'Practical Christianity' Tagged Posts

'Practical Christianity' Tagged Posts

Book Hoarding

“Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance of books does his life consist of his library.”      A pastor in a small church received his first book allowance, provided by the church. He began to purchase the books he needed to stimulate his thinking, improve his understanding, and jolt his conscience. His library grew. Later, at a larger church the book allowance increased, and he was able…

Check Your Guns at the Door: Responding Like Christians to Social Media, Blogs and Web Forums

Those of us who have a ministry of writing are usually pretty tough folks. Many of us have been in the combat zone for quite a while and can take almost anything that is said by readers of our articles. This short is more about my embarrassment for all of us who are web-interactive Christians than it is for my own hide. In short, I’m appealing for etiquette characteristic of believers in reader’s responses to articles, blog entries, and social…

What they Did Before TV

My mother was the youngest of fourteen children growing up on a farm in the first part of the last century. The old home place burned down when she was a girl. It was a typical Southern house divided into a boys’ room, a girls’ room, a kitchen (they ate in the open breezeway during the summer), and the parents’ room. A porch surrounded the entire home. “Mom and Dad’s” room was the gathering place at night. The fireplace blazed…

35 Reasons Not To Sin

Because a little sin leads to more sin. Because my sin invites the discipline of God. Because the time spent in sin is forever wasted. Because my sin never pleases but always grieves God who loves me. Because my sin places a greater burden on my spiritual leaders. Because in time my sin always brings heaviness to my heart. Because I am doing what I do not have to do. Because my sin always makes me less than what I…

My Darkest Night; Hopefully Not Yours

At 3:30 a.m., I awoke to a black room, so dark that my eyes could not see even one inch away, much less to the other side. The simple room in a Romanian home in Brasov had one of those metal external shades that is lowered over the window, capable of completely deleting light. I was in the darkest place I had been in perhaps for years. And, since it was night and I was alone in the house, I…

When Pastors Aren’t Able to Pastor

The church is medium-sized in attendance, yet, on paper the membership roll is even larger. Its solo pastor is a frustrated man. There are some good days, and certainly some fine people who encourage him, but he’s frustrated because the job God called him to do just cannot be done. He has many people to tend to, numbers of which are missing, and even those who are present are more than any average man could possibly care for—that is, really care for. So,…

An Appeal to Churches to Use Bibles

I’ll never forget my shock the first time I attended a Bible-less church. My kind of church was a Bible-teaching one and Bibles were standard operating equipment. The last word I heard as I got in the car to drive to church was, “Jimmy, do you have your Bible?” A child might forget his belt or socks, but never his Bible. Just as dutifully, the church children found their mothers after the church meeting to load her up with their…

The Heart of Family Reformation

When our children were younger we began the day with the hymn we are currently memorizing. When Laura was five, she sang for all of us the second verse of “I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord” by the Yale president of the late 1700s, Timothy Dwight. With a determined look, she sang out, I love Thy church, O God. Her walls before Thee stand. Dear as the apple of Thine eye, And gravy on Thy hand. My boys collapsed on the…

Our Parents Should Have Told Us: Manners for Social Media in Polarized Times

1. Describing others with demeaning epithets is arrogant and unbecoming. Let’s run as far from it as we possibly can. Calling a person “stupid,” or “an idiot,” for instance, tells us more about our character than theirs. 2. Making uninvited humorous comments about physical characteristics of others is childish at best, but also rude and condescending. It often shows disrespect for God as creator. Even in jest, it should be cut out of our speech repertoire. It would help to…

Two Kingdoms: How Christians View Their Citizenship

The greater reality as believers is that we are citizens of the Kingdom of God and of His Christ (Anointed King) and are therefore aliens in the world. This first reality competes with a second one: we are temporary citizens of a country in this world and are not yet physically in the Kingdom of God as it will be when our King returns and sets it in order. We should not be unconcerned for our temporary country where God…

The Riots: What’s Obvious

What has become obvious in the riots is that the old evolutionary hope in the innate goodness of mankind and its gradual improvement over time is entirely unfounded, just as the Bible states, and that there is no answer therefore except in Christ who was sent to us to deliver us— again, just as he has said. We should not hold any vestige of remaining hope in religious rituals to save us, or yet other social constructs or programs but…

God Doesn’t Need You

“He is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else.” Acts 17 Paul on Mars Hill in Athens proclaimed the entire self-sufficiency of God. We are his body, it is true, which is the fullness or completion of the Head. He uses us. But he needs nothing from us. Let that sink in. We do not add to him in any way, but rather, he gives…