A Few Lessons From Billy Graham

billy-graham-393749_1920Many people inside and outside the church feel a great sense of loss with the passing of, perhaps, the greatest Evangelist since the Apostle Paul. Even at the age of 99 – and long past his active ministry days – his loss is still deeply felt by millions around the world.

I believe it is only appropriate to take a break from our series to briefly honor this man who has impacted so many. Though days could be spent reminiscing all that he was and all that he accomplished, I have narrowed the list down to seven things that all of us would do well to imitate. Continue reading “A Few Lessons From Billy Graham”

The Day Santa Snapped

blur-1869900_1920The man we often refer to as the “jolly old elf,” wasn’t always so jolly. There is a real historical moment where Saint Nicholas wasn’t only NOT laughing, he actually became rather belligerent. What could have upset this man known for great generosity and kindness so much, that he would snap?

The year was AD 323 when Constantine – at the height of his power – received a very disturbing letter concerning a dispute that had broken out in the Christian Church. After many years of great suffering and persecution at the hands of Nero, Diocletian and others, the Church had finally found peace and even favor, under the first Christian Emperor. Theodoret, Bishop of Cyrus would later write, “for us all was joy and gladness.” The historian Eusebius called the period, “a bright and most profound peace.”

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Votes & Vitriol

arguing-1296392_1280Of the many issues that have saddened me in this current election cycle, there is one that has grieved me more than any other. It is so egregious that it cuts deep into my spiritual makeup and wounds me to my very soul.

Let’s face it. Politics has always been contentious. Thomas Jefferson’s campaign accused John Adams of having, “”hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman.” Adam’s camp fired back with accusations that Jefferson was part Indian (Native American) and part African. The slander just grew from there.

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Unlikely Hero

IMG_0025 bOf the many success stories that should not have been, Fred’s is certainly near the top of the all-time list. He was the product of rape and lost his Mother at a young age. He was raised by his abusive/rapist Father. The hate and animosity between the two was palatable.

Despite everything, Fred fell in love with Bible stories read to him by his Father’s wife. She even began teaching Fred how to read, until his angry Father put a stop to it. When, one day, he finally saw the chance to escape, Fred fled in search of independence and a better life.

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The Deadliest Shooting in America

gettysburg-350052_1280During the debates over the Compromise of 1850, US Senator Sam Houston of Texas borrowed from the words of Jesus when he warned, “A nation divided against itself cannot stand.” The compromise comprised five separate bills that would temporarily ease the tension over the slavery issue by giving both sides a little of what they wanted. This salve applied to the publicly visible wound only delayed the inevitable disaster that ultimately resulted from the underlying cancer.

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Next Gen: Hope or Folly?

precocious-432664__180There are many positive aspects of the up-and-coming generations. They are technologically savvy, they tend to respond more rapidly to changing conditions, and they process more knowledge – more quickly – than any generation before them. In contrast, however, there are many challenges that should serve as warnings before simply putting the older generations out to pasture.

Although I can only begin to skim the surface of this profound and deep topic in this blog, I believe it is high time we dig beyond the platitudes and begin a serious discussion about the future of our world and more specifically the future of the Church.

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Old School Parenting

ParentingCan we learn parenting from someone who lived hundreds of years ago? If the success of her children are any indicator, we certainly can.

In a previous blog, I wrote about the phenomenal woman, Susanna Wesley. In case you missed that one and don’t know who Susannah Wesley was, she was the mother of John Wesley who became the founder of the Methodist movement. His brother Charles is a famous songwriter who wrote over 6,500 songs. A number of them are still sung in churches today.

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