Church Blog (Page 3)

Church Blog (Page 3)

MARCH 23, 2022

Dear Friends, In May of 1945, CS Lewis took on a topic that has puzzled people for centuries in an essay titled “Why Pray?”  “The case against prayer… is this.  The thing you ask for is either good — for you and for the world in general — or else it is not.  If it is, then a good and wise God will do it anyway. If it is not, then He won’t.  In neither case can your prayer make any…

MARCH 16, 2022

Dear Friends, When it comes to living out your faith, given the option of being too liberal or too legalistic, which would you choose? The question came up this week as I was reading a post from Trevin Wax.  Trevin writes regularly for the Gospel Coalition and he’s one of the guys I read pretty regularly.  As he addressed the very real concerns we should have about doctrinal drift in our churches, he made the point that “slippery slopes go more than one…

March 9, 2022

Dear Friends, Okay, first things first.  They’re about to mess with our clocks and our circadian rhythms again!  This weekend. Don’t forget.   Time to spring forward. With that said, I want you to think for a minute about an expression used in scripture that I think perfectly captures the way we feel at times.  In fact, it’s the way a lot of us have felt pretty often during the past couple of years. The phrase is found in Isaiah 61, where the…

March 2, 2022

Dear Friends, On Sunday, as we took time to pray for the people of Ukraine, I introduced you to Pastor Alex Tarasov and his family;  his wife Anna, their son Sviatoslav (16 yrs) and Maria (14 yrs).  Alex is the Pastor of  Vertical Bible Church in Kyiv.  The church is part of the Great Commission Collective of churches that we are part of as well.  I wanted to pass along to you this week the update from Alex so you can continue to pray specifically for…

FEBRUARY 23, 2022

Dear Friends, Do you want to live a life that is pleasing to God?  Do you hope to one day hear Jesus say to you “well done, good and faithful servant?” I presume the answer is yes.  Let me tell you where to start.  You start with faith.  Specifically, you start by believing that God exists.  That He is.  That He created the universe and everything in it and that He sustains it by His mighty power and in wisdom.  It has to…

FEBRUARY 16, 2022

Dear Friends, If you ever find yourself in Nashville on a Monday night, you owe it to yourself to see if the Time Jumpers happen to be playing at Third and Lindsley.  Most Monday nights, they’re there, putting on a wonderful two hour show of the best in Western Swing music.  The Time Jumpers are the best of the best – legendary studio session players who have backed up just about everyone who has ever recorded a country album in Nashville. …

FEBRUARY 9, 2022

Dear Friends, Christianity is a revealed religion.  As Christians, what we know and believe about God and life and eternity is not something that people dreamed up a long time ago.  It’s something God has revealed to us.  Singer songwriter Rich Mullins said about our faith “It is the very truth of God and not the invention of any man…  I did not make it.  No it is making me.” The writer of Hebrews echoes that proposition in his epistle.  He…

JANUARY 26, 2022

Dear Friends, This week, I got a sneak peek at the workbook the ladies will be using for the spring Women’s Bible Study from the book of Psalms.  I’ll have information about the study for you here in a bit.  But I’ve been thinking today about the title on the workbook.  It’s “Glad Adoration.”  The title brought to mind the great German hymn from the late 1600s “Praise To The Lord, The Almighty” which includes the line “All ye who hear,…

JANUARY 20, 2022

Dear Friends, When I wrote my book Love Like You Mean It, I included an extended quote from a man who is widely considered America’s most important and original philosophical theologian, Jonathan Edwards.  His book Charity And Its Fruits is a classic work on 1 Cor. 13.  You can’t go wrong reading and quoting Edwards, right? Well, maybe.  My editor, whose job it is to look out for me as an author sent me an email asking if I was sure I wanted to include…

January 12, 2022

Dear Friends, Have you ever heard that we only use about 10% of our brains?  Yeah, apparently that’s not true.  According to the good folks at Wonderopolis, human beings use virtually every part of their brains. Moreover, over the course of an average day, we use nearly 100% of our brains. It’s a different story when it comes to our smart phones.  At least it is for me.  I know there is a whole ton of stuff my smart phone is capable of doing…

