By Johnny O. Trail — One radio station in Nashville does nothing but talk radio. As an avid listener to talk radio, I am always interested in the questions and comments of those who call in to the radio station. On one show in particular, the host deals with e-mails that are sent in by listeners. Last week, one e-mail in particular caught my attention. The lady who sent the e-mail asked the host, “How do I choose a church?”
The host then gave her some suggestions for finding a church to suit her needs. He proceeded to tell her to look at churches as communities and that she simply needed to find one that had people who most met her needs for friendship. Continue reading “How do I choose a church?”
As James looked out over the congregations of his day, did he perceive the need to address a particular problem? Commentators generally regard his original readers as being largely poor Jewish Christians. However, might there be more? Continue reading “A background for James?”
The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein (Psalm 24:1 ESV).
Everything belongs to God. If everything truly belongs to God then nothing truly belongs to us. While we may be in possession of many things, we are owners of none. Instead we are stewards.
A steward is “a person who manages another’s property or financial affairs; one who administers anything as the agent of another.” Continue reading “Stewards of God’s gifts”
Most people like to analyze things, take things apart, separate into individual components. It’s done even with the inner being: mind, emotions, will. It’s good to distinguish among them. The Bible does it as well, so we’re on safe ground.
At the same time, synthesis is needed.
Let us not be like the do-it-yourselfer, who after reassembling what he has dismounted, has parts and screws left over. Let us have wholeness and be complete persons, whose whole being is devoted to the Lord, whose souls are transformed (repaired) by the Spirit of God. Continue reading “Seek God with your whole being”
While teaching in the temple, Jesus said something that probably interested the Pharisees and Scribes who were likely there. Jesus asked, “How was it that the experts in the law said Christ is David’s son?”
Jesus was not trying to show that he was better than David. He was trying to show his listeners the Messiah was greater than David. How could that be since he descended from David? The answer is because the Messiah is divine, not human. Continue reading “Jesus the Messiah”
Power corrupts. We all know this in the world of mankind, but it’s also true in the garden. Some plant species are just too strong and vigorous to be grown beside the weaker. They become “garden thugs,” and they take over.
This has been painfully obvious to us in the last few weeks, after a deadly storm blew through our town. We all learned a new vocabulary word; “Derecho.” This weather system is as powerful as a tornado, but doesn’t last as long. The derecho rearranged our back yard as it took down a 20-year-old peach tree that shaded much of the eastern property line. Continue reading “Might isn’t right”
“Do not eat the bread of a miser, nor desire his delicacies; for as he thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:6-7, NKJV)
It is frequently stated that the figures of speech used in Biblical times regarding body parts may be relocated one organ higher for today’s audiences. Emotions were thought then to originate in the bowels or intestines, and thought or reason were properties of the heart. Today we feel emotionally with our hearts and think or reason in our minds. Continue reading “Who am I? Thoughts are the true measure”
The writing of the prophet Isaiah has been referred to as the “fifth gospel” because of the many references and descriptions of the Messiah. His coming is described in this way: “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; a light has dawned on those living in the land of darkness” (Isaiah 9:2 CSB). His kingdom is describes as one of peace and justice.
“For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and the government will be on his shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. The dominion will be vast, and its prosperity will never end. He will reign on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish and sustain it with justice and righteousness from now on and forever. The zeal of the Lord of Armies will accomplish this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7)
Continue reading “The Messiah’s peaceful kingdom”
“…the night comes…” (John 9:4) Recently, three-time breast cancer warrior, and Atlantic columnist Caitlyn Flanagan, was interviewed by the notable skeptic, Sam Harris, on his podcast, “Making Sense” (this is not an endorsement). During the interview, she mentioned a plane … Continue reading Life is a Death-y Thing
Decades ago I read church bulletins and missionary reports as a student worker in the Missions Information Office at a Christian college. My work entailed compiling relevant notes and data into an occasional report for interested faculty, students and staff.
As might be expected, some reports and bulletins were more engaging than others. I always looked forward to what John Gipson would write.
I have never met John nor do I know much about him. I doubt he knows I exist. Yet, he impacted at least part of my life. Your influence as salt and light might be greater than you think.
Continue reading “Your impact as light”