Category Archives: encouragement

Not Obscure to Him

I’m finishing preaching a series of messages through the book of Colossians. What a great book of the bible! The last chapter tells the names of many who are obscure to all but the most ardent of bible scholars. There are mentions of people like Tychicus and Aristarchus and even the only mention of a man named Jesus who is called Justus. (Talk about a tough name to live up to!)

These verses, and other places with similar lists, remind us that the bible is filled with the names of people who are not so well-known. You may know about Paul and David and Moses, but perhaps not about Benaiah or Epaphras or Ehud the left-handed Benjaminite. Those names Continue reading

Pastors Need Friends

Pastors struggle to have deep and meaningful friendships. Note the words “deep and meaningful”. Most pastors would say they have lots of friends but often they are more shallow than deep and more superficial than meaningful. There are reasons for that. Deeper friendships can be betrayed. Deeper friendships take effort. Deeper friendships can cause jealousy. Lots of reasons.
I recently finished a Continue reading

Encouraging the Southern Baptist Convention, part 1

A series of seven blogs on the Southern Baptist Convention? I’m not sure many will read one and I’m doing seven? Well, hope springs eternal in the blogger’s heart. These are seven areas or people that I think need some special attention and encouragement in the years ahead- seven areas that I want to encourage especially.

#1.  I want to encourage Cooperative Mission and support for the Cooperative Program.

I love missions of all sort. I’m not against societal missions in any way. But I do think our denomination’s method of cooperative missions with the International Mission Board has a special brilliance. Missionary Continue reading

In Praise of Encouragers

Encouragement is one of the most beautiful gifts we can receive. A kind word, a helping hand, a warm smile, an appreciative hug– these things are the currency of encouragement. And this currency is never devalued.
I officiated the funeral of a great encourager recently. In more than twenty years of being his pastor he encouraged me countless times without a single hint of discouragement. Amazing.
I cannot tell you how grateful I am for that wonderful gift. In a day when snark Continue reading

A Dying Man

Recently, a man with a terminal disease came to speak with me about his funeral. That is a sobering conversation to have. While we don’t know how long he has left in this life (does anyone really?) it reminded me of some important things.
– We are all dying. This is the land of the dying. I look forward to going to the land of the living one day. But this is not that place.
-Life is fleeting. Time goes forward, never backwards. Young men become old men quickly. We never get to relive it.
-Big things need to be big. At the end of life we tend to think of family and love and joy and faith. Smaller things don’t seem that important from that perspective.
-Faith matters. This man gave his life to Christ just a Continue reading

What Pastors Need

The world of pastors and other vocational ministers is a different world. It can be wonderful, fulfilling, frustrating and discouraging all in the same day. It is fantastic because we get to work with people and it can be challenging because… well, because we get to work with people.
The majority of ministers do it because they believe God has called them to this important task. They want to make a difference in this world and in eternity. They care about people and love the message of the gospel. Their motivation, if they are what they need to be, is to honor the Lord, teach His word and help others to join them in following Jesus.
But, like all people, they have needs. Let me mention four things pastors need from their churches.
1. They need Continue reading

It Just Takes One

“There is joy in the presence of God’s angels over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:10
Just one salvation is all it take to bring joy to heaven.
Some think of people like pennies–there are lots of them and they aren’t worth much individually. God thinks of them like diamonds–each is unique and of tremendous value.
Our focal verse nestles in the middle of three parables told by Jesus The first tells of a lost sheep, the second of a lost coin, and the third of a lost son. Each tells the same message. There is great rejoicing over Continue reading