Do you read for the fun? Is that even a statement that you hear very often?
Some are seasoned readers who would say, “Reading is always fun!” I am not there. Reading is enjoyable (most of the time) but my problem is not enjoying reading, it is finding the time to read.
As a pastor, reading should be high on the list of things to do. I should always be challenging myself to learn more in theology, studying for messages, church life, christian living, etc. There are books I have to read, books I should read, and books that I want to read, but I don’t have the time at this moment to get to. I love receiving recommended books to read but those go to a long list of books that I may get to, one day.
To be honest, not everything I read is fun. The process of learning and being challenged is good but I don’t know if I would categorize it as always fun. There are times that I am really challenged with a book, and that’s not fun at times. Reading books that may convict me of sin and pointing me to the grace of God would not be considered always fun but needed. Continue reading
What are you pursuing? Today, it seems easier more than ever for ordinary people to become famous because of technology. The ability to communicate with the masses is right at our fingertips. Even as I write this blog, it is public for the world to see (not that they will). Just like anything we do, more than ever, we must ask ourselves what is the motive behind what we do. There are tips and tricks on how to grow a following. There are the do’s and don’ts on how to gain momentum. Personally, I struggle with this. I stagger back and forth to pursue being known and reminding myself what Scripture says.
There is an issue that seems to rear its ugly head in the American Evangelical world, and that is the rise of the celebrity pastor. This post is not to point out those who may fit that definition, but I pose a question. What does the Bible say about this? We are at a crossroads with technology by being able to use it in a positive way or dangerously with the promotion of self. This is nothing new to life, it is just clothed differently in a different decade with a different tool.
We see in the Bible that we are are called to confess our sin. For example, John tells us, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous (just) to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).” We are called to confess and repent form sin and it is crucial that we do it (Mark 1:15).
Who are we confessing our sin to? In this passage, John is directing the reader to confess their sin to God as he is the one who forgives. God is the only one who forgives and He freely forgives because of Jesus did for us through his death and resurrection (1 Timothy 1:15). Continue reading
I just hit my mid thirties this year! Though I am not a Senior Pastor at the church I serve at, I realized that being in a sedentary job was catching up to me. As a kid I was always skinny or fit. I played sports. I could eat whatever I wanted and it didn’t matter. Things changed in my twenties when I wasn’t as active but still ate whatever I wanted. After having some different health challenges that took place in my early thirties I know I needed to change but why? It goes beyond what the mirror revealed when I looked at it.
An estimated 103.4 million people watched the 2018 Super Bowl take place which revealed the prominence it has in many homes throughout America. This is a staggering amount of people all watching the same thing around the same time, yet I hate to break it to you; this is still not the greatest thing, even since sliced bread. The greatest event that has taken place throughout history took place over 2,000 years ago when Jesus Christ, who suffered and died, though he did nothing deserving of death, conquered the enemies of death and sin by rising again to life. Why? He did it for us. “For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV). Continue reading
Yesterday marked the start of Passion week for Christians around the world with it being Palm Sunday. Every year, I try to direct my family on what did the last week of Jesus’ life look like? How can we look through the Gospels and see how he spent his week leading up to his death and crucifixion and ending with his resurrection? As a Christian parent we put the emphasis on what Easter is all about, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. A good resource that I keep going back to is The Final Days of Jesus by Andreas J. Kostenberger and Justin Taylor. Continue reading
This past weekend, a goal of mine was accomplished by being able to have a parenting conference for our church. It took years of thinking and praying and wrong times to finally pick a date and stick to it. Here is what I learned through the process that could maybe help those out there that are planning on doing something similar at their church.
Child-care is important!
I knew the audience was parents and many who signed up for the conference had younger children who were unable to watch themselves. We knew planning this that child care was important but let me tell you, it was hard to get volunteers for it!
It was hard to find adults who were either not parents themselves who could benefit from the conference or were willing to miss it.
I have some friends who were part of their school’s cross-country team. The importance of the long race is not just how one starts, but how they maintain their endurance through the whole race. The same is true for us as Christians. The book of Hebrews encourages the Christian to run with endurance the race that is set before them by looking to Jesus, who is the founder and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:1–2). Continue reading
In chapter three in of Nehemiah, at first glance you we read about a unique situation, Israel was working together to rebuild the wall. This task was not small as the perimeter around the city of Jerusalem consisted of almost 2 ½ miles of destroyed wall with multiple gates that needed to be rebuilt. You see the systematic approach to the rebuilding as the narrative goes from the northern part of the wall, to the western side, and to the eastern.
What is unique was not just the rebuilding of this broken-down wall but all who helped with the rebuild. There is a phrase that is written several times in this chapter, “Next to him.” It required many people working side by side to accomplish this big project. Continue reading
One could assume the priority of studying church history for the Christian today is low on the list of importance for many. I agree with the great preacher, Martin Lloyd Jones who said, “My contention is that the Christian should learn from history, that because he is a Christian it is his duty to do so, and he must rouse himself to do so.” Church history should be high on the list alongside theology because it all points to God. To some, history is history, so what’s the point? I would disagree and argue that the Christian can gain so much by understanding the past. Here are four reasons for studying church history. Continue reading