Showing posts from 2014

2015:The Year of Going Beyond...

As I face the end of 2014, I'm cleaning out my email inbox, unsubscribing from lots of email I no longer want to receive, and trying to pare down the things that tend to bog me down in the ministry. 2015 for me (and I'm suggesting it for my church) will be the year of  "Going Beyond" .  Such a theme leaves lots of room for interpretation.  To get a handle on it, I've broken it down into two parts; Personal and Church.  By putting it in my blog, I'm making myself accountable to any and all who read it.
This year I will do annual, quarterly, monthly and weekly planning.
This year I will write 5,000 words a month toward eventually completing a book.
This year I will personally disciple from 1 to 3 men.
This year I will achieve my weight goal of 175 lbs.

All of these are "going beyond" what I have done in the past.

This year we will seek to average 70 in SS attendance.
This year we will seek to average 120 in worship attendance.
This yea…

Waiting for Christmas sermon, Waiting for Christmas sermon by Brian Bill, Luke, Luke -

Waiting for Christmas sermon, Waiting for Christmas sermon by Brian Bill, Luke, Luke -

If you are like me, you are always open to hearing new sermon ideas for Christmas.  I found one that I encourage you to examine.  Just follow the link above and find a fresh message for Christmas.

My prayer for all my readers is that you will encounter Christ in a fresh way this Christmas and be drawn closer to Him as God continues His work of conforming you to the likeness of Christ.

4 Things to Pray for Your Kids or Grandkids (Updated) | CHRIST CONNECTION

Years ago I began to pray through the lives of my grandchildren.  I had a notebook for each one.  As I prayed about their early development, school years, relationships, spiritual lives, and ultimately their future spouses and children, I recorded these in the notebooks.  Then, on their 12th birthday, I gave them the prayer notebook I had started and encouraged them to continue to fill the notebook with their own prayers.  I still have one left to give.  With this in mind, I came across the following blog (link below) with some excellent suggestions as to things to pray for your kids/grandkids..  Enjoy!

4 Things to Pray for Your Kids or Grandkids (Updated) | CHRIST CONNECTION:

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Did We Miss Something?

Whenever we have an event like the recent tragedy in Ferguson, MO. suddenly everyone wants to assess blame.  Depending you your culture, race or creed, you pick the "scapegoat" and join in the frenzy of a public "trial".  You may live 5,000 miles away, but you think you know better than those who were involved or were at least on-site.  Blogs are written, Facebook and Twitter posts are made and hurtful words are thrown about willy-nilly with no thought as to who gets hurt.  This is especially true when the "victim" is a child, teen-ager, or young 20-something.  All of this makes me think that perhaps in the long run we have missed the real tragedy.  That is the tragedy of ignoring scriptural warnings.
Deuteronomy 6:4 "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.  These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart.  Repeat them to your children.  Talk about them when you walk along the road, w…

ThanksLIVING; The Art of Living a Thankful Life

I really think that Thanksgiving should be 365 days a year.  When we try to pack it all into one day, or even one week, we wind up being anything but thankful.  There is the stress of preparing obscene amounts of food (and then stuffing ourselves with it) getting ready for family, or traveling to be with family, hurrying to get everything done so we can dedicate the day to gorging ourselves on food n football.  Why don't we just dedicate ourselves to living a thanksFILLED lifestyle.  Paul had the idea when he penned in two of his epistles, (Eph. 5:20 "giving thanks always FOR everything to 
God the Father") and (1 Thess. 5:18 "Give thanks IN everything for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.")  We find him mentioning in other places how is always giving thanks for the people in his life.  We should not only thank the Father for those He has placed in our lives, but we should thank them as well.
None of us got to where we are all alone.  There are nume…

What to Do While Waiting

I've got a number of things I'm waiting for.  I've been waiting for some of these for years, but I haven't given up.  It occurs to me that there are different ways of waiting and I have a choice as to how I go about it.I just sit and wait.  I don't do anything until the person, event, or "thing" appears.  This means that I'm essentially dead in the water, not accomplishing anything and daily growing more impatient, angry or discouraged.Watch and pray.  Really prayer can and should be a part of whatever waiting scheme you choose.  Watching and praying means that daily I'm anticipating the appearance of what I'm waiting for and I'm actively looking for it.  I live on the cusp of expectation.  Just around the next corner, at the chiming of the next hour, before the end of the day the answer is going to be there.  This is kind of like living on tip-toe.Incorporating several means.  This is the Matt.7:7-8 model.  I don't just ask, I also se…

