Church Blog (Page 4)

Church Blog (Page 4)

August 18, 2021

Dear Friends, Those of us who grew up in a time when cartoons were only available for viewing on Saturday mornings or for maybe an hour or two after school also grew up in a time when an elementary school education included a healthy dose of patriotism.  Reciting the Pledge of Allegiance was a daily classroom ritual.  In music class, we learned to sing all the verses of America the Beautiful – including the verses about alabaster cities gleaming and heroes…

August 11, 2021

Dear Friends, Are you sick of reading about COVID?  If so, I apologize in advance.  You can skip to the second half of this portion of the newsletter for the latest church-related COVID info. I was all wrong when it came to predicting what was going to happen with COVID.  Like I missed it by a mile. I remember when I first heard about cases in a nursing home in Washington state.  The news media was sounding the alarm and (I thought) blowing…

August 4, 2021

Dear Friends, I received a note a number of years ago from a friend who had spent a year walking through what she described as a very challenging season in her life – a dark night of the soul.  She shared about family members who had faced significant health issues.  There had been conflict in her local church that had ultimately ended with her husband and her deciding they couldn’t stay.  On top of it all, she was facing what…

July 28, 2021

Dear Friends, I’ve had people ask me many times about my favorite radio interviews during my years as the co-host of FamilyLife Today.  The list is long and includes people whose names you likely know (R.C. Sproul, Elizabeth Elliot, Chuck Swindoll, Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, John Wooden and others) as well as names you’ve probably never heard of (John and Donna Bishop, Ed Harrell, others). One interview that is always on the list is a visit I was able to have with Dr.…

July 21, 2021

Make it a priority today to pass along to someone you know a word fitly spoken. Choose words that will build up and give grace (Ephesians 4:29).

July 14, 2021

Dear Friends, We live in a world that has figured out how to monetize fear and anxiety.  Whether you’re checking your Twitter feed, watching cable news, or listening to podcasts or talk radio, you are in contact with people whose job it is to get you to keep watching, keep listening or keep clicking.  And if they’ve learned anything in the past five years, it’s that we are people who are prone to pay attention and stay engaged when we…

July 6, 2021

Dear Friends, In my lifetime, people have begun paying particular attention to the church going habits of American Presidents.  At age four, I was still too young to know about the debate that was taking place in 1960 regarding Senator Kennedy’s Roman Catholicism.   Might his faith, some wondered aloud, lead him to place his allegiance to papal authority ahead of his allegiance to the constitution?  The first election where I was old enough to vote featured a Georgia Governor who…

June 30, 2021

Dear Friends, At the end of Genesis 2, just before the serpent shows, the Bible makes an interesting statement about the newly married man and woman.  They were both naked.  And they were not ashamed. What an interesting note.  We might expect to read “the man and the woman were so happy and so in love.”  Or “the man and the woman couldn’t wait to see what God had for them next.”  Instead, we’re told that neither of them had…

June 15, 2021

Dear Friends, Not to brag, but I make a pretty good hamburger, as you will see if you come to our third Parking Lot Picnic tomorrow night.  With a forecast of 92˚ and sunny, we will have seating set up indoors for those who would like things to be a little cooler.  And we’ll have some water games for the kids after dinner. And next week?  The picnic will feature a Kona Ice Truck doing free shaved ice, a bounce house and…

June 8, 2021

Dear Friends, Can you think of a time this week when you have found yourself fearful or anxious?  It shouldn’t be a surprise.  There are a lot of people in our day who are earning a good living by stirring up anxiety.  People have figured out how to monetize fear.  Making us anxious has become a multi-billion dollar industry. We are naturally fearful people.  Whether it’s a fear of heights, of public speaking, of spiders and snakes, claustrophobia, aerophobia (fear of flying) mysophobia…

