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I am a Christian. I am a husband, father, son, and friend. I am a pastor. I am an American. Sometimes it can be difficult to determine the source of my feelings on a particular issue because I am complex. We all are. Because I am a Christian, I strive every day to make sure that I have a Biblical worldview, that is to say, a view of life that is entirely seen through the lens of God’s Word. This is not always an easy task. Why? Well, because as I mentioned I am a husband, a father, a son…etc… there are so many things that make up who I am. Plus, I am just straight opinionated.
Last night it was announced that one of the most evil men of recent history was killed. Is there an appropriate way to feel when you find out an evil man has been killed? The reason for my question is pretty straightforward. The responses to the news on Twitter and Facebook seemed mixed within Christian circles. Granted I would say that nearly 80 per cent …
You will not pray for something you have no hope for.
What else is prayer, especially effectual fervent prayer, than putting your faith in God and believing that He will do what only He can do. Anything else that falls beyond the realm of hope, people simply give up on.
How many dreams have been trashed? How many lives have been discarded? How many destinies have been abandoned? How many sicknesses have won a battle in which they should have been defeated? All because someone lost hope.
13 I had almost given up my hope of seeing the blessing of the Lord in the land of the living. (Bible in Basic English Version)
The KJV says, “I had fainted unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.” I grew up in an organization that used to sing way more about heaven than this life. I’ll Fly Away and Beulah Land are great old songs, and I do believe that where your treasure is there your heart is also, but what is life if we have lost …
We all have our labels. Check your birth certificate. The labeling begins when we pop out of the womb. Boy or a girl? Race? Country, city, county, time of birth? It continues as we get older. Wealthy, poor, attractive, unattractive, overweight, thin, educated, not-so-much? Diabetic, short, tall, blonde, brunette, blue-eyed, democrat, republican, sexual orientation, preppy, emo, piercings, tats…on and on.
As if that is not enough, everyone has some belief system with regards to religion. Even atheism (a non-belief) has become a belief system, replete with proselytization and everything. To name a few you have agnostics, existentialists, Universalists, New-Agers, Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Shintoists, spiritualists, and finally, Christians.
Once you actually decide to follow Christ, the labeling continues. There a reportedly over 38,000 types of denominations within Christianity (all of whom fully believe they are correct in every way, tee-hee). So if you believe in Christ and you are not affiliated with a mainstream denomination where does that leave you?
Well one of the most popular labels for these people is “non-denominational”. There are certainly hundreds of types of non-denominational churches, but as a pastor …
My wife and I have had the privilege of spending the last two days in downtown LA with some dear friends of ours who help run the LA Dream Center. My blog won’t be long today but the general idea is simple. This church does an impressive blend of sharing the gospel while meeting the practical needs of hurting people. The reason I’m pointing this out is because that blend is crucial. Too much of one side makes you a Christian clique and too much of the other makes you a humanitarian organization.
As we all are moving forward with what God has called us to do, let’s be willing to trash traditional methods of ministry while keeping the message of ministry intact. Jesus is the message. Why did he heal blind people different ways? So people would see message not the method. The Dream Center does some really progressive things for God, totally out of the box. I’m very moved and touched by their passion and grit.
Are you willing to rethink the way you do church to reach the unreached? …
We are living in a time where people live angry. Everybody’s angry. Non-Christians are angry at Christians. Citizens are angry at the government. Workers are angry at their employers. Man, even Christians are angry at each other. The Baptists at the Charismatics and the Pentecostals at the Catholics. Its a mess.
I saw a 6 year old throw down a game controller in Best Buy the other day. It apparently wasn’t working right so he screamed, “This is ridiculous!” (Wait until my man learns about gross paychecks vs. net paychecks).
With all that in mind it would seem easy to feel as if you were walking on eggshells when it comes to your faith. It should not be so! Most people are angry because they d
o not understand the superiority of God’s love to what they have been settling for. It would be a disservice to those angry people to withhold truth from them. Truth that ultimately could set them free.
Don’t shy away from truth. Let it shine in love. Your job is not to make people less angry, it is to …
I received an email from a person who was thinking about the story behind “How He Loves” by John Mark McMillan. If you are unfamiliar with the story I suggest that you search You Tube for the testimony, it is powerful. The idea is that a young man said in a prayer meeting that he would die if it led to a youth revival in this nation. That night he died in a car accident. The song was written by his best friend the next day about the young man meeting God for the first time. This email was pressing on me because the person was wrecked at the fact that they did not believe they could literally lay down their life for a stranger. They began to feel guilty because of their concern for their children and their own life above self-sacrifice.
I have been studying a lot lately about love. The giving of one’s self to prefer another, actually really simple, yet complex stuff. I wanted to post my response to the email in this note as I felt …
Remember Algebra II? I do. Let me prove it: -b ± √(b2 -4ac)]/2a. I can recite that to you at any given moment. The Quadratic Formula. On this test my score was 100%. Not because the principles and concepts of the Quadratic Formula are embedded in my brain, rather I had a teacher who sang it to me to the tune of, “When the Saints Go Marching In”. I will not make you wait much longer to decipher the meaning of this blog. I walked into a Christian bookstore the other day and something hit me… The amount of books in the store made me feel weird. Topics ranged from “becoming a more liberal conservative” (no comment) and “having great Christian sex” (uh….) to “what’s wrong with the Church” (wow, thanks for the diagnosis). Writing a book is no crime, (neither is writing a scarcely read blog) but how necessary are these books? I sometimes shudder as I hear my church members talking about the Christian books they are reading. People are reading more books about how to read the …
There is a question floating around the spiritual airwaves these days. As a fourth generation preacher, I must admit I have a lot of things about my ministry style that may be characterized as “old school”. I actually do altar calls. Despite my best efforts I have a “preaching voice”. I do not use the phrase “seeker friendly”. It may seem as if I am taking a jab at those who have a different approach than I do. I am not. I try every day to use the things that have been given to me to make sure that I am being as effective for God as I can in every way possible.
Now…on to that question. The question is, “Is the church relevant in the world we live in”. It is an interesting question I must admit. Growing up in a denomination that was anything but forward thinking, I saw countless opportunities slip away to reach hungry people with the gospel. It was truly heartbreaking. Especially in light of the fact that my aforementioned denomination, once a thriving organization, has …