By Bob Hiller

The devil wants to be your preacher. He wants to get into the pulpit on Sunday morning and entertain you, make you feel good, convict you of all sorts of wrong doing, and inspire you to do better. He wants to make you laugh, cry, and sing. He wants to captivate your hearts and leave you feeling like you can conquer the world. Sure, he wants you to be miserable on the way to hell, but if he can get you to enjoy the ride before the car crashes, that suits him just fine. So long as you don’t trust in Jesus, the devil is happy to be your preacher.

By Bob Hiller

Have you ever been to funeral where people got up and spoke negatively about the deceased? Almost never. When friends and family gather to mourn the loss of those they love, they always speak well of the person. As you leave most funerals, you’d almost think that there is no such thing as sin in the world. The wages of sin is death, we’re told, so it is a true mystery to everyone present why this pillar of morality, joy, and laughter is about to be laid six feet under!

By Bob Hiller

This past weekend, SoCal Harvest church hosted their annual Harvest Crusade in Southern California. For those of you who don’t know, the Harvest Crusade is a massive Evangelical outreach event led by Pastor Greg Laurie. His church rents out a baseball stadium for three days, gets big-name Christian rock bands to play concerts, and packs the house with thousands upon thousands of people. Pastor Laurie preaches the Gospel and, as is the standard at such events, has an altar call at the end. In college, some buddies of mine and I attended it to observe and critique as all self-righteous pre-seminary students are wont to do. We were amazed to hear Laurie preach the Law and the Gospel. Folks were pointed to Jesus! Yes, I know, altar calls are a big problem. Yet, for all the issues I have with these “crusade” type events, I have to say, we heard Jesus preached. And for that, I think we can thank God.

By Bob Hiller

Remember that song by Garth Brooks where he sang, “Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers?” Yeah, unfortunately, so do I. It’s this sappy romantic song about how Garth and his wife went back to his hometown and ran across his boyhood crush, the one he had prayed and prayed for God to let him marry. After seeing her he looks at his wife and is just so thankful that God ignored his prayers for the crush so he could marry his wife. God didn’t answer Garth’s prayer. He had a better plan in mind.

By Bob Hiller

She is very attractive for you, isn’t she? And you can’t seem to leave her alone. You love being the center of her attention. When she compliments you, you feel like you can conquer the world. You’ve even become an expert on wooing those compliments out of her. You know what she likes to hear. Sure, there are times when she’s not happy with you, and it drives you crazy. You grow self-defensive, yet you obsess over winning back her love. But you know exactly what you need to do to make her love you again; you just need to tell her what she wants to hear. There’s just one problem with all of this: She’s not your wife, pastor. She belongs to Jesus.

By Bob Hiller

As if I needed another reason to love Mike Trout, MLB’s commissioner has inadvertently offered me one. For those of you who don’t follow America’s pastime, Trout is arguably the best player in baseball. For what its worth, if you engage in arguing against that point, you’ll lose. If you’re a pitcher, he is a constant threat. Seven years in, he’s a career .300 hitter, batting .310 this year with 25 home runs and 50 RBIs (those are good numbers for the halfway point in a season, in case you’re wondering). I’m sure his weird analytical stats are money too. His arm is insane, and he is one of the top outfielders in the game. I think I can make a fairly good case that Trout’s swing is an aesthetic argument for the existence of God. He’s great with the fans, and somehow, for all he has going for him, he seems to stay out of the spotlight. At least, that weird spotlight we like to shine on our idols while looking for their warts.