The 19th-century evangelist, R. A. Torrey, was well known for his emphatic preaching on the 2nd coming of Christ. Biographer, Roger Martin, relates an interesting and somewhat humorous story from one such sermon.
Torrey was speaking to a crowd of nearly 3,000 in Chicago on the 2nd coming. As he concluded his sermon, he spoke eloquently about Jesus’ glorious return. The sound of the trumpet. The shout of the archangel. Torrey then concluded with these climactic words. Continue reading
I recently came across this story attributed to theologian John Killinger. The manager of a minor league baseball team became so disgusted with his center fielder’s performance that he ordered him to the dugout and assumed the position himself.
The first ball that came into center field took a bad hop and hit the manager in the mouth. The next one was a high fly ball, which he lost in the glare of the sun–until it bounced off his forehead. The third was a hard line drive that he charged with outstretched arms; unfortunately, it flew between his hands and smacked him in the eye. Continue reading
“God hates” is not an expression we often hear.
We preach about the love of God. We sing about it. We write about it. We read scriptures like “God so loved the world…” (Jn 3:16).
But, “God hates”? Continue reading
Norma Jean and I recently watched the Alex Kendrick movie, “War Room.” It’s a faith-based movie about an aged widow, Miss Clara, who challenges her realtor, Elizabeth Jordan, regarding her lukewarm relationship with God and her anemic prayer-life
In the opening scenes Miss Clara says, “We fight for power. We fight for riches. We fight for rights. We fight for freedom. There always seems to be something to fight about. Continue reading
There’s an old story about a Georgia farmer, ragged and barefooted, standing on the steps of his tumbledown shack, when a stranger stopped to ask directions. After giving the information, the farmer offered the fellow a cold drink, so he decided to pass the time for a few minutes and ask about his crops.
“How is your cotton coming along?” he asked.
Ain’t got none,” replied the farmer. Continue reading
Have you heard the one about the preacher trying to “sell” a new idea to his elders. After his most impassioned plea, they voted down the proposal 6-1.
The elder leading the meeting said to the preacher, “Sorry, but it looks like you’re the only one voting for the proposal.”
“Well, that’s all we had on the agenda tonight,” the elder concluded. So he asked the preacher to lead a prayer to close the meeting. Continue reading
“Half of the misery in the world comes from trying to look, instead of trying to be, what one is not,” once wrote the 19th century Scottish minister George MacDonald.
This practice can be summed up in one word. Hypocrisy. It’s wearing a mask. Pretending. Acting instead of being. In a twisted way, “Hypocrisy is an homage that vice pays to virtue,” suggested the French writer La Rochefoucauld. Continue reading
The late R. J. Stevens and his son, Tim, have done more for lifting and improving the praise worship of God’s people than any two men I’ve ever known.
But their work has gone beyond teaching the fundamentals of music, how to beat time, or pitch a song. They have reminded us of the why and the Who behind our praise.
Tim once observed that praise is not just an outward act. Praise stems from who we are. The inner person. The heart. Like the ancient poet, we should exclaim, “Praise the Lord! I will praise the Lord with my whole heart! (PS 11:1). Continue reading
When Abraham Lincoln was facing the crisis of a divided nation during the civil war, he was faced with many tough decisions. Often he was second guessed. Criticized. And even mocked.
It’s no wonder he admitted, “I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom, and that of all about me seemed insufficient for the day.”
During this current crisis, we may wonder where to go. Literally there’s no place to go. Everyone is told to stay home. At times, the advice of the experts seems contradictory and confusing. We ponder what the future holds. Will life ever be the same again? Continue reading
The 16th century German theologian, Martin Luther is credited with saying “A religion that gives nothing, costs nothing and suffers nothing, is worth nothing.”
We understand the value of anything is determined by its investment, either in time, money, or personal sacrifice. When Jesus says, “follow me,” he is calling us, not just to hang out with him, or tag along, but to a devout, different, and dedicated, life. Continue reading