Would Jesus Attend Church?

church pews

How many more minutes before the church service would be over? That’s all I could think about. Every agenda item on the scheduled liturgy was just something else I would have to endure. My mind worked hard to calculate and estimate how much time each of these “perfunctories” would demand: Invocation – two minutes. Reading from Psalms – five minutes. Hymn #124 – three to five minutes. Hymn #291 – another three to five minutes. Sermon – twenty-five minutes, if I was lucky. And on and on it went until the mental calculator registered fifty-five minutes. Fifty-five minutes?! Fifty-five minutes to g … [Read more...]

Jesus & the Personality Test.

 One interesting tool in team-building within any organization, including the family, is a personality assessment. My favorite is probably one of the simpler ones – the Smalley-Trent Test. In it, people taking the test are scored on a range of four key personality types based on various animal-types, including the following:The “Lion” – This represents the person with a strong personality who is prone to take the lead in any given situation. What matters is who is in charge.The “Golden Retriever” – The represents the individual who is empathetic, caring and concerned about the … [Read more...]

One Thing God Finds Irresistible.

magnet

I have often pondered the question: What does God find irresistible? In other words, what attitudes and dispositions in man is he the most drawn to? Yes, I recognize that man is basically sinful and alienated from God. Still, the fact remains that God had to start somewhere as he began his plan of redeeming mankind. What characterized the key people he chose? One cannot consider such a question without taking note of two people who evidently captured God’s attention, one man and one woman. … [Read more...]

5 Ways to Connect with God.

Touching God

The Bible is a book of connections – connection with God and connection with our neighbor. It began with a man in deep and meaningful connection with God – personal, close, intimate, and consistent. Within just a few chapters of the Bible’s beginning, however, man forfeited this significant place of relationship when he allowed sin to enter the Garden.Most of Scripture after the Fall describes a roller-coaster of men’s weak attempts at getting to know the God of the universe. Throughout their stories and experiences, one thing stands clear. There is a God calling man back into meaningful re … [Read more...]

Pascal and Pentecostalism.

Touching God

The first time I walked into a Pentecostal church as a sixteen-year-old, I didn’t know quite what to expect. Entering First Assembly of God (AG) in Columbia, South Carolina that Sunday morning in 1975, was different than anything I had ever experienced; I could feel a sense of excitement, freedom, and spontaneity. Then, I heard something I had never heard before in a church service … voices projected other than the pastor’s; audible gifts of the Spirit operating amidst seasons of worship, prophecies, prayers for healing and, yes, speaking in tongues. And, on that day it honestly was the speak … [Read more...]

The Circles Jesus Drew

circles 1

As churches endeavor to find more effective and fulfilling ways to engage people in ministry, the team approach is one that also fits the renewed clamoring for community within churches today. Such an approach seems more conducive to experiencing church as an organism as opposed to an organization. Gilbert Bilzekian describes it this way: "In our day, there is a clamor for the church to rediscover its identity as community. Many Christian leaders bemoan the fact that the church has lost its basic biblical definition as (a) divinely designed community. Lay people and clergy alike express … [Read more...]

Getting Through YOUR Gethsemanes.

Gethsemane

Watching a 3-D movie without 3-D glasses is a bland and boring experience. Looking at your life through the wrong lens can be the same way. Without the proper lens, the picture is flat, the colors confusing and the characters lifeless. However, the moment you look through the right lens, the images come to life.The events in the life of Jesus bring meaning to the events of our own. As a matter of fact, the ups and downs, the joys and challenges of our lives as Christians can be quite confusing to us unless we learn to view our lives in the light of His. The final week in Jesus’ life i … [Read more...]


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