Confessions of a Binge Blogger

I have noticed something about my blogging patterns. I binge. Before you plan to find a recovery group for me, please hear me out. I would very much like to be like those who schedule their blog posts or blog daily, but I have to “strike while the iron is hot” and write when the ideas hit me. Sometimes that means that I write multiple posts in one day.

There is another side to my binge blogging. I also binge read. Some days are devoted to reading, liking, and commenting on the blogs of others. I may press on your link, and you will discover that I have liked and commented on several of your posts at once. I would typically preach about doing things in moderation, but I don’t think I am violating any biblical principle here unless my blogging becomes a personal idol.

Am I alone here, or does anyone else relate? I would love to read from someone who relates to my binging. Please😀.

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Good News

Why is it that we turn on the news and hear nothing but bad things? We hear the latest scandals in politics, murders, and a list of other things. I heard John Gray preach once and he said something along the lines of how it would be nice if we heard that it was going to be rainy, but the sun is coming out later.

This morning, I heard His Radio highlight several positive things in their news. One was about a grandmother who saved a snowball her 5-year old granddaughter brought her as a gift. The grandmother froze it. Eleven years later, it is still in the grandmother’s freezer and the granddaughter is now 16. Then others called in and shared about homemade gifts from children. I reminisced about how my oldest son would always spend his Awana money on me at the Awana store and buy me a lighthouse, tootsie rolls, or dress socks. He’s 14 now, but I will always cherish how he thought of me when he could have spent on himself.

Now back on the subject of good news. The word gospel means “good news”. This message of good news is that Jesus Christ died and rose again according to the Scriptures. Those who place their trust in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. We can have complete forgiveness through the death and resurrection of Christ. How awesome is that?

Now it’s time to share some good news!

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Walking Billboards

Each of us is a walking advertisement. This thought was provoked by a line from The Drew Carey Show from the 1990s. Drew said to Mimi who wore a ton of makeup, “You look like a walking billboard for a makeup company.” That may not be the exact quote, but she fit the bill.

We all, through our actions and attitudes, advertise all kinds of things. Here is a list of things that come to mind that we advertise:

  • Joy
  • Anger
  • Generosity
  • Hatred
  • Christlikeness
  • Depression

This list is not exhaustive. It does lead me to ask you this question, “What does your life advertise?” The categories are twofold: reputation and character. We all possess a certain reputation. Your reputation is what others think of you. Reputations can often be misinterpreted. Your character is who you are when no one is looking. People will develop their opinions about you, but the real you is the person only God knows. Our goal should be to possess Christlike character that pours over into our reputation. Even if you are extremely like Jesus, there will still be some who will not like you. Remember that God did not place you here to be liked, but don’t make it a goal to be hated.

I want to challenge you as you ponder your life today, consider what your life advertises. If the advertisement of your life needs work, you can submit yourself to the Holy Spirit and watch Him turn your darkness into light.

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“Complicity and the Christ?”

An excellent post on how child sexual abuse should be addressed biblically. We must stop sweeping such things under the rug or downplaying them.

See, there's this thing called biology...

So, I continue to be frustrated by Pastor Wilson’s rather poor response to child sexual abuse. That’s actually a charitable way to put it. It’s way beyond poor. It’s a real irritant to me because I like his theology and his way with words, but his heart is just all wrong, and there are real people who have suffered greatly for having been sold some of this rubbish.

I have some compassion for victims of abuse. Of that there is no doubt. However, my real concern is how or why people are driven away from the church and sometimes away from Jesus Christ Himself.

Take for example his post, “Complicity in Christ” It’s quite reasonable if we are talking about neighbors getting along with one another or how to survive the next family reunion. BUT he is actually speaking about child rape, which is kind of buried among the words…

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Facebook Profiles

Facebook profiles tell a story. They tell who you are, where you’ve been, what you have done, and what matters most to you. As I was on Facebook within the last hour, several things jumped out at me.

The first look at a person’s Facebook profile is normally the profile picture. The saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” is very true. One picture can say any of the following:

  • “I value my relationship with my…”
  • “I love this ball team.”
  • “I love my kids.”
  • “I support this cause.”

It can also say:

  • “I want attention.”
  • “Let’s see how many people will like this pic of me showing off my muscles.”
  • “I wonder how many likes I can get for my little black dress.”
  • “I value myself above all others.”
  • “I’m using social media to fill a void.”

This one window into your life can tell an accurate tale of who you are. It can also tell the story of who you want to be or the story you want others to think rather than reality. As we walk down the hallway of your profile, we see posts that can reflect joy, depression, frustration, or efforts to impress others with the things you bought with high interest attached to it (aka on credit). The pictures can reflect fun times or memes of how spiritual you are or want others to think you are. These images can even be meant for entertainment or inspiration. Some view it Facebook profiles as reality while a Facebook profile can often be a coverup.

Beginning with me, it’s time to evaluate what our Facebook profiles are really saying. Are they real/desired life on parade, or do they serve a greater purpose? Just some thoughts worth considering.


Great post about bad guys of the Bible!

Our Journey Home

Ruthie B Pic Forwarned Picture and article by Ruth Brentner

Everyone loves good guys. Who isn’t inspired by the life of Daniel, Joseph, Jonathan or the beloved apostle John? While their good examples show us better, higher paths, sometimes a bad example is just as revealing as a good one.

Enter the Bible bad guys.

