When Our Words Fail
Praying during seasons "…when sorrows like sea billows roll" can be difficult.
Those times remain etched in my heart because an assailant at the Covenant School in Nashville shot and killed that custodian. I flew back to Tennessee to play for Mike Hill one last time – at his funeral. The opening hymn, Great is Thy Faithfulness, includes the line I often use in my prayers, “Strength... Continue Reading
Avoiding the God Talk
A negative side effect of the God-talk is an unfortunate lack of awareness of how off-putting it is for those “outside the bubble.”
Even before the pandemic, the stress levels in our country soared to record highs. Since COVID-19, it seems we need new indicators to measure the off-the-chart angst, rancor, and overall unsettledness weighing on so many. More than ever, people need plain and unadorned speech—compassion without pretension and assurance rather than arguments. “Welcome to the... Continue Reading
Changing America’s Prayer
If the deity entreated is the God of the Bible, then specific questions might be in order – the main of which is "do we even know this God so regularly asked to bless America?"
America’s decline, along with growing defiance against the Almighty, now warrants a change in prayers. No longer can we appeal for God to bless America. Our circumstances now prompt a cry for mercy. Due to our collective decay now bearing fruit, a more urgent prayer is for God to spare America. A repeated appeal... Continue Reading
When A People Groan
Today, people groan—individuals, families, communities, and even the nation.
I hate injustice. Do you know who hates injustice more? God hates injustice so much that He became flesh and traveled to the cross to take upon Himself the full penalty for injustice. He did that to spare us from what the evildoers will face with terror. Approaching a large man working a booth... Continue Reading
Speaking Life To A Culture of Death
Laws fail to change hearts. Thus, the Cross!
Ultimately, the Word of God penetrates where politics cannot. The question arises as to whether Scripture is used as a cudgel—or to speak life into death, and light into darkness. While the pro-abortion movement possesses the massive microphones of media, academia, and at least two branches of government, the pro-life movement contains one: The Word... Continue Reading
When False Prophets Prophesy Falsely
Although false prophets may provide a temporary analgesic to our challenges, only the Word of God comforts, strengthens and equips us to endure.
Pastors bear great responsibility in this. Part of ministering is protecting. As John Calvin stated, “The pastor ought to have two voices: one, for gathering the sheep; and another, for warding off and driving away wolves and thieves. The Scripture supplies him with the means of doing both.” It seems unlikely that America’s deep... Continue Reading
The Courage To Live While Not Dying
Too many faces this Christmas seemed tinged with fear; people’s anguish seems deeper than even COVID-19.
Healthiness and pain-free existence is a fool’s dream that disease, injury, or time will inevitably disrupt. A life of meaning, purpose, and consequence does not require the lack of sorrows, loss, and even sickness. One could even say that the fragility of our lives provides an exquisite value to each moment. All too many... Continue Reading
A Greater Election
“I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ,” stated the booming voice of Rush Limbaugh to tens of millions as he gave an update on his fight with stage-four lung cancer.
Vote. Be a good steward of the freedom to do so. Write it in, mail it in, pull a lever, or push a button. Regardless of the manner you vote, please remember that a greater election has already occurred. The God of all creation reached from perfection into our imperfection and elected to send His... Continue Reading
“He Stood Up for America”
One moment from a teacher can often last a lifetime.
One class—one student—at a time, teachers possess amazing power to shape a life and a belief system. Mrs. Drew did that for me. She told of a country that aspired to unimagined heights despite a terrible birth defect. At no point did she ever recommend destroying the country any more than parents of a special-needs... Continue Reading
The Falwells Can’t Script This
When one's sexual sin is played out in public, it becomes even more challenging to avoid scripting.
Explaining further, he helped me understand that stepping out of the shadows and asking for help put me on a path to restoration. Our pastor clearly admonished me to not “script” the recovery but to instead process the pain privately with trusted professionals, then later (much later) share the process. He, and others, walked with... Continue Reading