The Slave Who Became Bishop

The transformation in our world from a time when slavery was a “peculiar institution” to a time when the notion of “purchasing” a human being is unthinkable is nothing short of wonderful! And yet, human trafficking is still a very real crime in our modern world, even in our own “land of the free.” Look at our lesson today in Philemon 1:1-25: PAUL, a prisoner for Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,…

A Mother’s Love

I suppose the whole world couldn’t contain the poems, stories, and memories we children collect about our mothers. I know I owe much of my good qualities to the brave lady who raised me and my little brother. And the one quality I always remember is that, no matter what was going on in my life, I could always, and I mean always, count on my mom. The bond between mother and…

Entrusted With The Gospel

“He just doesn’t get it.” Two of my friends were talking about me and they didn’t know I could hear them. They were right. I didn’t get what they were trying to teach me. My mind doesn’t work that way. They were both trying to teach me how to do some complicated electrical wiring for a project, and I kept messing up. They seemed to have no problems at all with this…

Look Inward, Look Upward!

One of the most fundamental marks of maturity is the clear and unmistakable realization that actions have consequences. Ideas have consequences because they become actions. And avoiding consequences is always a sign of immaturity. No wonder our modern world is struggling, as it has always struggled, with the consequences of ideologies and actions. And we see it everywhere. From the sad state of affairs in the war-torn Middle East to our very…

The Kingdom is a PERSON, Not a Place!

Through all of human history, humanity has conceived of the “perfect” society and each time we humans have endeavored to build it, it turned out to either fail or become a nightmare. In 1787, the Founding Fathers of the United States met in Independence Hall in Philadelphia to hammer out the Constitution of the United States, the governing document of the nation. When a lady asked Benjamin Franklin outside the Hall “Well, Doctor,…

A Violent Salvation

Our modern world seems to run on violence. And it seems that every day the news is of more violence there and more violence here. From college campuses arguing over speech and “safe zones” and “trigger warnings” to the very real violence of terrorism all meant to disrupt and destroy. And can we even talk about what seems to be “perpetual war” in hotspots around the world where our soldiers are sent…

Are You a Hater?

Prejudice is always the ugly counterfeit to true discernment and good judgment. But we humans all too often confuse these realities to our own detriment. As a man who has grown up in the American South, I can readily attest to the sickness of prejudice in society, in communities, and in my own heart. By God’s grace, in my own area of the South, I have witnessed the powerful changes that have…

A Stranger They Will Not Follow

I was a nervous wreck! A 15-year-old teenager with his best buddies was sneaking into a movie theater without paying! I can hear the voice of my mother in my head “Young man, you carry your family name. That should make you think twice about doing things you know you shouldn’t!” We didn’t get caught. We loved the movie. We laughed, and we congratulated ourselves for our stealth and our “courage.” And I…

Watered Down Faith

“It’s like trying to take an aspirin for cancer!” OK, that got my attention! The speaker was talking about the dangers of watering down the clear message needed for our group so that it wasn’t so discomforting. But his illustration really drove the point home that some problems need the fully potent dose of truth to be corrected. I admit it hit home with me, especially as I thought about how just…

3 Invaluable Insights

Our busy lives really do challenge us in keeping our priorities in the right order, don’t they? We moderns are a complicated mishmash of schedules, opportunities, affluence, and “freedom.” And that multiplication of events, desires, hopes, and advertisements don’t seem to be slowing down. It seems that each new day brings a new barrage of invitations, exhortations, and marketing all meant to fill up every available moment of our day with “You…