“Peace on earth.”
I love that message from the angels to those shepherds on the first Christmas night. It points to the ultimate reconciliation man can have with God and others. It points to the Reconciler who is the only hope for peace in this sin-torn world.
But, peace isn’t fully realized in our world yet. And, we see it every Christmas. Christmas is a wonderful time of year. But it can also be a time of stress and pain and frustration.
I’ve noticed what I suspect many others have noticed. There are a lot of complaints at Christmas. Pastors notice people complaining about small things at Christmas time more than usual. Families see the fussing and fighting at higher levels. Couples often battle more frequently.
Here are three reasons people may complain more Continue reading
Ministry leaders need some task orientation. We have things to do and jobs to accomplish. While our activity comes out of who we are (see my previous blog on “12 Things Every Ministry Leader Needs to Be”), ministry certainly involves action.
But action without direction leads to frustration. So what are we to be doing as ministry leaders? Here are my thoughts on 12 things every ministry leader- regardless of the specifics of the ministry- needs to do. Continue reading
God cares about who you are, not just what you do. Before thinking of what we need to do, let’s think about what we need to be. Our “doing” should come out of our “being“. So, if you lead in ministry in any way, here are things you need to be. And, remember, what we do is always a result of who we are.
12 Things Every Ministry Leader Needs to Be- Continue reading
Christian parents, are you looking for some easy suggestions on how to help your children grow up to be heathens? Interested in helping them slide down the path to moral relativism and depravity? Needing some helpful tips on ways to lead them to be lukewarm Christians at best? You have come to the right place! Here are some simple tips on how to teach your children not to follow Christ.
1. Skip church at the drop of a hat. Make sports and other activities more important than worshipping the Almighty. Attend church only if it is convenient. Let them stay at home on Sunday mornings because they are “sick” but then attend events on Sunday afternoons. Never ask them to bother to plan ahead or set an alarm or anything else so dreadful. Don’t let your family dream of attending church if the weather is bad or good- or might be bad or good. If they attend church each week they might learn about God’s plans and actually begin to follow him. Bonus points if you talk about church attendance as “legalism”.
2. Never read the bible or pray with them. You don’t want to risk your kids thinking bible study and prayer is important so don’t ever do it with them. Remind yourself that spiritual matters are “personal”. Tell yourself Continue reading
One of the greatest hindrances to revival is pride.
Pride suggests we don’t need revival and, outside of extraordinary circumstances, don’t much need God. We can run our own lives, thank you, and we will contact God if, and when, we need him.
But humility has a very different view- one that much more clearly sees the truth. We are weak in our own strength and need the Lord desperately. The bible tells us, “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that he may exalt you at the proper time.” (1 Peter 5:5-6)
One of the results of a humble heart is an ability to experience a deepened connection with God through revival. And, conversely, revival always results in a deepened humility. Humility and revival are intricately connected.
Here are five reasons why we need humility if we are to see revival.
1. Humility knows man’s need. Revival comes to those who Continue reading
Revival only comes in conjunction with deep, open and honest confession of sin.
All the great revivals of scripture and history involve God’s people acknowledging the truth of their wrongdoing. It is both the catalyst and the result of a genuine spiritual awakening.
Recognition of sin leads us to see our need for God. Seeing God’s holiness causes us to recognize our own sinfulness. Confession and repentance are indispensable ingredients to any close connection to the Lord.
But therein lies the problem. It is hard to be honest– gut-level, soul-searching, truth-telling honest. We struggle to be honest with God and even with ourselves. Here are some hard truths that can help you see your need to confess, repent and draw closer to God.
1. Sin is your own fault. Your sin is not the fault of Continue reading