Here’s why I love them:

1. Bad guys serve as warning signs.

Life is complex and difficult to navigate, that’s for sure. It demands warning signs simply because there are pitfalls everywhere. No one plans to shipwreck their faith, fracture their family, or wound their own soul, but sometimes these things overtake us without the advantage of an honest-to-goodness negative example. I say bring on the bad guys. They’ve left behind treasures for us in their flotsam and jetsam.

2. Bad guys expose and unmask the bad guy I deal with every day, my flesh.

That bully is…

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God has reminded me of something that infects the lives of many pastors and churches – misinformation or a lack of knowledge. Ignorance is not bliss. God wants us to be informed, so I choose to do better in some areas.

Today, a friend of mine who has been clean for almost 4 years shared his testimony. As we have been talking for a few weeks about this, I realized how misinformed I am about addiction. The problem is that this misinformation has been propagated from many pulpits and pastors. Rather than finding out the underlying reason that people become addicted to alcohol, drugs, or sex, many choose to call them drunks, meth heads, or hoes. Because the way to get someone on the road to recovery is the guilt trip, right? WRONG!!! It’s time to stop the labels and time to address the root issue.

There is so much more I could say. Bottom line: Do your homework! You might be surprised what you will discover.

Before You Die

About 3 weeks into my first full-time ministry, the pastor came to me and asked if I would teach his Sunday School class while he was out of the country. I gladly took the opportunity. He was teaching Ecclesiastes and told me to pick up at chapter nine. I began preparing and decided to share this outline with you.

We all are going to die. With that in mind, Ecclesiastes 9 gives us some practical advice about what to do while we are still living.

  1. Remember that God is in control of everything (v. 1).
  2. Realize that none of us is exempt from death (vv. 2, 3).
  3. Take hold of the hope of living before there is no more opportunity (vv. 4-6). Ephesians 5:16 also reminds us to make the most of every opportunity (redeeming the time) because the days are evil.
  4. Enjoy life (vv. 7, 8), specifically your possessions (v. 7) and your purity (v. 8). You can enjoy your possessions when you have earned them and your purity because it is truly a gift from God when you choose to please Him. Nothing beats a clean conscience.
  5. Enjoy your love (v. 9) – the writer speaks of enjoying the wife of your youth all the days of your life.
  6. Enjoy your labor (v. 10) – Colossians 3:23, 24 tells us to do what we do with our whole heart as to the Lord and not men, knowing that God rewards it. On a practical note, you can enjoy your labor when you choose a profession that you were designed to fulfill. You will be frustrated when you operate outside your giftedness.
  7. Expect disappointments (vv. 11, 12). Things don’t always happen as we expect. God warns us throughout Scripture that bad times will come. Just don’t be so pessimistic as the lady in the Disney movie “Summer Magic” who said, “I always expect the worst, and I’ve never been disappointed.”
  8. Pursue wisdom while you still can (vv. 13-18). Wisdom makes no sense in the world’s eyes (vv. 13-15). First Corinthians also reiterated that God uses what man would normally discard. Wisdom also knows when it needs to keep its mouth shut (vv. 16, 17). Finally, wisdom exceeds material things (v. 18). I would much rather have wisdom than anything this world offers.

The book of Ecclesiastes is a rich book that reminds us how futile and vain life really is. It also reminds us to pursue what really matters. If you have not studied this book of the Bible, I encourage you to do so. You will benefit more than you realize. Take the challenge!

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Sam Storms: Why wouldn’t you want to raise your hands to worship God?

Many label hand-raising as a Pentecostal or Charismatic thing. It is a Bible thing. This is a great post and the biblical foundation for such a practice. You may have reservations because of what others may think of you, but you won’t bother God one bit when you lift your hands in praise.

Knowing God through His Word ... Day by Day

Sam Storms, of Enjoying God Ministries, comments in an article, I Will Lift Up My Hands! (Psalm 63:4)

So I will bless you as long as I live;
in your name I will lift up my hands.

On more than one occasion I’ve been asked: “Sam, why do you lift your hands when you worship?” My answer is two-fold.

First, I raise my hands when I pray and praise because I have explicit biblical precedent for doing so. I don’t know if I’ve found all biblical instances of it, but consider this smattering of texts.

  • “So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands” (Psalm 63:4).
  • “To you, O LORD, I call; my rock, be not deaf to me, lest, if you be silent to me, I become like those who go down to the pit. Hear the voice of…

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Vision Cannot Be Compromised

As a church planter, I have not been quick to get people into our doors. Have I invited lots of people? Absolutely! My main goal is to invite them to Jesus. Their involvement in a faith community is an overflow of their relationship with Christ.

Many church planters try everything imaginable to lure people. They call people they know and convince them how dissatisfied they are in their current church. They tell them how much better their church is than others. I have done the opposite. I tell people up front that we don’t vote, have business meetings or committees, and we are committed to reaching all kinds of people who are deemed unworthy by many religious folks. I purposely try to run them off so if they don’t like what we’re about, they will go somewhere that satisfies them (although worship is not supposed to be about us).

Why do I operate this way? Because vision cannot be compromised. For example, I am a hospice chaplain. As a home hospice organization, we admit those who are terminally ill. Our purpose is not to drum up business by admitting people who want adult day care, pampering, or home health. We are not a taxi service. We have a specific function, and functioning outside our purpose would lead to the demise of the organization.

Overcomers Church has a specific goal and end in mind. We try to prevent from deviating from this goal. Our calendar is filled with things that align with our vision. If we wanted to be like another church in the area, we should have just decided we would all pack their seats.

Vision is key to every area of life. Set goals and build each area of life around them. There is too much at stake to live haphazardly.

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