I’m fortunate to have a couple of places to write (here, the Garner Citizen and the Raleigh Examiner). In doing that, I used to double up every article I wrote both here and then at either of the other two papers. But folks told me they found that confusing. As of late, I have focused on writing at the Raleigh Examiner, so I have not posted here or at the Garner Citizen much. I plan returning to both areas soon, but in the mean time, I would love to point you to some of the articles that I have written lately. I know some folks only make it to the blog. Here are a few that have been enjoyable to write and even more enjoyable to discuss with others. Thanks
Tools for Teaching – a quick summary of tips to use when writing a lesson or sermon.
Church Planter – Rock Star – What do church planters and the terrible movie staring Mark Wahlberg have in common?
Shrinking Faith – Why are people afraid to speak about Jesus?
Three Issues Men Face in Communication – Self explanatory
Church Buildings are Merely Tools – Ruminations as SK moves into her new space.
Keller and Duncan – PCA, Let’s Stay Together – Brief summary of Tim Keller and Ligon Duncan discussing unity in the PCA
Who Encourages the Pastor? – Local ministry wants to help pastors.
Everybody Hurts – Thoughts on mercy
Close at Work but Distant at Home – Who are you close to? Co-workers or family?
This article appeared first at the Garner Citizen.
The Christmas season elicits a slew of responses from people.
Despite the present economic environment, there are still those who feel the obligation to buy their children and loved ones everything on their wish list in order to “give them the Christmas I never had.”
There are folks who treat it as a holy season to reflect on the blessings of Jesus and His advent to a hurting world.
There is a crowd that goes the opposite direction and finds the holiday tainted with pagan imagery and origins, so they go yule-free avoiding it all together.
There are folks who don’t Christmas two thoughts because it is just not their thing for religious or other reasons.
Then there is the social holiday crowd that isn’t worried about any religious implications, so they celebrate it with a few presents and a joyous round of applause for the few days off that it affords.
For the most part though, in America, Christmas is National Present Day just like Halloween is National Candy Day and Easter is National Chocolate Day. There is a tendency in our country to reduce every holiday, whether its origins are pious, pagan, or patriotic, to its lowest common denominator: time off with benefits.
No matter where you are in the spectrum during this holiday season, let me encourage you in this way. If you worship Jesus as your Savior, do so by consuming less and giving more. Make the holiday about meeting others’ needs, purchasing fewer pointless gifts, and the giving of your time. In this, you obey Jesus’ exhortation, “If you have done this for the least of these, you have done it to me.” If you do not worship Jesus as your savior, celebrate the season in the exact same way: meet others’ needs, purchase fewer pointless gifts, and give your time to serve others.
These practical suggestions won’t boost the economy and pull us out of economic turmoil, but I think they will make a larger impact in the long run. Needs will be met, fewer pointless gifts will be opened and quickly discarded, and others will enjoy a pretty sweet gift: your time and attention.
This article also appears at the Raleigh Examiner. Read it there and help me earn a penny.
My hobbies have pretty much been reduced to two at this point: running and writing. Both feed each other, and both provide tremendous stress release. Since re-launching this site, I’ve enjoyed taking daily process time to write as well as re-reading older posts from years gone by. I’ve been fortunate to have a few things published online, and I enjoy my semi-regular contributions to the Garner Citizen.
Recently, I’ve wanted to interact with more folks through my writing and was wondering how to make that happen. Then, I stumbled upon the Raleigh Examiner, a nationally syndicated online newspaper that has regional hubs. They had an opening for an Evangelical Contributor, and once I submitted a few sample articles, they accepted.
Going forward, my posts will appear on multiple platforms: posts will always show up here, but they might also show up at the Garner Citizen, or at the Raleigh Examiner. I’m pretty excited to see where all of this goes (and thankful that I can re-use old content as well). Hopefully, I won’t bore you guys with the same old things over and over again, but it will be enjoyable to see what the feedback will be.
I’ve included the beginning of my first post, “Living a Dirty Life,” with a link to the remainder of the article below. Enjoy.
I recently proclaimed to the folks at Sovereign King Church that if their life is too put together to help those whose lives are too messy then they’ve missed the lesson of Romans 3. That chapter speaks to how no one has any right to brag before God as no one is righteous; no not one. Even after a child of God begins to grow in obedience as promised in scripture, we are reminded in Romans 3 with this: “Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith.” Paul’s point is that there is no room for boasting because we don’t gain anything before God by works of the law. All access to God and His work through Christ come by faith. The child of God does grow in doing righteousness, but it is never that righteousness by which we recommend ourselves to God; it is always Jesus’.
You can find the remainder of the article at http://bit.ly/pxpY3