The Faith It Takes to Farm About fifteen years ago, when I lived in a farming community in Mississippi, an older man once quipped that he couldn’t be a row crop farmer if he were not a Christian. I asked him why. He said it was because farming is such a faith venture where you […]Read More Every Christian is a Farmer
The Problem No One AdmitsOf all the issues people have brought to me for counseling, I have never had anyone confess to me the sin of greed or materialism.But if there is one issue that represents a tumor of unbelief that produces spiritual gangrene in the soul, it is an idolatrous dependency on money and possessions […]Read More The Problem Nobody Admits
Is More Money the Solution to My Problems?Other than the kingdom of God, Jesus spoke about money and possessions more than any other topic because he knew that few things have the power to steal joy more than the love of money.But I thought financial abundance was a prerequisite to joy? If only I had […]Read More Transferring Ownership
Lost in the WoodsMike Vilhauer just wanted to catch some fish, but on August 6, 2014, the 58-year-old from Sacramento wandered off the trail into the mountain wilderness to look for grasshoppers he could use as live bait. It took a while, but his journey paid off.Until it didn’t.After collecting a tube-full of little critters, he looked […]Read More When You Feel Lost, Do This.
The Battle of Gettysburg was fought during the first week of July in 1863. If you are familiar with Michael Shaara’s historical novel, The Killer Angels, or have seen the 1993 film Gettysburg, you know that the struggle for Little Round Top was the turning point at Gettysburg, which many historians consider the most pivotal […]Read More Taking the Low Ground
Skid Row My eldest recently moved from the quiet and safety of Lookout Mountain, Tennessee to downtown Chattanooga. After a recent visit to see her new digs, Kristy and I took a back road as a short cut to a restaurant where we were going to meet my daughter and a friend for dinner. It […]Read More My Need for a Good Samaritan
In Luke 7:36–50, Jesus turns over the tables on “pass/fail” religion.In pass/fail religion, the world is divided between those who are passing and those who are failing. In other words, good people pass and bad people fail. In this system, good people deserve to be rewarded with a good life while bad people deserve to receive coal and ashes.This is how the […]Read More Turning the Tables on Pass/Fail Religion
Quick Navigation But what does it mean to be saved? Saved from what?Cosmic TreasonThe Gospel of Luke 7:1–10Three Essential Factors1. Making a Confession of Total Inability2. Taking a Posture of Genuine Humility3. Believing the Declaration of Jesus I’m not sure when the tradition began, but years ago I brought a small white book to the dinner […]Read More The Most Important Question a Human Can Ask
Quick Navigation The Word of the Year1) The Danger of Doing2) The Danger of Hypocrisy3) The Danger of DeceptionThree Ways Out of Religious Traditionalism(1) Allow Isaiah 29:13 to x-ray my soul.(2) Identify the traditions I treat as the basis for God’s approval.(3) Believe that Jesus was defiled for me. The Word of the YearSince 2003, […]Read More 3 Dangers of Religious Traditionalism (and How to Avoid Them)
I never suffered with allergies until I moved to Georgia. Along with the beauty of the mountains, there is something in the air, some strain of pollen or grass that triggers a river to begin flowing within my sinuses. My throat gets sore. My eyes itch. My head aches. Eventually, when I just couldn’t take it […]Read More Am I Sick Enough to Need Jesus?
Quick Navigation Pace CarsElders Show Us How to CareElders Show Us How to ServeElders Show us How to Lead”Will You Give Your Blood?” Pace CarsThe first use of a pace car in automobile racing took place in 1911 at the inaugural Indy 500.A pace car is designed to do just what it says—it sets the […]Read More 3 Ways Elders are Pacesetters
Quick Navigation Introduction: Why the brackets?The question: What does a sinner need to hear in the aftermath of a moral train wreck?1. A WOMAN2. THE ACCUSERS 3. A CHALLENGE4. THE VERDICTNotice the order of the verdict. A 3-Part TestimonyFive WordsAm I willing to give another sinner the gift of those five words? The text for […]Read More What does a sinner need to hear after a moral train wreck?
