Perspectives

 When the renowned evangelist D.L. Moody was asked to have a campaign in England, a skeptical pastor protested, “Why do we need this ‘Mr. Moody’? He’s uneducated, inexperienced, etc. Who does he think he is anyway? Does he think he has a monopoly on the Holy Spirit?” A discerning minister stood up and responded, “No, but the Holy Spirit has a monopoly on Mr. Moody.”

Growing up, my family went to a lot of revival meetings. Not only did we attend the revivals at our home church, but we would also attend revivals at neighboring churches and camp meetings. At the time, those revivals typically lasted a week, and rarely would we miss any service.

When Jack Brown’s son Adam graduated from high school, the father decided to write down the most important things his son needed to know as he started college and stepped into life’s next chapter. ​This going away present contained 511 reminders about how to live a happy and rewarding life.

One of the distinctive characteristics of my home church was the clear invitations offered by my pastor each Sunday. Added to his encouragements for people to repent of their sins in order to follow Christ were the consistent appeals for baptism and church membership. Nearly every weekend, he also proposed the possibility that God was likely calling some to ministry as he admonished us to discern the Lord’s leading.

As many of you know, we are approaching the Georgia primary election on May 21. It is a time for Georgians to make their voices heard for those they support for the General Election coming up on Nov. 5, 2024. 

The renowned preacher R. G. Lee, pastor of Bellevue Baptist in Memphis for over 30 years, stood at the site in Jerusalem where it is believed Jesus was crucified. When it came time for his tour group to move on, Lee told his guide he wanted to walk to the top of the hill. The man tried to discourage him, yet could see that the preacher was determined to go.

Mother’s Day provides us an opportunity to thank the Good Lord for blessing us with this awesome and extraordinary woman who helped us to see our need for Him. We take time to celebrate how He used her as a light in our lives and a standard of virtue for all to see. There are historic, family, and spiritual reasons we should celebrate Mother’s Day.

Mark 2:1-5 provides a powerful account of being a friend worth having to carry people to Jesus. This passage describes a paralytic man being carried by four of his friends to Jesus, unable to reach Him on his own.

Jesus was known for asking questions. According to Bob Tiede of Biblical Leadership, the four gospels record 339 questions that Jesus asked. Others say the number is a little lower, but all agree that Jesus asked lots of questions. Tiede mentions, “He sometimes answered questions with questions of his own.” Jesus was the master of well-placed questions.

The other day, I briefly misplaced my cell phone. I didn’t see the phone in my car door’s side pocket where I sometimes place it when driving, and I thought I left it at home. But where at home did I leave it? And what if it’s not there?

I remember hearing the late Michael Catt, long-time pastor of Sherwood Baptist in Albany, Ga., say many times, “Whoever wants the next generation the most will get them.” That quote has resonated with me for years and especially now.

The theme for this year's National Day of Prayer on Thursday, May 2, will be “Lift Up the Word –Light Up the World.” The National Day of Prayer was established in 1952 by a joint resolution of the United States Congress and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman. In 1988 the law was amended and signed by President Ronald Reagan, designating the National Day of Prayer as the first Thursday in May.

Most people who walk into Freedom Church in Neosho, Missouri, start with a worship service. It’s an on-ramp to the church’s discipleship pathway, a natural starting point on the journey from being a first-time visitor to a growing, serving follower of Christ.

I once read a story about a man who tore down an old building that stood on his property for many years. After clearing away the debris, he broke up and smoothed over the ground. Soon, spring rains fell and sunshine flooded the area.

Did you see the recent B. C. Sunday comic in which the character is working strenuously to climb the steep mountain? Each panel shows his progress. Then he finally reaches the summit, and asks, “Ever arrive at a place and forget why you’re there?”

In a recent breakfast meeting with Pastor Todd Wright of Midway Church in Villa Rica, our conversation turned to the importance of leaving a legacy for those who will come behind us. It was a meaningful discussion for many reasons, but I was reminded of the words of King Solomon in Proverbs 13:22: “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children” (NKJV).

Recently, my wife, Carolyn and I were eating a sandwich for lunch in one of our favorite restaurants. We were quietly talking about a lot of things when suddenly my wife pointed out a little bug which was sitting on the window ledge.

More than 2 million people flocked to northern Italy in 2015 to take a rare glimpse at the Shroud of Turin, purportedly the burial cloth in which the crucified Christ was wrapped and which now bears His image. Around the same time, CNN featured the shroud in the first of several documentaries attempting to uncover the “historical Jesus” by examining such relics.

We are once again looking forward to our 2024 public affairs training events. Our theme for this year’s training will be the same as last year, "Living for Christ in the Public Square."

There have been serious debates as to whether preachers should include humorous quotes and illustrations in their sermons. Some parishioners want their preacher to be prim and proper and preach with a sense of earnestness and gravity.

Celebrating the resurrection of Christ on Easter Sunday is the highlight of the annual Christian calendar, and rightly so. I love the expectancy around the holiday. I am grateful that many unbelievers will don their brightest colors in order to attend a worship service at the local church in their town. I appreciate the enthusiasm and attention of believers who may not be as energized the 51 other Sundays of the year.

The young woodpecker left the nest and flew out to his first tree. He picked the tallest, straightest tree in the forest and started pecking away. Just as he began, a lightning bolt struck and split the tree in half, hurling the woodpecker to the ground.

This was my 17th year working at the Georgia Capitol on legislation dealing with social and moral issues. This year had the most issues I have ever dealt with. And there were a lot of ups and downs when it came to this kind of legislation. As Georgia Baptists, we were monitoring a lot of legislation through the two-year cycle that started in 2023.

Social media has the power to transmit ideas and information to those you minister to almost instantaneously, sometimes triggering a flood of opinions and reactions from the public. Whether you post an announcement about a schedule change, broadcast a debatable opinion or share results from an outreach activity, it’s essential to understand the pros and cons of church social media to use it wisely.

Let’s be honest. Having patience as a leader doesn’t always come naturally. The pressures of creating, decision-making, and working with others can test the limits of our patience. Sometimes just the passion we have for the vision and mission of the ministry can cause us to move forward too quickly, alienating team members and damaging trust. We can easily become frustrated and overwhelmed.

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