How to Treat the Church’s Problem Children

If you’ve had any exposure to the business and/or marketing world, then you are likely familiar with the Boston Consulting Group Matrix (also known as the Growth-Share Matrix). It is designed to help business leaders do long-term strategic planning and consider growth opportunities by reviewing their portfolio of businesses to decide where to invest, to discontinue, or develop. Here’s what it looks like. Here’s the way the quadrants work in the matrix (and I promise this has something to do with Jesus). Stars: The businesses that have the best market share and generate the most cash are considered stars. Because of […]

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In Jesus, You are Permanently Righteous

I ruined the rug in my bedroom, and it reminded me about Jesus. Let me explain. A few days ago, I completed a workout at the YMCA, gathered my personal belongings, and drove a little aggressively to the house in order to make a protein shake in time for a phone call that I was running a little late for. I wheeled up to the house, jogged in, put two heaping scoops of vegetarian protein powder into a shaker bottle, added 16 ounces of water, screwed on the top, put my finger on top to keep the lid down, and […]

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Don’t Write People Off Because they Don’t Get It

What is one key event that has shaped who you are today? Have you ever thought about what your life would be like if that had never happened? What would be different? There are surely many. Some surprisingly simple and seemingly insignificant when they happened, some seismic in their nature. I was a music major my freshman year in college, aspiring to be a worship pastor/leader. I was doing OK all things considered, but still … something wasn’t settling right. I was asked to read a passage of Scripture and share a devotion at a student worship gathering one evening, […]

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Hacksaw Ridge and the Fight Against Prevalent Sin

This past weekend, I stayed up a little later than normal and watched Hacksaw Ridge. The movie is about the true story of Desmond T. Doss, the conscientious objector who, at the Battle of Okinawa, won the Medal of Honor for his incredible bravery and regard for his fellow soldiers. In the movie, we see his upbringing and how this shaped his views, especially his religious view and anti-killing stance. We also see Doss’s trials and tribulations after enlisting in the US Army and trying to become a medic. Finally, we see Mel Gibson’s vision of the horrendous battles that took […]

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This is the Core Characteristic of a Truly Prophetic Ministry

I enjoy a good showdown. Be it a theological debate about the existence of God, or a football game between two rivals, I love everything about the scenario: the anticipation, the conflict, the struggle, etc. The Bible is full of such showdowns. Elijah and the prophets of Baal immediately come to mind, as well as the temptations Jesus faced at the beginning of His ministry. Yet there is one lesser-known showdown in Jeremiah 28 in which the prophet Jeremiah squares off against another so-called “prophet” named Hananiah. Jeremiah brought a dire warning to the people: unless God’s people repented, Jerusalem […]

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The Expression of Humility in Rich and Poor Christians

James, for all of its straightforward, practical advice, has its share of conundrums, and verses 9-11 model this well. 9 The brother of humble circumstances should boast in his exaltation, 10 but the one who is rich should boast in his humiliation because he will pass away like a flower of the field. 11 For the sun rises with its scorching heat and dries up the grass; its flower falls off, and its beautiful appearance is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will wither away while pursuing his activities. The first trouble with this passage is its relationship with the verses […]

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In Search of Wisdom — A Tale of Two Restaurants

It’s not the wisest thing I spend money on, but I’ve always enjoyed eating out. Options were scarce in rural Mississippi. Western Sizzlin’ was a fantastic treat (not there), and the fried pickles at The Desert Inn (still there) were truly to die for. Then again, so was the double cheese at Wendy’s. It was the love of great food and a stellar dining experience that led me to wait tables while earning my masters. I cut my table waiting teeth at a moderately priced seafood restaurant in Birmingham, AL named Landry’s (I think it’s still there). I had a […]

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Where is the “Therefore” (or Why Woody Allen Doesn’t Make Any Sense)?

Tim Keller: The modern man or woman says, “We can know nothing about whether there’s a God, what the meaning of life is, whether human nature is sinful or not, the nature of moral absolutes, life after death. We can’t know these things,” and then says, “But racism is wrong, violence is wrong, but sexually you can do whatever you feel is right for you.” In other words, morality is not based on a therefore. Morality is not based on any convictions about the nature of things. Therefore, all modern moral prescriptions are baseless. For example, if you say racism […]

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