Guest Views

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

Posted 12/16/15 at 10:18 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

What Lousy Grammer Says About Us

I was sent the following email from someone trying to sell me a service….

Hi There,
I was sent you an mail regarding Web Listing hope you are found it.
This is an follow-up email for you, Interested in our proposal or not?

Let us know if you are interested, I am waiting here your valuable
reply.

I went back and read their original proposal to see if the same poor English was to be found there. It wasn’t. Clearly, someone was hired to pretty up the original mailing, but the followup was done by the salesperson, if you will.

Not a good way to impress a prospective client.

Now. I’m not interested in having my website be first to pop up on Google, as they were proposing. Nothing about that interests me.

What does concern me is the way we in the work of the Lord Jesus Christ do the same thing this guy did and end up unimpressing the very people we are trying to reach. FULL POST

Posted 12/16/15 at 10:15 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Creating Christmas Traditions When You Don’t Have Kids

Can you create Christmas traditions as a couple BEFORE you have kids?

Absolutely!

Today’s Wednesday, the day when we always talk marriage here at To Love, Honor and Vacuum. And recently I received this question from a young wife:

We don’t have kids yet, and all the Christmas articles I see on Pinterest about making Christmas meaningful all have to do with children. What can we do when it’s just the two of us to start Christmas traditions or make Christmas fun?

I thought that was a great question, so I put it up on Facebook and asked my readers: Any ideas for Christmas traditions as a couple? We had a whole lot of great ideas, and today I thought I’d share 10 ways to make Christmas meaningful before you have children (or to make it meaningful even if you never have children!). FULL POST

Posted 12/14/15 at 1:17 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

How to Liven Up a Dull Worship Service

“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord….” (Isaiah 6:1)

Have the Lord show up, and your worship will come alive like never before.

Ask Isaiah. Ask the two Emaus-road disciples (Luke 24). Ask the disciples who had retreated into the safety of the Upper Room when suddenly the risen Christ appeared (John 20:19ff).

Isaiah left the temple that day with a new calling upon his life. The two disciples reversed their paths and rushed back to the city to tell everyone that Jesus was alive and had appeared to them. As for the disciples, soon they removed the locks from the door of the Upper Room and lived in the streets and countryside—not to say the jails—as they told the world of Jesus.

A few moments in HIs presence will do that to a fellow.

No one is ever bored in the Lord’s presence. No one has ever fallen asleep under His voice. No one emerges unchanged.

If Jesus is present, something is going to happen. FULL POST

Posted 12/14/15 at 1:04 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

5 Ways to Make Sure the Purity Message Doesn’t Backfire

Can the purity message end up backfiring, making our young people too nervous about sex?

I’m actually taking a down week this week, away from my computer, but some wonderful people have agreed to step in and share some thoughts they’ve been having.

I’ve written before about how sometimes our emphasis on purity can be misplaced–we talk so much about purity that we make girls especially ashamed of sex. I often get pushback from readers, saying that I’m talking about a problem that isn’t widespread at all.

But I get so many women on this blog writing me letters about experiencing vaginismus (pain during intercourse) when they got married because they were paranoid about sex. And I get so many women who do say that they have a hard time relaxing and believing that sex is good. So I think we do have a problem on our hands. FULL POST

Posted 12/11/15 at 11:15 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

It’s Not Hard to Preach But Almost Impossible to Do it Right

“Not that we are adequate for these things. But our adequacy (sufficiency) is of God” (2 Corinthians 3:5).

If you want to be a preacher and are satisfied with what R. G. Lee called “sermonettes by preacherettes to Christianettes,” then you can do that easily enough.

Prepare sweet little devotionals around interesting Scripture verses you come across. Add some cute stories and raise your voice at least once in the 15-minute message (to convince the more discerning that what they’re hearing is really preaching) and you can stay at that church a long time.

Lord, bless your churches and help your preachers.

However.

If you are a God-called messenger who believes that the sermons should speak to the culture and address issues people sitting before you are actually dealing with, sermons in which you bring the light of God’s eternal Word to shine upon the decisions people make, if you truly want to make disciples of Jesus Christ and not just church members, then you have a problem. FULL POST

Posted 12/11/15 at 11:10 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

What Not to Say to a Preacher’s Wife

(I wish Margaret were here to help with this one. As my wife of over 52 years and through our six pastorates covering 42 years, I suppose she heard it all. As of January, 2015, she’s now resting in the arms of her Savior. In her memory and in her honor, I send this forth to encourage church members to bless this dear lady married to the shepherd whom God sent to your church. Please see the disclaimer at the end.–Joe)

“Encourage one another and lift up one another….” (I Thessalonians 5:11, somewhat, and a favorite line in an old chorus)

“You cannot use my name.”

