The “new normal” is an expression we’ve heard a good bit this past year during the COVID-19 pandemic. And it was not a phrase I particularly liked or embraced.
The “new normal” has been characterized by masks, social distancing, and no handshakes or hugs.
In terms of the church’s work and mission, it has for a time suspended public gatherings, and then limited their frequency and/or the number attending. It has kept brethren apart. Canceled gospel meetings. Limited fellowship. Put plans on hold. Hampered ministry projects. And to a large extent social-distanced us from the brotherhood. Continue reading
According to a recent survey by LifeWay Research, “more believers are heeding the scriptural call to ‘grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior’—but they’re often doing discipleship on their own.”
Compared with a survey a decade ago, more US Christians have “made improvements in areas like reading their Bibles daily, prioritizing obedience to Christ, and avoiding temptation, (however) their connections with fellow Christians have weakened.” Continue reading
Amplias. Urbanus. Stachys. Apelles. Herodion. Persis. Asyncritus. Phlegon. Hermas. Patrobas. Hermes. Tryphena and Tryphosa.
Unknown. Unheralded. Unrecognized. Describes the aforementioned people. Their names may be unfamiliar to you. But they are not unimportant to God. Continue reading
For the past 25 days Norma Jean and I have been traveling through the Mediterranean as we celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary. We embarked in Athens and disembarked in Rome. Along the way we’ve enjoyed delicious food, seen ancient archeological sites dating back to Bible times and marveled at the beauty of God’s creation. As you can imagine there have been many highlights on such a venture.
Sunday, however, ranks at the top of our experiences when we met with the Christians in Rome for worship at the VIA SANNIO church.
In Letters to God, kids were asked to write to God with their requests, here’s what a few of them wrote.
Dear GOD, is it true my father won’t get in Heaven if he uses his bowling words in the house? Anita
Dear GOD, maybe Cain and Abel would not kill each other so much if they had their own rooms. It works with my brother. Larry
Dear GOD, did you really mean, “do unto others as they do unto you”? Because if you did, then I’m going to fix my brother! Chris Continue reading
“There are two things one cannot do alone,” once wrote Swiss psychologist, Paul Tournier, “be married and be a Christian.”
I suppose there are a few others. Be Mom. A dad. Or play a team sport. But Tournier’s point is valid.
Occasionally, I will hear someone say, “I can be a good Christian and not be a part of a church.”
Really? Continue reading
This week Norma Jean and I are in Ontario Canada, where I’m preaching in a meeting for the Wellandport church. Being in Canada reminds me of a story told by Don Graham.
Linda, a young woman, was traveling alone up the rutted and rugged highway from Alberta to the Yukon. Linda didn’t know you don’t travel to Whitehorse alone in a rundown Honda Civic, so she set off where only four-wheel drives normally venture. Continue reading
An Army Chaplain tells the story of sitting in the Officer’s Club one rainy day. In fact, it was more than rainy. It was a raging storm. The winds were blowing fiercely. The rains were descending in sheets. Nearby, two officer’s wives were watching the storm through the big picture window. Continue reading
This week Norma Jean and I are blessed to be on the campus of Florida College to attend their annual lecture series. It’s a special place for us.
FC is where we met. Dated. And were engaged to be married. I played basketball for FC on their first scholarship team. At FC I was privileged to meet and learn from some great men of God. Clinton Hamilton. Edgar Srygley. Homer Hailey. Bob Owen. Melvin Curry. Harry Payne Sr. And James R. Cope. Continue reading
It was one rainy day. In fact, it was more than rainy. It was a storm. The winds were blowing fiercely. The rains were descending in sheets. Thunder roared. And lightening was flashing. There were just a few people in the Officer’s Club. An Army Chaplain and two officer’s wives were watching the storm through the big picture window.
Suddenly, through a flash of lightning, one of the women saw a solider standing outside on guard duty totally at the mercy of the raging storm. The Chaplain then overheard this exchange from the women. Continue reading