Words Matter

I am preparing to teach an Introduction to Biblical Interpretation class in the fall (if you’re interested, the link is here) and a friend sent this to me which I found applicable not only in the world of biblical interp, but also, generally.  Modern culture says words are social constructs that do not have inherent meaning, only the meaning that is given by the reader (which is absurd by any estimation).  Of course, one who adheres to this type of relativism only adheres to it until it is their words!

Welcoming Chris Petty to The Gathering

I have the privilege of welcoming a friend of mine, Chris Petty, to preach at The Gathering this Sunday.  Chris is formerly the Pastor at Poplar Springs Baptist Church in Ringgold, GA, but has recently been called as a career missionary to Bolivia.  He and his family are planning on moving early in 2017.

I love the kind of ministry Chris has been called to because of the focus on training and developing Bolivian pastors to then go back into the churches and areas they are already living and serving in.  It’s exciting to see this kind of mission work developing simply because of the potential to reach so many more people through just one missionary.  Here is an excerpt from the information about Chris and his family’s recent appointment:

After Chris has served for 8 years as senior pastor at Poplar Springs Baptist Church in Ringgold, GA, God is leading our family to La Paz, Bolivia as full-time missionaries! Pouring our passion for missions into the body at PSBC has been our role in the Great Commission, but that role is now changing. It is an overwhelming privilege that excites us and scares us at the same time. Chris will be training and discipling pastors as well as mobilizing missionaries from Bolivia to other parts of the world, including to least-reached people groups in remote villages of Bolivia. Joy will be ministering in the home and the community, developing relationships with women and children in order to evangelize and disciple. All three of our children desire to go and are willing to sacrifice to serve. We are so grateful for this gift! We will be sent by SIM and Poplar Springs Baptist Church. Our goal is to leave by the end of this year.

ministry facts

• 85% of pastors in Bolivia have no biblical training and many are even unconverted.

• Many churches in South America are eager to send missionaries but lack training and the infrastructure to send them.

• There are more than 35 least reached people groups in Bolivia.

• Because of their access to many “closed” countries and their ability to adapt to many cultures, Bolivians have the potential to be a strategic mission force.

I hope you will make plans to join us Sunday to hear Chris and meet his family.

7 Tips for Reading Better, Faster and Smarter

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I have to read a lot for my job.  As a pastor, my responsibility is not to know everything, but to know as much as I can and then know where to find what I don’t know (which is plenty!).  That’s a big responsibility when you are regularly asked questions on every minutia of theology or how to handle a particular life situation or are wondering what the Bible says about _______________.

With that in mind, I’ve thinking about how I can improve my ability to absorb large amounts of information by increasing the number of books I’m able to read over the course of a year. I’ve read several good articles on the subject, asked and received some good advice, and also tried some experimentation myself.  I decided I would share some of what I’ve found to work for me here on my blog in hopes that you, too, can grow in your breadth and depth of knowledge through reading, which is of more importance than we probably give it.  

Relying on someone else to do all the learning for you doesn’t cut it.  Just listening to sermons or lectures isn’t enough.  You need to become effective in digging for yourself.  I want to encourage as many people as possible to actively begin learning how to find good resources, effectively move through them, and glean as much knowledge as they can. 

If you’ve never felt confident as a student or even as a reader, it can seem overwhelming.  When I started the process, some basic questions surfaced:  How do I do it?  Where do I find the time in my busy schedule to read or study?  Is there a way to increase my reading ability and speed because I seem to get bogged down and often don’t even make it to the end of a book (I lose interest halfway through and start another book instead)?  All of these are problems I have faced and have worked hard to overcome.  If you’re in the same boat, see if any of these 7 suggestions might help you become more proficient in accomplishing your reading goals:

1.  Pick good books.  All books are not equal and with millions to choose from, you are bound to pick some losers just because the cover was pretty or the subject interested you.  Before you ever purchase a book or even commit to reading it, check out reviews.  Go to Amazon, look up the book, read an excerpt, check out the reviews and see what other readers are saying.  There are always gong to be at least a couple of negative reviews, but if the majority really like it, you have a good chance of picking a winner.  Also, rely on people you trust who read a lot of books to provide you with suggestions.  If you’re interested in a particular subject, put it out on Facebook or Twitter or reading apps like Goodreads and see if anyone has good suggestions.  You’ll probably be surprised with how many great possibilities you get.

