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Guest authors provide news and commentary.
Posted 9/19/14 at 5:10 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By Ron Edmondson
I encounter so many struggling pastors. And unfortunately, I know so many who used to be pastors but no longer hold the position.
It may be through a blatant sin or a casual drifting from doing what they knew to be right, but it landed them in disaster. A pastor friend of mine said recently, “We need healthy churches and we need healthy pastors.”
Amen. Agreed. We must stand guard.
What are we guarding against?
No single post would be perfect. Obviously sin, but I can’t address everything that gets in the way of a healthy pastor. I can only list some that are more common in my experience.
Neglecting your soul. One of my mentors reminded me recently. “Ron, don’t forget to feed your own soul.” It was subtle. Almost given as a sidebar to our discussion. But it was gold. One of the biggest dangers for a pastor is when we begin to operate out of stored up knowledge of and experience with God. We need fresh encounters with truth and His glory. FULL POST
Posted 9/19/14 at 12:00 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By Randy Alcorn
The disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! —John 20:19
Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared! —Luke 24:31
He was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him. —Acts 1:9
He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control. —Philippians 3:21
Christ’s resurrection body had an ability to appear suddenly, apparently coming through a locked door to the apostles. And “He disappeared” from the sight of the two disciples at Emmaus. When Christ left the earth, He defied gravity and ascended into the air. It’s possible that the risen Christ, who is man yet God, has certain physical abilities we won’t have. Appearing and disappearing could be a limited expression of His omnipresence, and His ascension might be something our bodies couldn’t imitate. FULL POST
Posted 9/19/14 at 11:41 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By David Murray
The people of Scotland have spoken and said, “No thanks!”
Thus ends the latest Scottish rebellion at least for another generation.
And for one of the very few times in my life, the side I supported, albeit with some reluctance, has won an election. Pity I couldn’t actually vote.
And a first, one of my prophecies came true. In A Scottish View on Scottish Independence, I predicted that Scotland would vote “No” by a narrow margin. I thought it would be 5-7%, but it’s turned out to be nearer 10%.
So what does it all mean? A few reflections:
1. This has been a largely peaceful process. The days of Braveheart and Culloden are thankfully long past for Scotland. Ukraine, Iraq, and many other places are not so fortunate, as separatist (and unionist) movements continue to use to military means to advance their cause. There are no tanks or claymores on the streets of Edinburgh or Glasgow this morning. FULL POST
Posted 9/18/14 at 11:58 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By S. Michael Houdmann / Got Questions Ministries
Question: "What is the difference between dating and courting?"
Answer: Dating and courtship are two methods of beginning relationships with the opposite sex. While there are non-Christians who date with the intention of having a series of intimate physical relationships, for the Christian this is not acceptable and should never be the reason for dating. Many Christians see dating as little more than friendship and maintain the friendship aspect of their dating until both people are ready to commit to each another as potential marriage partners. First and foremost, dating is a time when a Christian finds out if his or her potential marriage partner is also a believer in Christ. The Bible warns us that believers and unbelievers should not marry each other, because those living in the light (of Christ) and those living in the darkness cannot live in harmony (2 Corinthians 6:14-15). As stated before, during this time there should be little or no physical contact, as this is something that should wait until marriage (1 Corinthians 6:18-20). FULL POST
Posted 9/18/14 at 11:20 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By Joe McKeever
Recently when we posted an article about change in worship and noted that some people in our churches seem to want to return to the 1950s, one commenter who found absolutely nothing to like in the piece said, “I’d love to live in the 1950s.”
Happy Days. Chevrolet convertibles with the huge fins. Malt shops and sock hops. Mayberry was America and America was Mayberry. Ike was in the White House. Elvis was in his ascendancy. And Andy Griffith was sheriff.
What’s not to like, right?
I smile at that.
No one loves the 1950s more than those who never lived them.
My wife said, “In the 1950s, every time a plane went overhead I thought it was possibly carrying an atomic bomb to drop on us.”
Such was the attitiude of fear pervading this land.
In the early 1950s, I recall walking home from church with my grandmother after one of those meetings in which the preacher scared the living whatever out of us, and hearing the planes overhead–hey, this was Birmingham and they had lots of planes!–and I was thinking the same thing as Margaret: “We’re goners.”
You want to return to that?
Civil Defense was training people to stand on rooftops and spot aircraft, just in case one from the USSR showed up. FULL POST
Posted 9/18/14 at 11:01 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By David Murray
Yesterday we looked at the seven kinds of happiness God has left for us to enjoy in the world:
And I left you with a question: Which of these happinesses did Jesus experience and enjoy? FULL POST
Posted 9/17/14 at 10:37 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By Joe McKeever
(Part 1 is posted here. Permission is given to anyone wishing to reprint these or pass them along in any Christ-honoring way.)
I believe in Jesus Christ–to my mind that is synonymous with “I believe in God”–for so many reasons, these among them….
6) THIS WORLD. Planet earth is uniquely adapted for life, unlike any other place our greatest scientists have yet discovered in the universe. Factors that make earth different from any other place ever found include….
The life-giving atmosphere…the abundance of water….the distance of the earth from the sun…the rotation of the earth…the tilt on its axis…the symbiotic balance of plants and animals…the riches in the soil…the seasons. These and hundreds more factors, known mostly to the scientifically minded, have combined to pull off the greatest miracle of the universe so far discovered: Earth. FULL POST
Posted 9/17/14 at 10:09 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By David Murray
Although this world can be a sad place, in God’s mercy there are still many different kinds of happiness in the world.
Nature happiness: This is the kind of joy that can be derived from the creation, the happiness we experience through our physical senses when we encounter God’s creation. Mountains, rivers, lakes, trees, flowers, animals, seasons, weather, food, etc., – all of them and much more can put smiles in our heart and on our face.
Social happiness: We find so much wonderful pleasure in our family and our friends. Relationships of different kinds and degrees are so integral to a happy life.
Vocational happiness: Although our jobs can often frustrate us, we also experience much job satisfaction and even exhilaration when things go well. FULL POST
Posted 9/16/14 at 1:47 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By Wade Burleson
Periodically I vent when I write. I truly don't like it, but sometimes inner irritation bursts out like 'Old Faithful's' waters. Prepare yourself for a written geyser.
The faith-based family move The Identical is currently in theaters. It features some well known Hollywood actors, including Ray Loitta and Ashley Judd. Last night my wife and I were thinking about going to see a movie, and I did a quick search on reviews of The Identical. Rotten Tomatoes critics gave the movie a 5% rating, one of the lowest ever in the history of the movie review service. Interestingly, the audience gave the movie a respectable 76% rating. I thought we might go based upon the audience appraisals. FULL POST
Posted 9/16/14 at 11:50 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By Joe McKeever
“For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).
(I started this thinking these reasons would be easy to express and thus the article would be concise. But it has not turned out that way. So, this is the first half. The other 5 reasons should be posted here tomorrow.)
Driving hundreds of miles to (and from) two funerals of dear friends last week, I spent a lot of time reflecting on this thing of believing in God, serving in ministry, and going confidently into “the valley of the shadow of death.” Deacon James Gatewood and Minister Bill Hardy showed us how it’s done, from their daily faithfulness in good times to the difficult and dark days of suffering.
Our Lord said, “You believe in God; believe also in Me” (John 14:1). The way I read Scripture, He was equating the two. FULL POST