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Preacher on the Run…

Faith, Family, Ministry, and Everything in between

Feature Friday (01/04/19)

Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe, but 2019 has rolled on in. 2018 is gone, never to return again. Out with the old and in with the new. And with every new year, there are always new resolutions, commitments, or intentions. What you call them is not nearly as important as what they are and what you do with them. When it comes to New Year’s resolutions (I prefer the term goals) I make them almost every year. This year was no different.

When sitting down to consider and make my goals each year I try to make a goal for each major area of life: spiritual, marital, physical, familial, social, financial, and professional. While each of these areas is important to me and my values, none more so than the first – my spiritual life. A typical and vital goal to any spiritual growth plan is Bible reading. But whether you’re new to the Bible reading world or been doing it for a while there is one question that seems to be raised quite often as you read through the Bible: “How should we read the Bible?”

Should we read it literally? Figuratively? Literarily? Ordinarily? To help answer this question and engage on many of the finer points of the dilemma of how to read the Bible well is Greg Koukl with his article, “The Bible: Reading the ‘Ordinary’ Way“. Have you ever wondered if Genesis 1 is a historical or poetic account? Or what about the laws of Moses, were the Israelites to abide by them specifically or generally?

Koukl’s article addresses both of those issues and many more while providing a robust answer to how best to read the Bible. As always enjoy the Lord’s day with the Lord’s people.

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

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Feature Friday (12/28/18)

As I sit in a recliner at the house I grew up in I can’t help but reflect on years past. I recall riding around this town on my bicycle exploring every nook and cranny this place had to offer. My memory brings to the forefront the years of driving the back country roads with friends, often at higher than reasonable speeds. While I am not one to sit around reminiscing old times that often, I can’t help at the end of each year looking back to the previous 12 months.

Reflecting on the past year should come as no surprise or as anything out of the ordinary to most. At the end of every year and beginning of the new, it is typical to find people making resolutions. More recently I have gotten in the habit of making annual goals for myself. I make goals in multiple areas of life: physically, emotionally, familially, vocationally, and spiritually. My tendency is to keep it to 7-10 goals so as not to overwhelm myself into failure. But there is one goal that is always a part of that planning I would like to encourage you to include in your new year’s resolutions as well.

An excellent annual goal would be in the area of Bible engagement. Anyone who has heard me teach or interact in a group for any length of time surely has heard my passion regarding Bible study, reading, or engagement. So I want to encourage you, my readers, in this endeavor this next year. Make a goal. It should be a challenge, yet realistic. It should stretch you, but not burden you. In case you have never embarked on this type of journey before and are unsure of what “studying your Bible” may even look like, check out Brian Tabb’s article “10 Tips for Getting Started with Inductive Bible Study“.

I hope you enjoy the New Year. Remember the past, look forward to the future, but always seek to enjoy the present. As always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day and enjoy the article!

Photo by Michael Skok on Unsplash

Feature Friday (12/14/18)

The stockings are hung. The tree is decorated. The house is all a glow in the evenings. Yup, you guessed it. It’s Christmas time and our home shows every sign of it. The evergreen smell of pine is in the air. Red and green colors are all around. And the baking extravaganza is underway. It really is the most wonderful time of the year. But it is also the most hectic time of year.

We already covered the decorations, but there are presents to buy (and wrap), cookies and other assorted goodies to make, travel plans to be arranged, parties to host and attend, not to mention all the school concerts and church events. And those are just the things to be done as a normal human being, but the list grows longer and more responsibilities pile on as a leader. Which makes me ask the question: “How can a leader stay healthy in such a crazy time of year?”

I am so thankful for guys like Tommy Bowman, who not only understands what being a leader is like but also desires to help leaders lead in a healthy way. But even more so I was challenged and encouraged by his series of articles entitled “3 Traits of a Healthy Leader”. Check out part 1 here, part 2 here, and finally part 3 here.

Be encouraged, be challenged, and lead well. And as always enjoy the weekend and be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Photo by erin walker on Unsplash

Feature Friday (12/07/18)

Fake News. He said, she said. #MeToo. Supreme Court nominations. And so many more controversial topics surround us every day. Tap on your news feed app, open up your web browser, or turn on your TV and we are constantly bombarded with controversial subjects and arguments from opposing sides. But what often takes the heated debates to a whole new level…social media.

It’s called “social” media for a reason, but recently it seems as though it is becoming social “fight club”. All too often I have logged in to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram only to be barraged with a litany of arguments for or against an issue. While people posting their thoughts, beliefs, and responses to issues of our day does not bother me that much (what kind of American would I be if I was not for freedom of speech), what bothers me most is the incivility of those who claim to be followers of Christ toward other humans made in the image of God and even more so fellow believers in Christ.

During this internal frustration, I ran across an amazing article that dealt specifically with these issues. Kelly Minter wrote an extremely helpful article entitled, “How Christians Pursue Unity on Social Media“. I found it to be convicting, challenging, and a much-needed charge for the church currently. I hope you will too.

Enjoy the article and as always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Feature Friday (11/30/18)

‘Tis the season to be jolly. Falalalala lalalala!” Halloween is long gone. Thanksgiving came and went. And it’s hard to believe, but December begins tomorrow. Eleven months have gone, one to go. 334 days of 2018 are past and only 31 remain. But it is exciting as well.

Peppermint milkshakes, coffee, and treats. Crisp, cool mornings. A few snow showers have either already come or soon to be depending on where you are located at. All of this and more make December an exciting time. Family visits, vacation time, and time to relax and get a break from the routine. All of these are fantastic, but still not the most exciting thing about this season.

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. A time to look back and reflect. A time to look ahead and imagine. But just like the dating of history, each year hinges on an important reality – the God of the universe descended to earth to be born of a virgin. The Creator of all things became part of the creation Himself. The Sustainer of heaven and earth came to be the Savior of the world. But all too often that is hard to keep in the forefront of our minds and focus during this season.

To aid in our focus I want to point you to two great resources during the Advent season. First, Dallas Theological Seminary Christmas devotional. This resource is a daily email you can sign up to receive directly to your inbox that contains a Christmas advent devotional. Second, over at The Parent Cue, they have put together an advent calendar that will allow your family to gather around and read God’s story of compassion, one day at a time, then go and do the suggested activities and live out your own story of compassion as a family.

Enjoy the resources and reflecting on the Advent season together with your family. And as always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Feature Friday (11/16/18)

With the holidays looming, things are about to get crazy. More meetings to attend. More invites to filter through. A plethora of parties to get to. It seems with every passing year the number of events to fill the calendar accumulate. But have you ever been to that meeting, party, or get together that just simply does not go well? I mean it’s really awkward.

I recall a number of these types of events in my life. Someone desires to get a small (or large) group of people together to enjoy each others company. The invitations are sent. The RSVP’s come back. The date arrives and people begin to show up. But for some strange reason, the party does not go well. People are cordially interacting together, but it’s all quite awkward. This is a bad situation for a holiday party, but even worse if you are a small group leader. So what can you do?

Small group interaction is not rocket science, but anytime you deal with people you are dealing with different expectations and experiences, which is always difficult. But managing all these experiences and expectations is not impossible. One helpful resource to read through before your next holiday extravaganza or routine small group meeting is Jim Putnam’s “12 Effective Small Group Discussion Guidelines“.

Enjoy practicing putting some of these guidelines into your next meeting and as always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s Day.

Leave a comment below letting me know if you would add any other guidelines to ones listed in the article.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

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