This next week will see many of our folk away for the Spring Break. I understand how important it is to take time off from the pressures and demands that families juggle on a regular basis, which a week at this time of the year affords. Hopefully, everyone who gets away will return to their responsibilities refreshed and renewed.
Sacrifice is a word that has attained taboo status today. No one relishes the idea of giving up anything. All around us are voices telling us that to be happy and whole we have to be adding stuff on a continual basis. Unfortunately, no matter how hard we try to fill the holes in our souls with things we find such consumption to be an exercise in futility.
This weekend a major cable news network released two new documentary series that in their own way dealt with dynasties – one political, the other religious. As a student of both secular history and church history, I found both series riveting and will continue to watch them to their conclusion. The series on religious dynasty, though spellbinding, was also somewhat painful, as it focused on the manner in which after Christians came to power in the age of Constantine, believers quickly turned on one another over matters of doctrine. In the 1800 years that have passed since the reign of Constantine that scenario has played out far too many times. We Christians were most definitely at our best when we were not in a dominant position because of how we needed one another in order to survive. Once our interdependence goes away, domination becomes the order...
Here is a GREAT write up from Mountain Brook Magazine about our Cooks On A Mission. Please read the post below and go the webpage for Mountain Brook Magazine to see and read more!
Jim Rohn was one of the pioneers of motivational speaking in the last century, the precursor to such household names today as Tony Robbins or Zig Ziglar or Wayne Dyer. Like most motivational speakers, Rohn had his share of famous quotes, but the one that will always stand out to me is his quote that goes: “If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way; if you don’t, then you’ll find an excuse.”
Every book on attaining effectiveness I’ve ever seen emphasizes the establishment of priorities. If everything is important, then nothing is. Or even worse, if everything is urgent, then we never find the time to get around to what is important. That’s why experts in the field of personal effectiveness insist on making lists that reflect what we believe to be of utmost significance.
I attended a preaching lecture this week in Atlanta while over that way participating in a meeting at the McAfee School of Theology, which is a part of Mercer University. I had the privilege of giving those particular lectures several years ago, which are named for my good friend and late colleague, Bill Self. As I listened to the lecture, I thought about how even though I’ve been preaching since I was 18, I still enjoy hearing others speak on the art of proclamation, because I always learn something that I think will make me a better preacher.
You may have seen the picture that went viral of Bubba Watson, the PGA golfer, who played in the NBA Celebrity All-Star game, held in Los Angeles last week. The picture was of Bubba donned in his celebrity basketball gear putting up a jump shot with another celebrity, Tracy McGrady, a former NBA player, swatting Bubba’s jumper out of bounds. In basketball parlance, that’s called a “rejection,” and for all of us who know the term we couldn’t help but commiserate with Bubba for the embarrassment such an experience must have caused him.
This Sunday evening we conclude our four-week evangelism study titled, “Just Walk Across the Room.” I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the turnout at each of the sessions. The response tells me that our members want to be able to name Jesus in their daily conversations; they just need some help knowing how to get the conversation started.
If there’s one incontrovertible fact to life here on Planet Earth, it’s that nothing about our existence is anything near a piece of cake. Most of us know all too well how each day’s events have a way of weighing us down with all manner of burdens and responsibilities, many of which are simply much more than we can handle.
This past Wednesday, we moved into a period of preparation for Easter. The Lenten season is a time for us not only to examine our hearts so that we might be more faithful to Jesus’ calling; it is also a time when we are called to give serious reflection to the sacrifices that are necessary for those who would follow in Jesus’ way.
One of the most common greetings actually comes most frequently in the form of a question. “What’s the good word?” Anyone who asks another such a question is doing more than starting a conversation; that person is looking for encouragement that the other might be able to share, something that will move him or her down a path that enriches one’s life.
Unless you’ve been in a cave the last several days, you know that this Sunday is “Super Bowl Sunday.” Even if you’re not a football fan, chances are that you’ll be like the vast majority of Americans, glued to the tube, or at least doing something with the game on in the background. Estimates are that around 115 million of us will be tuned in to the game, which represents almost 36% of the population – a staggering percentage when...
This week I’ve enjoyed the chance to sit down with some of my pastoral peers and participate in an annual conversation that I’ve been blessed to be a part of for over twenty years. The group is made up of Baptist pastors in congregations that are similar to one another in terms of membership, budgets, staffing, and context. Consequently, the conversation we hold involves
I have so appreciated our church’s response to the changes we have made in our Deacon Ordination service. What seems to have connected with our membership most of all are the Deacon testimonies, where each of the ordinands shares a brief word on what the church has meant to him or her. I know I am better for hearing these heartfelt expressions. They remind me of...
“Love God. Live with grace and generosity.” If I ever had any doubts that our church had bought in to our congregational mission statement, those doubts were washed away by the incredible end of the year response to our ministry aims and objectives. During the last month of December we received over 20% of our total gifts for 2017, and the last week alone saw over 11% come in as your response to my “final appeal.” Words cannot adequately express my deep appreciation for what so many of you did to help us be in a position to fulfill our ministry plans.
Moving into a new year always inspires us to think about the days ahead. Granted, leading up to January 1 we pause to reflect on the previous year: the big events, the popular movies, the hot trends. But once we break out the new calendar and see 2018 staring back at us, we lean forward into the future in anticipation of all that is...