Why I’m Glad Christmas Is Over

Christmas. Is. Over.I spent twelve years working in retail, both in a mom-and-pop and large stores. Christmas meant long hours, cranky customers, and avoiding being trampled on Black Friday.I don’t miss the retail rush of holiday gift-giving. Somehow squabbling over Tickle-Me-Elmo never made me think more highly of the birth of Jesus.Because of the hectic pace of the holidays, I always looked forward to the day after Christmas as much as Christmas day. As we took a deep breath and r … [Read more...]

See Why Faith Hurts — And That’s OK

Why faith hurts

As a father of six children, I’ve dealt with more than a few cuts and bruises–and the most dreaded of all – splinters. Before a splinter was pulled, the fear of pain was almost always greater than the pain itself. For this reason, each of my children resisted attempts for healing.This resistance to healing reminds me of our spiritual lives. There is a widespread belief in modern Christianity that walking by faith should be pain-free. This lie, coupled with our fear of pain, keeps us from foll … [Read more...]

How to Be Truly Thankful this Thanksgiving

How to be Truly Thankful This Thanksgiving

We all know that Thanksgiving is about much more than turkey and football. We know that the true purpose of Thanksgiving is just what the name suggests: giving thanks to God for His goodness to us.But I think sometimes we like to think we're more grateful than we really are.I mean, how many times have I thanked God for the food before the meal out of shear habit without an ounce of real gratitude? Please tell me I'm not the only one.Sometimes we aren't truly grateful because we … [Read more...]

How to Be Great in God’s Eyes (Part 2)

take risks

We continue exploring how to be great in God's eyes. If you didn't catch step one, start here: How to be Great in God's Eyes (Part 1). Step 2: Taking Risks for His Kingdom You know the parable Jesus told of the talents. Three servants were assigned chucks of money to steward – significant amounts. Two were rewarded and one was cast into outer darkness to a horrific fate. But what did he do wrong?It wasn’t that he didn’t manage the money. He did manage it; he just didn’t manage it well. In f … [Read more...]

How to Be Great in God’s Eyes

How to be great in God's eyes

My son flirted with greatness not long ago. It happened during a recent trip we took to Stone Mountain here in Atlanta. For those unfamiliar with the attraction, picture a 600-foot-high rounded rock surrounded by flat land for at least 70 miles in all directions and you’ll start to get the idea. Apparently, about 90% of the mountain is underground. Don’t ask me how that makes it a mountain, but its geographic label is hardly relevant to the story.What makes Stone Mountain unusual is the mas … [Read more...]

Why Do Kids From Good Families Walk Away From the Faith?

Why Do Kids From Good Families Walk Away From the Faith?

This post originally appeared at Teach 4 the Heart and has been re-posted here with permission by the author. What causes Christian teens from good churches and good families to leave the faith as an adult? This question plagues parents, teachers, pastors, and youth workers. And I'll be honest - I don't know what the answer is.I do know I've seen too many of my friends and classmates either slowly drift away and get out of church or disregard the faith completely. It's tragic and sad - and … [Read more...]

Raising Hands in Church a Distraction? One Pastor’s Perspective

DeaPeaJay

My post Why I Don't Raise My Hands in Your Church may have had some readers doubting that any Christians could possibly have a problem with a practice that has become standard worship procedure in worship -- raising hands.Let me stress, I don't have a problem -- provided our focus is on worshipping God sincerely in Spirit and truth and not on conforming to external pressures.I thought one pastor's perspective on this issue was worth discussing as it represents a significant corner of … [Read more...]

Why I Don’t Raise My Hands in Your Church

raised hands in worship service

I know what you’re thinking.If I don’t raise my hands in your church, there’s probably something seriously wrong with the state of my soul. Clearly the Spirit ain’t moving if my hands aren’t lifting, right?OK. So I don’t know what you’re thinking exactly, but after having experienced countless Evangelical worship services and having been harangued by worship leaders to clap more, turn and greet total strangers as if we were long-lost friends, and raise my hands higher (Higher!), I might b … [Read more...]


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