God is Able

You either believe that God is sovereign and allows or causes all that happens, or you believe in a god of limited power.  You can't have it both ways.  The only limits on God are those He placed upon Himself.  For example, God chose to give man free will although He knew that freedom would be abused.  He even planned a way of redemption for mankind when they turned from their selfish pursuit of fulfillment without Him and cried out to Him.
Today in America the mindset seems to be that if we just put the right party in office all will be well.  It has been well documented that both major parties have contributed to the mess we are in today.  The problem in America is not political, it is spiritual.  Unless and until there is a spiritual awakening in America our situation will only worsen.
It saddens me to read and hear those who claim to be Christ-followers who side with genocide (abortion on demand) breaking ranks with Israel, the people of God, and copying the politics of primaril…

The Need for Community

I don't think I'd make a very good Monk.  On Tuesdays I usually spend several hours behind the door of my office working on sermons for the coming weekend.  In the process, I do a lot of reading; sermons, blogs, articles and of course Scripture.  As I glean information from numerous resources, occasionally a new idea pops into my brain.  At that point I desperately desire someone with whom to share my thoughts and to bat them back and forth with me so that I get a better grasp of where to take the idea next.  I don't have a staff other than a secretary and a part time custodian.  Both of them are occupied with their various responsibilities and not at all interested in juggling ideas around.

Today as the rain gently pattered on the sidewalk outside my window, I found myself once again trapped in my own mind with some ideas that desperately need to be aired out to someone.  I don't necessarily need someone to be a "yes" person.  I need someone who will ask que…

I Know My Rights!!!

I'm preaching this Sunday from 1 Corinthians 9 where Paul explains that although he has certain "rights" he chooses not to claim them for the sake of the gospel.  After finishing my sermon preparation I got on the internet and came across various articles and posts where people were going to great extremes to defend their "rights" such as in the article linked above.  I'm saddened by the prevailing attitude, not only in America, but around the world, of "me, my and mine".  Years ago when I was a youth pastor, I did a message for our youth group entitled "Satan's Greatest Disguise".  That disguise  Once you begin to think only of yourself and what you want, the enemy gets behind you and pushes you to great extremes.  While you think that you are coming up with those ideas on your own, you are actually being fed a line by the most masterful manipulator of all time.  The only thing he can't stand is TRUTH.  (BTW truth is a…

Just "Getting Along" is Not an Option

Perhaps you've heard the old question, "Can't we all just get along?"  Sounds good doesn't it?  However the truth of the matter is that "we" followers of Christ and "they" followers of self and sin will never and were never intended to "get along".  In 2 Corinthians 6:14 Paul warns the Corinthian church members against being "unequally yoked".  I like the translation of the Holman Christian Standard Bible; "Do not be mismatched with unbelivers.  For what partnership is there between righteousness and lawlessness? Or what fellowship does light have with darkness" This was written by a man (Paul) who spent a lot of his time with unbelievers.  He gave his reason for this in the first letter he wrote to the church at Corinth in 1 Cor. 9:19-23.  I'll only put verse 23 in this post.  "Now I do all this because of the gospel, so I may become a partner in its benefits."  

We will never be completely isolated…

A Better Way

One of the most difficult tasks in a local church is that of the annual Nominating Committee.  Because of the way many churches are organized, there are certain "jobs" that call for people to tend to either alone, as officers of the church, or in committees.  Some of the committees are called "Standing Committees".  That doesn't mean that they hold their meetings standing up (although that might not be such a bad idea)  It means that each member serves for a specified period of time from 1 to 3 years and then "rotate" off.  Other committees call for annual service.  The Nominating Committee is faced with the daunting task of seeking people to fill all the open slots on the committee chart, getting their permission for their names to be presented to the church and then bringing their recommendations to the church for a vote.  This calls for extensive prayer, time, phone calls, visits and meetings. Invariably there are hurt feelings, bruised egos and ov…


I've been meditating on Matthew 6:33 for the past several days.  "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you." Righteousness is defined as "the state of moral perfection required by God to enter heaven."  John the Baptist called for righteousness or uprightness as an indication that one had truly repented of sin.  In Gen. 15:6 (quoted by Paul in Ro. 4:5) we are told that Abraham's faith (believing that God would do what he said) was counted as righteousness.  Summed up it seems that true righteousness is measured by the standard of God Himself.  In our current society which claims that there are no absolutes, righteousness becomes comparative rather than a standard.

