Posted 6/18/13 at 5:50 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By Luke Gilkerson
“Christ, who said to the disciples, ‘You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you,’ can truly say to every group of Christian friends, ‘You have not chosen one another but I have chosen you for one another.’” – C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves
How do you find and foster a great accountability relationship? Whether you’re looking for a good accountability partner or you already have one, we believe these resources will be a great help to you.
We often get questions about how to find a good Accountability Partner. If we are going to get the most out of an accountability relationship, we need to have the right expectations and find a good Partner who shares those expectations.
This four-and-a-half-minute video gives our members a tutorial about that.
When you get someone’s Internet Report, what do you look for? What should you do if you notice questionable stuff on the Report? In a nutshell… FULL POST
Posted 6/18/13 at 5:23 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By Joe McKeever
“Let everyone be quick to hear….” (James 1:19)
Patricia Clarkson is an award-winning Hollywood actress and a well-loved native of our New Orleans. Her mother Jackie is a longtime political leader in the city. In Friday’s “The Advocate,” Patricia was reminiscing about when she first became aware she could act.
“I’ve had this distinctive voice since I was 5,” she said. “I remember the first play I did, in 8th grade, I brought the house down. I don’t think it was because I was good. It was because I was the only person who could be heard in the auditorium! Deep voices are on my father’s side of the family. My grandmother had a beautiful deep voice.”
The only person who could be heard!
In my first pastorate following seminary–Emmanuel Baptist Church in the Mississippi Delta town of Greenville–we had a hearing problem. The auditorium seated perhaps 300 and on a typical Sunday about half that many would scatter across the pews. Never blessed with a strong voice, I had trouble projecting so that everyone could hear well. Six or eight months into this ministry, I found that the church owned a rather crude sound system consisting of two speakers, a microphone, a lot of wires, and a control box which could be hid under the pulpit. FULL POST
Posted 6/18/13 at 11:17 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By Stephen Altrogge
Take a long look at yourself in the mirror. If you look closely you will see all the labels that have been slapped on to you over the years. Some of these labels have been put on by others. Parents, schoolmates, coworkers, friends, pastors. Some of the labels have been self-administered.
FAILURE // ADDICT // CONDEMNED // LOSER // CUTTER // GLUTTON // ANGRY // LUSTFUL // ANOREXIC
In your mind, these labels define you. You have always been an angry person. You’ve always had an eating disorder. You’ve always been addicted to porn. You’ve always been an outcast. That’s just the way it is, some things will never change. You feel like you can identify with the words of Jack Kelly (see Newsies) who said, “We was beaten when we was born.”
You feel trapped by your labels. You don’t want to be constantly angry. You don’t want to be a slave to sexual sin. You don’t want to constantly live under a cloud of gloom and condemnation. But you don’t know how to escape. You’ve been this way for so long that you no longer have hope of change. You are convinced that you’ve always been this way and will always be this way. Yes you are a Christian, and yes you will always be this way. Right? FULL POST
Posted 6/17/13 at 9:41 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By Joe McKeever
“Is there a word from God?” (Jeremiah 37:17)
Any one can “get up a sermon.”
When you are first beginning in the ministry, the “art”–if you want to call it that–of finding, creating, and building sermons seems mysterious and difficult. In time, however, you work out the formula for sermons and your life becomes less stressful, sermon-building easier.
“What is the formula for sermons?” someone asks.
There’s no one formula, but each preacher works out his own according to his own style.
It goes something like this…
Take a random verse of scripture: “Some of the scribes answered and said, ‘Teacher, you have spoken well.” (Luke 20:29) Can we build a sermon on that? You bet. Nothing to it, if all we want is a sermon.
Start with the scribes. They are scriptural authorities, experts on the law as a result of their history of copying manuscripts for use by individuals and congregations. Because they had hand-written everything the Scriptures had to say, people came asking what the Word says about this or that. If anyone knew, they would. So, when the scribes heard Jesus teaching, they recognized He was right on target with His teaching, and they said so. So, we have (our first point) The testimony of the scribes. FULL POST
Posted 6/14/13 at 6:08 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By Phillip Jensen
There was no eulogy at Margaret Thatcher’s funeral.
Some would say there was no good word to be spoken about her, but that was not the reason. Rather it was the funeral of a woman, not the celebration of her life. And a funeral is not a celebration.
Over recent decades there has been a steady movement away from traditional funerals in black to celebrations in colour. Instead of mourning our loss we are celebrating our loved one’s life. Instead of a casket we have a photograph. Instead of a burial we release balloons and doves. Instead of a sermon we have a eulogy. Instead of the congregation singing hymns, the sound system plays the deceased’s favourite songs. Instead of the Bible we read a poem.
Death is a dreadful thief. It is not just that it reduces us to dust and ashes, it also robs us of nearly all that we value. It not only takes our health, strength and our life, it also destroys the people we love. It destroys our friendships and family, it brings such sorrow and grief which can even be experienced as physical pain.
