Monday, April 28, 2008

The Bucket List

A few months ago a movie came out called, "The Bucket List," starring Jack Nicholson, Morgan Freeman, and Shean Hayes. Two terminally ill patients who are totally different in every aspect of life- race, etc., become friends and make a list of things they want to do before they "kick the bucket." The movie had me thinking. As Christians, what would we have on our list? Would you spend more time with family; share your faith with others; convert on person to Christ; pray more or maybe even travel to the places Jesus walked? Would your list look different than any other person who is not a Christian?

What would be on your bucket list? Share it with us.

What do you think?
Share your thoughts.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Picking and Choosing To Whom We Show God's Grace

I wasn't feeling good at all today, but I had a situation which made me feel even worse.

There was a woman who was asking for help with a payment on her car. She works 2 jobs in 2 different towns and needs her car for work. She is newly divorced and her ex-husband has not given her the child support he owes. He is witholding the $4000, she thinks, to hurt her. Actually, he is hurting his children.

We are so small that we don't have elders, but instead appoint men to oversee certain areas. One man is in charge of the finances. I went to him on her behalf, but he refused to allow the church to help her. The reason he gave is that she was a divorced woman who chose to leave with her children and live with another man. Her story is that she is not living with him, but is only dating him.

I was really contemplating giving her money out of my own pocket in order to help her family because she had to call in work three days because she didn't have a car. I might still do it if I can find the money.

All this woman needed was $229 to get her car out and back. I had to go back and tell her, "No." She then told me that some of her friends said, "If you want help at any church, the Church of Christ is the one to go to."

I feel so embarassed because in the last two weeks, I put a huge ad in the local paper stating that we were a grace-oriented, non-denominational congregation,who loves God, and striving to be like Jesus. "God I repent of lying in that ad."

I believe if we are not known in the community for our graceousness, love of others, and forgiveness, then this church will end up dying. I love Jesus more than anything and I want us to be known as graceous and benevolent in this community. If you look at the ministry of Jesus, he met the physical needs first and then the spiritual needs. Our church can forget ministering to this woman and her children because they will not be coming to worship with us.

I had to look a woman who humbled herself to ask the church (I know from personal experience that you do have humble yourself uncomfortably when asking the church for help).

Shouldn't we as Christians and churches be known as benevolent? Should ministries imitate the ministry of Jesus? Will churches or those men who are tight with God's money suffer a worse judgment for being judgemental and not demonstrating the grace of God? What happens when a church isn't benevolent and graceous?

I know that people are busy, but are they too busy for what is important to God? Do we really want adulterers sitting in our building? Do we want liars and those who are addicted to porn? Do we want people who are poor to come? Is not the Church for "sinners"? Are we to pick and choose who we help?

I would have given the mother help, invited her to our church, and told her to leave her life of sin like Jesus did with the woman caught in the act of adultery. I believe there are more Churches of Christ who are willing and would much rather throw stones than to show the grace and love of God to a non-believer. Yes, this church does help believers, but we need to be graceous and benevolent to everyone and not pick and choose to whom we show God's grace and mercy. A church will never grow if it has prejudice, is non-benevolent and not helpful to those in the communities in which they live.

What do you think?
Share your thoughts.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day

Today, if you forgot, is Earth Day. I hope you remembered. It's a day to celebrate and do what we can to help the environment. I hear a lot of Chrisitans with the attitude like, "Who cares about Earth Day? We aren't going to live on earth forever." The world is going to burn up in the second judgment so why should I care or be concerned about Earth Day?

In Genesis 1:28 says, "God blessed them and said to them, 'Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.'" Genesis 2:15, "The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it."

In Revelation, we see that heaven is going to come down to earth. John says in Revelation 21:1-ff, "I then saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, come down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride, beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.'" More and more Biblical scholars are seeing God and heaven coming down to earth. The curse has been broken. It is the perfect Garden of Eden once again.

What do you believe? Do you think Earth Day is important? Why or why not? What can we do to make a difference on Earth Day? Have you or your church done anything to be more enviornmentally friendly (to use the terminology of today)? Have you heard any Earth Day sermons? If we don't hear enough earthday sermons? Why? Is there anything that you can teach your children or any traditions that you and your family can do for Earth Day? How can church leaders stress the importance of Earth Day more to their congregations? Are their any traditions or rituals that they can start to make Earth Day more important and be an example for the community? Does it seem that non-Chrisitans or the "un-churched" do more for Earth Day? Why? Shouldn't Christians set the example for the world? Is Earth Day just a load of hogwash? Is Earth Day just another way for "tree huggers" to exert liberal beliefs?

Should Earth Day not be a day for helping the earth so much as it should be a call to remember Adam's responsibilities?

What do you think?
Share your thoughts.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


One thing I have learned even as a young man is that everyone has their own problems. There are some people that have more share of the suffering in this world.

Ever since the fall in the garden the earth has been cursed and sin has come into the world. There are some problems that are consequences of sin (having an affair can lead to divorce, sexual immorality can lead to sexually transmited diseases, telling a lie can lead to mistrust and spending too much can lead to debt).