Using the "God" standard, Ecclesiastes 7:20 and Romans 3:10 declare that there are "none righteous".  If that is true, then is the pursuit (seeking) of righteous a vain endeavor?  I think not.  After all we are told…

The Evolution of an Idea

At any given moment there are numberless ideas floating around in our heads.  Occasionally one of these ideas rises to the top, moves from our sub-conscious mind to our conscious thinking and begins to gestate, much like an embryo in the womb.  At that moment "life" of the idea begins.  From that moment on it bugs us constantly until we either abort it or nurture it to fruition.  When we choose to nurture the idea, it becomes a driving force in our life.  We turn it over and over in our minds, studying it from all angles and looking for ways to make it reality. at the same time we release a power beyond ourselves to make it all possible.  Let me give you an example. Many years ago, as a young staff member of a local church in San Diego, CA, I was sitting in the balcony of the auditorium at Glorieta Baptist Assembly.  I think the year was 1967.  My wife and I enjoyed the presentation of one of the first "contemporary Christian Musical" entitled "Good News"…

Adventures Under the Mango Tree; a Book Review

I was given this book by the B & B Media Group in exchange for my review on this blog.
"Adventures Under the Mango Tree" by Lillian (Mama Lilly) Ann Klepp is a highly readable, book that feels like you are reading a personal journal or diary.  The style Mrs. Klepp uses is at once personal and informational.  I came away with a new perspective for what is happening in Sudan as I walked with "Mama Lilly" and her husband Dennis down the at times dusty and at times muddy trails of Southern Sudan.  This is more a story of the work of God through willing servants than anything else.
I found myself asking "Could or would I dare to do something like this?" and then having my faith soar and declaring, "God could do something like this through me!"
You'll be introduced to a cast of characters (all real people) like Caleb, their first orphan whom they later adopted both in Sudan and in the US, Mr. Mr. Mourice Akuno and Pastor Pooshani both of whom be…

Starting at the Finish Line; a Book Review

I received this book from the B & B Media Group in return for my review.
John B. Wallace, a California dentist, former LDS member and convert to evangelical Christianity has written a "must-read" book for anyone wishing to understand the differences in Mormonism and Christianity.  Although he wrote it for LDS members who perhaps have become disenchanted with their faith, it is a treasure chest for anyone wanting to better understand the doctrine of grace.
While dealing with some deep theology, he maintains an extremely practical and understandable presentation.  His illustrations and metaphors are spot on.
In describing his journey from LDS to Christianity Wallace's passion for both understanding and communicating the transition shows through in almost every paragraph.
In the preface John tells about a question someone asked him.  "John imagine that you are at the podium of an event being held in a large stadium.  This stadium is filled with 75,000 Mormons, every…

Obedience, not Negotiation

There seems to be a rising consensus in religious circles today that certain parts of the Bible are up for negotiation.Of course this is in perfect alignment with the idea that there are no absolutes.The concept of the Ten Commandments as only suggestions that God made and that they are open for negotiation is gradually eroding the church today.Already whole denominations have opted to scratch out Biblical admonitions regarding marriage, sexual behavior, divorce and abortion under the guise of being “inclusive”.Anyone who stands on Biblical foundations is quickly labeled as “intolerant”. The reality is that when we begin to think that we have a better, more enlightened idea than what God put forth in scripture, we have moved into the realm of idolatry.  We have set ourselves up as god, at least on a level with if not elevated above the God of the Bible.  We are not the first of created beings to do this.  It all began with Lucifer and his 5 fold declaration in Isaiah.
Isaiah 14
12   Shin…

Monday Musings...

Monday is always tough for pastors.  Replays of the Sunday sermons run through their (at least my) head.  Woulda, coulda, shoulda is the thought process.  However, life goes on (interesting title for a blog) and the focus must turn to next Sunday's messages.  The truth of the matter is that there is no score card so far as God is concerned.  There are no stats (decisions recorded, points made, etc.) in God's play book. Yesterday is gone.  I can't change it, but I can learn from it.  I can decide to be better prepared spiritually and from the standpoint of preparation next week.  I can re-order my priorities so that I give adequate time to study and preparation.  Whatever I do, it must be in the "now".  Planning is wonderful, but the greatest plan in the world is of no use unless it is implemented moment by moment, step by step.  This applies to every area of life.
An example is establishing a healthy lifestyle of eating and exercise.  I ate a healthy breakfast th…

What I Learned in Vacation Bible School This Year

This year our church resumed VBS for the first time in about 10 years or so.  It was an amazing week.  We enlisted leaders without a clue as to how many children to expect.  God orchestrated everything beautifully.  Here is a list of things I learned. ·It makes no difference how old your workers are.If they love Jesus and kids, they will do well.·There is no such thing as too small a group.Quality time with a few kids can change lives for eternity.·The old adage, “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care” is really true, especially with kids.·There will always be a few who will find something to gripe about even when things are going well.·I can’t do my job well if I’m busy criticizing how someone else is doing their job.·Seeds sown during VBS need to be tended with prayer and follow-up until God gives the increase.·VBS doesn’t end, it just extends.

