Showing posts from 2017

Why Most Children Walk Away From Faith...

"Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things..."

I think Jesus would say the same thing to us today as parents.  We are a distracted generation.

In the land of opportunity, there are just so many opportunities that we worry over whether or not we are giving our children the right ones to prepare them for life.  We enroll them in the best schools.  We find the best extra curricular activities for their unique personalities.  We work extra jobs and contort our schedules to fit all the activities that they participate in.  We wake up early and go to bed late, often hag-ridden, during their seasons of busyness.  We give them seasons of joy often filled with electronic distractions at home and lavish vacations away from home to make up for the seasons of weariness.  We think of every way for them to get ahead and build a foundation that will serve them well as they exit our household and enter the greater world around them.

Yet, despite our best efforts, it seems …

Learning to Use My Children's Gifts

Went to the hospital today to visit a beloved member of our church.  My son was coming into town with me and knew this member well and wanted to visit too.

We went to the downtown hospital where my son had his surgery a few months before.  During one of our visits, we noticed that the hospital had a piano with a sign on it.  The sign basically said that anyone could use the piano, as long as they were not a beginner.  It was there to be a soothing balm to those who were recovering or going through a hard time.

I had seen it many times before, but never in use.  I mentioned to my son that it would be great to come back after his finger had healed and play some on the piano as a ministry to those in the hospital.  He agreed and we kind of left it at that....

...until today.

After spending some time with our dear friend, who encouraged us with his Christ-like attitude amidst his situation, we found ourselves going down the elevator and the thought of that promise in the back of my mind. …

False Advertising...

Listening to a football game on the radio, I came across the most curious advertisement.  It is one that I had heard many times before.  However, like so many commercials, I simply had grown used to ignoring it or turned the volume down until the game came back on.  Yet, the advertisements just kept coming.  I would see them on TV during the sports programs I was watching.  I would hear them during the breaks of the political talk programs I frequent.

With so much support from many of the programs that targeted men, I decided to finally listen to their pitch and see if their product could change my life in the way that so many of these commercials claimed it could.  Needless to say, I was sorely disappointed.

What was promoted as a "male enhancement pill" unfortunately had nothing to do with magically making men the spiritual leaders of their family, the self sacrificial care giver of their wives, provider of their families or the protector of the lives of their household. …

Whatever Happened to Contentment

But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.  But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.  --1 Timothy 6:6-8 ESV

I can't stand it anymore!  I really can't!

My Facebook feed and news feed
is filled with discontentment and hatred.  We hate the president.  We hate each other.  We hate ourselves (especially if we happen to be born white, male and happen to be a Christian).

It's like we aren't happy unless we have something or someone to hate or be upset about.

Every word that offends becomes another reason for us to be unhappy about an injustice that exists in the world.  We weren't called by the right name.  We heard an opinion that was different than our own.

We loathe the wealthy while secretly wishing we had what they had (I mean, isn't that what equality is all about?).  We hate the church because it is full of hypocrites or it doesn't entertain us …

Heights Christian Youth Group News and Activities

Welcome to the Heights Christian Youth Group page.  As a parent or youth, you have received a card with this web page address or scanned the QR Code to bring you to this page.  This page will be constantly updated with all the latest news and activities that our Youth Group is involved in.  So if you want to know what's going on...keep reading...
One important reminder for parents:  Parents are always welcome to any activity, youth group or event their child is participating in (no advanced notice required...except when traveling so we have enough room in the vehicles)! Youth Worship Team Practice!We are forming a worship team for our youth...made up of our youth!  We are hoping to practice for worship every Thursday after school.  If your youth is interested in singing with the worship band, simply have them show up after school on Thursday for practice.  We do ask for consistency so that we can give our youth worship team the best chance for success!  Practices will last until a…

Of Bible Translations and Heresy

Maybe you have heard the news, maybe you haven't:  Eugune Peterson, the author of the Message Bible, has recently endorsed same sex marriage, and even said that if given the opportunity, he would perform a same sex marriage

...And it is sending a ripple effect through the Christian world.  LifeWay Christian Stores will be discontinuing the sale of the Message and Peterson's books upon confirmation of the statements made from his interview with Jonathan Merritt.  Russell Moore, the president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, wrote a response to this news worth reading.
Many pastors have been captivated by Peterson's writings.  Some use the Message "translation" as either a primary Biblical text or supplemental text to Bible reading.  His book "A Long Obedience In The Same Direction" is one that I had in my library, as I believed the title perfectly described what it meant to be a disciple of Jesus.  Many…

Don't Believe Everything You Read...(not even this)

I'm about to get into trouble.  Maybe with a lot of you.  But for sure with some of you.

