Posts by merechurch

Posts by merechurch

October 18, 2018

Dear Friends, I honestly never expected I would ever have anything to do with Christian radio.  And then I heard Chuck Swindoll. In the summer of 1978, I was asked by friends in our church if I would house sit for them while they went on a three week vacation.  As a recent college graduate who was basically couch surfing my way through the summer, I was more than happy to have access to a real bed for 21 whole days. Before they…

October 11, 2018

Dear Friends, You realize that everywhere you go, you’re packing a concealed weapon, right?  And I’m guessing in the last week, you’ve had an occasion to use it.  I hope there wasn’t too much damage done. I’m talking about your tongue.  The small, flexible muscle in your mouth can do a lot of damage.  Or a lot of good. Your tongue, James says, is a small member capable of great things.  It is, he says, “a restless evil, full of deadly poison.”  If you’ve been…

October 4, 2018

Dear Friends, I saw a post on social media this week suggesting the need for what the author called “the uberization of American Christianity.”   The author wasn’t using the word uber the way Nietzsche used it.  He wasn’t saying that we all need to be some kind of super Christians.  He was using the term in the modern day, ride sharing sense of the word uber.  Uber, as you no doubt know, has completely disrupted the decades old taxi business.  From the first appearance…

September 27, 2018

Dear Friends, I saw a hashtag on twitter this past week about why people who were sexually abused might fail to report the event and it prompted me to write this note.  Sadly, I’m sure some of you can relate to what I’ve written. Dear #WhyIdidntreport, I have to confess, it hit me like a hard slap in the face.   I read the tweet from Beth Moore this weekend.  The one that included your hashtag. It was a simple tweet.  One sentence, actually.  It said…

September 20, 2018

Dear Friends, At some point in your life, you have undoubtedly been to the theater.  Maybe it’s been something as simple as a school pageant or a play.  Or maybe you’ve been to Broadway or the West End in London and seen a professional production of some sort. The first time I was ever in Manhattan was in December of 1990.  I had flown from San Antonio to Newark on a Saturday for a Monday business meeting.  I added the extra day to my trip so…

September 12, 2018

Dear Friends, I’ve spent the last three days in Nashville at the Getty Music Sing! 2018 Conference.  I was there with about 8,000 of my closest friends (including this rowdy group). (present, but not pictured is our photographer, Matt Gurney) The conference was all about the subject of worship:  Personal, family and corporate.  And it was about where music, and specifically, the book of Psalms, fits into how we worship. I drove home this afternoon, processing much of what we heard and…

September 6, 2018

Dear Friends, “The main thing in life,” someone has said “is keeping the main thing the main thing.” So what’s the main thing?  That’s a good and important question. I became a Christian during the days when a group that called itself the Moral Majority was quite prominent.  After more than a decade of a whole lot of sex, drugs and rock and roll that openly subverted the traditional Judeo Christian ethic, there were a whole lot of people who wanted our culture to…

August 30, 2018

Dear Friends, If you’ve ever been to a wedding, you’ve heard the familiar words of Genesis 2:24:  “For this cause, a man shall leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Dr. Dan Allender says that 90% of the issues couples face in marriage can be traced back to a failure to leave on the part of one or both partners. Failure to leave? For a married couple to be able to “cleave” (stick together) and “become…

August 23, 2018

Dear Friends, At some point in life, all of us wrestle with what I call the three ultimate questions of life.  Where did I come from?Why am I here?What happens when I die? The first and last of those three questions involve metaphysical speculation.  We can look to science and philosophy for guidance, but at the end of the day, the conclusions we reach will not be proven in this life.  Each of us will look at the data and arrive at a…

August 16, 2018

Dear Friends, The great cathedrals of Europe are awe-inspiring.  And so are some of the royal residences – the castles – that still are still standing centuries after they were built. Mary Ann and I spent the last two weeks on a tour that took us from Prague to Leipzig to Nuremburg and then down the Danube river to Passau, Vienna and Budapest.  Along the way we saw the church in Wittenberg where Martin Luther preached and nailed his 95 theses to…