That’s how the typical private note from a preacher’s wife begins.

Marlene introduced herself as the wife of a pastor. She had come across our article from a year or more ago on “59 things not to say to a preacher.” Back then, I had solicited input from Facebook friends and ended up with that number of comments which preachers do not need to hear and which affect them negatively. The article got a good bit of play and drew more than a fair share of controversial reactions. FULL POST

Posted 12/11/15 at 10:36 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

When the Culture Makes You Sexually Confused: A Story

Those are the questions that Alex from Have a Rich Marriage struggled with growing up, and today I’d like to share his poignant story of growing up sexually confused with you.

I’m taking a bit of a bit of time off of the blog this week, and I’ve got some great people who have sent me stories that I’d like to post. Today a young husband named Alex shares his story of struggling with homosexuality, and then deciding to live a heterosexual lifestyle.

What he has to say isn’t politically correct, but it’s his experience. Please, I just ask that readers respect his right to his own story.

Others may be upset that he married when he had homosexual tendencies. I know that I get heartbreaking email from wives every week whose husbands are gay, but never told them. This situation is different, I believe, because Alex is upfront, and is working on his issues–and the two of them are growing together. That’s the model of Christian grace and redemption. FULL POST

Posted 12/10/15 at 10:26 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Good Things to Say to a Preachers Wife

The preacher’s wife (Marlene is not her real name) who suggested an article on 59 things NOT to say to a preacher’s wife ended by suggesting that we follow it with a positive piece listing good things to say to the wife of the minister.

Marlene got us started with this list:

I am praying for you. We love you.
Thank you sharing your husband with us.
Thank you for sharing your lives with us. We love you.
I do not want anything from you but friendship.
Let me help. We love you.
You have such great kids.
Let me know if you need anything. We love you.
I overheard this compliment. “You are a success at (insert career
choice here).We love you.”
I really missed seeing you this morning.
How do you feel? We love you.
We appreciate what you bring to the church.
WE WOULD LOVE TO PUT YOU ON STAFF SO YOU CAN SERVE THE LORD
FULL TIME!!!!!!!

Those are all nice. FULL POST

Posted 12/8/15 at 12:25 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

If I Could Make One Change in Your Church

“My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations…” (Mark 11:17)

If the church asked me to suggest one thing that would make the greatest improvement in all they do, I would not hesitate.

I would make their worship center a house of prayer.

While that could involve a number of things, the most obvious change would take place in the worship service.

  1. I would make the front of the church–what we call the altar area–conducive to people coming to kneel and pray.
  2. I would schedule a time in every worship service when the congregation is invited to come and pray. Usually, that would be the invitation time, but not always.
  3. And I would see that this is regularly mentioned in the church bulletin as well as by the worship leader. We want to let people know “you are invited to come and pray,” and “we expect you to come and pray.” Their coming is no interruption.

Give the people a place to pray and a time to do it, and keep this before them, and a hundred positive things will take place. (We will make no attempt to come up with that list of 100 blessings from making your church a praying people, since it would vary from church to church.) FULL POST

Posted 12/8/15 at 12:05 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Christmas Giving: 10 Ways to Transform Your Christmas

Those of us who love the Christmas season–I plead guilty!–often are in the market for ways to make it more meaningful.

I polled some friends and would like to share some of the results.

Give more. Give yourself. Give the unexpected. Give ten times as much as they expect. Give more than ever before.

Shop less. Buy fewer. Spend less. Stress less.

Quit giving to the adults; give only to the children.

Give no more than 3 presents per child.

Emphasize the personal aspect.

Write more notes. If you send Christmas cards, write personal notes on them. Don’t be afraid to tell people you love them, even if you need to vary the verb and make it “I treasure you.” (Or, cherish, adore, appreciate, or thank God for you)

Okay. Now, our ten ways to transform your Christmas season….

1) Never pass a Salvation Army kettle without dropping in some money.

My friend Annie got me started on this. Recently, I noticed on her Facebook page that she was re-emphasizing this commitment, and told how after finding herself with only big bills on one occasion, she has made it a practice of having a number of ones and fives in the front of her purse, just for this reason. FULL POST

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