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  • Will Your Church Be Dead (Jonah 1:1-6)?

    Posted on January 14th, 2011 admin No comments

    A pastor of a small Baptist church in Marshall, NC recently asked an important question that should make all of us think: “Will your church be dead in the next 10 years?”

    This pastor shared his observation that many rural Baptist churches in the United States are slowly dying. We can say the same for other mainline denominational or Bible churches. This pastor based his observation on statistics and his interaction with the people of rural churches. He believes rural churches are dying because they are focused on themselves and the world as their enemy. His main emphasis in this article was that rural churches are too inwardly focused. Read the rest of this entry »

  • The ABC’s of Spiritual Revival (from Isaiah 64)

    Posted on September 14th, 2010 admin No comments

    Earlier this year I decided to plant a garden. I cleared brush from a small area in my backyard. A friend came over and tilled the ground. I planted six tomato plants, two hills of squash and two hills of cucumbers. I made sturdy cages for the tomato plants. I put grass clippings at the base of the plants, and kept that little garden looking nice. I enjoyed going out to the garden each day for a few minutes to stir up a little dirt and to observe the new growth.

    At the end of July I traveled to South Carolina to spend a week with my family. When I came back to town, one of the first things I did was check the garden. All of the squash plants, except for one, had dried up to nothing. The cucumber plants were crying for water. The tomato plants were barely hanging on. My once healthy garden had dried up. My garden needed revitalized. If I were to ever enjoy fruit from those tomato plants, I needed to address the dry condition of my garden, and I needed to do it immediately. Read the rest of this entry »

  • Practical Truth from Colossians 3

    Posted on April 29th, 2010 admin 2 comments

    I had a friend in middle school named Matt. He was your typical skater kid who wore skinny black jeans and skate shoes. Later in high school, after I became a Christian, I remember talking to Matt about Jesus. He thought Jesus was a joke, and he didn’t want anything to with church, or religion. After repeated invitations, Matt agreed to go on a Young Life trip to Lake Saranac—which is a summer camp in upstate New York.

    God got a hold of Matt during that trip. The kid who once thought Jesus was a joke, placed his faith in Jesus for salvation. Matt dove into his new life as a Christian. He was given a little blue-covered book called, “My first thirty quiet times,” and he sat down and read it. Somewhere I have a picture, taken from a distance, of Matt sitting outside his cabin reading that devotional book alongside his Bible. Read the rest of this entry »

  • Leadership Lessons from Numbers 12

    Posted on March 9th, 2010 admin 1 comment

    One of the trends sweeping its way across U.S. cities concerns pets. A couple of hundred dollar bills will get you another friend who will respond when called by name, and who will accompany you on walks around town. If you’re lucky, this friend may provide enough milk for a morning meal. Planning Commissions must decide: limit acceptable pets to cats, dogs, and goldfish, or let the trendsetters have their way by allowing miniature goats in urban areas.

    On one side of the debate are people who classify miniature goats as livestock. They hear these animals go, “baa;” they see them eating hay; and, they smell new odors when they are around. They do the math, accessing everything they learned as a child, and conclude that miniature goats are livestock. However, on the other side of the debate are people who don’t see miniature goats as any different than dogs: they follow kids around the yard, they’re friendly, and they fetch balls. Read the rest of this entry »

  • What difference does Christ make?

    Posted on February 4th, 2010 admin 2 comments

    About three years ago I was part of a men’s small group. We met in a friend’s home with a specific start time—I think it was 7 o’clock—and a specific end time one and a half hours later. Our objectives were simple: study the Bible and grow spiritually. We weren’t into decorated pastries, flavored teas and colorful place settings, so none of that was necessary. We planned to just show up, spend a few minutes talking about life, pray, then study the Bible. That happened for several months—actually for over two years. In that time we had a total of ten Christian men visit this group, and we had a core of six. That was good. However, Read the rest of this entry »

  • Handling Opposition

    Posted on January 25th, 2010 admin No comments

    Rifqa Bary is an American teenager who faced opposition from her parents. They were Sri Lankan Muslims. She was a new convert to Christianity. Rifqa initially kept her faith hidden from her parents. She was fearful of what could happen to her if her parent’s discovered that she had converted. Outside their Ohio home, however, Rifqa lived with evangelistic zeal. She carried her Bible around school, shared the Gospel and invited her friends to believe in Jesus.

    Her parents first caught wind of her faith in Christ when she was 14. She applied for a babysitting position and noted on the application that she was a Christian. About a year later, her brother saw her sharing Christ at school. He told his parents that she was trying to convince her classmates to believe in Jesus. Her parents then told Rifqa to stop.

    Rifqa feared that her father would make her the victim Read the rest of this entry »

  • God-Guided Zeal

    Posted on November 16th, 2009 admin No comments

    If you want to see zeal, head to Nebraska’s Memorial Stadium next Saturday night. At 7:45 pm Nebraska will face K-State. The place will be packed with 85,000 fans. There will be a stark contrast between those dressed in scarlet red and those dressed in royal purple. Each fan will be eager to encourage their team through top of lungs screaming. Rain, shine, sleet or snow, these fans will show their zeal to drive the other team into the ground.

    When it comes to the pinnacle of zeal, college football is near the top Read the rest of this entry »

  • Gospel Gone Viral

    Posted on November 1st, 2009 admin No comments

    This company began in a Harvard dorm room in 2004. The idea came from a publication common in colleges and prep schools. This publication was a book that had headshot photos of all students, faculty and staff. Rather than printing anything, the founder of this company created a website that contained the same information. The website was originally restricted to Harvard students but the idea spread and the site was soon opened to students of other schools in the area. The idea continued to spread and the site was opened to anyone with a university email address. Now this website is open to anyone over the age of 13. It has more than 300 million active users. Over 8 billion minutes are spent on the site each day. Read the rest of this entry »

  • Imitators of Christ

    Posted on October 25th, 2009 admin No comments

    Earlier this week ABC news reported a story of a woman who imitated Christ in a life-threatening situation. Angela Montez was doing her job as a clerk in a check-cashing store. In walked an armed robber who hopped over the counter and stuck a loaded gun in Angela’s face. Angela started praying. She needed God to intervene, not only for her but also for this young, 23 year old man who was about to ruin his life. Angela started talking to the robber, “Don’t do this. You are too young. Don’t do it.” The robber confessed that he had a two-year-old son to support, but he did not have a job. He thought he was out of options. Angela kept imitating Christ. She prayed to God. She showed this man love. She kept talking to him like anyone else who needed a little encouragement. Video surveillance tape shows what happened next. Read the rest of this entry »

  • Get Out From Under the Pomegranate Tree

    Posted on September 26th, 2009 admin 1 comment

    Ken Cooper’s double life ended in 1982. As he left a bank he just robbed, fire flashed from a sheriff’s pistol. Glass exploded into small pieces like a roadside bomb and flew into his flesh. The metal slug slammed into his chest, forcing him backward. People screamed. Ken’s chest burned as he faded into unconsciousness.

    This respectable husband’s 13-year career as a bank robber was over. He was headed to “The Rock”, which according to the USA Today, is “Florida’s toughest prison, known for its murders, rapes and suicides.”

    Ken was scared. He looked for something to bring him peace. He knew he needed grace and mercy. That search led him to Jesus Christ, whom he trusted as Savior in a county jail as he awaited sentencing. Ken had a radical change of heart. Read the rest of this entry »