2.  Don’t waste your time on bad books.  If you pick a book that promised more than it could deliver, stop reading it.  If you don’t, you’ll become discouraged and begin to hate the process of reading which will only defeat the purpose.  In some books, you might need to skim through and pick out some good stuff and discard the rest.  Even some really bad books have a couple of really good chapters.  Read only those chapters and move on.  On that note, sometimes we feel obligated to read a book because we paid good money for it.  I would encourage you to only buy books that you are relatively certain are worth it.  In cases where you aren’t sure, go to a library or borrow from a friend.  If you have Amazon Prime, you already have access to a huge lending library as a part of your membership.  On top of that, there is a huge number of free books through websites like the Christian Classics Ethereal Library.  If you do buy some losers, take them to a used book store and see if you can get credit for different books or sell them online.

3.  Limit distractions.  Once I have a book I really want to read, I often find that I can’t find the time to actually read it.  One of my problems is that I do a lot of my reading using ebooks, which is very convenient but can also make uninterrupted reading virtually impossible.  Because I have an iPad and an iPhone, I did what most people do and downloaded the Kindle app, not realizing that I was making a huge mistake. 

The problem I encountered with reading on a smart device is that every few minutes I would be interrupted by a “ding!” for an email alert and a “ding!” for a text message.  I got dinged for Facebook and dinged for Twitter.  Instagram would ding me and so would every other app on my phone.  Even if I chose not to look at them immediately, the distractions became maddening.  How could I avoid this?  It wasn’t until I read a suggestion in an article about ebooks by Tim Challies that I finally discovered the answer.  He recommended not reading ebooks on the same device you use for all your other interactions.  Instead, purchase an actual Kindle (or some other ebook reading device) that doesn’t come with notifications.  That was genius!  So, I found a used 6” Kindle for about $30 on Amazon and it’s made all the difference.  When it’s time to read, I put my phone and iPad in another room and dedicate whatever time I have to uninterrupted reading.  It’s great and one of the best purchases I’ve made.

This leads to the other aspect of limiting distractions:  chill out on the social media.  One of the greatest time-thieves in my life has been social media.  I wrote about it here, so I won’t rehash that post now, but since cutting out social media all-together, I have noticed a marked increase in available time for more important things.  That’s not to say I will never go back to social media as I think it can be very helpful and beneficial, but I don’t plan to re-introduce it to the level I once did. 

If you want to increase your time reading or studying, designate certain times during the day that you can check in on social media, but turn off notifications and let those special times be during your breaks.  If not, your productive times will only be during your breaks from social media.

Of course, what can be said for social media can certainly be said for television.  There are particular shows I like to watch.  I’m going to watch them and not feel guilty about it, so long as that isn’t the majority of my time.  That’s not to say I don’t have times of crashing on the sofa while the tv is on, but if most of my free time is sitting in front of the tv, I’ve got a problem.  So, if that’s you, intentionally turn off the tv and pick up a book.  If you don’t feel like getting into anything deep, grab a good fiction book and “veg-out” in that, instead.

4.  Always have a book.  I learned this tip from Dr. Albert Mohler, President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and one of the most (if not the most) voracious readers I’ve ever known.  Dr. Mohler suggests always having a book on hand while waiting in line at the bank or supermarket, while waiting in the doctors office or even when sitting at red lights!  With my handy Kindle, that’s an easy thing to do, but you can also use these suggestions with paper books.  The point is, seize the moments you have that, strung together, are pretty large blocks of time that are otherwise wasted.

5.  Work on increasing your reading speed.  This has always been my Achilles Heel!  I’ve always been a good reader, but not a very fast one, so it would take me for.e.ver to read a single book.  Frustrating!  So, last year, I made it my goal to increase my reading speeds while not sacrificing comprehension.  I set out to find anything that could help me and was surprised at the number of speed-reading apps available.  I settled on one that has helped me tremendously called ReadQuick.  There is a free version, but for the price of a kindle book (about $9.00), you can get the full version. 

That app has helped train me to disconnect the automatic process of sounding out every word I see in my head and letting my mind rapidly pick up on the words as my eyes are quickly moving through the text.  I’ve been pretty amazed at how much speed with comprehension I’ve been able to attain over the few months I’ve been using it.  That’s only one among many options that you can choose from, but I recommend trying one of them.

