Its not unusual for church leaders to be frustrated that members aren’t more active. And they tend to attribute lack of involvement to lack of commitment, or not taking faith seriously. But the results of actual attempts at involvement suggest other factors are at work. Consider these (real) examples. Young mother sees specific way to… Continue reading Practice These Things and Devote Yourself to Them
How do you choose where to go to church? “We like the kids’ programs.” “I’ve been here for years—I’m not leaving.” “They teach the Bible here.” “Folks are so friendly—I feel at home here.” “The preacher is easy to understand.” “It’s close and easy to get to.” “It’s big enough I can be anonymous.” We… Continue reading In Every Church
It was a long prayer list. One awaiting a transplant, a newborn with serious difficulties, those injured in a fatal car accident in addition to several with chronic health difficulties and the expected seasonal illnesses. It took several minutes just to read the list before the fellow making announcements offered a brief closing prayer which… Continue reading Continue Steadfastly in Prayer
When early Christians gathered for a weekly memorial of Christ’s death, they came together not on the day of his death, but on the day of his resurrection. The commemoration of His sacrifice which brings forgiveness of sins does not focus only on sin and death, but on new life. We must acknowledge our sins… Continue reading But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Words aren’t always adequate for expressing deep religious emotion. Sometimes a melody is required. Our favorite songs are often those that give voice to feelings we could not otherwise express. Singing along allows us to speak what is deep within. Listening to music can also invite us to feel a certain way. Movies use music… Continue reading Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise.
Let us continue giving thanks long after Thanksgiving Day has past. I am thankful for my husband Doug: his love for me and our children, his faith, and for his ability as a teacher of God’s Word. Today I reprint an article he wrote a few years ago for the Holland Church of Christ newsletter… Continue reading Give Thanks to God Always
When I was young, I often heard it said that the reason for coming to church was to “get one’s cup filled” for the week. It was a nice picture—life can be draining, but the Sunday assembly will fill you up again. This idea usually went unchallenged. But as I matured, I learned two things… Continue reading My Cup Overflows
My church never recited the Apostles’ Creed. It’s not that we didn’t believe the things in it, just that we didn’t believe in creeds. Creeds are not Scripture; they are carefully worded statements of faith designed to exclude those who disagree. It is good to accept Scripture alone as the rule of life and faith;… Continue reading One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism…
“This church is just half-hearted--no enthusiasm. They’re lukewarm like the church at Laodicea.” But what did lukewarm mean? The verse says hot is good, cold is good, lukewarm is very bad. We tend to see lukewarm as meaning not particularly excited about or committed to the faith; hot as being “on fire for the Lord”;… Continue reading Lukewarm, neither Hot nor Cold…
My parents used to say, “Blessed is the child who sleeps on the floor so company can have the bed.” My brother and sister and I were very blessed. We welcomed guests into our home on many occasions. What fascinating conversations we overheard when missionaries stayed over! I grew up thinking hospitality just happened, and… Continue reading Do Not Neglect to Show Hospitality to Strangers…