Guest Views

CP Blogs do not necessarily reflect the views of The Christian Post. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s).

Posted 9/2/15 at 8:58 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Things a Pastor Should Never Ask a Church Member

I’m thinking of one-on-one conversations in which a pastor might ask this of the church member…. Not a good idea. Do not try this….

1. How did you vote on that issue?

2. Are you a Democrat or Republican?

3. Will you support my political candidate?

4. Why did you not support me in that project I was pushing?

5. Have you ever committed adultery (or any number of other things)?

6. Would you give me money? Would you lend me money?

7. How much money do you make? How much do you give?

8. If I will preach this sermon you’ve been asking for, will you do (something) for me?

9. Have you ever seen my wife with another man? (or any of a thousand variations on that)

10. Do you think I’m handsome? If we were not married, would you be interested in me? (or anything equally horrendous)

11. What do you think are my best assets? My strongest points? (The variations are endless: What do you like best about me? or even “How do you feel about me?”) FULL POST

Posted 9/1/15 at 10:53 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Standards vs Preferences

Standards are your morals and values.

Preferences are the things you'd like your partner to have or be.

Standards matter the most, but it's our preferences that keep us single for too long. Does the person who is interested in you have the morals and values that you're looking for in a partner? If so, then everything else can be worked on.

You may never find someone who meets all your preferences in the height, weight, looks, and income departments. You really need to take off all numbers off of your list and focus on the things that really matter. When you remove the numbers from your list then you're able to see a person for who they really are and start there. As long as you can stand to look at them, they're ok. They don't have to be the best looking person in the world, but are they at least OK? My wife doesn't feel like the most beautiful woman on Earth and I'm sure not the best looking, but we could stand to look at one another. Our morals and values matched and we worked from there. FULL POST

Posted 9/1/15 at 10:48 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Why Your Good Sermon Was So Boring

Pastor, if you are like the rest of us, you’ve had this happen….

You brought a sermon on an important scriptural passage which you knew beyond a doubt was from the Lord and inspired of God. You had a great time studying and praying for this sermon, and you knew this was cutting edge stuff. So, why was the sermon itself so poorly received? Halfway through, you could sense the congregation’s collective minds wandering. How could this happen?

Clearly, the problem could be any of one thousand things. But if I may, I will share a strong conviction on the number one reason your excellent sermon was so poorly received.

You failed to lay the foundation for it.

That is, you preached the event without setting the stage and placing the context for it before the congregation. For instance….

–You preach Matthew 1:18ff and Luke 1:26ff, the Mary and Joseph event. This beloved story needs you to point out how the world had lain in darkness for centuries, with no word from God, no prophets appearing, no fresh revelation. And then the angel Gabriel showed up. Bingo! FULL POST

Posted 8/31/15 at 1:08 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

I’m Scared of Sex Because I Don’t Want to Get Pregnant

What do you do when you’re scared of getting pregnant, hate hormonal birth control, but then you avoid sex?

Every Monday I like to try to answer a reader question. Today I have the same question from two readers who are both scared of pregnancy. One woman writes:

I read many Christian blogs encouraging frequent sex between man and wife. I believe it to be helpful to a marriage. But what do other couples do when they don’t want to use contraceptives but are feeling insecure about having more children? My husband and I were not on the same page for a long time about having more children. That definitely affected our sex life. It is Biblical to have frequent sex so then should we just expect to have 20 children?

Another woman writes:

I follow and love your blog, but this is a topic I have either missed you addressing, or perhaps you haven’t addressed it. I am happily married for 16.5 years. We have 8 beautiful children, whom I stay at home with and homeschool. I feel complete in our family size, for many reasons. My husband says he does, also. However, we cannot find a birth control we agree on. We have failed at NFP/FAM both times we tried to use it. We hate how condoms interfere with intimacy, and we don’t want to do anything hormonal. I am leaning towards something permanent, but my husband is not on board there, either. Because of us not being able to agree/decide on a reliable form of birth control, I am fearful of pregnancy, and my attitude toward sex with my husband is suffering. FULL POST

Posted 8/31/15 at 12:33 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

An Open Letter To Miley Cyrus

Dear Miley Cyrus,

I first want to say how sorry I am for the way people are treating you and tweeting you for your performance at the VMA’s. While most of the world sits back and wonders “What the heck happened to Miley?” I personally wonder, “What’s going on in Miley’s heart?”

I cannot say I enjoyed your performance, but I can say I my heart breaks for you, your future, and your identity as a woman.

