Showing posts from March, 2019

The Final Frontier

I would think that when we hear the words of the title today our minds either go back to the western push in American expansionism or to our more modern Star trek imaginations.  Both had captured the frontier elements in the idea of conquering new ground never before thought possible.

Perhaps for each of us today as believers we also have a frontier that is beckoning us to capture it and control it, but it isn't an actual area of geography or space as we know it.  Rather it is the wild and sometimes uncontrolable expanse of our own minds; namely our thought lives.  For every believer who thinks they have achieved control of their outer lives and behavior, let them turn to the inner spaces of their thought lives and apply the same discipline.

 I remember as a young Christian how foreign this idea seemed to me.  I had grown up thinking that some things are mine and mine alone, that nobody had any right to tell me what to do in the most private areas of my life.  So I didn’t allow an…

Telling Your Story Effectively Part 2

In my last article I offered you some keys for sharing your testimony with others from Acts 26.  We remember that Paul was standing before King Agrippa in a Jerusalem court and in the course of his own defense he set forth five key principles of an effective testimony.  

From last time we saw that the first three principles involve an introduction that draws your listener into your story.  Like a porch of an attractive home, the introduction should make your listener want to hear what you have to say by being drawn into your story.

Secondly, we talked about identification.  Here is where we make key connections with our listeners from both our early life and religious background.  Without this kind of important information about ourselves our listeners will not have the necessary context for digestng our story, especially as it relates to the third element of impact.

The impact portion of our story involves the telling of how we heard the gospel and how it transformed us when we beli…

Telling Your Story Effectively

Most of us as Christians if we are honest have had difficulty in being a consistantly good witness for Christ.  Sometimes we have opportunities that we don't act upon for one reason or another or we don't have a strategy that personally works well.  Either way, God can't use us because we are simply not available or prepared when we are called upon to share our faith.  How would you respond if I told you that you have the most powerful witnessing tool for Christ present with you at this moment?  Do you know what that is?  Its simply the story of how Jesus Christ saved you!

The greatest and most effective way to share your faith is to tell the story of how and where your faith began.  If you have placed saving faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior, then you have a story which chronicles how God pursued you and brought you to Himself.  Every believer has their own story which needs to be told, simply and directly.

The best Biblical example of a testimony of salvation may be…

Where is the Balanced Reporting?

We have recently been watching the devastating news from Christchurch, New Zealand, where at least fifty Muslim worshippers were slaughtered as they congregated in their local mosque.  The response both public and private has been riveting, and the sense of outrage has been appropriate and aggressive from news agencies around the world.  I have been particularly focused on how quickly the media gathered the key facts of the case, interviewing the living victims of the massacre and appropriately labeling the gunman as a hate-consumed terrorist viciously taking the lives of innocent men, women, and children while they were in a house of worship.

Now, instead of fast-forwarding to another instance of blatant hatred, let me turn back the clock a few months and take you to Nigeria where, since January, "Fulani herdsmen" have maimed and murdered not fifty, not one hundred, not one thousand...........but six thousand Christians.  These herdsmen, so-identified, are actually radicali…

Three Affects of Anxiety and How to Fight Them.

Today Americans, and yes Christians included, spend billions of dollars on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medicines.  Many Christians suffer from anxiety of various kinds, and my concern is that many believers do not have the spiritual armor necessary to fight the anxiety battle and win.  The word anxiety or worry is used over 45 times in the New Tesrament and means to be pulled in two different directions at the same time.  Consequently, anxiety can truly be deabilitating.  Without the right tools, it is easy to fall prey to its power.  There are at least three definite affects anxiety has on the Christian that we need to be equipped to fight.

The first is the fact that worry actually changes our focus.  Remember the instance when Mary, Martha, and Lazarus invited Jesus to their house in Bethany?  It was a visit involving a meal and Martha was pre-occupied in the kitchen nervously preparing the food while Mary was pre-occupied worshiping her Master. Then Martha burst in the room a…

Waiting on God

One of the most diffiicult things to do as a Christian is to wait.......on God.  There have been innumberable times in my own life when I prayed and wanted something from God, and,no matter how often I prayed or how convinced I was regarding the importance of some thing, the Lord appeared to be unconcerned with my need.   At least, that's what I thought.

But little did I know that my plan and my desires were not God's but were actually limited in scope and nothing in terms of what God wanted to do in my life.  In the end, we always regret impatience with God's timing.  The Psalmist said in Ps. 130:5,

I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait, And in His word do I hope.

There have been times when I had asked the Lord for perfectly good things.  I have prayed for children, houses, cars, jobs, checks in the mail, etc etc. In each case I believed that my need was far more urgent than it actually was.  Do you know what happens when we believe that?  We can get way ahead of God.  S…

So Easy To Remember but So Hard To Forget

Back when my wife and I were young newlyweds we had a table-top am-fm radio that sat on our bureau in the bedroom.  We would often turn it on in the morning or early evenings and play a radio station that played the old, timeless classics from the thirties and forties.  I mean most young people, except for the old soul types, would probably never recognize these ancient tunes in a million years, but we used to get a kick out of hearing them.  They not only reminded us of old movies we had seen at times as kids, but made us laugh as we crooned along with them as the classic babyboomers we were.  There was this one song we heard just about every week on this same channel that sang the words of our blog title today.  Obviously, I have never forgotten the words.

I wish I could say that about the more important things in my life such as Scripture, or historical facts, or some trivia.  However, without constant practice these things will often get blurred and become almost impossible to rec…

The Limitations of Human Love

I want to talk today about a common theme regarding the subject of love.  We are hearing a lot of good things about showing love, performing acts of love to our neighbors, and even strangers, and removing barriers to expressing love in a lot of different ways.  Let me be the first to say amen to that!  When I was growing up as a babyboomer there was a great song on the radio sung by Jackie DeShannon entitled, "What the World Needs Now Is Love.”  It was a great hit and was a hit for a long time on the charts.

Jackie's song reminds me that what the world is not only looking for but truly needs is love.  The only question that remains is, “What kind of love?"  What or who.defines the love we are talking about here?  That question is vitally important because we all know human love in some way, usually from a parent, family member, or perhaps even someone who we met along life's pathway who demonstrated genuine love to us when we particularly needed it.

Some of you know…