Thom S. Rainer is the president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources and has a very popular blog on church life. Having read with approval a number of his other articles, I was surprised to find one that I roundly disagreed with. It is titled “FIFTEEN REASONS WHY YOUR PASTOR SHOULD NOT VISIT MUCH” And he... Continue Reading →
“Oh, before I conclude let me just say…” 1 Thess 5:12-28 [Sermon Notes on 1 Thessalonians, Week 15]
These are notes of a sermon outline, not a full message. This is an exciting epistle, full of joy and energy. Despite all the persecution they have experienced, the Thessalonian church is thriving and growing and reaching out with the gospel. Sure, Paul has to remind them about the resurrection of the dead when Jesus... Continue Reading →
“Sex and the Christian Life” 1 Thess 4:1-8 [Sermon Notes on 1 Thessalonians, Week 10]
Note: These are sermon outlines, not full messages. As for other matters, brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. 2 For you know what instructions... Continue Reading →
Why didn’t I drop out of church?
Post after post announces that young people are leaving the church. I’ve read some good insights on the problems and the solutions. But it makes me ponder: Why didn’t I drop out? Full disclosure: I first went to church because that's what the family did; later I came to believe that it was part of my new... Continue Reading →
FREE BOOK FOR CHRISTMAS!
As a Christmas gift this year, I have bundled together some of my blog posts that have to deal with "How to Life the Christian Life: throw out the old rules and play by the New Covenant." Over a hundred of you have downloaded it already - enjoy! Simply click here: How to live the Christian Life_Shogren I... Continue Reading →
How do God’s servants handle unforeseen questions?
I was as fresh in ministry as could be, still a bit amazed that grown-ups had actually voted me to be their full-time pastor. And it was my first Sunday, my first sermon, with us still fuzzy from memorizing all the names of all the members even as we unpacked our boxes: “Who is the... Continue Reading →
Fake fruits sold here, cheap as they come!
So basically, we can offer you two plans. Plan A. The spiritual produce wagon arrives every day, full to overflowing for those who wish to ask the Father. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, and that’s not the complete list; it’s only a summary. They are miracle gifts, planted, watered, grown, harvested,... Continue Reading →
The Holy Spirit is not limited by our brain chemistry
This morning I attended a service in Costa Rica. It’s not our church, but one I sometimes visit. The congregation is English-speaking, Afro-Caribbean. They have a strong island accent. I was one of a few white people in the congregation.As usual, they greeted me warmly.Our home church is Latin American and Spanish-speaking. We go to... Continue Reading →
Pastor, tell your flock the truth about itself [Studies in 1 Corinthians]
It’s summertime, let’s stroll down the boardwalk! Inevitably there's someone drawing chalk pictures of self-conscious passersby. His caricature is a sketch of a person which exaggerates some aspect of one’s appearance or character. At the beach, it’s meant to be fun; on the editorial page it might demean. In some hands, it is a weapon:... Continue Reading →
Dear Apple, Inc. – you ruined my life, so I’m suing
Hey, did you hear about the guy who sued Apple computers, blaming its devices for his lifelong addiction to pornography, a failed marriage, and “emotional distress to the point of hospitalization”? I pride myself on being able to sniff out fake stories. When I heard the PornApple one I immediately decided, that’s a little too... Continue Reading →