Michael Bird, a minister in Australia, tells about a well-known American preacher who gave some advice to an Australian congregation.
He said, “Don’t tell people about the cross, it doesn’t work. That’s why the Franklin Graham crusades are no longer effective. Just tell them that God loves them and has a plan for them.”
The crux of his advice was that “The message of a crucified Jew is ridiculous to the modern mind… So move on to something better. A crucified Messiah is stupid, but promise them prosperity, give them emotional experiences, provide them with self-esteem – then you’ll fill the pews.” Continue reading
Crosses. You see them everywhere. On houses of worship. On grave markers. As ornate pieces of jewelry worn as a necklace, bracelet or even earrings.
We celebrate the cross. We glamorize it. We even romanticize it. We all know what it means. It’s the symbol of Christianity. It represents salvation. It reminds us of Jesus. Continue reading
During the Communion service, to help fix my mind on Jesus, I like to read the accounts of Christ’s crucifixion.
One Sunday I was reading John’s account and came upon a verse I hadn’t noticed before. I was stunned. Shocked. Startled. Continue reading
My calendar says today is “Good Friday.” The NYSE will be closed for “Good Friday.” Many schools will out for “Good Friday.” Christendom celebrates today as “Good Friday.”
Personally, I’ve always thought speaking of the day Jesus was unmercifully crucified on Calvary as “Good Friday” seemed a little strange. Of course, the expression “Good Friday is not used in the Bible. So, what is its origin? Continue reading
“Why did my Savior come to earth?” asks J.G. Dailey in his famous hymn.
“Why did He choose a lowly birth?”
“Why did He drink the bitter cup of sorrow, pain and woe?”
“Why on the cross be lifted up?” Continue reading
S. M. Lockridge (1913-2000) was a prominent African-American preacher known for his dynamic, passionate, and fervent sermons. His most famous sermon was “He’s my King.” Several years ago author and speaker Tony Campolo was so impressed by Lockridge’s lesson on “It’s Friday. But Sunday’s Coming!” that he began to deliver the lesson himself and even wrote a book with that title.
Two years ago we began a Friday column under that heading. Since we have so many new readers I would like to share again a part of that famous sermon by Lockridge. But first a brief explanation. Continue reading
Have you ever felt like everyone was against you?
Your spouse was discontented. Distant. And disengaged. Your kids seemed sullen and angry. Your boss was demanding. Impossible to please. A friend betrayed you. Others turned on you. No one listened. Or understood. Or seemed to care. People who lauded and praised you a few days ago now turn on you with a spiteful venom. Those who hailed you as great now want your hide. Continue reading
The supper has ended. Jesus has washed the disciples feet. He identifies His betrayer. And Judas has left the gathering and gone out into the night.
As they walk from the upper room and journey toward the Gethsemane’s garden, the disciples minds are racing with questions. Their hearts are troubled. There seems to be a sense of foreboding. Jesus, of course, knows their perplexing thoughts. He says, “Let not your hearts be troubled.” Continue reading
Legendary football Coach Lou Holtz was in his first season at Arkansas.
The #6 Razorbacks were playing the #2 Oklahoma Sooners in the 1978 Orange Bowl. Both teams were 10-1, yet Arkansas was an 18-point underdog. But then Holtz suspended three top players for violation of team rules. Now Arkansas was a 24-point underdog!
Following the suspensions, the press was livid. 12 Arkansas players threatened not to play. But Holtz didn’t back down. Continue reading
The Conscience Fund. It’s real. You can check it out. It’s used for voluntary contributions from people who have stolen from or defrauded the US Government. It was created in 1811 when a private citizen sent a check for $5.00 saying he had “misappropriated government funds while serving as a quartermaster in the Army.” He said he felt guilty.
“Suppose we call this a contribution to the conscience fund and get it announced in the newspapers,” suggested Treasury Secretary Francis Spinner. “Perhaps we will get some more.”
In the first twenty years the fund received $250,000. Here are some interesting contributions. Continue reading