Thanksgiving occurs every day and has since creation itself. Setting aside one special day as our American Thanksgiving merely formalizes a national observance. Unfortunately, many people merely use the time as a means of feasting and celebrating without giving true thanksgiving and praise to the Creator Himself. In order to expand true thanksgiving within any group (as small as one’s family or as great as one’s community), at least one person of true faith must call others to the highest giving of thanks there can ever be: offering heartfelt praise and worship to the Lord of heaven and earth.
Universal Call to Giving Thanks Based on a Universal Cause
One of the most well known of psalms closes by focusing on the universal cause for giving thanks to the Creator and King of all creation.… Continue reading
One of the most common questions I get asked about any given passage of Scripture is “what does it really say in the Greek/Hebrew?” 99.995% of the time my answer is “just what it says in your translation.” It is very, very, very, unlikely that your pastor will make a linguistic discovery in the text of the Bible that millennia of scholars, pastors and theologians have missed. And there is no dark conspiracy among translation committees (of major translations) to obscure the text of Scripture. The best advice I can give you is the advice always give those who ask me what the text really says.… Continue reading
The following post is a raw and passionate reminder to myself of the nature of my calling as a pastor. I wrote these thoughts down some time ago, but return to them on occasion to help me remain focused on most critical aspects of pastoral ministry. In particular, I wrote them down in response to the endless flow of competing voices trying to direct pastors to take up cause after cause. Perhaps what I ended up writing to myself will help you or a pastor you know as well.
You are a pastor and you have a job; a job that you must not neglect; a job that you are called to give yourself to with utmost seriousness and urgency.… Continue reading
A little over a month ago we moved into our new home. It’s an older home with a lot of character and many initial renovation projects needing done. None of them were necessary because of age problems, but essential for customizing our home how we want: painting, tile, ceiling texture, GFI’s, and more painting. After laying most of the tile in our main room, we decided to stay in a hotel for 24 hours to let the floor dry.
If you live in Vegas, and you want a cheap room, your hotel accommodations will probably be at a casino too. However, if you live in Vegas, you don’t like the Strip so you go to a local casino.… Continue reading
Three fairly significant biblical examples appear to support a believer’s participation in the military:
Jesus’s approval of a king who waged war against wicked people (Matthew 21:33–41).
In Luke 3:14 John did not command them to resign from military service, but to be content in that position with its wages. Their behavior was to be just and honest — even while remaining soldiers.
In John 18:36 Jesus stated that it would have been proper for His disciples to defend His kingdom with swords if it had been an earthly kingdom.
In addition, New Testament writers employ a variety of military metaphors to describe the character of the believer: the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10–20), being a “good soldier” (2 Timothy 2:3–4), and waging spiritual warfare (2 Corinthians 10:1–6).… Continue reading