Category Archives: faith

Less Whining, More Praying

It is a simple goal boiled down to a sound bite. Simple, but profound. “Less whining, more praying.”

I want my future to have less and more. I want less whining, less complaining and less caterwauling. I want less grumpiness, irritability and fussiness. But, I want my future to have more and more of one thing: prayer.

Here are three reasons to join me in this goal.

Praying is more Christlike than whining. We are not very Christlike when we whine. Complaining is not a spiritual gift. (I just checked again. It isn’t in the list of spiritual gifts. Really, I checked this quite thoroughly!) Continue reading

The Best And Worst of Christmas

My favorite opening line to a novel is “It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.” (Followed closely by, “It was a dark and stormy night.”) Christmas can be the best and worst of times.

We see the greatest examples of generosity at Christmas and terrible, soul-stifling stinginess.

We see acts of forgiveness and deeply rooted bitterness at slights of years gone by.

Christmastime leads to great joy and happiness and fits of road rage and public meltdowns.

Many people celebrate 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

Bad Ideas for Church Advertising

While in another country, I saw ads painted on the sides of homes and buildings. It was a way for the home or business owner to make some extra income. So, I started thinking about churches. They have big walls and could use extra income. What if they used those walls for advertising? The ideas are endless- and bad ideas abundant. Here are some of those bad ideas for church wall advertising.

– Rogaine. It works for Pastor Bob.

– Dr. Pepper. The preferred soft drink for non-heretics.

– Youth Pastor Jimmy recommends Continue reading

Connected by Faith

The church where I was saved many years ago just bought 500 copies of my devotional book “Immersed: 40 Days to a Deeper Faith”. They are going to use it for a church wide series beginning the week after Easter. Many churches have used the book that way now, but there is a special connection you have with the church where you gave your life to Christ.

I trusted Christ as my Savior and Lord in the old worship center at Continue reading

Love the Church?

Different people view the church very differently. Our views are affected by our history, our problems, our preferences, our inclinations and- at our best- by our theology.
The church, of course, is not the building. I really appreciate the building God allows my church to use. It is helpful and it has come at great sacrifice. We use it well at FBC O’Fallon where I am pastor. There are large numbers of people using our church building in some way almost every day. I love that.
But I’m not talking about the church building here. I’m talking about the church. You know, that messy conglomeration of believers that gather together to glorify the Lord through our worship and discipleship, our ministry and our fellowship and through our missions and evangelism. I’m talking about the local church of gathered believers and the more general sense of the church- believers all over the world who gather in their own local expressions of the church.
There are at least 5 different views of the church I see.
1. Some hate the church. I don’t believe a Christ-follower can hate the church. After all, Christ is the one who formed it and is the foundation of the church. But many in our world hate the things of God and, therefore, hate the institution God founded.
2. Some dislike the church. They were Continue reading