Category: Life at First

The World Has Arrived

The World Has Arrived

“When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God” (Leviticus 19:33-34 ESV)

I was walking down the hall of a sister Baptist church in South Carolina on the way out of the door recently with a Japanese pastor friend of mine who has a Japanese ministry there when my eye caught a poster that outlined Greer First Baptist’s giving for the International Mission Board, North American Mission Board, and state missions. Continue reading →

Take a Nap

Take a Nap

“Sometimes the most spiritual thing a person can do is sleep.” – C. H. Spurgeon

Every now and then I get really busy, and I mean so busy to the point where if you asked me what superpower I want if I could have any (which, by the way, is a question I hope you have considered before now) my answer would actually be the power to stay awake forever. Gone are the days of wishing I could fly, because even if I could there would still be several hours of the day when I couldn’t fly because I would have to sleep. We all know what it’s like to be busy and stressed out. I’m sure you have found yourself wishing there were more hours in the day, so I want to ask, how many hours in a day do you set aside to rest? Continue reading →

Baptized Billfolds

Baptized Billfolds

On November 19, 1854 in Brushy Creek 250 people came to witness the baptism of Sam Houston. In that Texas creek one of the biggest sinners of that day was baptized. Sam Houston had a nickname, he was called the big drunk. A preacher by the name of Dr. Burleson baptized him. When asked to remove his billfold, Sam said, “No, it needs to be baptized too.” His billfold was baptized in more ways than one. Sam Houston gave half his salary to pay the Pastor’s salary. He gave untold dollars to support the building of a new College named Baylor. Continue reading →

Monday?

Monday?

This time of year is special for a group of students…SENIORS! On May 1st, we will honor our graduates just as we do every year. It is always a good day – a day to celebrate the accomplishment of graduating high school and a day to look forward to what’s next (by the way this is the first time we should celebrate graduating – when and why did we start playing Pomp and Circumstance and high fiving our kids because they graduated preschool?!). Continue reading →

Preparing the Child vs. Preparing the Road

Preparing the Child vs. Preparing the Road

Early in our parenting journey my wife and I heard an anonymous statement that has stuck with us and guided our approach to parenting. “It is better to prepare the child for the road than to prepare the road for the child.” This simple saying contains a wealth of wisdom and really sums up the divide in parenting today. On one side parents feel that they have to do for and provide every advantage for their children in order to ensure their “success.” On the other side, parents strive to teach personal responsibility and allow their children to learn from their mistakes (and the natural consequences of those mistakes.)

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Gospel Centered Dating Pt. 1

Gospel Centered Dating Pt. 1

Spring is the season of love, or so they say. Working with college students, it’s no surprise that a number of the conversations I have revolve around dating, love, marriage, and the like. And it never fails that this time of year those conversations hit an uptick in frequency. Since spring has sprung, I felt like it would be a good time for all of us, but especially those who are single in our congregation, to establish and understand what it means to date well so we may be able to better to encourage one another.

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Defending the Faith

Defending the Faith

Our Christian faith is under attack as never before. We need to learn how to defend our faith in a hostile world. The term used by theologians is Christian apologetics. The word, “apologetics” comes from the Greek word found in I Peter 3:15 for, “defense”. The Greek word is, “apologia.” That word means, “A reasoned statement or argument.” In a world that many times is anti-God and anti-Christian we need to learn how to make a reasoned argument to defend the faith. In I Peter 3:15 it says, “but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.” How do we do that? Let me give you an outline of seven unique items to defend the Christian faith. Continue reading →

Think. Think. THINK!

Think. Think. THINK!

Somehow, somewhere the notion that Christians are mindless robots gained momentum and has actually become descriptive of followers of Christ. While you and I may disagree with that, it is hard to argue the point when some Christians seem to proudly carry the banner!

 

But not everyone…right?!
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Pardon the Interruption

Pardon the Interruption

Interruptions – sometimes they bring surprises that are exciting, but usually they are unwelcome. A few years ago I had an interruption from God. I had just come back from vacation when I started having double vision. The eye doctor said it was sinuses so I went to a general practitioner. By this time my eyelids were half closed and puffy. He had no clue what was going on suggesting a sinus infection or the need to see my thyroid doctor. Therefore on day 3, I went to the thyroid doctor who saw, not only the above symptoms, but also that I had trouble chewing and slurred speech. He claimed the other 2 doctors should have figured it out and said it was just a sinus infection. By this time I couldn’t drive and my mom was staying with me to help navigate – literally. On the evening of day 4 since nothing had improved we made plans to go to the Urgent Care the next morning. Thank the Lord for a doctor with great deductive skills – he knew almost immediately that I had Myasthenia Gravis (I call it MG for short). MG is an autoimmune disease where the nerves and muscles don’t communicate thus the drooping eyelids, double vision, trouble chewing, occasional slurred speech and muscle weakness in extremities. He referred me to a neurologist, but told me it would take 2 weeks or more to get an appointment! However, God is faithful! One of my best friends was telling others at church what the doctor had diagnosed and the referral problem. One of those listening said a friend was a neurologist and she’d call him. Not only did she call him, but the doctor saw me the next day! He confirmed the diagnosis and was impressed that a general practitioner, not a specialist, diagnosed it.
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The Backyard Mission Field

The Backyard Mission Field

The modern day university campus is the market place of ideas and, in many ways, the epicenter of cultural development. Countless trends in the U.S.— philosophically, spiritually, and culturally—begin on college campuses. Some of the most powerful industry leaders in today’s market began making their mark while still in college (i.e. Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook fame). Not only that, but today’s college campuses in the U.S. are veritable micro-urban centers full of people from almost every nation on the planet. The cultural and intellectual exchange on our nation’s campuses is astounding. Because of this, the college years, which are some of the most creative, energetic, and formative years in our lives, are now more exciting than ever. Now that spring has arrived, many of our high school seniors are preparing to graduate and are in the process of picking where they will attend university; it is important they take a step back and appreciate the significance and excitement of this choice. But, they can and should also consider how wonderful of an opportunity they have to make a choice that could potentially influence countless other students for Christ no matter where they decide to study.
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