Other problems just happen because of genetics (predispositions to heart disease and certain types of cancers). Still, other problems just happen out of enviornement and noone knows why. Jesus even knew that situation in his respone to the Pharasees when asked, "Who sinned that this man was born blind? Him or his parents?" Jesus replied, "neither." (

I am suffering from the pain of GBS. I thank everyone for your prayers

I have a prayer request. Lane Pepper, a nephew of one of our members has had his fair share of suffering. He is a young man in his twenties and suffered with cancer not once but twice. With surgeries and radiation treatments, they thought he and his wife would never be able to have babies. A mircle happened, and his wife, to doctors amazement, became pregnant. At the last doctors apointment, they thought the baby might have Downs Syndrome, but it turned out to be worse: cysts on the baby's brain. There will be an MRI tomorrow please keep Lane's family in your prayers.

So, why does God allow suffering to occur? Does God really give us more than we can bare? I sometimes am on the edge of what I can handle-have you ever been there? Why does it seem that the righteous suffer while the wicked prosper?

What do you think?
Share your thoughts.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Preaching Too Much Love Is Preaching Too Much God!

I was told today, "You preach too much love." Well, if God is love (1 John 4:16b), then are we preaching too much God? Why are people so afraid of it? Why do they hate it so much? Some Christians tell their preachers, "We need balance." Well 1 John 5:13 says, "I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life."

Why do we need to mention hell "to the choir" if we are saved and follower of Christ? When I preach love, I want my congregation to know that it is center of Christianity and the life we live. Love is the God we serve. He is love. If we do not love, everything means nothing.

I want them to have a personal relationship with Jesus, the one who loved us so much that he gave his life for us. It is so frustrating when the saved are afraid of hell or want preachers to scare people into becoming a Christian! So, if we are preaching love, then aren't we preaching God? When people say they don't want too much love, are they in fact saying, they don't want too much God?

What do you think?
Share your thoughts.

Does anyone know a publisher that is looking for a Christian author?
Please let me know.

Friday, April 11, 2008

What do you do with your brain?

Do we leave our brains at the door?

I think there are many Christians who leave their brains at the door when they come to church. Many of us don't think for ourselves. We just agree with the Bible class teacher no matter what they may be teaching or saying. It goes in one ear and out the other.

In some classes, teachers have the tendency to teach their opinion instead of teaching the Word of God. We don't ask: "What does God's word have to say about that point, topic or is it just your opinion because all have differences when it comes to the text?"

There are many Christians who during the time of worship just go through the motions without thinking about the prayers, what the song is really singing, what Jesus Christ has done when we take communion, and even what the preacher is saying to us. It's too easy for us to be manipulated. I believe that when we go to church we shouldn't leave our brains at the door. We should think for ourselves at church. Christians need to use their brain to see what is truth or not.

I think some preachers, ministers and church leaders are afraid of their congregations gaining the ability to think for themselves because things may change. Christians should not be ignorant (1 Cor 12:1; 2 1 Cor. 15: 34; Thess. 4:13; Heb 5:2; 1 Peter 2:15; 2 Peter 3:16). Many choose to keep their congregations under control, mired in legalism, and under the thumb of all the ideology as they do.

The world even thinks and treats Christians like they are ignorant. Many of the television shows and movies make Christians look ignorant. One of those movies just won an Oscar. We are made to look ignorant on television shows such as Dateline, 20/20, Primetime Live, Larry King Live, Nancy Grace, and countless other programs.

Listen carefully, brothers and sisters: God has given you a brain. Use it! When you enter the door of the church don't enter and leave your brain at the door. Think for yourselves!!! Wake up and realize that faith and thought ARE NOT mutually exclusive!

Do some Christians enter church and leave their brain? Why? How can that hurt a church when people don't use the minds that God has given them? Do you think some preachers are scared of people who can think for themselves? Why are there so many ignorant Christians? Do you think some preachers, ministers and other clergy want to keep their people ignorant and believe their opinion is true (such as "Speak where the Bible speaks and be silent where the Bible is silent," so we can't add anything that might benefit the Church) What can we do to think for ourselves when it comes to worship? Have you ever felt ignorant at church? How? Have you ever had to jump through hoops because of your own personal convictions against the churches?

Please don't get me wrong at all, I love the Church. It is my prayer that every Christian will not forget to take their brain when they open the door of the church building.

What do you think?
Share your thoughts.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

What does the church need to do in order to thrive in the 21st Century?

I have been thinking about how and what the church needs to do in order to make a difference in today's world. I believe the Bible never changes but how we do ministry and reach out to those who need Jesus Christ may not be as affective as the has been in years past.

In the past, we have been program driven. We have programs for Senior adults, college and young professionals, teens, and children. Are programs still affective? Do we need to take a more personal approach in asking what needs can be met and how we even do ministry? Is there a way to tailor ministry at the individual level in this century?

I remember growing up a child and the church would have gospel meetings that would last four or five days long. People are pressed for time and energy going in different directions, what once was affective may not be in the 21st century.

What do you think needs to be changed or done in order reach out and meet the needs of those who need Jesus Christ? Do you have anything that has worked for your congregation? Have you heard of anything that has worked for other congregations? Have traditional program in ministry stopped being affective? If so, why? What is your approach to affective ministry? How can we be the church of the 21st century, making a difference where we are in our communities? How do we communicate with members and elders that the methods of the past just aren't affective anymore? What does the church need to do to thrive in the 21st Century?

What do you think?
Share your thoughts.