We all follow someone. But following Jesus is not like following someone on social media. It’s not like following a sports team, or just keeping up with someone we admire or respect. Following Jesus is totally different from these other expressions of following. Following Jesus is about being an apprentice, a disciple of Jesus.

“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me!” This ancient proverb dates back to the 17th century book, The Court and Character of King James, written by Anthony Weldon. Intended to be a lesson about learning from our mistakes, the modern takeaway for many is to write off those who do you wrong permanently. In fact, we might even use it to justify our sustained bitterness and resentment toward other people.  

Are you making church members or are you making disciples? Like every follower of Jesus, a pastor’s first calling is to be a disciple-maker. Although I regularly quoted the Great Commission in challenging our church toward kingdom work, I must confess that I did not really understand the difference between a good church member and a disciple. Because of that, I was not intentionally making disciples of Jesus.

I grew up knowing very little about Deaf culture. As a kid, I had interacted with a few Deaf adults, and gave myself a pat on the back when I understood one question they asked me. But I did not go out of my way to talk with them. Not that I had anything against them; I was just in my own little world, and in my world, everyone speaks my language.

I’d never heard of Grant Holmes until the 28-year-old pitcher made his Major League debut on Father’s Day at Truist Park against the Tampa Bay Rays. His appearance highlighted an 8-6 Braves loss as Holmes pitched three scoreless innings, allowing only two hits.

Life in West Tennessee has been unusually hot recently, with temperatures hovering in the mid-90s for prolonged periods. But it isn’t just here. Brownsville, Texas, peaked at 100 degrees as early as May 24. Las Vegas hit 111 degrees the first week of June, while Death Valley endured heat of 122 degrees on the same day.

We now live in a world and society of skepticism. Most people no longer believe the Bible is true or that it is God’s Word.

When Robert Fulton unveiled his new invention, the steamboat, a host of naysayers gathered on the riverbank yelling, “It'll never start, it’ll never start.” Fulton quieted the crowd when, after a lot of clunking and groaning, the boat began moving down the river.

We are approaching our 248th anniversary as a nation. We should all bow our heads and thank God for the privilege of living in the United States of America. It is the land of the free and the home of the brave. When Christopher Columbus arrived on the shores of this new world, he lifted his heart and eyes to heaven and with great gratitude offered expressions of thanksgiving to God and his crew joined him in singing a hymn of praise to God.

If you fly a lot, you know that much of what happens on your journey can appear senseless and frustrating. On one occasion I sat at the terminal gate for hours after loading a plane. Another trip taught me that being number 43 for takeoff means waiting for a few hours on the runway. More than once I’ve been rerouted away from my final destination to another city. I have circled Memphis in the air numerous times without getting permission to land.

Is your pastor making a living wage? Our pastors willingly carry many burdens on their congregation’s behalf, but financial hardship should not be one of them. When they answered the call to ministry, they didn’t go in with the expectation of building wealth but they did hope to earn a solid income to provide for themselves and their families and to finish well financially. 

You can believe the good news about the kingdom of God. You can trust in the King of this newly opened-to-us kingdom and therefore trust what He has said and done. Certainly the belief I’m writing about is more than acknowledging propositions. It is what I call a saving faith.

In his book, Begin Again, Max Lucado shares the story of Nadin Khoury, who was just a 5’2”, 100 pound immigrant when he and his mother moved to Philadelphia. He never stood a chance when a group of neighborhood kids began to bully him daily. As their taunting escalated, it led to full blown assault on a cold day in January.

A dream trip turned into reality when my church family generously gave us an Alaska adventure as a retirement gift. In 2020, Amy and I planned a 40th wedding anniversary land tour of Alaska. Then came the pandemic.

The greatest barrier to disciple-making in the United States is undiscipled believers. We have resources and opportunities like never before, and yet our churches still struggle to fulfill the one task our Lord left us to accomplish — to make disciples. Just ask the majority of churches that have plateaued or are in decline since the pandemic.

The good news is that we can celebrate the overturning of Roe v. Wade on June 24th. Under the Lord’s leadership, we can keep working together to build a culture of life in Georgia that stands up for all innocent human life and ministers both to mothers and babies.

I was recently hiking on the Appalachian Trail in north Georgia with some friends. One of my companions was Jack, a 25-year-old young man from Nashville, Tenn. I was told Jack had just checked his compass when he called out to me, “What direction are we going?” It’s an important question while navigating the AT, you don’t want to become disoriented on the trail.

I heard about a physician who said, “Many of my patients have nothing wrong with them except their thoughts. So I have a favorite prescription I write for some. But it is not a prescription that you can fill at a drugstore. The prescription I write is a verse from the Bible, Romans 12:2.

In 1787, while Benjamin Franklin was walking out of the convention hall, a woman approached him and asked him if she could just ask him just one question. He granted her permission. She asked, “What have you given us?” Franklin said, “A republic, if you can keep it!”

Former Minnesota Twin Harmon Killebrew died May 17, 2011. The Hall of Fame slugger, 12th on baseball’s all-time home run list with 573, once shared, “My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, ‘You’re tearing up the grass.’ ​My dad would tell her, 'We’re not raising grass. We’re raising boys.'”

The second coming of Jesus Christ will be a personal, visible, and physical return. This Jesus is the  same one who was born in a manger, lived a holy life, suffered death on the cross, rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven. His return will have consequences.

I have a deep concern that the reckless spending of the federal government will plunge the next three or four generations into an abysmal debt. At age 83 the impact upon me will likely be incidental. However, it deeply concerns me that we are plunging future generations into deep debt and an unsustainable economy.

According to D.L. Moody, the renowned evangelist from a previous generation,  “You might as well try to see without eyes, hear without ears, or breathe without lungs, as to try to live the Christian life without the Holy Spirit.”

Finding a genuine community can be challenging. Georgia consistently ranks as the loneliest state in America. Nearly 50% of all adults in Georgia are lonely, and 30% of those are young adults under 30, according to the US Surgeon General's report in 2023.

Mark Hallock, pastor at Calvary Church in Englewood, Colo., and a member of the Replant Team, wrote a book several years ago called God’s Not Done with Your Church. In it, he reminds leaders and members of dying and declining churches that God still has a plan for their church.

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