At age 75 I’m still learning.  I recognize that I’ll never get too old to “Discover, Decide and Defend” so …

The Closer; a Book Review

I was given the book The Closer by Mariano Rivera with Wayne Coffey for review by the B&B Media Group.
What a delightful read!  I felt that I was sitting with Mariano Rivera listening to him reminisce about his baseball career with the New York Yankees.  Though not a Yankee fan, I was almost persuaded to become one.  Mariano's experiences from his home in Puerto Caimito, Panama all the way to the Big Apple are relayed in mesmerizing fashion.  I often felt I was sitting in the bull pen with him as he awaited the inevitable call from the manager to get ready to enter the game.  I learned that closers did not start the game in the bull pen, but usually showed up there around the fifth inning.
The story of how his faith developed as his career progressed is equally captivating.  The simple belief that he was where God had put him and for a specific purpose is something that any reader can benefit from.  There is even a touch of the mystic in how his signature pitch, the cut, appea…

Discipling from the Pulpit

I am a Pastor-Teacher-Shepherd.  I see my call as to make disciples as I go about my normal traffic pattern of life.  As a Pastor/Shepherd I visit, encourage and pray for my people wherever they are and whatever their need.  As a Teacher I speak from the pulpit two times each week with the goal being to "teach them to observe" all that I've been commanded.  I teach (vs preach) chapter by chapter and verse by verse.
It is as important for me to see spiritual growth happening in the lives of my people as it is to see new believers being ushered into the kingdom.  After all, the Great Commission specifically says, "go and make disciples" not "go and make converts".  This is not to say that evangelism is not important; it is vital as one of the commands that is to be "observed".  The question then is how can spiritual growth be quantified?  Here are a few ways that I evaluate the spiritual growth of my people.

Are people seeking, discovering and d…

The Blessed Church, a Review

I was given a copy of the book "The Blessed Church" by Robert Morris in exchange for my review on my blog.
Robert Morris, founding and senior pastor of Gateway Church in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area has done pastors a great service in this book, The Blessed Church.  The book is divided into six sections, and features 24 "Keys to a Blessed Church" that make it easy to reference.  Although it is an easy read, it will probably require several re-reads in order to digest all the information that has grown out of Morris' own journey. Especially insightful is his take on the primary task(s) of a senior pastor to "feed and lead" in that order.  
For the pastor of a church that does not incorporate Elder governance or Apostolic oversight, there are portions of the book that would not apply.  That being said, I found the book to be enriching, encouraging and insightful in getting a grasp on church health which leads to church growth.

We Choose to Remember

Memorial Day!  It must be much more than picnics, cookouts and a day off work.  It must elicit memories of family members, friends and acquaintances who risked life and limb for freedom.  The old adage, "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it." (Paraphrase) applies now more than ever.  Our country is  embarking on a path that was initially trod by those whom we considered enemies to our freedom.  We have forgotten that the ideologies of Marxism, Fascism and Socialism were strongly opposed by our forefathers who bled and died to keep them from our shores.  We have become deeply distracted with in-fighting among political parties while allowing our representative form of government to be usurped by individuals with delusions of grandeur.  Freedoms we once though inviolate are being eroded.  Like the "frog in the kettle" we are blissfully swimming around in the pot that is becoming increasingly hotter until we will be boiled to death.

It is time t…

Guard Your Gates

Regardless of whether we set out to establish a "norm" for our family, it will happen.  Families that worship (more than just attend church) together will produce an air of worship within the household,  Families that pray together will produce a dependence on prayer in each member.  Families that fuss and fight will produce an atmosphere of animosity that filters down to the youngest member of the family.
Sometimes I hear my father or my mother speaking in my head and suddenly realize that it is my voice and I'm actually saying what they said, the way they said it.  My Mom passed away 27 years ago and my Dad about 4 years ago.  I really didn't live with them much beyond my graduation from high school, and yet their influence is still strong almost 70 years later.
I've said all of this to make a particular point.  We must be aware of the enemy at our gate.  If Satan can sneak in when the door is left ajar by sin that is not confessed, unresolved conflicts, and negl…

Blood Moon; Etc. Etc. Etc.

