Today, in a landmark and wide-sweeping decision, the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (among other things). While I don’t pretend to understand all of the implications that exist here legally, one thing I know for sure – traditional marriage took a big hit. Because of this ruling, gay couples have the same rights federally as straight couples. This is a major battle lost for supporters of traditional marriage. And it seems to be a major step on the way to legalizing same-sex marriage completely.
While the moral decay and cultural decline of our country is stunningly evident, some secularists view it as progress. Sadly, they view the decline of traditional values and the destruction of the family as necessary to accomplish their agenda.
As followers of Christ, what should we do? How should we respond? It’s easy to bemoan the moral slide of our nation. Many have been predicting it for years. It’s easy to curse the darkness. It seems to be ever-growing. But there must be a clear and compelling Christ-centered response in moments like this. Here’s what I say… Continue reading
Summer doesn’t slow down for churches. In fact, the opposite is true. While many people travel, go on vacation, visit family, and hit the lake, the church takes it up a notch when it comes to ministry. Summer is one of the most busy and fruitful times in the life of the church.
For instance. The first week of June was Beach Retreat, last week was College Week, this week is VBS. Then in July we have Preteen Camp, and missions trips to Brazil, the Ukraine, Las Vegas, Cherokee, NC, and around our city. Busy, busy, busy.
But this week is Vacation Bible School week here at the church. And, if you know anything about Vacation Bible School, it is anything but a vacation for the workers. A lot of planning, preparation, prayer, and (something else that starts with a “p”) went into this week. The goal is to show genuine love to kids and families, teach them the Word of God, and see many saved through the grace of Jesus Christ.
With all the energy and activity around here this week I began to think – I really love this time! It’s a joy to see all the kids, workers, leaders, helpers, and teachers. There are several reasons I love VBS. Continue reading
Sunday is a special day. As you know, it’s Father’s Day. To my pastor friends out there. Let me give you a brief word of encouragement. Normally we build up moms on Mother’s Day and beat up dad’s on Father’s Day. Don’t do that! Instead, offer them encouragement. Give them hope. Cast a vision for what it means to be a dad.
With that in mind, I thought I would share with you a few things I learned from my dad… Continue reading
My family and I just spent a week at the beach. By the way, if you have four kids and one on the way, a week at the beach is not considered a “vacation.” It’s simply moving chaos from one location to another!
We spent a week at the beach with about 200 other folks. Teenagers, adults, preachers, band members, and friends. That’s right. My family and I just got back from Summer Camp with our students. Affectionally known at Second Baptist Church as, “Beach Retreat.”
I love summer camp. Not only because it holds a significant place in my spiritual formation as a teenager (see here). But also because every time I go I see God work miracles. Salvations. Baptisms. Calls to ministry. Calls to mission work. And the list goes on.
So, here are a few reasons why I love summer camp… Continue reading
This is a follow up post to last week’s thoughts, What to Say When You Don’t Know What to Say. As a pastor, I talk to a lot of people who tell me they just don’t know what to do. They want to obey God. They want to follow His will. They want to do the right thing. But, they just don’t know what that is.
I’ve been there before. Maybe you have too. You know your heart is in the right place. You want to follow the will of God. But you just don’t know what His will is in this particular situation. I can remember when I was 18 years old praying about where to go to college. Even though I knew I was going to be a pastor I struggled about where to go to school. In the end, God made His will clear to me. But there was that strange time that every Christian experiences when it seems like God is silent.
If you’ve ever been there, or if you’re there right now, I just want to share one simple thought with you. It’s not life-changing. It’s not earth-shattering. It’s not revolutionary, crazy, or radical. It’s just simple. But this one thought has helped me many times as I have tried to faithfully follow Lord.
What should you do when you don’t know what to do? Here’s what I’ve learned. Continue reading