A farmer gave our family a basket of corn from his harvest. It meant a lot. We were struggling financially, so the gift of food really helped. But, even more, it was an act of love from a hardworking man. I appreciated his heart as much as I appreciated the physical gift.
Prayer is a mysterious world. It is a spiritual world. It is a high dimensional world. When Christmas comes, we think of Jesus, Mary, and an angel who brought good news. Also we think of the prayer of Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist. Luke 1 begins with the story of the birth of John the Baptist.
They aren’t antagonistic. They welcome a conversation with believers. They aren’t staying out of church for the reasons you may think.
When December comes, we wait for Christmas. Christmas is the day when Jesus was born. People waited for Jesus, the Savior. Jesus came to this earth after a long wait. Christmas is the day when Jesus visited us. Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, came down to this earth from heaven.
While Easter is the day most churchgoers decide to show up at the same time, Christmas Eve is indeed prime time for the unchurched. Why is that? Here are five key reasons.
Last Monday, after a good 8 hours of continuous lecturing well into the evening at the seminary, I was well received at home by a bright Christmas tree in the corner of our dark living room. The brightness of the tree began to make my heart feel merry as well.
I have positional leadership, but that does not mean I am truly a leader. There are several reasons for this rather negative self-assessment, but the essence of my own evaluation comes from my failure to learn quickly and adjust.
Thomas a Kempis says, “Grace always follows those who are grateful.” Those whom the grace of God follows are the blessed ones. Thomas a Kempis saw that the secret of the blessed one is gratitude. Because they are weak, human beings easily grumble and complain. God knows that human beings cannot help but grumble and complain. But God wants us to be grateful.
As they say, evangelizing to the Muslim community is as difficult as it is like trying to break a stone with an egg. It is not as though the Gospel is particularly difficult or inhumane. However, there is a widely held prejudice of hostility leading to the ostracizing and persecution of Christians.
“Those Millennials are so dang selfish. All they care about is their preference of worship style and their grungy clothes.” An older gentleman in a church made that statement to me. I did not make it up. Sadly, he said each of those words.
While I was meditating on the Bible, I realized that God wants us to start afresh day by day. In the Bible, there are words such as new work, new spirit, new heart, new covenant, new song, new creation, new self, new life, new commandment, new strength, new wine, and new wineskin, etc. God is still doing something new and creating a new history.
I saw some non-program church leaders using the same resources as churches that were program-centered. I realized then that the definition of programmatic was not necessarily tied to the resources used. Instead I began to see four distinctive differences between what I now called programs and ministry solutions.
It can be the toughest day of the week for pastors. They have preached with passion and conviction. They have prayed for lives to be impacted. They have worked 15 hours on Sunday. Some have taken the barbs from critics. Others have self-doubt about their sermons. Some are considering quitting.
California voters will soon decide the future of the death penalty in our state. The November 8th ballot holds two options, Prop 62 and Prop 66. Prop 62 is simple: Replace our failed death penalty system with a life sentence without parole.
I finished. I actually finished my academic requirements for the Doctor of Ministry (DMin) degree at Talbot School of Theology.