However, I can't stay silent anymore.  I have watched an entire generation of professed Christians follow the lie of eloquent writing believing because a person identifies as a believer (or a pastor) that it makes him (or her) one in any Biblical sense.

The digital age has brought with it more information to our fingertips and touch screens than we could have ever imagined.  If we want to find out about something, we just Google it.  Instantly, 63,498 articles pop up on the subject we just inquired about (give or take 15,438).  It is has the ability to be simultaneously an amazing gift and a destructive force to our faith.  The one thing that all of this information doesn't do is interpret whether the information is good or bad.

In this type of atmosphere, heresy is easily fostered and adopted.  You can see it on the web in all of the articles that claim that they are coming from a Ch…

It's the obvious sins we must repent of first...

Repent!  It was the call of John the Baptist to prepare the way of Jesus (Mat. 3:1-2; Luke 3:3-4). But repent of what?
This seems to be the struggle of our modern day culture who want to have their salvation and their sinful life too.  It is the problem with many millenial Christians who want to reach a world for Jesus but don't believe that acknowledgement of sin and repentance of sin is necessary for salvation to the broken people they are proclaiming Jesus to. 
Having been in the world and seeing the image of God in the broken people whom they have met, the idea of repentance seems so unloving and intolerant.  Nowhere is this more evident than in the churches that have popped up proclaiming that they are "open and affirming".  Any lifestyle is equally acceptable and blessed by God, even if it runs contrary to what God has revealed in His Word.  There are whole denominations that are doing Scriptural gymnastics trying to deny what the straightforward reading of God…

Are we "inspired" to follow Jesus at church?

Is there such a thing as a "demotivational speaker"?  If there is, then I might be available for speaking engagements.  Read this post and see if I fit the bill for your congregation or youth group.

Well, that's how I feel, at times.

I have had wonderful people in our congregation tell me that they wish they could hear an uplifting message from me instead of all the hard sermons that seem to flow from my lips.  (I must add that it wasn't offered up as a criticism, as much as an observation.)  And to be fair, many of our sermons have focused on some hard passages of Scripture in the last few years.  We have gone through Judges, the Kings of Israel and Judah, the Gospel of Matthew and are currently in 1 Corinthians.

I have been at camp and at conferences and have heard awesome men and women of God share messages and give testimony of God's greatness in their lives that make me wish that I could be like them.  I see the youth and adults flock to the altar praying r…

The Loss of Discipleship, the Abandonment of the Church and the Breakdown of the Family

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 

Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, His body, of which He is the Savior.  Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the Word, and to present her to Himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies.  He who loves his wife loves himself.  After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church--for we are members of His body. 

"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh."  This is a profound mys…

Are You "All In" or Hedging Your Bets?

I would like to tell you a story.  But to do it, I am going to ask that you read all the way to the end, because it might not be what you think it is from the opening paragraphs.

Now it is no secret that I am a Clemson fan.  So to say that I am elated over their 2016 National Championship is probably a serious understatement.

For fun, I play Bowl Pick'em (where you choose the winners of each of the 41 college football bowl games) and try to get the most points to win the competition.  Each year I create two separate accounts.  With one account, I play against the people of my church.  With the other account, I play against my family.

Not to brag or anything, but I destroyed my church family (man that sounds bad...maybe I am bragging a little bit).  However, by the time the championship game came around, I had already won the competition.

Now I tried to pick the exact same picks for both accounts.  But a strange thing happened along the way and I missed a couple more games on my …