6. Go for variety.  Find material that interests you.  Balance your reading between subjects that you have questions about and genres you’ve never explored before.  I try to focus on different genres on different days of the week.  For instance, on Mondays, I will generally read something related to Apologetics/Worldviews.  Tuesdays, I’ll read a book and/or articles related to leadership.  Wednesdays are for Theology and Thursdays are biography.  Friday, which is my day off, I’ll usually read some fiction and then weekends are whatever scratches my itch.  Now, that said, I’m not rigid with this.  There are some days I really don’t feel like reading from the genre I planned and so I’ll read something else, but I still want to try and maintain balance so that I grow in my breadth of knowledge as well as my depth.

7.  Set goals.  Using these suggestions, determine a goal for how much you want to read.  Think about how many books you were able to read during the last year and see if you can increase that in the current year by at least a couple of books.  Even one book more than you read last year is an improvement!  Celebrate that and build momentum!  If you’ve never finished even one large book (and don’t be too embarrassed…you’d be surprised at the number of people in that category), then set your goal for reading one book of, say, at least 200 pages this year.  You pick the number of pages, but start somewhere and determine to accomplish that goal.  Then you’ll have something to improve on next year.

The bottom line is that you’ll never grow if you aren’t intentionally trying.  The best way to grow is to read.  Start small and work your way up, but at least start! 

Happy reading.

Have additional tips that have worked for you?  Please let me know…I’m always open to trying something new!

Demonic Distraction

I’m not likely to elicit the services of a prostitute. I’m not likely to get a bottle of scotch and polish it off in a sitting. I’m not likely to hunt down someone I dislike and take them out with one, ridiculously accurate shot between the eyes. There are probably a thousand different things I can list here that I probably won’t do (though, because of my sin nature, I can never say I’m incapable. There’s nothing a sinful heart is incapable of). However, there are simply things that don’t tempt me very much; tactics the soldiers of darkness would be foolish to engage me in.

What I’m coming to realize more and more, though, is that there are some things that I seem to be predisposed towards. Things that always seem to cause me a great fight and, sometimes, I just can’t seem to hold up. Of course, some of these are shrouded in clouds of deception; covert attacks in which I am outflanked and hit without even so much as knowing I’ve been outwitted, outlasted or outplayed.

“Squirrel!”

Take my most susceptible area of weakness: distraction. I have rarely been able to detect this one, mainly because there’s nothing particularly “evil” about the things I’ve been doing. It’s not like I’ve jumped online to check out the latest porn features or spent time chatting with “lovely Korean girls who are waiting for your call”. In fact, many of the things that have been used against me are quite inoccuous. We’re talking watching a funny video that someone posted on Facebook or “cute kittens at play (after all, I’ve been told that laughing at cats falling off of slippery cars and jumping into screen doors is therapeutic) and not realize that I mindlessly just let the next 5 or 10 funny videos that follow autoplay. Maybe I do a “quick search” for something I’ve been wanting to check out only to get lost for the next half hour in the endless tree of links that are related. Simple stuff. Innocent stuff.

Not So Innocent

It’s crazy how easy it is for the “innocent” or morally neutral to cause me to sin. Now, I know that to call it sin might be debatable by some, but it’s certainly not for me. Here’s why. If there is anything that has kept me from making the things of God primary in my life, I am guilty of idolatry. After all, idolatry is, most simply, anything that takes the rightful place of God. When I let anything detract my affections away from the primacy of Christ, idolatry has been birthed and will not stop until it is full-grown and has become a major sin in my life.

Again, there is nothing inherently wrong with pursuing interests, spending time on Facebook or anything else that can be either good or bad, but I know me. I tend to get sucked in and all of the time I’ve been given to pursue that which I SAY is of primary importance in my life is now gone because of all the little things that have robbed me of the opportunity I had. Man, I’m telling you, if I was out to get you to take your eyes off of Jesus, I wouldn’t need to make you bad so long as I could make you distracted; if I could make you too busy or preoccupied with the mundane.

Taking Back the Land

Military history all the way back to biblical days has shown us that, even after terrible defeats, if an army can manage to rally and take back even a little previously-lost territory, it can lead to greater confidence to take it all back and win the war. That’s what I have determined to do, even though it’s surprisingly difficult!

I’ve only been off of social media for 24 hours and I feel like an addict going through withdrawals. I was so accustomed to mindlessly picking up the iPhone during moments of down-time and seeing what everyone was posting, that I find myself wanting to re-download the apps. I’m starting to realize just how frequently I was checking those stupid things. Why? I allowed myself to be fooled into thinking it was no harm, but little by little, the joy of the Lord in my life was fading because I wasn’t pursuing it. How could I? Every spare minute was spent trying to see what everyone else BUT God was saying.