July 26, 2018

Dear Friends, King David wanted to build a house for God in Israel.  He wanted to have a permanent home for the Ark of the Covenant.  After years of worshipping in tents and tabernacles, David had it in his heart to build a temple in Jerusalem. God said no.  Not now. You may remember the story.  David had completed and was living in the King’s palace.  But his conscience was troubling him.  He called his friend and advisor Nathan and said “This isn’t…

July 19, 2018

Dear Friends, Which of the following has had a bigger impact on how you think about God, life, sin and holiness (Check one of the following)?                               ________________   The Bible                             ________________   The Culture  If you’re not sure how to answer that, here’s another question that may help you.  Which of the following have you spent…

July 12, 2018

Dear Friends, I’ve never forgotten a conversation I had several years ago with Dr. Robertson McQuilken.  For years, Dr. McQuilken served as President of what was then known as Columbia Bible College and Seminary in Columbia, SC.  He was a respected leader and theologian.  But our conversation was not about theology or leadership.  It was about a fight he’d had with his wife. Dr. McQuilken didn’t remember what he and his wife were arguing about.  But whatever the source of…

July 5, 2018

Dear Friends, I trust you all enjoyed our nation’s birthday.  May God bless and preserve our nation, and may our nation learn the meaning of Psalm 33:12:  “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” Next Wednesday morning, July 11 from 9:00 – 11:00 AM – it’s Kids Summer Fest.  Or is it Summer Kids Fest?  I can never remember.  If you’d like to help out or if you have any questions, contact Jen Gurney at jengiles1@yahoo.com.  And don’t forget the school supplies for David O…

June 28, 2018

Dear Friends, This is going to sound crazy.  But the Bible offers some very good reasons why we ought not spend time reading or studying or meditating on or memorizing the God’s word every day.  That may sound like heresy, but stay with me.  The Bible says there are wrong reasons, wrong motivations for spending time each day in God’s word.  Let me give you three of them. You should not study God’s word each day if your primary goal is to become…

June 21, 2018

Dear Friends, On Sunday, we talked about what Romans 14 teaches us about the need to both train and maintain a tender conscience.  I compared our conscience to the tingling “Spidey senses” that Spiderman has (in the comic books, at least.  I don’t think that particular super power was ever on display in the Spiderman movies).  I also compared the conscience to a spiritual Geiger counter that warns us about spiritual dangers we may be facing.  And I said that we…

June 14, 2018

Dear Friends, Do you ever find yourself discouraged?  Despondent?  Depressed? Good!  That means you’re human.   And you’re not alone. One Sunday morning in 1866, C. H. Spurgeon stunned his five thousand listeners when from the pulpit of London’s Metropolitan Tabernacle he announced, “I am the subject of depressions of spirit so fearful that I hope none of you ever gets to such extremes of wretchedness as I go to.” For some of his audience it was incomprehensible that the world’s greatest preacher could know the valley…

June 7, 2018

Dear Friends, It makes sense that children should obey their parents. Right? But why? Those of you where were raised going to Sunday School have probably already said “because the Bible says so.”  And it’s fair to say that if there was no other reason for children to obey, the fact that the Bible commands it would be sufficient.  But even people who reject the Bible can think of plenty of good reasons for children to obey their parents.  For example: Parents are wiser than children.  They have…

June 3, 2018

Dear Friends, I spent two hours today with a remarkable young woman who lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  Here name is Jaquelle Crowe, and she’s written a book called This Changes Everything:  How The Gospel Transforms The Teen Years.   Jaquelle’s dad is a pastor of a small Baptist church in a part of the world that he described as hard ground for sowing gospel seeds.  But trust me, his daughter gets it. We started our conversation talking about how all of life flows…

May 24, 2018

Dear Friends, I was not one of the two billion. My mother-in-law was.  Big time.  Last Saturday, she awoke at 4:15 AM, picked up a friend of hers, and together they went to the Circle Cinema in Tulsa where they were served a fine English breakfast as they watched Prince Harry and his intended, Meghan Markle become husband and wife. Two billion?  That’s the number of people who tuned in to see a princess marry her prince in a castle amid much pomp and circumstance,…
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