And they will come from east and west and from north and south, and will recline at the table in the kingdom of God. -Luke 13:29 (NASB)
Dr. John Wesley White was battling double pneumonia when he stood up to preach the Gospel on April 28, 1996, inside an elementary school gymnasium in Greeneville, Tennessee. His family and friends had ordered him to stay home that night, but the preacher couldn't be stopped.
CALIFORNIA (ANS -- January 17, 2017) -- He grew up in a Christian home with loving parents, but something went terribly wrong in his teen years that caused a slow but steady descent into addiction. Then God sent a powerful dream about hell that awakened him to his need for change.
"They were great parents to me," says Billy Miller. "I knew the truth of the gospel. I played sports. I was a great football, baseball player and basketball player. I had a good childhood," he recalls.
Yesterday we looked at ten things we should know about revival. Today I want to continue this focus by looking at some of the characteristics of true, heaven-sent revival. It will soon be evident that my observations are heavily indebted to the writings of Jonathan Edwards and J. I. Packer.
1. In revival, God draws near. God comes down. This is certainly the imagery found in Isaiah 64:1-2 where God's presence is portrayed in terms of a brushfire. "It is with this searching, scorching manifestation of God's presence that renewal begins, and by its continuance that renewal is sustained" (Packer, 26).
The January 2017 issue of National Geographic examines the issue of gender. The editor of the magazine believes gender is not an issue of male and female, but that gender is best understood as numerous points along a spectrum of possible identities. As this special magazine issue indicates, the idea of gender as a spectrum is a recent concept and rapidly changing the way culture and science view the sex of humans.
Where would you and I be if God treated us fairly? Does God ever have a reason to be fair with me? In pride, I want to say yes. I don't deserve unfair treatment. But such thinking is not helpful. In light of what God has given for me and how I act in return for his mercy, any demand for fairness is stupid. To demand fairness is to live like a fool, to live has if there were no God.
It is important not to miss the struggles your teenager faces each day. She is often functioning without immediate and constant parental supervision. New and sometimes dangerous influences enter his life. This is the scary part. It is no secret that sex, drugs, pornography, bullying and gambling have all made their way into the teenage world. So what can you do to shepherd your teenager without giving them a lie detector test each afternoon and attaching a body cam and GPS to them?
In leadership, its important to know the difference in popularity and trust.
I've seen leaders - whether pastors, politicians or in business - try to take people places, even worthy places, and believe people would follow because they are popular as a leader.
DONCASTER, UK (ANS - January 12, 2017) -- Following in the steps of Jesus was more exciting than walking on the moon. These are the words attributed to Neil Armstrong, the first man to set foot on the moon's surface, during a visit to Israel.
And fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin, who accompanied him for the Apollo 11 lunar landing, was similarly taken up with a heavenly perspective. Shortly after touching down where no man had been before, he took communion with bread and wine he had carried from earth in special plastic packages, and ensured that among the first words ever spoken there were those of the Creator of the Universe, Jesus Christ, when he read a passage from John's Gospel. (The bread and wine are symbols of the sacrifice Jesus made -- through his broken body and shed blood - in dying for our sins on the cross).
Have you ever said something like this to your kids?
"Sorry I was upset. You know that I love you, but I am just so frustrated right now!"
The words, "I love you," are buried in the middle of this defense of an angry outburst. They are familiar words. But familiar words often lose their impact and may become background noise to your children. More is needed than just words, than saying "I love you." Real, tangible actions must accompany the words of love.
Everyone loves compliments – me included. I received a compliment recently from someone who met me for the first time and it was so encouraging.
I met some visitors in the hall at church one Sunday. It was their first time and they didn’t know where the preschool area was, […] Continue Reading…
There are times where someone needs to offer constructive criticism. In fact, the best leaders and the best organizations are made better by learning to receive, process and respond to criticism. No one particularly likes criticism, but when it is offered properly it can actually improve life for everyone […] Continue Reading…
There are some lessons we only learn the hard way.
One of those for me has to do with working with creatives.
I used to think when leading creatives, the key was to free them to create. I gave huge blank slates, allowed them to dream, and gave them very few parameters of what I was thinking.
GROVE, OK (ANS – January 8, 2017) -- “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:13-14 (NIV).
A lot of people struggle with John 15:1-11 and our Lord's teaching on the vine and the branches. This week I've been looking at the question of the relationship between professed faith in Christ and consistent obedience to his commands. This passage speaks directly to the issue. Let's look closely at it.
If you are like me you love your weekends. T.G.I.F., right? In fairness, my weekends are shorter than some. My busiest day is usually Sunday. But, I love the weekend I have.
In my experience, however, if we are not careful the weekend passes so quickly we begin another work week feeling we wasted the weekend we had. Or we are so stressed by the week behind or the week ahead that all we do is catch our breath and we can't fully enjoy the weekend.
In my leadership experience there are two kinds of leaders.
There are those who are willing to lead leaders and those who will only lead followers.
Some leaders refuse to be leaders of leaders. Sadly I have witnessed many pastors who fall into "follower only" category, refusing to allow leaders to develop in the church. Their fear of losing control or power, being upstaged, or simply never learning the value of empowering others, causes them to keep laypeople from becoming leaders within the church.
Yesterday I posted an article on ten things we should all know about the so-called Lordship Salvation controversy. It reminded me of an article I came across a few months ago (www.mattmoore.org, "Is Your Heart Good Soil?") that instantly captured my attention. The author confessed both his "sadness and terror" as he thought about the departure from Christianity on the part of several of his close friends. "One moment they appeared to be joyfully walking with God," he writes, "and then out of nowhere - to my shock and horror - they began trampling all over his Son . . . . I'm not talking about just a little backsliding or a bit of stumbling. These guys and gals flat out rejected Jesus. Today, they proudly admit that they couldn't care less about the biblical realities of sin, judgment, or God's gracious offer of redemption. They are utterly finished with Christianity."