So, I will work through the withdrawals, endure the cold sweats and refocus my time and attention on the most important things in my life. I will retake the land and determine that I will no longer allow demonic distractions to rule my life. I will practice the skill of self-examination and submit my free time to the freedom I have in Christ to grow into the design God has for me.

Maybe God isn’t calling you to give up social media, even for a season, but are there “demonic distractions” in your life that are secretly keeping you from living up to your potential? Is there something or even someone in your life that has quietly and slowly led you into idolatry? Time is fleeting, the moments are passing…grab them! Take control of your time and submit it under the control of the Holy Spirit. Do it now while you still have TIME.

Peace.

A Hunger for More

For the past few weeks, I’ve been experiencing some strange things going on with my heart–literally, not metaphorically.  I’ve experienced elevated blood pressure, tightness in my chest, slightly labored breathing, and feelings of anxiety.  It got so bad that I landed in the hospital for a couple of days while they ran tests and tried to figure out what was going on.

As it turned out, my heart is structurally perfect.  The doctor was actually impressed with my endurance during the stress test. I say that only to point out the very real presence of something debilitating in the absence of anything concrete to blame it on.

Two Sundays ago, the day after my discharge from the hospital, I sat in my office preparing to preach and began to feel that now familiar pressure build in my chest.  The increasing sound of blood pumping through my ears began to notify of me of it’s presence louder and louder.  It was starting again.  What would happen if it continued while I was on the stage in the Worship Center?  Would I have to excuse myself as I had during a funeral only a couple of days earlier?  Would I wait too long and actually pass out?  The anxiety continued to build.

I decided that in order to focus on the task before me, I would take the last of a pain medication my shoulder surgeon had given me that not only alleviates pain, but provides a gentle sense of calm.  Nothing strong that would “knock me out,” but would allow me to settle down enough to focus on what I needed to do.  Fortunately, it helped.

As I reflected on that event, I struggled with a reality.  I wrestled with the fact that I was able to experience what felt like pure joy during the entire worship experience.  The cares of the world were held at bay and my focus was completely on the presence of the Lord and His grace in my life.  I was both blessed and disturbed.  Does it really take some kind of sedative to get to that point of focus on what’s most important?  If so, something is drastically wrong!

By God’s grace, during my regular times of listening to sermons through podcasts, I heard a sermon the following Monday morning by James MacDonald entitled, “Refreshed by Grace.”  It was exactly the thing I needed to hear from the Lord to help me move in the right direction of experiencing real joy from the Lord, Himself, without the aid of the pharmacy.

One of the things James talked about was how we often confuse the doctrine of God’s omnipresence (God being in all places at all times) with the doctrine of His manifest presence.  That’s huge and very true.  Because we know that God is always here, we can easily take that for granted so that we fail to experience God making that presence known to us.  This is why we’re told over and over to actively seek Him.  Why is that necessary if He’s already there, unless there is some special blessing of His presence that is not automatic, and not necessarily constant.

A second major point that James made was how Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:1 to be, “strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”  Realizing the definition of grace is, “unmerited favor,” James pointed out that we often focus so much on the “unmerited” part that we neglect the aspect of “favor.” That is to say that we rightly realize that we are unworthy of God’s grace, but fail to live in the reality of Gods FAVOR towards us.  He is for us!  He wants to provide for us!

Why do we not experience more of that in our lives?  Simple:  We don’t pursue it.  We don’t pursue HIM!  We are so distracted with everything else in life that we fail to stay focused on the mission of knowing Him and making Him known.  We need the laser focus of a soldier, eliminating distractions and remaining intent on experiencing God’s manifest presence in our lives.  This is what Paul said in verses 3-4 of that passage in 2 Timothy.

I know this is true because I’ve experienced it.  I know what I haven’t had and God allowing me to experience something of a “manufactured” feeling of joy and peace on that Sunday morning left me wanting more–not more medicine—more of Him.  More REAL joy and peace and His presence.  I want to experience such peace in Christ that anxiety and stress melt away in the comfort of His sovereignty.  So, how do I get it?

