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
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Tagged Baptist, bible, bible study, book, Christian, christian book, Christianity, church, devotional, devotional book, discipleship, Evangelism, faith, God, Jesus, local church, Religion and Spirituality, southern baptist convention, spiritual growth
“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
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Tagged bible, bible study, christian book, Christianity, Evangelism, faith, God, Jesus, Religion and Spirituality, spiritual growth, witnessing
Books can have a deep connection with us. I love my connection with books and authors that have been meaningful in my life.
I recently preached in Atlanta in a church that had used my book “Immersed: 40 Days to a Deeper Faith” church-wide. Most of them had read each chapter of the book for 40 straight days, discussed it in their small groups and there was even a sermon series connected to it.
Because of that, we had a special connection- an ‘Immersed connection’. Men and women, teenagers, even some kids Continue reading
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Tagged bible study, book, Christian, christian book, Christianity, devotional, devotional book, discipleship, faith, God, Jesus, new book, relationship with god, Religion and Spirituality
“The healthy way to deal with God’s repentance call is to take personal responsibility. I’m not responsible for the wrongs of others, but I am responsible for my own choices and decisions.
I love playing basketball with Milton. For the past many years, Milton and I have played together. We’ve been on the same team in our church league basketball and shared many pick-up games. And we have gotten older and older.
Milton, like me does not want to lose. This former college basketball player knows what he is doing on the court and he plays to win. But, as our ages continue to increase Continue reading
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Tagged bible, book, Christ, Christian, christian book, Christianity, God, Jesus, personal responsibility, relationship with god, Religion and Spirituality, repentance, responsibility
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
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Tagged Air Force, Christian, christian book, Christianity, church, devotional book, Evangelism, faith, God, Jesus, Religion and Spirituality, sermons, witnessing
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 still remember my first time jumping off the high dive.
In the summertime I spent a lot of afternoons at the community pool in my small town. Most of my time was spent in the shallow end, splashing and playing with my brothers and friends. I watched other kids jumping off the diving boards at the deep end of the pool. It seemed fun and exciting, but too scary for me.
As the summer progressed, I thought more and more about what it would be like to overcome my fears and worries and plunge into the deep, blue water of the deep end. I even walked by that area of the pool a few times to calculate the possibilities. The deep water was so inviting, yet I was so frightened to plunge in.
Finally, I could take it no longer. Continue reading
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Tagged book, Christ, christian book, church, devotional, devotional book, discipleship, faith, God, Jesus, spiritual growth
Maybe you have asked God that question. It is commonly asked of the Lord, I suspect. “Why is this happening to me?” we cry out to God. But why do we ask that question only when facing problems? Why don’t we ask that question when we are blessed? Isn’t it just as legitimate to ask the question “why?” when good things happen to us as when bad things happen? Continue reading
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Tagged Blessing, book, christian book, Christianity, church, God, local church, Lord, Prayer, Religion and Spirituality
Our church just started a new sermon series called “Immersed: 40 Days to a Deeper Faith”. We are using the devotional book I wrote by the same title in conjunction with it. The idea is to read a devotional each day for 40 days and the 2 chapters of the bible each day as it suggests. By the end of the 40 days we will have read the books of John, Acts and Proverbs.
Christians often look for a mountaintop experience- and I like mountaintops. But less often do believers buckle down to the harder work of consistent bible study, prayer and reflection. May I put in a good word for consistency?
There is something beneficial in a steady, long walk with God. Wonderful experiences are, well, wonderful. Emotional experiences have some merit. But a consistent walk day by day is not to be overlooked or discounted. In fact, I suggest that some of the greatest gains of discipleship are made in the consistency of a devotional life each day.
Feelings come and go; rise and fall. Emotional responses can be worked up or worked out. But a consistent walk with the Lord will get you somewhere. It will get you closer, deeper and stronger.
And that is a good destination.
Posted in books, Christianity, Church, discipleship, faith, Uncategorized
Tagged bible, bible study, christian book, Christianity, devotional book, discipleship, faith, Immersed
I make a big deal out of small groups (we call our Sunday School classes LIFE groups) at FBC O’Fallon, IL. Why would I even care since I’m not preaching in those classes? (Insert your own sermon joke punch line.) Here are 3 important reasons why Christians should be in a small group in their church.
1. For Connection. People are like legos- made for connection. Small groups allow people to get connected on more personal levels. You need that connection- even you computer nerds who are socially awkward! And, more importantly, other people need you. Small groups allow us to know each other’s names and favorite ice cream flavors.
2. For Information. I don’t let people ask questions during the sermon. I probably wouldn’t know the answer anyway! But discussions can happen in small groups. We can sharpen each other and think together. It is a great way to learn and study and grow. Attend a small group bible study long enough and you will probably know much more about the bible than you do now. And that is a good thing.
3. For inspiration. Okay, I can’t relate to the pastor. He’s kind of weird anyway. But I can sure relate to that guy in the class who is struggling to live out his faith in a hostile work environment. I can relate to the lady who wants to shine the light of Christ in her life even though she has a suspicious spot on the x-ray. Those people inspire me- and I hope I can inspire them!
I love small groups enough that Vickie and I are going to teach a LIFE group on Saturday nights for the 7 weeks our church goes through the “Immersed: 40 Days to a Deeper Faith” study beginning this weekend- even though I already preach my sermon 4 times each weekend.
Small groups or bust!
Posted in books, Christianity, Church, discipleship, faith, preaching, small groups, Sunday School, Uncategorized
Tagged bible, christian book, Christianity, church, devotion, discipleship, God, local church, relationship with god, scripture, small groups, Sunday School, worship attendance