Missionary Heroes

We need heroes. Of course, the true hero of our story should always be the Lord Jesus. No earthly hero can do what he did or give what he gave. But there is something to be said for the example of a fellow sinner who has followed the Lord in a way we can emulate.

Paul said, “Imitate me, as I also imitate Christ.” I Cor. 11:1 He served the church of Corinth as an example of a sinner following the Savior. He was a model, an example- a hero if you will- for other Christians to follow. He reminded them to follow him only as he followed Jesus. But he showed them how it was done in the real world by a real sinner who was following a real Savior.

Career missionaries serve as models for Christians back home. They might not like the tag “hero” but Continue reading

Five Things You Can Do When Your Child Messes Up

From my sweet wife!

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It is inevitable, you know.  Those precious babies melt your heart and then… one day, they break it.

DISCLAIMER:  I am an empty-nester, and I was by no means a perfect parent. This isn’t a blog about one of my children or grandchildren.  It is a reflection on the times that my perfectly imperfect children messed up, and the conclusions I have come to as I look back on my years of parenting.

I have four children.  Two boys and two girls, each one very different from the other.  Same DNA from their parents, no drastic differences in their adolescent years, yet distinctively different in personality and perspective of our family unit.  While birth order and gender differences account for some of the distinctions, they also account for some of the shared similarities. (i.e. common memories, shared experiences and even family jokes that only we would understand!)

Two siblings (one…

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The Next IMB President

The president of the International Mission Board (IMB) is, I believe, the most important post in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). With news that David Platt is stepping down, the SBC will be looking for the next person to fill that critical role. More than anything we need to pray for wisdom and to find God’s man for this time. With that said, here are my thoughts on the kind of person we need to lead us.

We need a unifier. Perhaps no agency has the potential to unite the SBC as does the IMB. The mission of reaching the world for Christ requires and ignites unity. We can unite around this mission whether young or old, traditionalist or Calvinist, Alabama or Illinois fan. (There are only 10 of us Illinois fans in the SBC but I just like to put our name in there with Bama!)

The mission is not all that unites us. We are also united by Continue reading

Grumpy Old Men

I’m on my way to becoming an old man. I don’t think I’ve gotten to the “Old Man Stage” yet, but I’ve probably lived a full one-third of my life. (I’m 57. You do the math and see what you think!) Regardless of how long I live, I’m certainly on my way. And it has me thinking about the kind of old man I want to be.

Having known my share of grumpy, contrary and ornery old rascals, I can say with some assurance that their path doesn’t look appealing. In their wake lies a slew of hurt feelings, broken relationships and angry interactions. They don’t like other people. They don’t even like themselves. Their countenance screams, “Get off my lawn!” Unappealing indeed.

On the other hand, I’ve seen some of the sweetest, kindest and most pleasant older men imaginable. I like the looks of their path. They seem to be having a great time despite the difficulties that come with old age. They laugh a lot, have plenty of friends and inspire others. Their countenance beckons, “What can I do for you?”
Continue reading

Teachers Who Connect

Years ago, I was the guest preacher at a small church in another state. Wanting to set a good example, I decided to attend the only adult small group bible study class they had on that Sunday morning. (It was called Sunday School then, but you might call yours a Life group or some other name.) What an eye-opening experience it was for me!

The class was just beginning as I popped in. No one greeted me in any meaningful way. (They didn’t yet know I was the guest preacher!) The teacher did ask my name, though she didn’t bother to find out anything else about me. Class started with the teacher complaining about how similar the lesson was to the lessons from previous weeks. She seemed bored by the subject and disinterested in her class members. With as little enthusiasm as a teenage boy forced to clean his room on a Saturday morning, she taught our class that day.

Class was boring, lifeless and ineffective. It was all I could do to stay awake myself! Class Continue reading

Why I’m Scared to Share My Faith

Though I have shared the gospel message many times, I can still be afraid to share my faith with others. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in that fear. I’ve heard many others express that same anxiety. Here are some reasons we might be afraid to share our faith and what to do Continue reading

When Someone Is Missing at Christmas

Timely word from my sweet wife!

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We’ve all been there.  Holidays that are meant to be joyful family reunions, but are not quite complete because someone is missing.

Maybe that someone is you.  Or a loved one who couldn’t make it home–or one who has found an eternal home.

It’s a mixed bag of emotions.  Wonderful and horrible at the same time. (Again.)  We are excited to see so many of our dear ones, only to be vividly reminded of the ones that aren’t here…

What then, are we to do?

Do we try not to think about it and put our best face forward?  For those of us that have lost loved ones, or for all of the sweet mothers out there longing for their family to be back in the nest, this idea would be nigh to impossible.

So we choose to embrace it.

We have lost loved ones, celebrated Christmas away from…

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