That’s where the question comes in of “How much do I want this?” That’s the rub, isn’t it?  We tend to want something for nothing, don’t we?  We want the proverbial cake and eat it, too.  It doesn’t work that way in the real world, though.  I’ve always been told that whatever is worth having is worth working for.  With the exception of God’s gracious gift of salvation, I’ve found that to be true.  I believe it is true with the experience of God’s manifest presence.  Probably much more so because God will not tolerate competition; He will not allow idols and false gods to take his place which, in reality, that’s exactly what many of the distractions I allow in my life that prevent me from pursuing Him whole-heartedly are.

What does it mean for ME?  That’s what I have to now answer.  For me, it means removing major distractions in my life and replacing them with an intentional focus on experiencing the manifest presence of God and a pursuit of the very real joy of the Lord.  If that’s my birthright as an adopted child of God (Romans 8), then I’m taking it!  In my life, the major distractions lie primarily in the realm of social media, so that’s what has to go, at least until I can master them without finding myself mastered over.  As of right now, I’m removing personal social media from my life completely at least for the month of February.  All of it.

Since I believe it can and is useful and there are many things that can be accomplished through social media, anything I might think is beneficial to share will go through Tyler and onto our church Facebook page or here on my personal website.  Twitter is gone, too.  The only interactive media I will utilize is this blog (which will automatically send updates to other social media platforms).

That said, I hope you will follow my journey and maybe we can mutually encourage each other in our quest for more.  I will try and update here regularly in my pursuit and, hopefully, you can glean some ways in which you can experience joy, as well.  Feel free to interact with any posts I share, but if you want it to be two-way, you’ll have to comment here on my site or I probably won’t see it.

Oh, one more thing to add:  Since I’ve had a week or so to simmer on these truths, yesterday at church was so different for me.  God granted me the experience of His manifested presence during our corporate worship at The Gathering.  I was so thankful that He showed me that life in Him is more joyful than anything and better than any manufactured sense of peace can ever give!

I appreciate your prayers in this journey and if there is any way I can encourage or pray for you, I hope you’ll let me know.  Soli Deo Gloria!

More Thoughts on Refugees

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote some initial thoughts on the refugee crisis.  I mentioned that there is so much we cannot know in order to determine whether or not we should support taking in refugees.  After listening to endless officials and pundits over the last several weeks analyze and argue their views, I still don’t know if letting refugees in is safe or not.

What I do know is that the idea of absolute physical safety is an illusion.  I’m sitting in front of the TV now watching reports of a mass shooting in San Bernadino, California that is unfolding live before my eyes.  There are no details yet on who did it or why, but if follows closely on the heals of another shooting that took place in Colorado less than a week ago.

My point is simply that whether or not there are refugees, there will be danger.  Always.  Danger is already here.  The potential for and reality of mass killing is a domestic problem as much as a foreign one.  Terrorists can already get into our country and reports are they’re already here.  All of this is outside of my control.  What is not outside of my control is how I think about and what I do for people in need.  I can allow myself to become fearful, paranoid and cynical, or I can choose to live a life of fearless compassion in a dangerous world.

I have no control over who does or does not come into the Unites States.  So, with so many unknown variables, I fall back on who I am, who I’m called to be and what I believe about God and about people.  I am called to love and care for those God brings to me to love and care for.

Because of what I don’t know, I neither argue for nor against the acceptance of refugees.  As I stated in my last post, there are really good arguments on both sides.  Frankly, I don’t see a reason to pick a side.  I can look at it philosophically, theologically and ethically and argue a position, but last I checked, those who make the decision don’t ask what my views are.  That’s not to say that speaking up isn’t important, but on this issue, I can’t know what I don’t know; I can’t make a fully informed opinion (and there are enough uniformed opinions already out there).

What I CAN do is respond to what actually happens.  I can work towards helping those families who might enter the Country and do what I can to show them the love of Christ, if it is determined that they will be allowed to do so.  That’s what I’m called to already, even though I so often do an inadequate job as it is…but I can work on improving.  I can refuse to operate out of fear. I can trust in a sovereign God who will ultimately determine whether or not refugees from Syria or any other nation enter our borders.  Many times, God calls us out to the Nations…sometimes, God calls the Nations to us.

I can’t decide what will happen.  I can decide how I will respond.

Quick Thoughts on Refugees

As hard as it is, I am trying to look at the current refugee crisis carefully, thoughfully, morally and ethically.  As I think about this, I have to realize there are so many unknowns behind the scenes that make it impossible for me, with all certainty, to take a “right” position.  I find I have to remind myself to approach this very humbly.  

