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Posted 1/18/16 at 5:07 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices
A pastor friend wrote a book by the title “What They Never Taught Me in Seminary.” I even drew the cover and inside cartoons for him, which suggests he didn’t learn as much about discernment in school as he might have.
Preachers are always going on about what they didn’t learn in school, and what they should have. Some of the courses divinity schools now offer resulted from those very graduates mentioning subjects they felt they needed. One required of all masters level grads of my seminary, the direct result of alums’ wishes, is called “Interpersonal Relationships.” I’ve taught it a few times myself.
Now, let’s point out up front that it is impossible for seminaries to teach their students everything they need to know for future ministry. What they are trying to do is prepare them with enough basic skills that they’ll be ready to face whatever comes. After all, the Holy Spirit is alongside each one to teach and instruct and guide. FULL POST
Posted 1/18/16 at 4:33 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices
Each year comes with a new set of goals and the remembrance of the one’s you didn’t reach the year prior. Health, finances and relationships are all topics that will trend high on the resolution charts. But while all these goals are valid and important, I believe there is one goal we could all benefit from greatly; It’s to be more vulnerable.
Vulnerability may come off as something you would generally want stay away from, but I believe our photoshopped culture needs it now more than ever. We must learn to take off the mask, drop the facade, and start allowing ourselves to admit we need the support of others.
We need an increase in vulnerability. We need more people who are willing to admit that they don’t have it all together, that life gets really hard sometimes, and that their faith in God may be in complete turmoil. When we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, we give God and those around us the opportunity to speak into our lives in a way that couldn’t be done while trying to handle life alone. FULL POST
Posted 1/11/16 at 1:48 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices
Every pastor’s wife I know would like to say to the good and faithful deacons:
“Thank you for loving the Lord, for loving this church, and for loving your pastor and his family.”
“Thank you for praying for us, for being in your place of service on Sunday, and for taking care of the members during the week.”
“Thank you for your servant heart and for not seeing yourself as my husband’s boss, only as his support and helper.”
“We are richer and the work is better because you are faithful.”
Sadly, all spouses of pastors cannot say that. But they wish they could
When the wife of a pastor friend suggested an article on “What preachers’ wives would like to say to the deacons,” I said, “Write me what you would tell them,” and I’ll see what I can do.
Here it is–her list, completely untouched, just as it arrived a few minutes ago. FULL POST
Posted 1/8/16 at 1:20 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices
Now, nothing which follows should be interpreted to encourage pastors to become bullies or know-it-alls. Scripture teaches servant-leadership, as exemplified by the Lord Jesus in John 13. However, our burden here is those pastors who are passive and hesitant to take a strong stand with their people, church leaders, and their staff.
“Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly; not for dishonest gain but eagerly; not as being lords over those entrusted to you but being examples to the flock…” (I Peter 5:2-3)
You are responsible to the Lord for the flock, pastor. Numerous scriptures make that plain.
Some will not like that.
Some will accuse you of being heavy-handed.
Some in the congregation will insist that “We too are holy.” I suggest you agree with them, and then direct them to two passages of Scripture: to Numbers 12 where Aaron and Miriam tried that little ploy on Moses and to Numbers 16 where certain “men of renown” (said with all seriousness!) said the same thing to Moses. In each case, the results were disastrous. FULL POST
Posted 1/8/16 at 1:08 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices
I meet a lot of people who say they wouldn’t be caught dead inside of a church building, that their life is too messed up to be embraced by the arms of God, and that their previous failures are too monstrous to be forgiven by the grace of Jesus.
This false ideology that a human can be too broken for the all-consuming grace of our Lord and Savior is incorrect, and I pray that more churches will open up their doors to prove it so.
We’ve all done things we aren’t proud of, said things that we wish we could take back, and been places we wouldn’t dare go visit again. And while many of us have found redemption through the sacrifice of Jesus, we must remember that there are millions of other people in this world who have yet to do the same.
