The May 22nd Episode of the Rainer on Leadership podcast is titled "Six Reasons to Love the Established Church." There was a time in my ministry when I did not love the established church. Even now, it's sometimes a struggle. I was raised in the established church. My great-grandfather, Matthew Bunyan Smith, was the pastor … Continue reading To Love the Established Church
In 1983 my family returned to the U.S. from southeast Asia. In 1984 I discovered MTV. Funny that a television network (rather than the radio) should open my eyes to the world of current music. I borrowed my Dad's Walkman (bought in Hong Kong) and would come to use a good deal of my paper … Continue reading The music that takes me back
One of the most interesting moments of my trip from the California coast to Kansas City occurred during a three hour delay on highway 299 in northern California. Due to fires, the highway was only open at specific times when CalTrans and CHP would shuttle a convey through the fire lines. I had just missed … Continue reading Constellations of Flame
My five-year-old came out of her room having just awakened. I knelt down and enveloped her in my arms to give her a morning hug. As I held her, my mind went to the children in our homeless shelter and those parents I know who've lost little ones. I thanked God for this precious one. … Continue reading Parenting: Another short exchange.
Most of us have, at some time, heard someone say something like, “Never pray for patience because then you’ll have it tested.” I’m not sure where that originated, but it’s a pretty stupid statement. Of course, when I hear someone say something like that I never say, “That’s stupid!” That would be very unpastoral of … Continue reading Dear Lord, give me strength…
"He killed James the brother of John with the sword..." Acts 12:2 We love the story of how God miraculously delivered Peter from the Herod's jail. Peter had been chained between two soldiers, guarded by four squads of soldiers. I have, in my bible, highlighted verse 5, "but earnest prayer for him was made to … Continue reading Are we willing to suffer for Jesus?
You shall not sacrifice to the LORD your God an ox or a sheep in which is a blemish, any defect whatever, for that is an abomination to the LORD your God. Deuteronomy 17:1 How often do we give God our leftovers? Not merely "tithing" after taxes or what is left over at the end … Continue reading Are we giving God our best, or what’s left over?