September 20, 2018

As Christians, we often grasp the Gospel in theory while failing to understand how it should change our lives in practice. This is especially true when we think about how the Gospel transforms the way we treat other people. In his book The Gospel: How the Church Portrays the Beauty of Christ, Ray Ortlund shows us what happens when we understand the Gospel and live in light of its transforming power. He emphasizes how a right understanding of the Gospel… Read more

September 17, 2018

Every Sunday, when I finish preaching and come back to my seat in the second row, my ten-year-old daughter gives me two thumbs up. She probably knows that I need the encouragement because of how often she has heard me get in the car and say, “That was terrible.” Every pastor is prone to self-loathing and exaggeration about how poorly he preached on Sunday. Sometimes, we are telling the truth and the sermon really was that bad. Every pastor will… Read more

September 12, 2018

Hurricane Florence’s march towards the Carolinas caused me to reminisce on some of the hurricanes we dealt with when I was growing up in south Alabama. There’s one incident that I think about every hurricane season. It happened a few months after I came to know Jesus during my sophomore year of college. Hurricane Danny hit south Alabama on a Saturday morning. At one point, its winds drove most of the water out of Mobile Bay. Then the storm stalled,… Read more

September 9, 2018

In 1928, English economist John Maynard Keynes delivered a lecture titled “The Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren” in which he argued that by 2028 would we be so prosperous that most people would only have to work fifteen hours a week. As he looked at the coming century, his concern was what people would do with all of their free time. Many of us read Keynes’ thesis and let out a hardy laugh, but he was half right. Both the… Read more

September 4, 2018

I take college football too seriously. I try not to, but it happens every year. I have rooted for the Auburn Tigers since I for as long as I can remember and one year I watched the opening game of the season with some friends at Buffalo Wild Wings. Over half the restaurant was filled with Alabama fans who were there to watch their opening game as well. Auburn started an hour earlier than Alabama, so the Alabama fans were… Read more

August 30, 2018

The next time you are sitting around watching a football game with friends or in a group of people in a social situation, get everyone’s attention and say, “You know, we’re all going to die one day.” Then, just watch everyone’s reactions as the fun gets sucked out of the room in an instant. We don’t like thinking about death even though it’s something we’re all going to face. In his book, Remember Death: The Surprising Path to Living Hope,… Read more

August 28, 2018

Yesterday, many of us were struck by the news of a young pastor’s suicide. It is heartbreaking to think about what might have led him to make this tragic decision. In my younger years, I would have looked upon this man’s pain with immense condescension, but I have been doing this for over 15 years now, so while I would never say that I know what he was going through, I know what it is like to walk through dark… Read more

August 24, 2018

Last year I heard someone refer to R.J. Snell’s book Acedia and Its Discontents in a sermon on slothfulness. I love books related to any of the major themes in Proverbs, so I picked it up and discovered one of the best books I have read in the past year. Acedia refers to slothfulness, which is more than just laziness. Slothfulness despises our reason for being and rejects God’s good plan for creating us. Slothfulness shirks off responsibilities, caves in… Read more

August 21, 2018

For the last few months, I have been using an app called Moment to track the amount of time I spend on my phone. It has been tremendously helpful to see how many hours I can fritter away staring at things I won’t remember in five minutes. One interesting thing the app does is that it tells you how long you “slept.” Of course, it has no way to track when you drifted off to sleep and when you woke… Read more

August 19, 2018

Some days, discouragement sneaks in out of nowhere and overtakes us when we are already tired, overwhelmed, or hurting. It sticks around like a dark cloud, dampening our enjoyment of life and causing us to see the negative side of everything in our lives. The easiest thing to do is to let discouragement have its way with us. We give up the fight against it and allow the cloud to continue hanging over us. It doesn’t have to be this… Read more

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