Preacher on the Run…

Faith, Family, Ministry, and Everything in between


Feature Friday

The Rest of the Gospel (Feature Friday 11/1/19)

The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. That line has been spoken countless times in courts, movies, and interactions. On the surface, we all want the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. However, at least for me, there are times when people give me just that and I don’t enjoy receiving it as much as I thought.

As a follower of Jesus, one who believes Jesus of Nazareth is the only one who can deal with my deepest problem and fulfill my greatest needs, I believe we think of the gospel the same way we view this statement about truth. We love the gospel, the whole gospel, and nothing but the gospel, but when the whole gospel is revealed to us it’s a difficult thing. I think the underlying problem is we don’t actually know or want “The Rest of the Gospel“.

As Craig Ethridge states in his article, “This is why so many Christians live defeated lives. They want salvation, but not change. They want to know God, but they don’t want to obey God. They want God’s love, but they don’t want Him to be Lord.” Ouch! But the reality is the gospel that soothes our souls is also the gospel that changes our lives.

Enjoy the article and as always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day. I’d love to hear your feedback and thoughts as well. What do you think? Why is it so easy to accept a gospel that saves us from sin, but difficult to acknowledge that the same gospel transforms our lives?

Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

The Suicide Talk (Feature Friday 10/25/19)

About every other month it seems there is another high profile personality who just can’t take life any longer and decides to end the battle raging within them by taking their own life. The reality is that almost everyone I know has been affected by it. It crosses demographic, socioeconomic, religious, and cultural divides. Old and young, rich and poor, atheist and Christian – suicide seems to be prevalent to all. That is why it is such an important issue to talk about…especially with our kids.

Just thinking about talking with my kids on the issue of suicide conjures up so many objections. “No one in our immediate family is struggling with it (that I know of), so I’ll wait until it presents itself”. “I don’t want to put the idea or thought in their head”. “If I just guard them against it, protect them from the fact that it is happening, or brush it off as inconsequential, it will not affect them”. These statements and many more like them I have heard, read and even thought to myself, yet all of them are unjustifiable.

But once I came to grips with the gravity of suicide and remembered my God-given responsibility to talk to my children about all things in life the question shifted from why to how. How can I talk to my kids about suicide? At what age? In what setting? While I have not embarked on this specific “talk” yet, I have bookmarked and saved Parent Cue’s article “The Suicide Talk“. It answers many of my objections, gives helpful tips on how to have the actual conversation and even touches on the heart attitude in addressing the situation.

When my wife and I determine it is the time to have “this talk”, I will refer back to this article, use it as a guide, and compassionately interact with my kids concerning the reality of suicide in our world.

I hope you find the article helpful and if so, please pass it along. As always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s Day!

Photo by Dan Meyers on Unsplash

How to Keep a Discussion from Becoming a Debate (Feature Friday 10/18/19)

It is so routine we are subtly used to it. It surrounds us every day in every way. Turn on any news channel at any time and you are sure to find it. Even ESPN is filled with it these days. But the reality is – so are a lot of relationships and interactions. What is it? Debating!

I don’t know about you but it is becoming increasingly more difficult or rare for me to watch others engage in conversation that does not eventually escalate into a full-blown debate. It happens daily at my house among my children. It fills the TV broadcast or news updates I listen to. Debating seems to have taken over our world. But it doesn’t have to be like this…nor should it for those who follow Jesus.

While relationships always involve conflict and interaction with other people will constantly require some tension, this does not mean it must devolve into debates. So what are we to do? How can one maintain discussions without debates? Jim Putnam gives us “3 Simple Habits that Keep a Discussion from Becoming a Debate“.

This is a needed and timely article. I hope you enjoy it and please pass it along. As always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day and leave any comments concerning the article below.

Photo by on Unsplash

Changing Shifts (10/11/19)

He had the best news ever to share. The message he received was one that could change the lives of many. It would revolutionize the way people relate to each other, love one another and get things done. All he had to do was communicate the good news. There was just one problem…

Everyone he could or would tell the message too were from a very different culture. They spoke a different language. They had unique practices. And the values they held were sometimes counter to his own. How would he share this life changing message?

While this is a fictional story it reflects a reality for anyone who follows Jesus and desires to share His story with others. How does one share the best news ever in an ever changing culture? Carey Nieuwhof steps in to at least begin to help us understand by sharing “5 Important Ways Evangelism is Shifting in Our Post-Christian World“.

Sharing your faith can be difficult as a Christian but it’s not impossible and it shouldn’t be weird. That’s why I love Carey’s reflections here.

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

2 Years Later…(Feature Friday 09/27/19)

Time flies. I hear it said all the time and I say it quite regularly. Minutes turn into hours, hours turn into days, days turn into weeks, and weeks turn into years. Time does fly, but no matter how much time goes by in some instances things are still hard.

Such is the case as we (specifically my wife’s family) enter and face this weekend. It’s hard to believe it’s been two years since her dad passed away. I remember the first few months were difficult. The entire first year was hard. This past year it seemed like new normal was setting in, but this weekend will reveal just how abnormal her dad not being around really is.

Two years ago for his funeral, I was asked to give the opening remarks. As I re-read them this morning, tears came to my eyes again and I was reminded just how great of a man we lost and heaven gained. I hope reading my remarks on my father-in-law’s life gives you comfort, hope, and a gentle reminder of our purpose in life as it did me two years ago and again this morning.

As always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Conflict Resolution (Feature Friday 09/20/19)

Put two people in a room and the inevitable will happen. Given enough time together, people will always have conflict. It is the nature of relationships. To relate with someone will require conflict resolution. The more people you add to the equation the higher likelihood and opportunities for conflict to arise. There is no antidote even in a small group.

If you’ve ever been part of a small group you know the reality of conflict is not only possible but almost guaranteed. You are joining a group of people together who have different backgrounds, experiences, situations in life, and viewpoints. All that together makes for a perfect recipe for conflict. So how do you manage that, as a leader, as a participant, as a human being…

Jim Putman provides some helpful insight by offering “2 Rules for Conflict Resolution“. He sets the stage and gives 2 great guidelines for working through issues. Jim also illustrates with a few examples – which I always find helpful.

Enjoy the article, leave a comment below with what other tips you use in resolving conflict and as always be with the Lord’s people in the Lord’s day!

Photo by Frank Busch on Unsplash

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