The conversation wasn’t exactly lagging, but it wasn’t really going anywhere either. Pretty typical for the first Sunday of a new term, and typical of 6 adults who before today had not met and discussed spiritual things as a group. Yet the topic was especially difficult and contributed significantly to the occasional awkward silence: the topic was evangelism. Our teacher had been talking about the necessity of self-denial, and posed this question for us to discuss around our table: “Why is dying to self an important concept when sharing our faith with others?” We weren’t getting anywhere, so I brought […]
Like most children their age, our oldest boys (now 13 and 11) have dabbled in a variety of competitive, with swimming and chess getting the most of their attention. One of the things I initially found a little unsettling about each of these sports is that they tend to give ribbons and trophies for athletes who finish as high as 20th place, depending on the number of competitors. I grew up playing competitive tennis, and the trophies stopped at 5th place no matter how many people were competing, so the reward culture of these sports initially didn’t sit well with […]
Every Friday, you can read my post at Forward Progress. This week, I share about three things God teaches us when we’re alone.
It’s nearly summer, which means that all of our routines are getting ready to go out the window, including the rhythm of our Bible reading. Already we are several chapters “behind” where our plans tell us we should be, and no amount of alerts, notifications, or dated pages can inspire us to “catch up.” Throw in summer, and we may not read God’s Word until August. So, rather than pile on the guilt you may already feel, can I spread a little liberty your way? Take a look at 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and be inspired to read your Bible for […]
A few years ago, my wife and I went to see the movie “Mom’s Night Out.” This Sony/Tristar movie was produced/directed by a believer who was homeschooled, and he made it as a tribute to his mother. It’s truly a funny, well-made movie (I say this as one who usually expects to be disappointed by films made by Christians). I wasn’t the only one pleasantly surprised. The CNN religion blog began an article on the movie this way: “”Moms’ Night Out” starring Patricia Heaton and Sean Astin is opening on more than 1,000 screens, and it aims to do something […]
“Daddy … I love you just the way you are.” Seriously, y’all … she melts my heart! Is there anything I wouldn’t do for my 3 year-old daughter?! I’m utterly powerless to resist this little one expressing unconditional love! And it truly is unconditional, for I’ve given her plenty of reason to love me conditionally. I’ve put her to bed hungry. I’ve unjustly punished her. I’ve raised my voice in utter frustration at something completely unrelated to her. She’s got the reasons to only sometimes love me, but she doesn’t. She loves me just the way I am. It is […]
In case you missed it, check out Michael Kelley’s review of my first book! Here’s a snippet: Rob Tims has written a helpful book that diagnoses the issue and helps draw the line clearly between what is culture and what is gospel. Southern Fried Faith is written not from an outsider’s perspective, but from the inside. It’s the voice of one who has grown up and served in churches throughout the Bible belt, and in so doing, has seen both the beautiful and ugly expressions of what happens when Christianity becomes deeply baptized into a given culture.
C. S. Lewis on self-love and self-admiration. My afternoon “meditations”—which I at least attempt quite regularly now—I have found out ludicrous and terrible things about my own character. Sitting by, watching the rising thoughts to break their necks as they pop up, one learns to know the sort of thoughts that do come. And, will you believe it, one out of every three is the thought of self-admiration: when everything else fails, having had its neck broken, up comes the thought “What an admirable fellow I am to have broken their necks!” I catch myself posturing before the mirror, so to speak, […]
Imagine yourself moving into a house with a huge picture window overlooking a grand view across a wise expanse of water enclosed by a range of snow-capped mountains. You have a ringside seat before wild storms and cloud formations, the entire spectrum of sun-illuminated colors in the rocks and trees and wildflowers and water. You are captivated by the view. Several times a day you interrupt your work and stand before this window to take in the majesty and the beauty, thrilled with the botanical and meteorological fireworks. One afternoon you notice some bird droppings on the window glass, get a […]
While a student pastor and doctoral studies student, I once gave all of my Sunday school teachers a copy of Wayne Grudem’s “Bible Doctrine,” sort of the condensed version of his systematic theology. I suppose I did something right in not giving them the whole mother load, but was it fair to expect them to actually read anything by Grudem as student group leaders? And even if it was fair, was it realistic? Experiences like that have led me to question why any pastor would give any volunteer any resource to read. YES, pastors are called to equip the saints […]