On the one hand, it is true that as a Christian, I am called to care for the poor.  I believe that something must be done for the refugees.  I’m not sure what that something is, because, at the same time, it seems incredibly unwise to open the door for what could allow terrorists to attempt a “trojan horse” operation as it has been reported that at least one did in Paris, and kill more.  God calls us to be compassionate, but He also calls us to be wise.

It is hard for me to outright support an influx of refugees, whatever their religious orientation, if it cannot be guaranteed that the people who are already here will not be safe.  We have a responsibility for them, too.  To be perfectly candid, there is no way I would welcome someone who looked potentially dangerous into my house with my family present, yet that is what we are doing if we are not careful and get this right.  At this point, I don’t have that confidence.  

So, what do we do?  Honestly, this is a tough one for me.  I am not at all comfortable with the extremes I’m reading about on Facebook.  I’m not comfortable hearing Christians speaking coldly about those who are running for their lives, thinking only about ourselves, and speaking poorly about the refugees, in general.  It doesn’t sound like Jesus talking.  On the other hand, I’m not comfortable with people saying that we are not acting like Jesus or aren’t being Christian unless we blindly welcome in whoever says they are a part of those legitimately escaping persecution.  I think it’s a bit more complex than that.  

Personally,  before I make a statement about how we need to take in and care for refugees, I need to answer the question, “What am I, personally, willing to do to help these refugees?”  It’s easy to take a position if I’m not directly affected; if it’s going to cost me nothing but a few more tax dollars.  So, am I willing and ready to personally get my hands dirty and provide for refugees?  If not and yet I say that it is un-Christlike not to take them in, I have to question if I, myself, am actually being Christlike.

It’s so easy to post a picture, share someone else’s profound-sounding post, or like comments made who share my position.  It’s harder to step back, think soberly and honestly about what really is Christ’s position; to consider Christ’s call…I’m talking about the one that says that, like the apostles sent out among wolves, we are to be both wise as serpents and innocent as doves (Matthew 10:16).  I’m not sure how much of either of those are being put on display at this point.

So, maybe we can ease up on the rhetoric, the chest-bumping, the guilt trips and the finger-wagging and spend a little more time sincerely praying for the mind of Christ and asking how we, as Christ-followers, can be part of the solution and live, first, as citizens of Heaven rather than citizens of the world.  

I’m not there yet.  I don’t have an answer.  In this very emotionally charged time, mine are all over the place and I vascillate between the different options with almost every news report of victims being killed in Paris and Beirut or displaced families running from ISIS.  I don’t see an easy answer.  That shows me that I’ve yet to find the mind of Christ here.  So, until I do, I will be quiet.

God, have mercy. 

On “The Selfishness of Skipping Church”

It may be an infrequent occurrence when non-Christians stroll into the doors of a church to check it out. I get that. What is hard for me to get my mind around is why that infrequency is becoming more the case for professing followers of Christ.

In his piece entitled, “The Selfishness of Skipping Church”, Art Heinz does a good job of getting to the heart of the issue by tying it to our ever-increasing consumer mindset.

Originally posted on artheinz.com:

Old Church 1The overwhelming consumerist mentality in our nation has spilled over and saturated the thinking of Christians throughout the Church in the United States.  More and more believers in America approach the concept of finding and remaining in a church the same way they would handle buying a car, shopping for the latest technological advancement, or choosing a movie to watch.  An institution whose founder came not to be served, but to serve, has been tainted by a ceaseless drum beat of “what can you do for me?”  The worship environment, the style of music, the dress code, the church programming, and the overall focus of the church, is no longer about the Lord and His agenda, but about the personal preferences of individual church shoppers.

The crisis of commitment and ownership in the American Church is reflected in the 2015 Pew Research Study that showed a serious decline in Americans…

View original 776 more words

‘What lion?’ Zimbabweans ask, amid global Cecil circus | Reuters

For most people in the southern African nation, where unemployment tops 80 percent and the economy continues to feel the after-effects of billion percent hyperinflation a decade ago, the uproar had all the hallmarks of a ‘First World Problem’.”Are you saying that all this noise is about a dead lion? Lions are killed all the time in this country,” said Tryphina Kaseke, a used-clothes hawker on the streets of Harare. “What is so special about this one?”

Meanwhile, thousands more children are murdered today through abortion without so much as a second thought from those calling for “Justice for Cecil“.  Justice?  Sigh.

Source: ‘What lion?’ Zimbabweans ask, amid global Cecil circus | Reuters

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