Every church has its own set of challenges, some of which can also be seen as growth opportunities. What determines whether the church is derailed by the challenge or whether it becomes a stronger fellowship for it is its response. Obviously, the healthiest churches are those that do what is necessary to grow from their challenges. You may have noticed this past Sunday...
The Christmas season is a time when families need to be together. If you’ve ever had to be away from home at Christmas, you know what I mean. Nothing makes you feel more disconnected than to be separated from your kin at a time when the sights, sounds, and even smells of the season are all around us. That’s why so many of us have gone to such time and trouble during the holiday to find our way back home.
I hate to wait on anything or anyone. I do my best to hide my impatience (and perhaps my sense of entitlement), but most of the time even a three year-old can see the edginess written all over my face. But of course, there are times when I have no other option but to wait. All the complaining and cajoling do me no good. And if I can just accept the time of inactivity as a season of preparation for something I otherwise would never be able to know I actually come to see that on most occasions the arrival of the cause for which I was in limbo turned out to be more than worth the wait.
Once Thanksgiving passes, some may think that they can shelve their grateful expressions and go back to being their normal selves, as if gratitude is simply a fleeting fancy. But as each of us knows deep down in his heart of hearts, thanksgiving is not just something we calendar for one day of the year; it’s an abiding attitude that when we hold it adds so much value to each moment of each day.
Some years ago, a popular American soda manufacturer launched a highly successful ad campaign they called, “The Pause that Refreshes.” It caught on like wildfire, in large measure because of how at the time most Americans were weary from trying to keep up in the fast lane of life and longed for something that could offer them an off ramp.
Like all of you, I have been shocked and saddened by the events of last Sunday when a shooter entered the sacred space of the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, and opened fire on an unsuspecting congregation, killing 26 and wounding 20 others. Because of ministry commitments that day I was away from the television until later in the evening and unaware of what had taken place. But when I heard the news I couldn’t help but think of how at the very time the carnage was taking place in that church, we were sharing together in a Day of Remembrance at ours.
Back in seminary days I played basketball with a group of students, many of whom had played in college. During the fall and winter we would take on teams from other seminaries and community colleges, as well as even a freshman team or two at some of the larger four-year schools in the Louisville area. Our nickname was the “Saints,” which at the time seemed appropriate but now strikes me as being more than a tad presumptuous. But of course, no one we played took our...
As most of you are aware, our Minister to Students Hayden Walker and her husband Cody are on the verge of delivering their son Rhett, and we are elated at God’s favor toward them! As the two of them have prayed over their role as parents, Hayden has sensed God releasing her from her responsibilities as Minister to Students. She and I have discussed this matter and given it prayerful consideration, and I am in agreement that this transition is God’s will for the Walkers at this stage in their faith journey.
We live in a day of dishonesty and deceit. People claim to be one way but then act in ways that are totally opposite. That is why when someone acts in a sincere way, it’s important to acknowledge it and to say thanks. I feel compelled to do that with respect to our church because of our fellowship’s strong response to a recent appeal to provide support to those affected by the recent hurricanes.
I have never been big on bland foods. I wouldn’t say that spicy stuff is ever my “go to” choice when I sit down for a meal, but I will admit that I do enjoy my food better when it is sprinkled with a dash of salt. I don’t think I’m alone in...