Prophecy buffs, and apocalyptic preachers and authors have gone "ga-ga" over the first of four predicted "Blood Moons", especially this one which occurred during Holy Week (Passover).  As I think of all the emphasis put on this I'm reminded of the King of Siam (Anna and the King) responding to Anna with the line "Etcetera, Etcetera, Etcetera!"
The significance of these "signs of the end" according to Jesus is to prod Christians to get busy about kingdom business.  When He used the metaphor of the farmer reading the signs in the sky, He did not indicate that they became enamored with the signs, but rather that they used the signs to plan the next crop cycle; prepare land, plant, tend and harvest.
The same is true regarding the "signs of the end".  We are to busy ourselves with the "work of the One who sent Jesus" while it is day because "the night comes when no man can work."  What that means to the individual Chr…

Experience in NOT the Best Teacher

You've probably heard this most of your life.  Some well meaning relative or teacher or "friend" has quoted the old adage "Experience is the best teacher."  This could not be further from the truth.  For example, I don't need to be hit by an 18 wheeler to learn that it is dangerous and life-threatening.  I don't have to get cancer to learn that cancer is often fatal.  I don't have to get drunk or get high on drugs to learn that alcohol and drugs are bad for a person.
Currently there is a lot of talk about two quasi-biblical movies that have come out; "The Son of God" and "Noah".  I've read many evangelical blogs suggesting that every believer needs to see these movies for themselves and make their own decision about them.  To me that is somewhat like telling my daughters, "why don't you try Islam, Buddhism, Ancestor worship, Scientology, etc and then decide whether or not these are better or worse than Christianity.

Monday Musings

I remember the days when pastors used to have a Monday Pastor's Lunch; sometimes weekly and sometimes monthly.  As I recall, these often turned into "bragging sessions" as pastors gushed about the number of people in Sunday School and church and the decisions that were made.  It was almost a "can you top this?" session.  Having served for 50+ years in ministry, the past 6 as either interim or full-time pastor, I'm glad we don't have such a meeting in our area.  Most Mondays I'm ready to chuck it all and go play golf (not a bad idea by the way).  
The cycle I find myself on begins every Monday with the challenge of deciding on sermon and text for two services next Sunday.  Finding the text is easy because I preach through books of the Bible.  Determining a title is a challenge because I always want it to be something that will grab the attention of those who see it. Tuesday is the day that I outline the sermons and begin the study process of unpacking…

In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day from Mark Batterson / Family Christian

In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day from Mark Batterson / Family Christian
Mark Batterson's book was my first introduction to this gifted writer's material.  Since then I've devoured most of the books and articles that he has written.  "In a Pit..." continues to be my favorite because it deals with a fairly obscure personality who found a place in God's Book because of his confidence and bravery in extremely dangerous situations.  As I read this article, I was reminded of the fact that there are times in all our lives when we wonder why God put us in a particular situation.  The reality is that God never abandons us in the sticky situations, He is merely helping us to discover that He has uniquely equipped us to deal with them and emerge victorious.
Benaiah was not lion hunting the day that he encountered the ferocious feline.  We aren't usually on the lookout for a confrontation when suddenly God drops us into a tenuous situation. However, we must remember…

Respond, Don't React!

React= to act in response to or under the influence of a stimulus or prompting.
Respond=to act in return or answer.
Have you ever been to the Dr. and have him take the little rubber hammer and tap on your knee?  Do you remember the involuntary "jump" of your leg.  That was a "knee-jerk" reaction.  In most interactions, be they conversation, debate, negotiations, or confrontations, the one who can cause the other to react has taken control of the moment.  On the other hand, if someone is attempting to get a reaction from you, but instead you respond with a reasoned, well-thought-out response, you can at the very least remain on an even field and probably will even take the advantage.
The "world system" around us has decided that Christianity is fair game for any and all attacks.  They are delighted when they are able to elicit a reaction from Christian people that is heated or defensive or harsh.  It merely proves their point that Christians are stupid, unrea…

Open Your Gifts Already!