Our culture’s pursuit of happiness does not prepare us well for pain, grief, or mourning. We anaesthetise ourselves against all discomfort and disappointment. We are in denial about the ravages of death – with collagen to keep our skin taught and steroids to keep our muscles bulking we research the possibilities of anti-aging medicine and if all else fails; cryonics. Generally we will not discuss death or dying except to promote euthanasia – yet another attempt to avoid reality. Animals are no longer killed or ‘put down’ now they are ‘euthanased’. FULL POST
Posted 6/14/13 at 3:14 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices |
By Erik Raymond
I remember as a new Christian people would quote these antiquated, flowery, profound lines from songs. They would skillfully deploy the quote like a baseball player executing a hit-and-run with a line drive over the second basemen’s head. The quotes would drop in the Bible Study or prayer meeting with powerful profundity. This was evidenced by the corporate, “Umm…” or “Amen.” I never quite got to the point of trying to execute this type of poetic contribution, but I have always appreciated it.
Now I believe there is a new bag of powder for our musical muskets. Here in 2013 the new hymns writers are hip-hop artists. Now before you shake me off with a pffffh, hear me out. I have seen a recent swell in the number of references to songs during a time of gospel-shaped discussion. And when I say reference I don’t mean that someone is saying, “Man did you hear Lecrae’s new track, that joint is fresh!” (they may say that but I don’t mean that). What I mean is people reference the hip-hop songs in order to add value to a gospel-shaped conversation. FULL POST
Posted 6/14/13 at 2:25 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By John Richardson
When it comes to serving others, Andy Stanley says, “Do for one what you wish you could do for all.” In other words, you’ll never be able to give as much as you want to give. But, don’t let the fear of being unfair stop you. Serve someone. Give what you can. Practice generosity when it’s possible.
Not only is it good for the one that you serve, but it’s also good for you.
In fact, Jesus said that the way to become great is by being a servant. The way to approach life is with an open hand – going the extra mile, turning the other cheek, giving without expecting anything in return.
If you are a church leader, it is especially critical for you to model a lifestyle of generosity for your people. Let them see you give. Encourage them to follow your generosity as you follow the generosity of Christ. And the more generous your church community becomes, the more you will expose the ways of God.
With that in mind, here are 50 ways to start living generously toward your church community: FULL POST
Posted 6/14/13 at 12:18 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By Michael Kelley
My children are very, very different. Take, for example, the things that we do together. If I went to Joshua, my 8 year old, and said, “Son, we can do anything you want to do for the next hour.” He’s probably either going to have us building a battle constructed of Lego’s or playing some intricately-ruled game of his own making in the backyard (last time, we each got to choose 12 super powers and I had to make a list on my phone to remember which ones I had).
The little girl is different. Same question given to Andi, and we would find ourselves either coloring a picture or dressing up dolls, putting them to bed, and then waking them up to give them breakfast.
The other boy is still different. Christian, the 3-year-old, is a bruiser. He’ll want to wrestle. Hard. And he won’t be content until he is jumping up and down on my chest doing his best to puncture my lungs with a fractured rib. FULL POST
Posted 6/14/13 at 11:17 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices |
By Lainie Sloane
Today many sincere people of faith have been debating if the God of the Bible is the same author of the Koran. The answer could have profound political ramifications regarding the Middle East and the real estate we call the temple mount in Israel. To find out the answer to this religious and political enigma which is facing the world today, I will once again ask my husband, biblical scholar and historian, J.P. Sloane, what his research tells him.
L.S.: Could you shed some light on who the author of the Bible is and who the author of the Koran is and if they are the same person?
J.P.: That’s an excellent question. We know that the Koran makes the claim that the biblical angel Gabriel gave Muhammad the Koran. The Koran says in Surah (chapter) 2:97, Say, Whoever is an enemy to Gabriel for he brings down the (revelation) to thy heart by god’s will, a confirmation of what went before, and guidance and glad tidings for those who believe.
Let’s compare the angel Gabriel of the Bible and the angel Gabriel of the Koran regarding Mary and Jesus. Those of us who are Christians believe that Jesus is God. This is confirmed by the angel Gabriel where we read in the Bible how he told Mary she would soon be pregnant.
In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” FULL POST
Posted 6/13/13 at 7:14 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By Joe McKeever
“My sin is ever before me” (Psalm 51:3).
Bill Glass played a full career with the Cleveland Browns as an All-Pro defensive end before retiring for another career spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. In his mid-70s now, Bill is still “in the game” and “on the field.”
In his book, “Get in the Game,” Bill Glass tells of the time his team was battling the St. Louis Cardinals (back when they were still in that city).
That day, Cleveland had St. Louis backed up to their own 5 yard line. Cardinal quarterback Charlie Johnson took the ball and was running around in the end zone looking for someone to throw it to. Meanwhile Bill Glass, right defensive end for Cleveland, was bearing down on him from his blind side, while Paul Wiggin, left end, was barreling toward Johnson from the other side.
It was a defensive end’s dream. They are about to sack the quarterback in his own end zone. This can be a game-changer. Bill could just hear the crowd cheering. This was going to be great.
At the last nanosecond, just before Glass and Wiggin smashed into the quarterback, the referee just couldn’t stand it. Five hundred pounds of defensive backs were about to clobber this poor little scrawny quarterback.This just isn’t right! FULL POST