No weddings ever take place in the garden centers at Lowe’s. It begs the question —- Why not? There are hundreds of flowers and plants. Unlike my garden, they dispose of the ones that might be struggling or have gone dormant.
Shouldn’t that be the ideal venue for a classy event? Continue reading “Gardens versus garden centers”
A compass points toward the earth’s magnetic north. However, the true geographic north pole lies several hundreds of miles away.
Kenny, a friend of mine, recently told me about an international trip where his flight passed between the North Pole and magnetic north. At such a place, if someone were to use a compass to locate the geographic north pole it would point in the exact opposite direction! If we can assume the compass would even function.
To accurately use a compass to discover true north, you must also know your latitude. In other words, to navigate the earth requires both good instruments and the knowledge about how to use them well. For the church to reliably chart its path through difficult scenarios requires understanding how to use well the tools God has supplied for his people. In 1 Corinthians, Paul tackled a rough situation by providing some of these reliable tools for the journey. Continue reading “True north: finding a reliable path forward”
A couple traveled recently to another continent and toured a famous religious building, still under construction after almost 100 years. They were awed by the edifice, which used new techniques for the time, with a unique style. They shared their photos online of both the exterior and interior.
A friend of theirs who didn’t belong to that religion claimed to feel the presence of God there. The couple wrote that they hoped others might be inspired and convinced by the stories written on its walls. They saw the building as a way to make converts to their religion. Continue reading “No physical remains”
If we consider the history of Christendom, it should not come to us as a surprise that for many people, the terms pastor, bishop and presbyter designate different people. And yet, it caught me off guard. I did not expect everyone to be amazed how the New Testament presents a different perspective. Continue reading “Three leadership metaphors, yet one function”
Crack! Creak! CRUNNNNNNCH! The Yard Boy and I were sitting on our patio as we heard the neighbor’s tree fall. It had been growing there for a long time, and had already lost quite a few limbs. This time, the biggest part of it split off and fell across the neighbor’s driveway. There was no wind or rain. The tree had simply decided (much like we had, at this point) that this calm, pleasant evening would be a good time to give up trying to stay upright anymore.
Luckily, no vehicles were harmed in this scenario. As the Yard Boy went over to investigate, Mike told him that he had been worried about that tree coming down for quite some time. It was quickly dispatched with a chain saw. Continue reading “Acts of God”
Until we strip away all the layers of dirt encrusted on the modern concept of the church, we’ll never understand God’s simple plan. It’s understandable when the aberration is the only standard they know. But there comes a time when they must accept reality. Continue reading “Abandon the denominational view of the Church”
Fact: The word “church” or “congregation” (the Greek term: ekklesia) does not appear in 10 of the 27 books of the New Testament.
It is missing in these books: Continue reading “That missing word, church”
God instructed Peter to carry the gospel to the Gentiles and the members of the household of Cornelius were immersed into Christ (Acts 10; 2:38).
Despite his obedience and proclamation that God was no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34), Peter continued to struggle with his prejudice (Galatians 2:11-16).
Shortly after Cornelius and his household were added to the Church (cf. Acts 2:47), Christian Jews demanded to know why Peter would do such an abominable thing (Acts 11). Continue reading “How dare we take the gospel to those people!”
God’s plan for mankind is ridiculous to a sinful world (Isaiah 55:8-9; Romans 6:1-6) so we must have an undeniable faith in his truth (Acts 2:47; Ephesians 1:22-23; Hebrews 11:6).
Godliness is our new world and God’s Word teaches us what we need to know (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Doing what is natural to the flesh is guaranteed to violate God’s will (Matthew 5:27-48). Continue reading “Denominationalism is the fleshly plan”
Peace is difficult to obtain. In fact, the only lasting peace available is in the spiritual realm. However, even there it must be properly focused. Peace is a possession of God and we’ll find it only on his terms.
Humans falsely think that physical peace brings spiritual peace. But that’s backwards. All measures of peace begin spiritually and then emanate out to the other areas of our lives. Continue reading “Looking for peace in all the wrong places”