Saint Patrick is remembered as the man who drove the snakes from Ireland. Each March 17th, the color green is worn with pride and various forms of celebration erupt in western Europe and America.
However, the real story of St. Patrick is one of a man on mission. Not a mission to drive out snakes and party but to bring the power of the gospel to his Irish captors. In the fifth century, as the Roman Empire was collapsing, Patrick was captured by Irish pirates and taken to Ireland from his nativ
Whether you watch the Super Bowl or not this annual spectacle tells you a great deal about the world your children inhabit. Proverbs 7 speaks a father looking out his window at the culture around him. This father used the view from his window to instruct his son about the dangers of life. The window of your television can afford you the same opportunity and obligation.
GROVE, OK (ANS - December 24, 2016) -- "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace" -Isaiah 9:6 (NIV).
Are you ready for Christmas? I've been asked this question by friends, as well as those I meet at the grocery check-out, in the post office line and other public places where I'm waiting.
Children are also waiting. Waiting to see what's underneath t
It is not politically correct to greet people by saying Merry Christmas. I get that. However, I prefer to be biblically faithful. So I don't say Merry Christmas as a greeting; I say it as a proclamation. The birth of Jesus Christ is not just a pleasant remembrance or an occasion for the giving of gifts. The birth of Christ literally means salvation for our entire planet and the people that God would rescue by his grace.
GROVE, OK (ANS – December 18, 2016) -- “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God” -- John 1:12-13 (NIV).
Christmas gifts It’s a wonderful time of the year for some of us. Christmas lights and decor, yuletide songs and greetings and the smells associated with this holiday invite us to care, share and rejoice in the coming of the
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) is taking on a packed Crusade schedule for 2017.
Calling the Gospel, "the most important message ever told to lost souls far and near," Franklin Graham spent much of 2016 sharing the hope of Christ with hundreds of thousands of people during the 50-state Decision America Tour.
There is a compelling reason to celebrate the Advent, but it has nothing to do with a particular country.
God's angels burst into the night sky to praise the birth of Christ. In Luke 2 we read how the sky erupted with the praise of the angels:
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests."
Dear Father, it's busy in my life. Crowds are everywhere. My heart is busy, too many gifts, not enough money, not enough time. This month is supposed to be about you. But even at church I feel more busy than thankful for Christ. There are people to see, events to attend. All of this is supposed to be about Jesus, but it feels more like it's all about me. It's busy in my life.
LANSDALE, PA (ANS - December 9, 2016) -- How fast the year has flown by, and as I have reflected on it, I took the photographs off the piano so that I could decorate it for Christmas. But then I cringed as I noticed a charred mark on the paneling behind one of the photos. That black area reminded me of a Christmas when our home had been anything but peaceful.
My mother and stepfather were visiting. We had been trying to get along with them even though the relationship was strained. But on Chr
ALBUQEURQUE, NEW MEXICO (ANS - December 4, 2016) -- It's that time of year: busyness. There's parties to attend, presents to purchase, programs and church events to concentrate on, and family and friends to host. There doesn't seem to be a dull moment during the holidays.
What's one to do in the midst of a busy and hectic schedule? Where do we find relief? Here are four P's to percolate.
Pray. The first thing every believer should do in busy times -- and in all times for that matter -- is
Your children know everything about you. They see when you are sleeping, they know when you have been good or bad, they know when you pout and when you shout. Your kids know all of this without your ever having to say a word. When you stumble and ask God for help - they learn. When you stumble and snap or make excuses - they learn from that, too. If you value your relationship with God above all else, your children will know that as well.
QUITO, ECUADOR (ANS - November 28, 2016) -- For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
I saw an interesting sign in Atlanta a few weeks ago. It was out front of a lot where they were going to sell Christmas trees, and it said, "Without a traditional tree, it's not Christmas."
The parable in Luke 12 tells of a rich man who had been so successful in his farming endeavors that he had run out of room to store his crops. That was good, right? He was financially secure. As he considered his options, one became attractive. The New Living Translation captures the mindset of our rich farmer:
"Then he said, 'I know! I'll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I'll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. And I'll sit back and say to myself, "My friend
Two years ago I posted this article as I reflected on the reality of ingratitude in the days following Thanksgiving. I was re-reading the article and thought it might be helpful, in case you missed it, to revisit some thoughts about gratitude (or the lack thereof) in anticipation of our celebrations two days hence.
So, as we gather with family and friends on November 24, I would direct your attention to some thoughts that appeared from John Piper on the Solid Joys daily app on November 28, 20
Want a guaranteed better Thanksgiving? Perhaps even the best Thanksgiving ever?
I actually believe Thanksgiving may be one of the most "Christian" holidays we can celebrate. As believers, we are to give thanks always - in every situation. And, we have reason to be thankful. Our God is on His throne - JESUS IS ALIVE - and we are loved with an everlasting love.
That's enough, right?
493 years ago, Governor William Bradford proclaimed that Thursday, November 29th, 1623 would be a day of Thanksgiving and corporate worship. This day marked the third year since these pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock. Over half of their group died in the brutal first year of their new colony. Why did they make the journey? Why did they endure the hardship? And why did the 33 year old Bradford call them together on that November day?
What was it that made the retrieval of gospel truth by Martin Luther and others so appealing to the people living in the early years of the 16th century? To answer this question is to account for why the Protestant Reformation took hold in the hearts of so many people. I believe the answer to this question is found in an understanding of the Roman Catholic sacrament of penance, and in particular the ways in which it undermined the centrality of grace and the finality and sufficiency of the work
Let me ask you a question: Have you ever met anyone who was involved with the occult who truly knew God as their friend and loved Him with all their heart and mind and soul and strength (as Jesus told us to do in Mark 12:30)?
October 31st is only four days away and I suspect that preparations are already underway for the celebration of Halloween. Let me take this opportunity to strongly encourage you to celebrate October 31st, but not for the same reason given by most in our society. Although the last day of October is most frequently referred to as Halloween, our focus as Christians should be on the momentous event that occurred in Wittenberg, Germany, in the year 1517.
A guard of battle-tested, Roman soldiers was dispatched to guard the tomb of Christ. No group of crazed religious fanatics was going to steal the dead body of the supposed Messiah. Then there was an earthquake. Then an angel with the appearance of lightning came down and rolled the stone away and perched himself on top of it. The soldiers watched in shock and then passed out in fear. If you were there you would have expected to see Jesus walk out into the morning light. There was just one prob
One of the accusations made against the early Christians was that they were atheists because they refused to worship the gods of the temples. The idea that a group of people would gather regularly to share food, to tell stories of Jesus the Messiah, and to pray to this same Jesus seemed to some an act of blasphemy - an affront against God; to others it was ludicrous and viewed as treason to Caesar.
You know about the last supper. But there is another story of Jesus's last night that we don't recall so easily. It is an embarrassing story about what our hearts are really like. Just after the Lord's Supper and just before Jesus goes to the garden to pray, there arose an ugly dispute between the disciples. I would like to say that if I had been there I would not have engaged in this display of pride. But I cannot. I, too, would have joined in the moment.