June 1, 2021

Dear Friends, Yes, I know it’s a day early.  But I wanted to make sure you knew that our parking lot picnic is on, rain or shine (we’ve paid for the Taco Truck, so there’s that…).  If it’s shine, great.  We go with Plan A.  Tacos.  Games for kids.  Fellowship.  Just as planned. If it’s rain, the Taco Truck will set up in the parking lot.  And we’ll set up chairs and tables and space inside for a nice indoor get together.  Same food…

May 26, 2021

Dear Friends, With the Memorial Day weekend ahead, I’ve been thinking tonight about where I was on my birthday ten years ago.  I had the opportunity to spend the morning that day with a video crew observing and talking to men who are part of the Old Guard – soldiers who are stationed at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.  I’ve shared the video with you before, but it’s worth watching again.  I was struck as I talked with these men about…

May 19, 2021

Dear Friends, Two things this week. First, masks. As I said on Sunday, our plan is to transition this week to a “mask optional” for our Sunday morning worship service.  Most of you know, the Centers For Disease Control has issued new guidelines, saying that people who have been fully vaccinated can go without masks in most settings.  Those who have not been vaccinated should continue to wear a mask to protect themselves.  Here in Arkansas, State Epidemiologist Dr. Jennifer Dillaha said that she…

May 12, 2012

Dear Friends, One of my all time favorite online videos is this classic from Youth Pastor Mark.  If you’ve never watched it, it’s worth the click. I thought about the fictional “Pastor Mark” and his perpetual enthusiasm when I met Vince Parker.  Vince was my tour guide a few years ago when I had a chance to tour the Hobby Lobby headquarters in Oklahoma City.  Vince was in his early 40’s, and you could tell he loved his job.  He radiated…

May 5, 2021

Dear Friends, I have a confession to make.  It’s going to surprise some of you.  But it’s time to come clean. Ready?  Here goes. I am a liberal. Some of you just shook your head and said “I knew he was hiding something!  I knew he couldn’t be trusted!” Hang with me here. The word liberal has a range of meanings.  The word can mean “generous.”  One of the dictionary definitions of the word is “lacking moral restraint.”  When I say I’m a liberal, I don’t…

April 28, 2021

View Post Dear Friends, In a doctor’s office waiting room this week, I found myself seated in one of the five available, socially distanced chairs available for us when a sixth person arrived.  She was a young woman, in her 30’s perhaps.  She checked in, and since there was no seat available for her, she went and stood by the door. I sat there for a minute doing the moral calculus.  Who gets the chair?  The younger woman or the newly inaugurated…

April 21, 2021

Dear Friends, Have you ever downloaded one of those apps that looks like it can do amazing things, only to find out that the free version of the app has limited functionality, and if you want all the features, you need to make an “in app purchase?”  Usually the free version of the app is little more than a test drive.  It’s good for a spin, but it’s just there to whet the appetite.  For many of us, being a part of…

April 14, 2021

Dear Friends, I did it when I was a kid.  No doubt your kids have done it too.  They watch us.  They imitate us.  Like the boy in this commercial for bottled water.  https://ispot.tv/a/7VOT Click above to see the commercial. The old adage that “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” serves as a reminder that all of us, consciously or unconsciously, are observing others and modifying our own behavior based on what we see others we admire doing.  A whole…

April 7, 2021

Dear Friends, You’ve heard me quote Pastor Tim Keller many times over the years.  His book The Prodigal God is one of the Top 10 most influential books in my life.  When I’m studying a passage and preparing my sermons, I always ask “has Tim Keller ever preached on this passage?” (I have transcripts of all the sermons he preached between 1997 and 2011).  Thanks to him, I have a better understanding of the gospel today.  Tim was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer…

March 31, 2021

Dear Friends, The plot to arrest Jesus and have Him executed had been in the works for many months.  John the Apostle says that from the time Jesus healed the lame man on the Sabbath in John 5, “the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him” (John 5:18).  During the Feast of Booths in John 7, John again says “the Jews were seeking to kill Him” (John 7:1).  The only reason they failed to lay a hand on…