Pastor's Words for Living

There's More To Being A Dad Than Playing Catch

There is no denying that family life as God designed it is in need of revitalization.  It would seem that confusion has become the norm in our culture, particularly with how we think about the family.  While there is cause to be discouraged, it is important to see great opportunity for distinct and godly living against the dark background of postmodern family life.  It's a perfect time, as we approach Father's Day, to think about how our families should be reflecting God's glory in our world.  Take a moment and read Terry Dorsett's article and let us consider how we can lead our families to be God-honoring in these challenging times.  The implications for our culture are huge, but the implications for our children are even greater.

http://www.bpnews.net/BPFirstPerson.asp?ID=40346

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When An Article Makes You Say, "Wow"

Sometimes I read articles that are pure enjoyment.  At other times I read articles that I wish I had avoided. Occasionally I read an article that is so powerful and important that I'm left with a mixture of emotion.  It produces in me an undeniable thrill that someone was able to speak out so boldly about something so important, and yet it breaks my heart that it needed to be said.  Carl Trueman has written such an article that should be a must-read for every professing Christian.  You will make a solid investment of your time to spend a few minutes reading The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie.


http://www.reformation21.org/articles/the-discreet-charm-of-the-bourgeoisie.php

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Keeping the Proper Perspective

We live in an age of much confusion about almost everything.  Sometimes the confusion is comical and at other times it is heartbreaking.  One thing that confuses me is the way our society obsesses over fads.  I think at one time we were able to recognize fads and accept them as such.  In today's world, we seem to treat each new fad as the final statement for the world's ailments.  

Recently I read a guest commentary in the Christian Index that illustrates our tendency to overstate the latest fad.  I enjoyed it a lot and thought you might find it interesting.  So, with the gracious permission of The Christian Index, take a moment and read this article written by Steven Andrew.


Seismic Shift or Shifting Sand?
 
I must begin by saying I appreciate the ministry of James Emery White and Louie Giglio because upon reading this article, one might falsely assume I am attacking these ministers who make wonderful contributions to the cause of Christ. My frustration as a fellow pastor is with the newest, latest, relevant, key, secret, or trend for effective ministry.
 
I’m already attempting to lead a purpose-driven, transformational, missional, simple church with contemporary music to a traditional Bible belt congregation that expects cutting edge ministry without changing! Now with the insight of White and Giglio, I just learned the ground is moving again.
 
Outreach is shifting, saints are becoming radical, and students are starting a revolution to eradicate sex traffic. We are exhorted to “share talks” instead of preach sermons, and we should use the term “none” to denote those who are “lost” or “unchurched.” According to the experts, the words of Jesus no longer accurately describe the growing number of lost souls and the “saved/born again” followers who don’t attend organized churches.
 
I confess my reluctance to quote Jesus as saying, “The son of man came to seek and save none.”
 
James Emery White’s article analyzing Giglio’s PASSION conference proposes the              60,000 students who gave over $3 million for eliminating sex slave traffic illustrates a “seismic shift” in what attracts people to Christ. At the risk of being labeled cynical, I want to offer a different analysis – 60,000 people giving $50 each equals $3 million. Students burn through $50 like a hot knife through butter or like a smart phone through a checking account.
 
I don’t have hard empirical data, but experience and logic lead me to conclude that a majority of students gave their parent’s money. I attended college, and I have two college age children. There are exceptions, but most college students drive cars, purchase tickets, cover living expenses, and pay tuition with parental gifts or student loans.
 
My intent is not to criticize students. They could have spent money on pizza or a Mumford & Sons concert, but they chose to attack the evil of slave traffic. Their actions are commendable. I am questioning the validity of identifying the PASSION offering as a seismic shift in the kingdom of God illustrating the future trend of evangelism.
 
I rejoice in what PASSION is doing (I know some are saying “yeah right.”) but we can celebrate the incredible outpouring of devotion to Christ demonstrated by students without attaching some new trend or revolutionary movement? We need to encourage the “twenty somethings,” and I admire their desire to carve out unique expressions of following Christ.
 
What is disturbing is the excessive fawning over the next new exciting thing and failing to appreciate the contributions made by old boring Baptists who gave $175 million for global missions through the recent Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. As many readers know, the LMCO is in addition to Cooperative Program mission gifts exceeding $300 million for international missions, plus over $6 million for world hunger, and an anticipated $70 million for home missions through the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering. Would these financial gifts be newsworthy seismic shifts if accompanied with cool music and popular speakers?
 
Call it a circular device used to stabilize and propel a logistic carriage, or you can call it a wheel. Use trendy names like cell groups, small groups, and fellowship studies instead of the horribly offensive Sunday School. Attend a gathering instead of a worship service.
 
Allow new radicals to navigate seismic shifts, but I want to encourage some of the old school pastors who may be struggling to keep up. In the simple words of Paul to Timothy, “Preach the Word!”
 
Oops, I meant to say, “Share a talk at a gathering of nones.”
 
Steve H. Andrew
Pastor of First Baptist Church in Alabaster, AL
 
See christisnindex.org for additional stories, or to subscribe.

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Does Gosnell Have Accomplices?

All of us have been horrified by the trial of Kermit Gosnell.  Words do not seem adequate to describe the heartache we experience when we consider the atrocities that this man perpetuated against the most innocent among us.  Many of us likely applauded when the verdict was handed down this week.  While we may feel that the punishment does not rise to the level of his crimes, it does assure us that his days of killing babies are over.

There is another side to this story that we should consider in a sober and serious manner.  It is easy for us to place the responsibility of these crimes upon Kermit Gosnell, but we must ask whether or not our society has any culpability in this heinous ordeal.

Check out Albert Mohler's article as he discusses this angle of the Gosnell case.

http://www.albertmohler.com/2013/05/14/kermit-gosnells-america-what-his-trial-really-reveals/

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Womanhood and the Image of God

In a culture that is obsessed with vanity and materialism, it’s refreshing when someone speaks powerfully to important matters.  I received such a blessing from reading a blog written by Hannah Anderson this week, that I wanted to pass it along on Mother’s Day weekend.  If you are a mom, I believe it will encourage and challenge you.  If you have a mom (and I think most of us do), it will elevate your appreciation for the many responsibilities moms face.  Maybe it will offer you some ideas for helping and encouraging moms you know.  Enjoy!

http://sharperiron.org/article/woman-image-of-god

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