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Psalm 103: A Thanksgiving Meditation

“I will continually sing hymns of thanksgiving” (Sirach 51.11) This year, 2020, has been a long, challenging year, for a great many people. Not only disciples of Jesus but those who are not. Not only for those in the United States but those in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and literally around the globe. It […]

A Call to Action – An Opportunity To Serve From Home

Are you looking for a way to serve others? Without leaving your home? I just found out that Let’s Start Talking has 50 people on a waitlist to learn English through reading the gospels. I told them I would get the word out so I am putting this in front of you to ask if […]

Reentry

In January of 2014, I traveled to Barrow, Alaska [1] . It’s the northernmost point of Alaska, which means the United States cannot go any further than the place where I stood. My travel was far from a vacation. I prefer warm beaches, large urban areas, historical sites, arenas, ballparks, and places with a plethora […]

Church Renewal is Christian Renewal

Church renewal is always Christian renewal.             That should be rather obvious but I’m not sure if it is. Having served in ministry as a pastor for the last fifteen years, I’ve heard and engaged in many conversations about church renewal. Numerous books, articles, blogs and podcasts have been published, with many of them addressing the […]

Jesus Loves You, This I Know

What’s your favorite worship song? Lately, mine has been ‘Jesus Loves Me’. I sing it on Sundays and Wednesdays with kids who know it well and during the week with kids who are learning the words. Anna Bartlett Warner wrote the poem that was put to music sometime around 1862 and it quickly became a […]

Exodus: The Biblical Context of the New Testament

Now and Then Two thousand years of Christian history separates today’s disciples from those we read of in the Acts of the Apostles. That distance has created some major conceptual changes that sometimes make it harder to hear the writings of the apostles. For today’s Christians our first thought of Scripture will be Matthew, Luke, […]

Christ > Culture

Please don’t confuse Jesus with our celebrities.  Please don’t confuse Jesus with our politicians. Please don’t confuse Jesus with our news organizations. Please don’t confuse Jesus with our religious teachers, preachers, worship ministers, and pastors. Jesus is the one who calls us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and visit the imprisioned regardless of […]

Leadership-Lessons from Blockbuster, Pt. 4: Removing their obstacles

Thanks for joining me for part 4 of a 6-part series I have titled, “Leadership-Lessons from Blockbuster! If you are just now joining me for this conversation, it might be helpful to go back and read parts 1-3 to catch up to speed. If you have been staying with me, here is a quick re-cap: […]

Who ministers to the ministers?

Chances are, your minster won’t tell you what I’m about to.  In no particular order, eventually, I want to share some insights with you into the inner world of being in ministry.   Before I get started, let me say, I’ve been preaching for over 25 years and I love the church and I enjoy […]

The Spiritual Rhythm of a Good Dad

My relationship with God has changed over the years. At first, he was someone I could only worship on Sundays and Wednesdays at a designated time and place. He always seemed just out of reach and unapproachable, unless I had the right words and I didn’t. He was inconsistent and appeared angry. I would guard […]

Alexander Campbell and Biblical Interpretation

One of the greatest gifts that I received from growing up in the Churches of Christ is being taught a love and respect for Scripture from an early age. My father and the teachers at my little rural church made the Scripture come alive, and I saw the text lived out among the people around […]

She is Just Like Me

She is just like me, I heard myself say as I was describing my almost 2-year old daughter to a table full of male colleagues. She’s sassy and bossy and very opinionated. She runs the house. She tells her two older brothers what to do and I feel sure they will live their lives looking […]

Love Them Through This

When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home” (John 19:26-27). Jesus looked at two people he dearly loved and said, “Friend, […]

Defining Torah: Law and Story

For years, I have endeavored to consult every lexicon, dictionary, and opinion about the term torah. The term is difficult to define for good reason. Sometimes torah is used for the first five books of what we call the Old Testament, or Pentateuch. Some define the writings from Genesis to Malachi as torah. Sometimes torah […]

An Invitation to Lipscomb’s Summer Celebration (June 26-28)

SUMMER CELEBRATION * June 26-28“The Holy Spirit Poured Out: For Restoration, Reconciliation and Renewal” A fresh filling of the Holy Spirit poured out is our chosen theme and comes from Dean of Bible Leonard Allen’s new book, “Poured Out.”  Join us for 3 days of dynamic messages, life altering classes, powerful praise and fresh encounters […]

The Words of God: Creation and Torah in Psalm 19 (Part 1)

Words. Some are voiceless, some form a narrative, and others offer a response. Psalm 19 is a meditative response to words that make no sound and written words that shape life. The Psalmist offers a meditation on how God encounters Israel through creation and Torah and how believers respond to such gracious revelation. Creation’s Words […]

Celebrating the political Jesus has never been harder

During and after studying politics in grad school, I often heard variations of the statement that, if we’re to live together, we need to avoid political topics and focus on the things that unite us rather than divide us. It’s a tempting proposition to be sure. Our political dysfunction has reached fever pitch, and our […]

The Christian and Politics

Jesus said, “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” (John 15:19) Can Christians avoid being political? One definition is “activities within an organization […]

Christian Americans or American Christians — who are we?

As our religious convictions become increasingly filtered through blue- or red-colored glasses, Christians in the United States seem to be more of a force for division than unity. The problem isn’t the disagreement. The letters of the New Testament reflect that the church has been rife with disagreement since the ascension of Jesus. Paul and […]