The Apostle Paul states in 1 Corinthians 15:9-10, “For I am the least of all the apostles. In fact, I’m not even worthy to be called an apostle after the way I persecuted God’s church. But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me — and not without results. For I have worked harder than any of the other apostles; yet it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace.” FULL POST
Posted 1/6/16 at 7:23 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
Eight years ago I did something I swore I’d never do. I had sex with someone who wasn’t my wife, and engaged in an act that was intended to found in the holiness of marriage. And although God’s grace is ever-present in my life, purity is something I will always regret not being able to give to my wife on our wedding night. Ever since I was a young child, my parents have always shared with me the importance of saving sex for marriage. Not because sex was a “bad” thing, but because God intended sex to be a beautiful and intimate connection between husband and wife, all under the authority of God (1 Corinthians 7:1-40).
I first learned about sex when I was in second-grade, that is after telling my father a dirty joke I had heard some older kids say at school. It had something to do with a limousine and a garage. Yeah, you get the picture. Once I finished the joke, he looked at me with a half serious/half laughing look and said, “Where did you hear that joke?” As you would imagine, I cried and ran to my room before he could get the answer out of me. Why? Because I knew the joke had an underlining meaning that I knew nothing about even though I chose to tell it. My father and I still laugh about this moment today. FULL POST
Posted 1/6/16 at 7:16 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
It’s New Year’s week here on the blog, where I’m coming up with new habits or new routines you can get into to grow your marriage. And today I thought I’d give you a smorgasbord of ideas of things you can do for your husband in just 10 minutes–so that you’re thinking of him throughout the day! Here goes.
Most guys hate buying cards and gifts–and they’re always afraid that they’ll forget something important. So next time you’re already out at the drug store or gift store, buy all the birthday cards he needs this year for his parents, his siblings, or whomever he should send one to. Then bring them home, have him sign them, and you can address them and put them away so they’re ready to be mailed! FULL POST
Posted 1/6/16 at 7:12 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
Sometimes we get in these ruts where it seems like we’re always ticking each other off.
Think about it this way: How easy is it to turn an okay day into a horrible day? Pretty easy, right? Things are humming along and all of a sudden your husband says something that sounds insulting. You get your back up and respond in kind. He accuses you of not understanding him. And it escalates.
Today I want to share with you an idea that can stop that escalation.
So before I give you my idea, let’s go back to first principles.
We want to be heard, understood, and loved anyway.
Certainly there are other things–we want someone to laugh with, someone to spend time with, someone to make love with. But ultimately it comes down to feeling like he knows me and understands me. Making love with someone you think doesn’t really know you feels empty because it feels like it’s not real. Spending time with someone who doesn’t really “get” you feels shallow because you feel like you’re holding back. FULL POST
Posted 12/17/15 at 12:49 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices
“Now, it came to pass that when Samuel was old that he made his sons judges over Israel…. But his sons did not walk in his ways; they turned aside after dishonest gain, took bribes, and perverted justice” (I Samuel 8:1-3).
Let’s talk about the offspring of the Lord’s shepherd, those sweet little lambs birthed into his beloved family in order to enrich their lives, to bless the church and to provide a fresh palette on which the preacher and his lady can demonstrate all it means to grow up in the fear and nurture of the Lord.
Those little monsters who terrorize the congregation with their out-of-control behavior.
Those darling babies and toddlers who are smothered by the loving attention of the entire congregation, and for whom teenage girls compete as babysitters.
Those juvenile delinquents who run up and down the aisles of the church and treat the sacred buildings as their own personal playroom. FULL POST
Posted 12/17/15 at 12:46 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices
On Monday I wrote a post about how our church culture has made too many people dead inside–dead to the passion and creativity that God made us for, and thus dead for what real sex was supposed to be in our marriages. Yes, sex can be hot and holy at the same time, but too many of us think that to be Christian means that we must be reserved, boring, dispassionate.
That’s so wrong. No one should have a dead sex life.
And I’m angry because everyday I wake up to more and more emails and messages from people whose marriages are so messed up, usually because of wrong views of sex.
This post was originally part of the 29 Days to Great Sex series that I wrote on this blog a few years ago, and I’ve recently edited that and removed this post, so I thought it was worth rewriting it for today, because these issues are still with us. FULL POST