Fasting from Talking (AKA, How to Decimate a Pastor's Pride in a Few Short Days)

As the school year ended in May 2011, I knew I needed to rest my voice.  For that reason, I looked ahead with joy at a few planned Sundays off from preaching, as well as not teaching my Wednesday evening pastor’s class.  Three weeks into that respite, and my voice was more hoarse than ever.  I was scoped through the nose (fascinating feeling) by an ENT who discovered no nodules or polyps on my vocal cords, forwarded me to a specialist in Charleston, and prescribed strict voice rest.  “No problem,” I thought. HUGE PROBLEM. In the few short days that […]

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Monday Morning Humor: First-World Problem

Yesterday and today, a team of people from LMBC headed to a village in the mountains of Peru to continue our efforts to spread the Gospel and plant a church.  It’s a second-world, if not third-world, adventure (i.e., no showers, and yes we sent girls too!). I think they would appreciate this humorous look at our first-world problems in the US.

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Weekends for Kids: VBS – Vomit Before Sunday

This morning, one day after VBS, we awoke to one sick child and one bed full of vomit (thank the Lord for the “sanitize” option on our washing machine).  Evidently, our children are so self-assured, they do not feel the need to bother their parents when they vomit in the middle of the night. But we’ve decided on a new meaning for the abbreviation “VBS.”  Rather than “Vacation Bible School,” it now means, “Vomit Before Sunday.” Can you think of any other humorous twists on the VBS acronym?  Leave your replies in the comment thread.

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Friday's for Family – Giving Kids Grace

I’m two chapters into Elyse Fitzpatrick’s new book:  Give Them Grace: Dazzling your Kids with the Love of Jesus.  At this point, I am more puzzled than dazzled at my own ineptitude to parent with the Gospel, despite the fact that I preach and teach it. The primary issue in front of me now is my tendency to use the Bible as a rule book rather than the story of Good News.  Here’s the excerpt that’s rocking my weekend. Everything that isn’t gospel is law.  Every way we try to make our kids good that isn’t rooted in the good […]

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Are we Really Gospel-Centered?

From Tullian Tchiividjian (a grandson of Billy and Ruth Graham): So, here’s a good litmus test: whether it’s a sermon, a book, a blog post, or a tweet–if the lasting impression you get causes you to focus more on what you must do than on what Christ has done, the gospel has not been communicated and the communicator (albeit, unwittingly) is no better than the Pharisees who were charged by Jesus with “tying up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and laying them on people’s shoulders” (Matthew 23:4). Beware of preaching that, in the words of Herman Bavinck, “acknowledges that we […]

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Weekends for Kids – Bruises, Blood and Breaks

This image is the not the first we’ve taken of Jonathan with a swollen right eye, nor do we believe it will be the last. I can’t even recall how this particular black eye occurred, because something like this has happened so often.  As if a port wine stain isn’t enough for this side of his face (by the way, the other eye has never been injured)! Of course, with four under 6, we get a lot of complaints and whining about “boo-boos” daily.  To properly manage the situation, we’ve created the following rule:  if there is no blood, nothing […]

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Fridays for Family – Date Night Questions

Thanks to a gift certificate and a generous babysitting offer, I’ve got a hot date tonight.  I’ve started off well: I’ve washed the car!  Next, I’ll pick up the kids for her, feed them, grab some inexpensive but beautiful flowers (or another plant she’s been wanting), and spend some time on personal grooming (fingernails, toenails, ears, etc. … the things that many of us guys tend to ignore). But what about planning for the conversation?  I don’t want us to turn into that couple that stares at each other on date night, complimenting the bread. Brian Croft to the rescue. […]

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Porn (How to Erect a Modern-Day Asherah Pole)

I’ve been preparing for a lot premarital counseling coming my way this summer.  This plus “Weinergate” has me on the search for great resources on pornography, and there is (thankfully) no shortage.  I’ve found Tim Chester’s book, Closing the Window, to be extremely helpful in my preparation.  Here are 7 of his 12 reasons to give up porn, with some commentary from me. It wrecks our view of sex.  Expectations are premeditated resentments.  Porn sex isn’t marital sex.  When men even briefly expose their minds to the fantasies portrayed in pornography, they bring resentment into the bedroom. It wrecks our […]

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