There are so many things I don’t know about you, but something tells me that you are going through more than you are willing to share with the people around you. I can’t imagine being surrounded by the paparazzi 24/7, living in the shadow of your dad, and constantly being asked,“What happened to that sweet girl from Hannah Montana?”

I get it, you’re an adult now. You don’t want to be forever viewed as the Child-Star from Disney Channel. But I can promise you that this isn’t the way to break that mold. FULL POST

Posted 8/28/15 at 10:37 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Why It's Good to Write in Your Bible

“This shall be written for the generation to come; and the people who shall be created shall praise the Lord” (Psalm 102:18).

Please go to the front of your Bible and write in it.

Start by putting your own name.

Often, when I pick up the Bibles of friends to see what they have written in them, I’m chagrined to see they don’t even have their names.

Write in your Bible, friend. Please.

At Christmas 1973, my aunt Eren gave to her mother, my wonderful grandmother Bessie Lowery McKeever, a Bible. Grandma died in 1982, but not before marking up that Bible.

I now own it. It is a treasure beyond price.

This morning, I read something I had never seen before, that made the tears flow. (I was looking up the text above, and Grandma’s Bible was handy.)

In the margin beside Psalm 103:17, Grandma had written “One of Papa’s favorite verses.”

But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon those that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children. FULL POST

Posted 8/28/15 at 10:15 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

3 Things We Can Learn From the Josh Duggar Scandal

The Duggar Family has been the talk of trending headlines for some time now. And while everyone seems to enjoy pointing a finger at the mistakes that have taken place, I believe our job as Christians is to encourage and extend a helping hand of grace to those who need it (1 Thessalonians 5:11). Here are 3 things we can learn from the Josh Duggar scandal…

1. Nobody is perfect.

It’s just like that cheesy Miley Cyrus song that says: “Everybody makes mistakes. Everybody has those days.” It’s scary-true. And regardless if you believe it or not, there is no such thing as a perfect Christian. We will all fall short, screw up and do things we swore we’d never do (Romans 3:23). FULL POST

Posted 8/25/15 at 8:18 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

5 Tests to Determine If You’ve Forgiven Someone

And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” Mark 11:25

bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Colossians 3:13

Wow! Those are hard words, aren’t they?

Whether in business, in church, or in family — relationships can cause pain and separation.

It’s tempting to get even. Holding a grudge is easier. Our first reaction is not always to forgive.

But forgiveness is not an option for the believer — even for the person who has hurt us the most.

And, there is another wow moment — especially if you know it applies to you.

Even with the importance the Bible places on forgiveness I frequently hear people give excuses for not forgiving someone. Things such as:

“You can forgive but you can’t forget.” And, that’s most often true. Only God (and sometimes time and old age) can erase a memory. FULL POST

Posted 8/25/15 at 8:13 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

When God's People Don't Live in the Word Bad Things Happen

“But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in that law doth he meditate day and night” (Psalm 1:2).

The Lord never intended for His Word to collect dust on a table in your back bedroom.

People paid for your right to own a Bible in your own language with their very lives.

What are you doing about that?

Christians who own numerous Bibles which they rarely open are thumbing their noses at the saints of old who paid the ultimate price.

This hard-won treasure lies buried under the dust and detritus of your life.

The Lord’s plan calls for His people to live and breathe His word, to read it and receive it inwardly and to think about it regularly and practice it. He intended it to become part of the very marrow of their bones.

Digest it. Assimilate it. Live it. And meditate upon it continually.

He even told people to “Eat this book.”

Several times throughout biblical history, God told His faithful prophet to consume the book containing His words. (Jeremiah 15:16; Ezekiel 2:3; 3:1-3; Revelation 10:9) FULL POST

Posted 8/25/15 at 8:08 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Get Over the Little Stuff

Relationships are as hard as you make them. We can find so many things to be petty about and those things can ruin a relationship. If you want to argue, you don't want your relationship to work. You have to communicate, not argue. You can't argue about everything that crosses your mind. Pick your battles wisely. Make sure you have actual evidence and facts, not just speculation and opinions. Make sure the things you want to argue about aren't rooted in your insecurities or pain from your past.

I have a rule that says "if it's not worth breaking up over, it's not worth arguing over." You can discuss it like adults. You can disagree, but that shouldn't turn into an argument. Seek solutions, not more problems. Don't let your insecurities and pettiness ruin your relationship. Be man or woman enough to address things appropriately and to ignore things that don't deserve your attention.

Blessings,
Tony Gaskins Jr.

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