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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Smyrna: A Fragrant Offering Before the Lord

     While I've been away from my blog, I have been pursuing a bachelors in Biblical and Theological Studies.  As part of my work recently, we've been discussing the letters to the angels of the seven churches in the book of Revelation.  During a discussion board one of my classmates chose to discuss the church of Smyrna and below you will find an edited version of my reply.  I share this with the hope to do two things.  First, I hope to make you think about what true persecution looks like as I recently had a classmate refer to having their faith questioned as a matter of persecution.  Sadly, I believe that many who say they have a saving faith in Christ relate many petty things to an "environment of persecution" they feel they are under.... when, in truth, there is no such "environment" around them.  Secondly, I hope to encourage those who truly are undergoing persecution for their faith that the opposite of what the persecutors want will happen.

Smyrna, the persecuted church, is likely one that many today do not want to take a closer look at even though they received praise with no rebuke from Christ.  I think this has everything to do with the idea of persecution.  I believe a quote that would be useful in application to the church of Smyrna compared to today’s church is in the book, "The Book of Revelation Unlocking the Future."  Hindson, the author, said, “It is difficult, if not impossible, for most modern Christians to comprehend what it must be like to risk all you have for Christ.  Most of us struggle with concerns about public embarrassment or social rejection.  We know little or nothing about laying down our lives for the gospel.”[1]  This statement clearly speaks to our current struggle in the church today.

In reference to persecution, it occurred to me how perfect the name Smyrna was for the town/church.  According to Hindson, “Ancient Smyrna was named for a perfume

Monday, January 9, 2017

Integrity, Faith and the Word of God

Integrity - It means honesty, truthfulness, honor, veracity, reliability…basic uprightness…etc.  Do we as Christians understand what integrity means in regards to the Word of God?  

I believe the answer is no.

I’ve spent the last year in deep study of the word of God in pursuit of my degrees and the one thing that I keep coming across within Christian circles is a lack of integrity when it comes to the Word of God.  

Don’t misunderstand…it’s not a lack of integrity with the Bible.  Its integrity is intact.  No, I’m talking about the very people whose responsibility to the Word of God shows a lack of integrity not only in how they conduct themselves but more so in how they represent Him and specifically His word.

The Word of God IS GOD’s WORD.

It is infallible.  It is unbreakable.  It is unstoppable.


Is this how the church has been representing the Word of God?  Is this how you as a pastor or layman in the church has been representing the Word of God? 


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Are You Being Asked to Make Changes? To Step Out in Faith?

     Have you ever thought what it must have been like for Abram when God spoke to him and told him to leave all he knew and go to a land that God would show him? 

     God told him to leave his father's household, his people and even his country.  God wanted to bless him and through him bless the whole world but to do so it was necessary that he be separated from all he was familiar with.

     Abram was to be breathed on by God and in the process not only would his name be changed but his destiny would be also.

     We kind of gloss over this part of his story and tend to go straight to what a man of faith he was to take his son up on a mountain and prepare to sacrifice him but his faith didn't start there.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Spiritual Blindness: From the Pulpit to the Pew

Anyone that has paid attention in the last 30 years has heard or seen the issues that have made headlines in regards to pastors and their pulpits.  It seems we can't get through a few years without a man or women in places of leadership doing something that dishonors Christ's name.  Books have even been written explaining the pastoral culture issues, the symptoms and giving solutions.  I'll refer to one below and then we'll see how this is really an "everybody problem."

Paul Tripp, in his book Dangerous Calling Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry, says we have some major problems.
  • Pastors are letting their ministry define their identity
  • Pastors are letting their Biblical literacy and theological knowledge define their maturity
  • Pastors are confusing their ministry success with God's endorsement of their lifestyle

 So what are we seeing because of this?

Well, according to Tripp it's :

spiritual blindness, 
theological self-righteousness, 
dysfunctional personal relationships to the word of God, 
lack of personal gospel neediness, 
impatience with others, 
wrong perspectives on ministry, 
and no living communion with Christ.

So why are we seeing this in pastors?

According to Tripp, it's happening because:
  • Pastors are ignoring clear evidence of problems
  • Pastors are blind to issues of their own hearts
  • Pastors ministries are lacking in devotion
  • Pastors are not preaching the gospel to themselves
  • Pastors are not listening to the people closest to them
  • Pastors are living in silence with their own sinfulness

BUT... these are not just issues with pastors.  
These issues go from the pulpit to the pew!

Friday, February 5, 2016

3 Spring Cleaning Ideas To Help Your Blogging

Clutter has a negative effect.   You may not realize it but some of your clutter may be negatively effecting your blogging. 

Here are some places to deal with clutter:

  • Email 
  • Facebook  
  • Blogging space. 

As bloggers we deal with emails on a regular basis.  Over time we can begin to let things slide and end up having a bigger mountain than we desire to deal with.  If you use Facebook the clutter there can hinder your productivity and suck precious time with parasitic time wasters.  Your "Blogging Space" is an important space whether it's a desk in a separate room, a table in the family dining room, a spot on the living room couch or even a little corner closet.  As you organize your thoughts for the post(s) you're writing it's highly beneficial that you have some organization to your space too.

Spring Clean your Email
Over the years of blogging you have probably subscribed to a number of sites that you no longer pay attention to.  Take some time to revisit the newsletters and posts evaluating their value to you at this time.  Purge anything that is just taking up space.  

Remember all those sites,

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