Jeff Pollard said this to me, “It’s possible to pray and be prayerless.”
Another aspect of uncharted waters is that outstanding U.S. federal debt has doubled in the last four years, resulting in a nearly $100,000 per household liability (and rising at the rate of $12,000 per year) associated with that debt. Who will buy this mounting debt, and at what rate, are questions everyone asks but for which there are no clear answers. Over the past 18 months, the Federal Reserve has been the primary purchaser of newly issued federal debt, with the private sector a net seller. Will the Fed be able and willing to purchase newly issued federal debt? This is an important question, as the Fed is artificially keeping interest rates near zero across the yield curve. But no one (including the Fed) knows what the Fed will do, because we have never before witnessed such monetary expansion by the Fed.
It always makes for trouble in relationships when there is an expectation of perfection. Here is a clip from a sermon stating the details of how this happens and how to address it:
Half the miseries and disquietudes, half the interruptions of conjugal peace and domestic felicity, arise from desires too ardent, and hopes too sanguine; both parties, at their first entrance into the nuptial state, especially in youth, are apt to form to themselves ideas, very inadequate and disproportioned to the condition of human life; to entertain delusive notions of a romantic and visionary paradise, where the earth is cloathed with perpetual verdure, the flowers never fade, and the fruits are immortal; but when instead of this, they begin, perhaps in a short time, to feel the thorns springing up under their feet, (more…)
Here is an interesting news item: “Being ‘Born-Again’ Linked to More Brain Atrophy: Study.” So, is this true? No, it is false – the Bible tells me so. The Bible says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.” Instead of making you dumber, it makes you wiser than your teachers and your enemies. Psalm 119 says it clearly enough. Conversion and true love for God and His Word actually have the following effects: (more…)
I have the honor of going to South Africa on August 2 with our team here at Hope Baptist. On our way to Malawi, we will be stopping in Johanesburg. Below is a graphic that the hosting church sent me.
Here is a testimony of how chastisement builds love. The world says it will embitter, while the Bible says it proves you are a son. This is how John G. Paton viewed it:
The very discipline through which our father passed us was a kind of religion in itself. If anything really serious required to be punished, he retired first to his closet for prayer, and we boys got to understand that he was laying the whole matter before God; and that was the severest part of the punishment for me to bear! I could have defied any amount of mere penalty, but this spoke to my conscience as a message from God. We loved him all the more, when we saw how much it cost him to punish us; and, in truth, he had never very much of that kind of work to do upon any one of all the eleven—we were ruled by love far more than by fear.
Here is Jason Dohm speaking about the well out of which children are meant to be trained:
Our children are meant to be discipled from a deep well that is described in Deuteronomy 6:1-9. The discipleship of our children begins in the heart of a father and a mother. It starts in the heart: love in our hearts; His word in our hearts. This is the deep well from which we draw for the discipleship of our children. You take away love for the Word of God, what you give to your children is warped. Paton, “If the parents are not devout and sincere… the same things can be done, but with one it is task work and with the other it is heart work.” When this happens, we know that it is because we have not been soaking in the Word of God saturating the heart.
This is from Dan Horn on discipline:
We have bought into the philosophy of our age, thinking that discipline is all negative. We wrongly connect it to chastisement. We think that discipline is all negative punishment. But discipline actually means to make disciples. We are supposed to be working on making disciples. When we think of discipline, we should not think that someone is in trouble now, but that someone is working to go from one state to another. Webster defines discipline as training to be perfect, to correct or mold moral character.
Here is a point I will be making during my upcoming talk on obedience: “Obedience is honor externalized.”
Why are we facing the ever-expanding socialization of medicine in America? Could it have something to do with the fact that the average American church’s contribution to the diaconate is a negligible proportion of the church budget? Kevin Swanson interviews Scott T. Brown, director of the National Center for Family-Integrated Churches, on the rise of socialism and the failure of the church in 21st century America. Listen to the interview here.
You have to understand that approximately 75% of the people in our church are CHILDREN. We like it that way, but it does present a number of challenges that call for action. We have many, many young families in the midst of the heavy lifting of childraising. This means that they always need a tuneup. I know I did when I was raising my children. So, we try to address child-raising issues by gathering the whole church together to consider them.
Here is a more detailed schedule for the upcoming child-raising conference.
Everyone is invited. The conference is FREE of charge.
All sessions will be held on Friday evening (July 20, 2012) and Saturday (July 21, 2012) in the The Millroom at The Factory in Wake Forest, NC, except for the final session which will be held at Tuxedo Junction at 2:00pm on Sunday. (more…)
As we enter into the season of political races and decisions about who to vote for, the most important consideration is, “What does the Bible say about what qualifies a civil leader?” I saw an illustration of this while at Mt. Vernon at the grave of Bushrod Washington, the President’s nephew. He was a U.S. Supreme Court associate justice from 1798 to 1829. This is the kind of civil leader the Bible says we should promote. Here is what was written on his grave stone:
As a Judge, he was
Wise and Just.
“A man of Truth, hating
Firm in every honour-
-able purpose and pursuit.
Yet gentle, humane and
A sincere Christian.
Doing in all things the
will of his Master.
And resting his hope of
Alone on the righteousness
of Jesus Christ.
Yesterday I took our interns to Mt. Vernon, the home of President George Washington. The objective was to instruct our interns on how to take dominion by learning from a great mentor – George Washington. It is a joy to do this as it gives me an opportunity to speak of some of the important things that young men can learn from Washington. His courage, faith, family life, industry, and many other qualities are such good examples for these young men. Here are a few of the areas I identified: (more…)
This video clip was made to train Chick-fil-A employees how to think about and treat customers who come in to the store. It’s about compassion for hurting people. It made me remember, over three decades ago, my preaching professor in seminary saying many times, “Preach to broken hearts.” Now, when Sunday rolls around, I am always aware that many of the people walking into our church are carrying enormous loads. Some heavier than others, but all are carrying a load of care or disappointment or failure of some kind. I am pretty sure that I have never missed a Sunday when I did not earnestly pray that God would somehow lift the downcast in the congregation and put a new song in their hearts that they might “go out with joy, and be led out with peace; The mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands…” (Isa. 55:12).
There are broken-hearted people in the church, and everywhere we go… everyday, we encounter only one kind of person – a person with a story – a person who needs the ministry of Christ. (more…)