jesus. If He calls us to carry the rock, then we carry the rock for Jesus. We give, we serve, we share, we live for Jesus! We don’t give to manipulate God into giving us something. We give because Jesus models it and tells us to! AND as we give like Jesus, we realize that you can’t outgive God! We don’t serve because of the blessings we’ll receive from serving! We serve because Jesus calls us to serve! And then as we serve, we realize that we are blessed far more than we are a blessing…that’s just how it ends up working in God’s economy! And above all we love, because we are loved, and we are called to love! So love outlandishly today, and love for Jesus!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

From the Isle of Lewis

Got a GREAT email today (already wrote her back): Hi there- My name is Lida Glover and I live in the Isle of Lewis which is a small island off the north west coast of Scotland. I have felt prompted to email after reading the first few chapters of "Glorious Mess" by your lead Pastor - Mike Howerton. It was so encouraging to receive guidance with such humour, realism and honesty. When you are trying to be a Christian it is so easy to measure yourself against people who seem to have it all sussed and inevitably to feel like such a failure. Thank you for making me feel normal!! God Bless Lida

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Northwest Christian Writers...ATTENTION! This Saturday, I’m honored to speak at the Northwest Christian Writers Renewal Conference. I truly feel honored, because last year, I was simply an attendee, and I took notes like crazy. I literally put into practice just about everything that I learned in the sessions that I attended. Glorious Mess, my autobiographical book based upon the Prophet of Jonah (yeah, it’s a little confusing) was officially released in February. And now, I have the privilege of encouraging others afflicted with the desire to write, by sharing with them the good, the bad, and the ugly of a year of writing and publishing when you don’t have the ability to devote full time to it. My session is called A Journeyman’s Year at the Writing Craft, and I’d love to invite you to join me. If you’re a writer as well, feel free to register for the whole shebang at and let me know…I’ll look for you! It will be helpful, uplifting, and a true encouragement. You know that book that God planted in your heart…it’s time to dig it up and share it with the world!!

Let Me Know What You Think...

There have been a ton of great responses to by latest book, Glorious Mess, over the last few months…but I wanted to mention a few that have touched me especially. My friend Janie has given out 46 copies of Glorious Mess to her friends, and to folks she cares about. In her conversations, she’s listening to her friends, and if she senses that they’d be blessed by the book, then she gives them a copy. She’s told me that the only other book she’s ever done this with is the book Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young. Now I have to confess, Young’s book is AMAZING, and so Janie has given me the highest compliment ever, by placing my work in truly great company. My friend Mindi has been so complimentary, she’s asked if she could take a look at pulling out a bunch of Glorious Mess Quotes, one for each day of the year. I’m humbled, and I’m honored! I’m not sure if there are THAT many…(it’s not a very long book) but just the desire is incredibly touching. And just today, I got an email from Jason, a young man who was a part of my youth ministry over a decade ago. Now he’s charging life and career and family down in California, and he wrote to tell me how much Glorious Mess is speaking into his messy world. “And I don’t READ books!” he wrote. I just wanted to say thank you. Thanks Janie, Mindi, and Jason! I love that you’ve been blessed by the MESS! How about you? If you’ve cracked the book, is there any chance you’d be willing to waste a couple of seconds on feedback? I’d love to hear from you…

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Glorious Crash

I ran over my dog with a snowboard.

It snowed last week in Seattle, and the only good thing about being house bound for a week is that we live on a hill. So in addition to the snow fort and the snowmen and the snowball fights, we were sledding and snowboarding on the hill in front of our house. It took about 8 minutes to hike to the very top, but if you did that, and got enough speed to clear the flat parts, you could get a really nice, long, snowboard run in for free. To me, that’s called a win/win. My kids were having a blast all week, but my dog, Scout, was going out of his doggy mind with joy. He loves the snow. He eats it. He rolls around in it. But mostly he loves running in it. So I would take him with me as I hiked to the top of the hill, and he would run behind me as I snowboarded down, sort of herding me ahead of him, and no matter how many runs we made, he was always game for another one. Oh, and he slept really good that week, too.

