'Practical Christianity' Tagged Posts (Page 5)

'Practical Christianity' Tagged Posts (Page 5)

Music in the Church: How Special Should We Make It?

You could put the entire teaching about church music in the New Testament in a paragraph or two. Add to this teaching those spirited illustrations of corporate singing in heaven displayed in the last book of the Bible, when angels and throngs of people fill the air with thundering six to eight line choruses. When it comes to intentional instruction about music, however, there are really only four passages in the New Testament: Speaking to one another in psalms and…

Should Christians Pursue the Arts?

I re-skimmed George Eliot’s The Mill on the Floss last week. It has had a startlingly deep affect on me over these days—searching far into caves of feeling, and engendering a few meditative walks. Its themes have turned my mind to consider why it is that I pursue things like literature, music, and other forms of art. I have at least tentatively come to the following conclusion: We were created not only to do what is right and believe what…

Ten Reasons Why Nursing Homes Are Great Places to Minister

While recently reflecting upon Jesus’ compassion toward those who were “distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd” (Matt. 9:36), I determined to find similarly downcast people in my neighborhood so that I might serve them and tell them about Christ. I now find myself regularly in a nursing home, and the ministry opportunities abound. Perhaps you might consider ministering in a nursing home. Maybe there are others in your church who would enjoy such an outreach. I’ve compiled ten…

Worth A Lot of Sparrows

Are not five sparrows sold for two cents? And yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are worth more than many sparrows. Luke 12:6-7 At two cents per five sparrows, one dollar’s worth would buy two hundred and fifty of them. Imagine that! I once saw a stack of chicken heads in a Bolivian marketplace numbering about that many, all staring one way, eyes…

Hard Work: The Spurgeon Way

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the renowned preacher of London in the 1800s, was not only a gifted leader, but was a hard worker. By the time most pastors write a few emails, wrestle with the dates for VBS and read the junk mail, Spurgeon would have completed a mountain of tasks. For instance, each week he preached several times (often 10), trained pastors in the pastor’s college, wrote several hundred letters ("I’m immersed to my chin in letters."), led an elders’…

Multi-cultural Glory in the Church: Should We Have Black Churches and White Churches? Or Cowboy Churches?

I have just returned from Milan, Italy, where a portion of my time was spent with leaders of The International Church of Milan (ICM). We talked together about the diversity of their congregation, which consists of 14 nations so far. Among the leaders were two families who are not only working with this congregation, but are praying and feeling their way toward an Italian-speaking congregation that will work in tandem with the ICM. I felt compelled to express my concern…

Strange Givers: More Outlandishness in Circulating Gods Blessings

I laughed out loud when a well known conference speaker told me that most people give just enough to make themselves miserable. I’ve always tried to be a radical giver. God stirred me up about this many years ago when reading the life of George Muller. I’ve attempted to increase my giving year by year so that a large percentage of the resources He provides come through me rather than stopping with me. An old friend of our family once…

Anti-depressants and Spiritual Conviction

Taking the Edge Off My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear. My wounds fester and are loathsome because of my sinful folly. I am bowed down and brought very low. This passage is from Psalm 38, which is subtitled, “Prayer of a Suffering Penitent.” Ladies, have you ever felt as David did when he wrote these words? Have you ever had a burden of guilt too heavy to bear? Remember now a time when you…

Dying with Debt

It is a sad proverb, but so true: “The borrower becomes the lender’s slave” (Prov. 22:7). Tossing and turning through the night, the heavy borrower is a depressed soul. He dresses with striped prison clothes every morning and lugs his shackles to work—that job that offers so little hope for setting him free. He dreads the coming of the mail, and has few waking hours without remorse. Serious debtors crave freedom, but often, sadly, borrow even more in their desperate…

Cremation or Burial?

There is no sin in cremation, that is for sure. And there is no inability on God’s part to raise a cremated body from the dead. But is cremation, a practice most often seen in Eastern religions, the best for the believer in Christ? It is clarifying to note that burial was God’s preferred method of disposing of the body of Moses. God had the power to cremate Moses’ body on the spot, but rather, this gentle and loving phrase…

Fiscal Hilarity

"Most people give enough just to be miserable," said Jack Taylor, author and Christian conference speaker. I haven’t talked with Jack for twenty years and we may well have divergent views on a number of other things, but he’s dead right on this aspect of practical Christianity. I began to be curious about giving early on. In fact, I can still picture the book on giving that my mother read to me, one of only two children’s books I remember.…

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…