All Posts (Page 37)

All Posts (Page 37)

Membership Agreement

As a follower of Jesus Christ, I joyfully and thoughtfully enter into a bond of mutual edification (1), fellowship (2), and accountability (3) with the other members of this body. I have repented of my sin (4), trusted in Christ as my Savior and Lord (5), and been baptized as a true believer (6). I will faithfully participate with this church in worship, prayer, study, fellowship, and the ordinances of baptism and communion (7). I will use my spiritual gifts…

Miss Hockingfield’s Waterloo

James, the youth: Why is Christ not beautiful to some people? Brockton, the older, and wiser: Because without eyes they cannot see. James: You mean such people are incapable of knowing Christ’s beauty? Brockton: Incapable because they are without desire; without desire because they are incapable. Miss Hockingfield’s story explains. It was “Art Museum Day” at Bussby Elementary, and Miss Hockingfield was ecstatic. She was a lover of beauty, an aficionado of all things lovely. It was on this day…

Powerfully Kept

I’ve seen a few extremely powerful things. Just recently I watched a tornado whirling debris on the lawn as it rose up and passed just beside our house. I know that it was insane to be outside watching, but power is intriguing. I’ve been in a tropical storm on the Florida coast, packed and ready to leave in an instant if it accelerated to a hurricane. I’ve felt the ground rumbling while watching a space shuttle launch, and I’ve circled…

She Loved It!

She loved it! The deep blue four-inch vase sat in her glass cabinet for thirty years until her death. I’m convinced that she loved it more every year she lived. She didn’t have to say much about it. Just that fact that it sat there among other valuables and was dusted with cherished thoughts was enough. You could see mom having good memories. I remember when I bought that blue vase for mom. I was on a trip with a…

The Likes of Danni Lites

“This is so sad, that she died so alone,” said one of her friends from years earlier. Danni (Dannell) Lites was well known to the comic book world, writing over 250 stories of comic book characters on three web sites. Over the web she conversed incessantly with fans of her writing. She was considered an expert in her genre. Yet, she never talked IRL, that is, “in real life.” Then she died. Unemployed, sick with diabetes, unclean, 49 years old,…

The Most Important Thing

When wars have ceased, international leaders have become dust and the poverty of their souls is revealed; when enterprises crumble and the last dream has evaporated; when death has claimed the final person, and those alive are changed for their eternal future; when everything earthly and mundane is over, and each person resides in heaven or hell—what will be important? And what among all that is important will be the most important? This is a question worth thinking about, because…

The Value of Hanging Out

I have just spoken to a lady from Germany about her kids in college while my Lebanese friend was standing by. Both work at the local coffee shop where I am writing this piece. Just prior to that I spoke with other acquaintances from South Korea who own a T-shirt business at the city market downtown. Business is not so good for them right now, but they smile and talk with me most mornings I’m there. I met yet another…

What Does Luck Have to Do with It?

Joni Eareckson Tada is one of the most gracious and effective Christians in the world. She has lived with the results of a diving accident that broke her neck during her teen years. At 50 she continues to radiate Christ to a listening world. Joni is known by thousands of Christians, perhaps millions, through her books, radio program, and conference speaking. Once my brother asked Joni how she made it through the difficult battle with her paraplegia. I later heard…

Why Should I Join a Church?

The title of this introduction raises a good question, doesn’t it? Even among those who support the idea of church membership, there are valid reasons to wonder why most churches have established membership roles as well as procedures for welcoming people into membership. For example, we cannot overlook the fact that the word “membership” is not used anywhere in the Bible. No matter how hard you look, you will never find a verse or passage in the New Testament that…

October 31st, 1517 Wittenburg, Germany

It was October 31st, 1517 in Wittenburg, Germany. Martin grasped a hammer and a long piece of paper covered with his writing. He walked out into the street and straight over to the castle church door. It was here that community messages were often posted. Martin nailed his 95 points of discussion on the door. He only wanted to lay out his newly discovered views of the Bible to other church leaders in the Medieval Catholic church. He thought he…

The Change of Mind

The young man was dying—without Christ. “I have a habit,” he said, as he looked up from the bed that had been moved into the living room for his last few weeks on earth. “I know that it is sin and that God does not permit it. I want to continue my habit, however, and I honestly don’t intend to stop it. On the other hand, I desperately want to go to heaven. May I become a Christian?” How would…

‘Tis the Season to Be Jolly?

"’Tis the Season to be jolly?" Well, maybe. The business of Christmas, that is, the hard and cold commercial trade of the Thanksgiving to Christmas sales window, is a measure of how well America is doing. It’s the thermometer in our corporate mouths. Needs are created through the media in order to entice the buyer into purchasing more this year than last. No one is to be disappointed at Christmas, after all. The manipulation is as blatant toward children as…