On Friday, we had the last day of snow before the great melt. And so we were all pushing to get our final runs in, and Scout was running after the kids sledding on the hill, and it was the typical chaos and laughter. So I took one last snowboard run, and Scout rushed at my heels, barking, joyfully herding me…toward a tree that had fallen over in the night. Not wanting to impale myself, I slowed, and tried to cut a path behind Scout. But the slowing startled Scout, and he jumped backwards, right into my snowboard. We collided. He yelped. From the sound he made, I could tell that he was hurt. Of course, my first emotional response was annoyance. Dumb dog. But then I saw the wound…where the edge of my snowboard cut the back of his forepaw. Deep. It looked like a whole chunk of his leg was missing. I immediately sat next to Scout and kept firm, steady pressure on his wound, and prevented him from bleeding out. Jodie got the car. We used a sled to transport him to the vet. They put him in emergency surgery. Now he’s in his third cast, with three tendons repaired, and muscle re-attached, and stitches holding the whole thing together. I’m hoping PETA doesn’t show up.

Overall, he’s doing fine.
Maybe too fine.

We need to keep him calm and slow and not bounding around and not chewing his cast and it is a challenge. Because he feels fine now, and he’s a high energy dog. And so we’re giving him doggy narcotic, and doggy sedative, and I’m mixing him doggy Nyquil cocktails…but he’s still a bounder and a jumper and a crazy “I want to run everywhere” kind of dog. Which means that he doesn’t know what’s good for him.

And I've been thinking that in these regards he’s a little bit like you and me.
We chase after things that are dangerous. Things that could wound us.
We injure ourselves in these pursuits.
And even after God bandages us up, and puts us back together, and gets us on the road to recovery, we’re still bounding, eagerly tearing around, wanting to engage in the same activities that got us into the mess in the first place.

You're a mess. So am I. Praying that you allow God's glory to shine through your mess this week...

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Relentless Grace

I am a mess. I am a pastor. Somehow God's relentless grace breaks through and shines glory in the midst of mess. I pray this is profoundly encouraging to you today.

Recently, I made a list of the times I’ve put myself into glorious messes…the list was a lot longer than I’m comfortable talking about outside of my counselors office. Most were so shamefully stupid that I can’t believe that they actually happened to me, let alone I was responsible for them.

One story that is fairly safe to share happened in college, I got busted stealing a mattress. We were living off campus…I didn’t really need a mattress, my friend did, but I had the truck…you can see where this is going.

So I drove him on Pepperdine campus on the first day of school, when everyone was moving into the dorms, mass chaos, freshmen weeping, upperclassmen checking out the new crop of ladies, and we went to a dorm that was the “supply” dorm for the rest of them, where there was a pile of mattresses. My buddy and I went up, grabbed a mattress, and put it in my truck, and drove. Of course we were spotted by the fuzz. Not real cops, mind you, but rentals. They were called campus security…they were packing no heat, but they packed other things walkie talkies, flashlights, donuts, handlebar mustache, fondness for the word negatory.

And they gave chase, full siren, lights flashing, in their golf cart.

I’m flooring it in my 1.5 cilinder Nissan, going upwards of 30, 31 mph, when I realize it’s hopeless. My truck had no guts, I’m hearing sirens from all different directions, and Pepperdine only has two exits which both have gates, and I begin to see the absolute folly of our plans…it might comfort you to hear that I’m no criminal genius.

So I drive into a parking spot, hand my buddy the keys, and then we get out and sit on the ground with our hands on our heads just as 10 public safety vehicles surround us, helicopters, swat team repelling down from the Law School, K9 Units…Pepperdine is a pretty sleepy campus, so this was high drama…you would have thought that plastic mattress was worth its weight in diamond.

Busted. A glorious mess. No way out. I received more community service hours than it is possible for a human being to fulfill. I still head back there on weekends to pick up trash. My kiddos go with me, doing time with daddy.

Here is the good news about Mike Howerton…God didn’t give up on me then, and He didn’t give up on me when I ran my dog over with a snowboard (last week), or when I almost burned down Durango Colorado(it was an honest mistake), or when I did the other knuckleheaded things on my list, and God will never give up on YOU!