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
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?
The Boy Scout motto is, "Be prepared!" In Colorado, particularly during the late spring and through the summer, the weather can suddenly turn. It's not uncommon to experience almost daily thunder showers which come on quickly, drench everything in sight, and move on just as fast. Autumn as a teenager was a time of sweatshirts … Continue reading Being prepared to give account for our hope
Blow away the cobwebs of my mind, Clear away anything stemming from my own design. Remove the thoughts of only me: Distractions that prevent me from being who you made me to be. Refocus all my energy on you. Place your light so brightly in my soul I cannot see Anything but your will and … Continue reading Design & Desire
The world can seem so dark. Wars, the rumor of wars, etc. Genocide. Religious persecution. Economical and political instability. It would be so easy to despair. I feel it, like a weight, pressing me down. And then God reminds me He is still sovereign, still reigning supreme, and still in control, though I don't see … Continue reading Despair and Faith