I recently baptized a young Air Force pilot. His wife gave her life to Christ many years ago. But he felt that he was self-sufficient. He didn’t need God. If others did, that was fine. He didn’t need anything else. He was smart, successful and talented. He would be just fine without giving control of his life over to God.
His wife prayed for him often. She even persuaded him to join her in worship on occasion. Their son attended our Christian school and he trusted Christ as his savior. He was baptized in our church. But dad, well, he just didn’t need God in his life.
And then, one Sunday, God just broke through the stubbornness. God showed him Continue reading
Posted in Christianity, evangelism, faith, military, Uncategorized
Tagged Air Force, Christian, christian book, Christianity, church, devotional book, Evangelism, faith, God, Jesus, Religion and Spirituality, sermons, witnessing
If you have been criticized lately I offer these thoughts.
1. Recognize the inevitability. Everyone gets criticized. I once heard someone criticize the preaching of Adrian Rogers. Really? Adrian Rogers? Adrian was a spectacular preacher- the right mix of passion and logic, interest and depth, with a voice like the mighty waters of Lake Huron. (I’ve never actually heard the voice of Lake Huron, but if I ever do, I expect it to sound like Adrian Rogers.) If someone criticized his preaching, I’m sure they will find ample opportunities to criticize mine. Ample. People in every profession and situation of life get criticized. It is part of being an imperfect person living among imperfect people.
2. Consider the source. If a mean person criticizes you, it might be because he is mean. If an angry person criticizes you, it might be because she is angry. My wife loves me. If she criticizes me, Continue reading
Posted in Christianity, encouragement, Uncategorized
Tagged Adrian Rogers, bible, Blessing, Christian, Christianity, criticism, critics, encouragement, faith, God, Jesus, preaching, Religion and Spirituality
I humbly offer the following for your consideration-
“I’m a man on a mission. We recently packed the kids into the family van and headed off for vacation spots. No phones, no meetings, just relaxation. However, I forgot to tell that to my brain.
I get mission-oriented, even on vacation. We have to rush to get to the next place. ‘No dawdling allowed,’ I tell my family. ‘After all, we’re on vacation! We’ve got to hurry to get there. And Continue reading
I love that the church where I am pastor (FBC O’Fallon, IL) is near Scott Air Force base. We have hundreds of military folks in our church and it is a great blessing. It will be 19 years this summer since I came and I’ve learned some things about the military folks. (I am a slow learner.) Here are some things I’ve learned about ministry with the military community.
1. Military types move. A lot. To lots of places. It isn’t unusual for me to meet a new family moving in from Guam while saying goodbye to another moving to Germany. Some move in saying “I’m only here for three years so I’m jumping into the church with both feet.” They look immediately for opportunities to serve and connect. I love that! Others say, “I’m only here for three years so I’m not going to get involved.” The smart aleck in me responds with, “How long will you be here if you do get involved?”
Military families learn how to deal with new circumstances and environments. The children of military parents learn to make friends and adjust to new things. Their moves make them interesting to us civilians. They have seen places we haven’t and enjoyed experiences foreign to us. We are impressed with the variety of their experiences.
They are so interesting. But, they leave us. And, if we aren’t careful, we guard our hearts against the pain of their departures. I remind our church often that we must be willing to love each other- military and civilian- even though our hearts are broken when we part. Love is worth the pain.
2. Military types deploy. Continue reading
I trust the bible. I believe it to be true and correct and right. I don’t strain out the concepts of inerrancy and infallibility. Here are a few reasons why.
1. I know the Author. The bible makes a bold claim to be authored by God. We can say the bible is authored by men under the supernatural guidance of God. I believe that. God used men, but He is the ultimate author. And the closer I am to Him, the more I recognize His word. I hear His voice as I read His word. When my wife calls me I know it is her. I know her voice. (And, I have caller ID.) The closer I am to God, the better I recognize His voice.
2. It stands the test of scholarship. Continue reading