January 5, 2022

Dear Friends, It is the time of year when most of us at least think about resolutions.  A new year can trigger a fresh start. At the age of 19, Jonathan Edwards made a list of 70 resolutions that he purposed would guide his life.  His intention was to read the list every week to keep himself pointed in the right direction.  His list included goals relating to his personal spiritual development, relationships, how he would manage his life and time and character qualities…

December 22, 2021

Dear Friends, Who doesn’t long for peace on earth? The angelic announcement on the night Jesus was born was a declaration that the birth of the Messiah was connected to peace on earth.  Of course, 700 years before Jesus was born, God declared through the prophet Isaiah that child who would be born, the Son who would be given would be the Sar Shalom – the Prince of Peace. So what happened?  Where is the peace that the angels promised?  It’s here.  For all…

December 15, 2021

Dear Friends, The idea that God is our Father and that we are His adopted children not completely absent from the Old Testament.  But it’s rare.  God is only referred to as Father fourteen times in all of the Old Testament —and then rather impersonally.  In those fourteen occurrences, the term was always used with reference to God’s relationship with the nation of Israel, and not in regard to individuals.  God was spoken of as Israel’s Father, but Abraham never called…

December 8, 2021

Dear Friends, King David felt guilty.  As the reigning King of Israel, ruling in a time of peace, David lived in a royal palace.  He describes it as “a house of cedar.”  In 2005, archeologists discovered what they believe are the remains of the royal palace, southeast of the old city of Jerusalem.  But David looked at the luxury in which he lived and lamented the fact that while he lived in a house, the Ark of the Covenant was kept…

December 1, 2021

Dear Friends, We are all familiar with the first four New Testament books.  We call them The Gospels.  They earn that distinction because they reveal to us the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus.  Each of the four provides a different perspective on and insight into the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.  What He did for us by coming to us, living among us, dying in our place and defeating death and hell so that we could be reconciled…

November 24, 2021

Dear Friends, As you sit down this year for a Thanksgiving meal, hopefully with family and friends around the table, you might take a few minutes to talk together about this insight from G.K. Chesterton.  “When it comes to life,” he wrote, “the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.” Maybe after the last year and a half, we are a little less likely to take things for granted.  Like being about to gather with…

NOVEMBER 17, 2021

Dear Friends, On Sunday, we spent time thinking together about Jesus’ instruction about how we counsel our hearts when we are troubled or anxious.  Along with trusting God’s promises and having an eternal perspective on life, Jesus tells us that we should find comfort in His promise that he will come again and receive us to Himself. The second coming of Jesus is a central theme in both the Old and New Testaments.  The ancient prophets talked often about the “day of…

November 10, 2021

Dear Friends, Observant Jews have for centuries prayed the Shema twice a day.  It’s this simple prayer found in Deuteronomy 6:  “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” (Deut. 6:4-5). When the Pharisees asked Jesus to identify the greatest of all the commandments, he went straight to this prayer.  Love for God is the foundation of our faith. Scripture…

November 3, 2021

Dear Friends, The word “condemn” is an interesting word.  The dictionary offers a couple of definitions.  It can mean to “express complete disapproval of, typically in public; censure.”  It can also mean “to sentence someone to a particular punishment, especially death.”  Or to “officially declare something or someone as unfit for use.” After her accusers left, Jesus asked the woman caught in adultery in John 8 “woman, where are they?   Has no one condemned you?”  With her accusers gone, she rightly realizes…

OCTOBER 27, 2021

Dear Friends, The Bible tells us that we should “be still.”  But just what does that look like? Taking a personal day, going on a hike, taking your Bible and spending a day in prayer?  Is that what it means to “be still?” Working to eliminate distractions, closing your eyes, meditating on a verse of scripture?  Is that “being still?” Finding some quiet place where you can be alone with your thoughts?  Is that it? None of those things are bad things in and of…