'Practical Christianity' Tagged Posts (Page 6)

'Practical Christianity' Tagged Posts (Page 6)

From First Baptist Church to a House Church

The first church I pastored was a fairly traditional First Baptist Church (FBC). We met in a brick building. The Sunday morning gathering had the largest attendance, and the numbers dropped off significantly on Sunday evening and Wednesday. The sanctuary itself was typical, with pews arranged in rows and a stage at the front with a pulpit and choir loft. Our meetings had Scripture reading, prayers, singing, and preaching, as you might expect. When I arrived, there were 155 people…

Herbert Brown: The Anointed Stutterer

James Alexander Stewart was experiencing enormous success as an evangelist. By the age of 20, he was so sought after that he was preaching four or five times a day. He also filled his hours with evangelism in the streets and in homes. This was too much for a young man to handle alone. Stewart comments about his burden: I began to feel that I needed a co-evangelist to labor with me . . . My heart longed, also, above…

Jesus Loves Me, This I Know

The little girl talked fondly to her. In fact, she had never done otherwise. And though she had only one eye, and was blind in the other, and though deaf and unable to speak, she was adored. When the other children entered into the room she instinctively embraced the helpless doll even tighter. To her, this baby was precious and nobody else could have her. But the time would come when other interests would compel the little girl to forget…

Bryan Elliff’s Testimony

I grew up as a “PK” or preacher’s kid. The Elliff household has always been one that revolves around the Bible and the things of God. During my growing-up years I heard the essential biblical truths hundreds or possibly thousands of times. As a result of this, I did not doubt the authenticity of the Bible except for some brief periods.   As far back as I can remember I have wanted to be a follower of Christ. As a result,…

Lightning Strike: Better Than You Think

Several nights ago, I was out alone in a severe thunderstorm. Rain was pouring. Massive flashes of lightning frequently lit up the sky, followed by thunder that made the ground shake. I marveled at the power of God and quaked in my size 11 tennis shoes. To be honest, I was rather frightened. “Suppose I get struck by lightning?” I thought. “What am I against this?” But then it occurred to me: Who said I was against anything? Don’t all…

The Reluctant Mother: Amy Carmichael

We can’t always identify life-changing moments as they occur. When a little Indian girl named Preena crawled into Amy Carmichael’s lap and called her “Amma” (or “mother” in Tamil) for the first time, neither of them could have known that this simple act would change both their lives forever, and the lives of hundreds of others. Amy Carmichael was born in Ireland in 1867, the oldest of seven children. She was a feisty child whose longing for excitement often got…

Mingling Groans of Pain and Songs of Hope : Charles Haddon Spurgeon on Depression

It’s a good thing he wasn’t born in the 20th century. Many believing brothers and sisters would label his tendency to melancholy sinful, or evidence of a lack of self-discipline, or even the result of shallow faith. A psychologist would probably send him away with a prescription and a self-help book with twelve easy steps to overcome depression. But Charles Haddon Spurgeon, perhaps the greatest preacher of the 19th century, had a different attitude toward his affliction. Spurgeon knew “by…

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…

Multi-ethnic 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…

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…

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…