State of the Union from a Pastoral Perspective

I must say that I usually try to stay away from the volatile subject of politics. However, I am absolutely ashamed of the state of politics in our country and it must be addressed from a Biblical and pastoral perspective.
For those who know me, I identify with no political party. I refuse. I used to, but nowadays, I don't feel like I can or should. Why? Because both sides of the aisle are wrapped up in utterly despicable behavior. Neither side is innocent. From the president to the senate to the members of congress on downward to the state levels and even bleeding into the community level, all sides and all levels have been engaging in behavior unbecoming of public servants. And this has been going on for decades and steadily getting worse over time. 
You want to know why these types of people get elected on both sides of the aisle? Because they say things people want to hear. The opposite side of the aisle is offended at them, their side of the aisle praises them. The divide in …

End Times

My daughter has been freaking out recently because of the social media hype citing Luke 21:25-26 as evidence for the end times due to the timing of the eclipse across America from coast to coast and Hurricane Harvey. This got my mind to working and I've decided to put out a few words concerning this deep and troubling issue for some.

I remember back when I was in school and working for Huddle House in '09-'10, there were several of the high school servers there who were panicking about the Mayan Calendar ending on December 21, 2012. They were visibly frightened. Scared to death that the end of the world was coming in the next few years. They knew I was in school studying ministry and they came and asked me about it. I proceeded to tell them that if the world was going to end, I knew that it would be any other day but that one. Naturally they were surprised at my confident answer. When they asked how I knew that, I proceeded with Matthew 24:36 (HCSB),

36 “Now concerning th…

The Nashville Statement: A Different Take

In case you hadn't heard, last week there was something that hit the news. It was portrayed negatively in the news media by some, applauded by others. It's called the Nashville Statement. You can look it up here: It is a bunch of Evangelical Christians who got together to make a document about what Biblical Sexuality looks like in addition to various affirmations and denials of said sexuality. Most of the news media took this and spun it to say that it was a bunch of bigots and hateful people who signed it.

I've read the document. I've looked at the names on the list. Some of them I've at least heard of. I don't know anyone personally on the list who signed it. The people that I've heard of that signed it are Christians who stand for Biblical values, regardless of what they are. However, I personally have not signed it. Why not, you ask? Let me answer that question like this: I stand for Biblical principles. Most of t…

United in Disaster

There's nothing like a disaster to bring about a unified spirit. In my lifetime, I've seen it happen a few times. The most prominent was after 9/11. Americans unified after that disaster like I had never seen before. Not since then have I seen it even close to that degree. That was until this week. Hurricane Harvey popped up out of nowhere, strengthened to become a storm stronger than they had predicted or even thought possible. Reeking havoc with winds and tornadoes then combining it with rain of epic proportions makes for a nightmare of a situation. Especially after the divisiveness we've seen after the past few weeks.

But Hurricane Harvey seemed to manage to melt those away. Black and white, Republican and Democrat, Christian and non-Christian, Texan and Californian seemed to simply disappear into the mist becoming one fog, one people, one nation under God. What is it about a disaster that seems to do this? I'd say it's the fact that at this particular point, no…

Long Division

"A house divided against itself cannot stand." These words were spoken by Abraham Lincoln in the house divided speech in a campaign for US Senator in 1858 in Springfield, Illinois. Do you know where he got it?
"25 But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: 'Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.'" Matthew 12:25; Mark 3:25; Luke 11:17 In all 3 Scripture instances, they were spoken by Jesus. Jesus spoke them in the face of Pharisees accusing him of working miracles by the devil's power. Jesus proceeds to explain that it's not possible for Satan to drive out Satan and that the Pharisees were on the brink of some very deep spiritual accusations against Christ that were unforgivable.

Abraham Lincoln spoke these words about slavery. The United States was divided between the North that wanted to abolish slavery and the South that wanted it to remain legalized. …

The True Bully

Bullying. It seems rampant in our world. In fact, compared to when I was a kid, I see way more stuff about bullying nowadays. Part of the reason for that could be technology and social media as well. But what has gotten my mind going lately is the fact that Christians are being called "bullies". Naturally, we get called all sorts of things; bigots, hypocrites, judgmental, bible-thumpers, crazy, delusional, and brain-washed. However, bully is a new one coming around that I am seeing more and more often. So, with that said, let's dig in a little and see exactly what bullies are and whether or not this could apply to Christians or not.

Bully: noun; a person who uses strength or power to harm or intimidate those who are weaker. Bully: verb; use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force him or her to do what one wants. Courtesy of Google definitions
With these definitions given, it seems to me that both sides of the argument can get to this po…

Fear of the Lord

As I reflect on my walk with the Lord, one of the things that has hit me hard lately is the "fear of the Lord". We all have a tendency to get caught up in the whole "God is love" bit and seem to forget that God is also righteous and just. Without atonement by Jesus as our Savior, God will pass judgement on those who do not have that atonement. No one likes to think of their relatives or loved ones under the judgment of God. However, it is reality. We can't just claim Jesus is Lord and Savior, it must be lived out in our daily lives. Now, keep in mind, nothing we do can or will save us. Only Jesus can do that. However, if we are truly following Jesus, our lives will reflect the fruit of that. To be blunt, none of us even deserve to be saved. We are all deserving of hell and damnation. However, because God loved us so much, He provided a way to atone for the sin that plagues us. So the question then becomes, why in the world would we want to live in it? Obedience…