The Alarmy app for the iPhone has changed my life.The genius of this alarm is that, in order for the wake tone to be disarmed, I have to grab my phone, get out of bed, walk into the bathroom, and take a photo of my sink faucet. Taking that photo turns off the alarm.Since the […]Read More What Will It Take to Make Me a Missionary?
In his book, The Jesus I Never Knew, Author Philip Yancey shares a heartbreaking story about a woman living on the streets of Chicago who was “renting” her two-year-old daughter to sexually perverted men in order to support her drug addiction.The story was related by a friend of Yancey’s who worked with the down and […]Read More Why do sinners not flock to the church the way they ran to Jesus?
Anyone who applies for admission to a university knows that there are entrance requirements. Typically, you have to have an accredited high school diploma. There is often a standardized test minimum score requirement. Sometimes, essays are required as well as participation in extracurricular activities and community service.In this post, we are going to talk about […]Read More What is the Fundamental Entrance Requirement for Membership in the Kingdom of God?
Table of Contents Introduction – The Lake Zwerner Spillway1. A HEALTHY CHURCH EMPHASIZES THE BASICS OF SPIRITUAL GROWTH.A Simple DietWhat does this mean for us?What about TV, Internet, Podcasts and Books?Key Take-Away2. A HEALTHY CHURCH EXPECTS THE MIRACULOUS.The Presence of the Holy SpiritModern-Day Miracles3. A HEALTHY CHURCH DEMONSTRATES UNCOMMON GENEROSITY.Gospel GivingWhat is the church known […]Read More 4 Factors that Contribute to Healthy Church Growth
Quick Navigation Introduction – Our MoveA Partnership Saying GoodbyeA Dandelion of Grace1. THE PROBLEMS WITH SENDING Fear of the UnknownFeelings of Loss and Heartache2. THE PURPOSE OF SENDINGSending = ExtendingA Lesson from Biology3. THE PLACES FOR SENDINGA New PerspectiveWe All Have Been SentGospel conclusion – William Borden Three Famous PhrasesSending Requires Receiving Introduction – Our MoveWhen […]Read More Dandelions of Grace: 3 Perspectives on “Sending”
Table of Contents Introduction. 1. Hold Expectations LooselyAn Example from the World of TennisHow can I know?But the deeper issue is why. 2. Trust God CompletelyTandem Sky-DivingLife as a Path. A Journey. A Story.Implications of Trusting What Our Children Need3. Engage Opportunities WholeheartedlyGod’s TimingClosing Time is in 15 Minutes!Present Moments, Opens DoorsWhat if… Conclusion. Inconvenient, but not RandomSeeing […]Read More Planning in Pencil: A 3-Part Plan for Flexing with God’s Providence
Table of Contents Introduction. 1. ACKNOWLEDGE MY WEARINESS Mothers with Young ChildrenMothers with Older Children2. RECEIVE GOD’S RESTWearing a Yoke Understanding a Formula3. RESPOND TO JESUS’S INVITATIONThe surface burdensThe core burdenConclusion. Introduction. A couple of weeks ago Kristy, Sarah Wynn and I drove up to Chattanooga to help our eldest move into a new house for […]Read More A 3-Part Process for Facing Fatigue: A Message for Tired Mamas (and Anyone Who is Exhausted)
Quick Navigation Introduction – 1 Corinthians 15:50-571. The Certainty of Resurrection (vv. 50-52)2. The Glory of Transformation (v. 53)3. The Security of Redemption (vv. 54-57)Conclusion/Gospel focus. Introduction – 1 Corinthians 15:50-57You have heard it said that the only things that are certain in this life are death and taxes. I trust that most of […]Read More How Can We Face Death with Hopeful Joy?