In the late 1860s in the United States, shortly after the Civil War, which abolished slavery, a former slave owner is loading sacks of vegetables onto his wagon near the town square. Across the street he sees his former slave and yells out to him, “Get over here and load these bags onto my wagon now, boy!”
Image © Krieg Barrie from GoodSalt.com
The former slave, with flashbacks of being beaten and abused for disobeying orders in the past, runs over [...]
“I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world.” 1 Corinthians 5:9-10, NIV
The problem of how the church should relate to the world has existed from the beginning and has continuously struggled for resolution. Two conflicting viewpoints are illustrative regarding this tension. On the one hand, the [...]
A chance encounter or divine appointment? You be the judge.
Yesterday morning I woke up on my day off. Not sure how I wanted to spend it, I went to deliver some baptismal robes to a nearby church which needed them for Sabbath. When I stopped by my church to pick them up, my pastor reminded me it was my day off, and I should not be working. I promised him I would take the day off as soon as I [...]
Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com
Years before ever becoming, or even thinking about becoming a Bible Worker myself, I found myself on a church softball team, captained by the new local Bible Worker. I failed to eat breakfast before running off to play. Not too bright. In the middle of the game, I began to get dizzy and lightheaded. My team was up to bat when I pretty much blacked out. I was sitting right next to the Bible [...]
Several years ago, when I first became a literature evangelist, I was attending an awards banquet for the best sales persons in the Southwest. I was awe struck by the nice shiny plaques and trophies the winners were receiving for leading the region in sales, hours worked, and other categories. I was so impressed that I decided right then and there that I was going to be Number One next year so that I could receive such a reward at [...]
“Postmodern” is the descriptor for our world today. For me, the word dredges up mental pictures of grey post-apocalyptic cityscapes populated by grey, blank-eyed, place fillers.
Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com
In reality though, our postmodern world is peopled with armies of highly engaged individuals who can access a wealth of information on almost any topic with just a few swipes at the screen of their smartphone. Maybe a side effect of this information glut is our society’s relativism.
Relativism is [...]
“For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.” 1 Thessalonians 1:4-5, NIV
A Parable Loosely Based on Acts 17 and Modern Evangelism
Theophilus was excited! This weekend was the big event! All of Thessalonica would be there! He had seen the painted billboards for weeks. [...]
“All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head.” Mark 4:28, NIV
An old story tells of a passerby admiring another man’s beautiful garden. Looking over the beautiful blooms, he remarked that God had certainly produced a wonderful garden, blessed with so many beautiful flowers. The gardener, who had been toiling for much of the day in the hot sun and apparently feeling that the admirer did not understand how much [...]
Image © Providence Collection from GoodSalt.com
Have you burned any bridges lately? Are you sure? Could you have burned a bridge without being aware of doing it? Next time you’re sitting in church, take a look around. Are there some folks missing? I don’t mean like on-vacation missing, but folks who haven’t been to church for maybe a month or two … or maybe a year or two. Maybe you can’t remember when he (or she) was last at church. [...]
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15, NIV
A paradox pertaining to the modern Christian church is that many want to evaluate the various ministries and activities of the church, but few want to be the recipients of evaluation, whether the evaluation is fair or not. However, this is not limited to the church. Even in secular [...]