Howard John Wesley, minister of the Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, Virginia, recently made news and surprised his congregation with the announcement that he is stepping away from his ministry for a season.
“From January 1 (2020) to April 1. I am walking away from every responsibility I have as pastor,” Wesley announced in his Dec 1st sermon.
“You can’t pour out of an empty cup. It is very dangerous for your pastor to be on empty,” he told congregants. “I need to take care of me…I’m tired… I’m tired in my soul.” Continue reading
A recent Barna survey found that only 25% of “practicing Christians” live in households that they termed “spiritually vibrant.”
As a part of a new “Household of Faith” report Barna partnered with the Lutheran Hour Ministries and surveyed 2,347 adults and teens who claimed to be practicing Christian. Their goal was to determine how families practiced their faith together, and not just as individuals. Continue reading
I recently read a story about a Christian who was visiting with a preacher from Ethiopia. He knew the preacher lived in horrible poverty. So, he made the mistake of showing what he thought was some sympathy for his situation.
“Brother, I want you to know we are praying for you in your poverty,” the man said.
Very humbly the preacher responded, “No. You don’t understand. We are praying for you in your prosperity.” Continue reading
John Mason, in his book, Let Go of Whatever Makes You Stop, wrote, “The trouble with many educated (people) is that learning goes to their heads and not to their hearts. The heart is something of a prophet. The heart is no traitor. It is only with the heart that one can see correctly; what is required is invisible to the eye.
Mason’s words, unfortunately, speak to many Christians who have lost their passion for the Lord. Their Bible knowledge and learning, though it may be extensive, has only affected them intellectually, but not touched them emotionally. Or if it once did, that passion has subsided over the years. Continue reading
Last night it was my pleasure to be with my friends Mark and Judy Broyles and the brethren in Bulverde, Texas, to speak at their summer lecture series. Their theme has been “Our Passion for Spiritual Growth.” And my topic was “Passionate about God.”
“It certainly is mysterious, this word passion,” writes Gordon MacDonald in his excellent book Renewing Your Spiritual Passion. “It is hard to measure and difficult to pin down. But you know when you have it, and you are quite aware when you don’t. Continue reading
H.G. Wells was never particularly religious, but after he had studied the history of the human race and had observed human life, he came to an interesting conclusion:
“Religion is the first thing and the last thing, and until a man has found God and been found by God, he begins at no beginning, he works to no end. He may have his friendships, his partial loyalties, his scraps of honor. But all these things fall into place and life falls into place only with God.” Continue reading
Filed under God, Spiritual
Last night I closed a meeting with the Eastside Church in Denton, Texas. At their request, I spoke on a series called, “Experiencing Intimacy with God.” The lessons were well received by the brethren as well as the guests who attended. However, I may have received the greatest benefit of all by visiting again this vital theme and reflecting on my personal relationship with the Lord. Continue reading
Filed under God, Spiritual
The centerpiece of our annual anniversary trip was an Alaskan cruise on the Island Princess. Their theme is “Come Back New.” Their advertizing brochure invites you with these enticing words. ” Escape to breathtaking ocean views, fresh, local flavors and the chance to see someone you love in awe of the world again.
It is indeed a relaxing way to vacation and enjoy special time away from your daily routines with your husband or wife. They use words like “refresh,” “renew” and “revitalize” to emphasis the new feeling you will experience. Continue reading
“I tackled my first English essay in college with enthusiasm, a thesaurus, and a naive disregard for page limits,” writes Carolyn Arends in an April 2014 article in Christianity Today. To her dismay the professor returned her paper with this comment: “Carolyn, you’ve made some fine points, but unfortunately they are lost in a sea of circumlocutious wordiness.”
While Carolyn admits she has always “loved words” and “a well turned phrase,” she confesses that she grew “troubled by a growing sense that (she) needed to pay more attention to wordless things.” She asks, ” Have I reduced the scope of what I can know to what I can articulate?” Continue reading
Filed under God, Spiritual
Last week we raised the question “Does God want America to be great again?”
The point of our post really spoke to God’s providence in a nation that is moving father and farther away from honoring Him, His Word and principles of righteousness.
Apparently some were concerned that either I’m not going to vote, maybe would vote for the “wrong candidate,” or could be encouraging others to “sit this election out.”
Among the numerous questions we asked was “What if God’s definition of great is different from ours?” Continue reading