Hopefully, by October, you're already thinking through your preaching calendar for next year. Part of shepherding a congregation toward long term health is offering a balanced diet from the pulpit. Your preaching over a twelve-month period should be pre-planned with certain factors built in.
"They don't teach you that in seminary." Pastors, and especially younger ones, are all-too-used to receiving that admonition from their more seasoned co-laborers. Of course, it's true: seminary can only give you so much. It might give you Greek, but it won't tell you what to say to a couple whose infant just died. Seminary might tune all five senses for heresy-detection, but it won't teach you how to run a rowdy member's meeting.
If you want your church to grow, you must learn how to motivate believers to invest their resources into the kingdom for ministry and for facilities. It is a key responsibility of leadership. Whoever writes the agenda must be able to underwrite the agenda. If you're going to form the vision you also have to be able to fund the vision.
This weekend I have the privilege of teaching and equipping over 60 pastors and church leaders. As I was preparing this evening for that time together, my mind kept going back to 1980. You see, it was in August 1980 that I became a Christian at 14-years-of-age while attending Acworth United Methodist Church located just north of Atlanta.
I had a wonderful Sunday School teacher named Lenis Black. Mr. Black was an incredible teacher and one of the most influential Christian leaders I have ev
If you want your church to grow, and if you want the Kingdom to grow, you're going to need to develop many more leaders. In the early church, an interesting turn of events happens when the apostles shift from simply preaching to releasing leaders. The Bible says in the early chapters of Acts that God was "adding" to the church daily. Shortly into the life of the Jerusalem church, there arose a conflict
I watch Internet porn all the time… but am I addicted?
I have sex with my girlfriend most of the times we go out… is that a sexual addiction?
I masturbate almost every day, but I feel bad about it… that wouldn’t be a sexual addiction, would it?
All of us say we would never touch a child. We say we will never look at child porn. But if we’re hanging around Barely Legal sites, we’re dangerously close to looking at child porn and closer than we think to acting out sexually with a minor.
Porn never satisfies. No matter what you watch eventually it grows old and you need more. You need something new and “improved.” Maybe that’s just more porn, harder porn, younger or “barely legal” porn, or maybe it’s not even porn but the real deal … escorts, massage parlors, you name it.
China is a long way away from my house. But watching a news item on land grabbing in China was like being there. The spectacle of wealthy builders bulldozing a thriving secondary school and ejecting the owners from the property which had been in the family for centuries made my blood boil. It wasn't just the injustice which made me so angry: it was the debilitating helplessness of the victims of such greed.
"Consuming pornography does not lead to more sex, it leads to more porn. Much like eating McDonalds everyday will accustom you to food that (although enjoyable) is essentially not food, pornography conditions the consumer to being satisfied with an impression of extreme sex rather than the real."---Virginie Despentes
You are tempted when you are dragged away by your own evil desire. So, to me, that says that we are not tempted, then we lose the fight and decide to give in. But we first drag ourselves away from God, away from his protection, because we want to give in, then we are tempted.
I was always curious about sex, but I didn’t get any info about it from my parents. I would peek at trashy romance novels with my best friend, looking for the dirty parts. Then, I stumbled across a Victorian erotica novel that I was drawn to because it shared my grandmother’s name. It was filled with S & M stuff and all kinds of visuals that never belonged in my 14-year-old mind.
Before I lost my job because of my porn habit I felt totally in control. I felt like I could stop my porn at any time and I could handle it. Now, 5 years into my recovery, I realize I was WAY out of control.
I am so sorry to tell all of you that our friend,Pastor Chuck Smith has died. As most of you know,Chuck has been battling cancer for a couple of years now. As Pastor Chuck fought this dreaded disease he still maintained a very full schedule of preaching and serving the Lord to the very end. I can't help but think of the Apostle Paul's words to Timothy
I became very lonely and started masturbating frequently. It became so heartbreaking to me that I could become involved in that and nof being able to stop. When it "didn’t work" anymore, I started looking at lustful images. It progressed onto very "soft-core" stuff, but it got nastier and nastier.
Porn addiction for married men could cause them to lose their intimacy with their wives. Instead of resolving their problems together, he will go into a fantasy world where she would not be able to reach him. Understanding and communication will be lost. The husband, instead of asking what needs to be done to make the relationship happy again resorts to pornography. It alienates the wife and causes an emotional gap that eventually can lead to divorce.
Oral sex was the first sex that I was introduced to and it’s the one thing that I continuously crave whether I get it on a regular basis or not. While I confess to be a Christian or better yet, a flawed follower of Christ, I am well aware of what the Bible says about pre-martial sex. However, I still find myself engaging when the opportunity becomes available.
I must admit that addressing this topic has been very challenging. While I have a very clear understanding of the role that control plays in my addiction, it was more difficult for me to connect with it’s specific role when I watch porn. However, after much introspection and conversation with friends I can now make a more direct connection.
Pornography gripped me like many others, past and present. I was in middle school. I was becoming involved in the opposite sex. Girls suddenly became, well, cool. And then curiosity snuck into my mind, and swiftly the innocence I once knew become foreign to me; clutched by the hands of the computer screen. Back then, though, it was just “something.” However, before long it became a habit that killed every bit of my very being.
There have been a number of recent, highly controversial instances involving school boards discussing the topic of creation/evolution in the government-run school classroom, in science textbook disclaimers, and so on.
Director Evan Jackson Leong chronicles Jeremy Lin's inspirational story long before that fateful month and at a time when Lin was still struggling to find a place in a league that didn't want him while never wavering on his faith and hope for an opportunity.