Can you imagine your children rushing to the Christmas tree on Christmas morning, oohiing and aahing over the gifts and then rushing out to play without opening any of them?  They repeat this process for several days until time for the tree to come down, and the gifts wind up in a closet, never having been opened.  That is essentially what many Christians have done regarding their Spiritual Gifts.  They may have read about Spiritual gifts in Romans and I Corinthians and Ephesians, but it has not dawned on them that they have the responsibility for discovering, unwrapping, developing and using their specific gifts for the glory of God and His Kingdom.  Churches suffer because people are sitting in the pews, having never unwrapped the gifts that God has actually given to the church through the members.  Often you'll hear someone ask, "Why can't we get someone to do..."  It never registers that the "someone" could well be them. My contention is that if a churc…

The "Fat Lady" Has Nothing to Do With It

I'm sure that you have heard the saying often attributed to Casey Stengel "It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings."  The truth of the matter is that nothing is ever over until God says it is.  Before we even know the full truth of any situation, we must see it from God's perspective.  Most of us view our circumstances from the inside out. When we look around us all we see is the situation in which we find ourselves.  However, if we could get the view of God, who sees the end and the beginning at the same time, we would have a different slant altogether.  I have found that when I embrace the idea that God is in control then I can relax until He gives me an assignment.  Once I have a clear assignment from Him then I can focus on that and leave the results to Him.
Scripture gives us story after story where reality was different from what people in the story thought.  When Jesus was asleep in the boat in the midst of a storm, the disciples THOUGHT they were perish…

What Rings Your Bell?

There is an old saying, "When a person's work is something they love, they never work a day in their life."  I can truly say that I love what I do.  However there are some ancillary things attached to my work that take some of the enjoyment out of it.  Most of the "joy-killers" are of my own making.  That is to say, they are not necessarily part of my job description, but they are activities or responsibilities that I think others expect me to fulfill.
In an effort to divorce myself from expectations that I have placed on myself, I'm meditating on Paul's exhortation in Colossians 3:23 "Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men." (HCSB)  I'm thinking of how best to implement this in my life.  What I've settled on is asking myself this question whenever I'm in doubt about the nagging sense that I should be doing something.  "Is this something that God has said in His Word that I shoul…

Here It Comes, Ready or Not (Death)

OK, I know this sounds a bit morbid, but stick with me for a few moments.  The bottom line is that unless Jesus comes again soon we are all going to die.  Regardless of what our "pre-planned" package with the mortician is, this body will no longer be the residence of our soul.  Given enough time, there will be little or nothing left.  However, if we make some good choices this side of the grave, we have a lot to look forward to.  I was just reading Psalm 49 in preparation for our Wednesday evening Bible Study and noted that the Psalmist affirmed that noone can ever be rich enough to cheat death.  The only One with power over death is the One who defeated death on its own turf...Jesus (He Arose!)  So it behooves me, and everyone else on this earth, to give some attention to the fact that we have been invited to join Jesus in His victory.  We will still die physically (Heb. 9:27) but there is the possibility that our souls will live on eternally in the presence of Jesus.  That…

What Are We Becoming?

Just heard on the news that there was a shooting today in a movie theater in the Tampa, FL area over someone texting during the previews.  In the old days, the worst that would happen would be a fist fight.  Then people began carrying knives and now guns.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not disputing the right to bear arms.  I'm aghast that people have so devalued life that a simple dispute would result in death.  The only way that could happen is that people do not know the God who created life and therefore do not have any respect for life.
Another sad part of this is that the event has affected not only the victim, but their family and friends as well as the shooter himself and their family and friends.  Don't people think past the end of their own noses any more?
 It is time for people of faith to pray earnestly and to take every opportunity to share the gospel with people around them while it is still legal to do so in our country.  It is no longer a matter of it not bei…

Who's Excited About the Jesus Bowl?

I'm writing this on the day of the 2014 BCS Championship game.  My team, the Auburn Tigers, will be playing the Florida State Seminoles.  Ordinarily I'm also a Seminole fan, however, having been a student at AU at the beginning of my college career, the Tigers trump the Seminoles.
That being said, the real reason for this post is to look at the fanaticism that is not only accepted, but praised on the part of the football fan as compared to the criticism that is leveled at a Christ follower who shows any semblence of fanaticism for Jesus.
Some comparisons are helpful;

The football fan is thought loyal when they sport the colors and logo of their team while the Christian who wears tee shirts or jewelry with Christian themes is often criticized.The football fan who braves the elements to support their team is praised for their commitment while many Christians will miss the "assembling of yourselves together" (Heb. 10:25) if there is a little rain.The football fan who will …