Today is Ash Wednesday on the Christian liturgical calendar. That meant practically nothing in my decidedly sheltered southern Appalachian context. It never even dawned on our conservative Pentecostal churches to pay any attention whatsoever to that sort of thing. We were, after all, filled with the Spirit and ostensibly experiencing His presence every day, full … Continue reading The Power of the Smudge
In the 1997 film Titanic, there is a scene near the climax depicting a trapped Irish mother comforting her children and tucking them into bed for the last time as the flood waters rose around them. In a nearby cabin a similarly trapped elderly gentleman embraces his beloved, cuddled in their bed for what would … Continue reading The Comfort of the Staff
There is no such thing as a 'typical' Christian. That was a profound wake-up call for me as a relatively cloistered White Southern Appalachian-American Holiness Pentecostal believer coming of age in the tumultuous '70's. In those days, maintaining our 'testimony' was the primary qualifier when deciding on dress, conduct toward the opposite sex - pretty … Continue reading The “Prototype” Christian
The first lie told by the father of lies was that God is the liar, and man believed him. Since that first sin, man has struggled with the concept of consequences and repercussions. The enemy continues to tell the same lie in different forms, and apart from the redeeming power of Christ man continues to … Continue reading Consequences and Repercussions
There's an alarming trend taking hold in the modern church. It's not really new - it happens every time something 'upsets the apple cart'. Liberty itself seems perpetually under threat, and the source of that instability is us. We are a study in paradox, maybe the greatest of which is our insatiable curiosity alongside our … Continue reading No Fence on Mars Hill
"Don't waste your sales pitch on the receptionist!" That was one of the first pieces of advice I got from a seasoned pro as he was coaching me for my new position in outside sales. Simple, right? Think about it.... how much time do we spend saying the right things to the wrong people? I … Continue reading Don’t Waste Your Sales Pitch on the Receptionist!
"I Quit!" That's the bottom line of a letter delivered to the POTUS yesterday. For the first time in US history, the Secretary of Defense of the United States resigned in protest over an order that amounts to us not keeping our word to our allies who have staked their futures on our fidelity. It … Continue reading Still Worshipping the Golden Calf
Every major religion touts some sort of salvation. The Buddhist is forever in search of Nirvana, the Muslim seeks to merit favor by submission and good works, Oriental religions seek to maintain purity of cultural thought and uniformity.....the list goes on and on, but there is a common thread - almost all religion points to … Continue reading What’s This Salvation Thing, Anyway?
One would be hard pressed to find a serious Christian unfamiliar with John's warning to the Laodicean church in Revelation 3:16... "So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth." ….yet for all intents and purposes, much of the modern church has built it's entire … Continue reading Not Meant For The Middle
One of the great frustrations that many people have with the Kingdom of God is the apparent disconnect between Christian ideals and Christian conduct. The poison pill in all of this is that dreaded straw man known as hypocrisy. It is not just a metaphorical scriptural stumbling block (Mt 18:5-7, et al), it is a … Continue reading Thoughts on Being a Christian Gentleman in a Carnal Culture