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The Heaviness of My Heart for Spiritual Awakening In America

I've probably been reading too much news lately, and it has created a sense of heaviness in my heart. I tweeted yesterday, "For me, today, the world seems 'scary big.' And God is infinitely bigger." A few friends assumed I must be going through some personal pain, but my feeling really flowed out of my observations about the erosion of our national conscience. We have little clue what life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness are really all about anymore. In America, …

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To Every Pastor Who Is Ready to Give Up

The article I wrote just a couple of days ago called From the Hear of One Pastor, I'm Sorry I Let You Down touched a nerve. It was viewed by thousands the first day it ran on pastors.com. I think this is partly because pastoral burnout and discouragement have reached epidemic levels. There are all kinds of factors behind this, but regardless of the causes, my heart breaks every time I talk to another disheartened ministry leader. Just today, a young Pastor named Roger left …

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Ranting on Facebook versus Doing the Hard Stuff

Ranting and raving on Facebook about how the immoral, evil, liberal, leftist, socialists have taken over and will be the demise of our country doesn't equate to you "standing up for what is right" or "making a difference." It means you can type. Congrats. I understand posting about issues you feel strongly about and have no problem with anyone who expresses their beliefs publicly. But when you get hateful, think about how your tone reflects on what you say you believe (or …

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Was the Grinch a Christian? Exposing the Real Grumps of Christmas

One of my favorite holiday movies is How the Grinch Stole Christmas, especially the new Jim Carrey version. Dr. Seuss invented a character that became so wildly popular, he's now a cliche (i.e. "Don't be such a grinch!"). Anyone who puts a damper on the holidays falls into the grinch category. As a Pastor, I'm immersed (often beyond my own comfort level) in what I've come to think of as the Christian subculture. This is the realm in which Christian believers live. We have …

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When We Disagree, We Should Declare…

There are a few options here, but typically we fall to either declaring war or declaring love for those with whom we disagree. Some causes are worth fighting for and many issues demand a debate, but when Christians choose the wrong battles, it gives the distinct impression it's an "us vs. them" situation. The better alternative is "us FOR them." That is, us laying down our self-interests and even our very lives for those with whom we disagree, and especially for those who …

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Can Social Media Contribute to a Jesus Revolution?

Jeff Gibson is an extremely intelligent guy who advises heads of state and leaders of corporation about messaging, marketing, and many other things I'll never fully understand. Chris Forbes has been a leader in missions for as long as I've been a Pastor and was actually the very first person I ever followed on Twitter. The two of them and I participated in a little discussion with our friend, Jon Walker about the role of social media in a cultural revolution. The post is …

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Politics Won’t Save the World

On my Facebook profile, when asked to state my political views, I simply put, "If I thought politics could save the world, I wouldn't be a Pastor." I'm just not that into it. Plenty of people will read this and assume I don't care. It's not that I don't care, I care deeply. I vote. I sometimes contact people in Washington about an issue (though it's rare). But I don't have much hope that government can really save society. Why? Well in a discussion with a friend by email, …

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Nineteen Reasons Baptists Should Stop Voting on Stuff

I'm not seriously calling for the abolition of voting among churches, just a severe reduction in the practice. I'm a strong believer in the autonomy of the local church, but I'm the first to admit, I don't like church "business." I was once the Pastor of a church in central Arkansas that had battled years of political scheming and the resulting resentment. We once moved an old metal desk out of the auditorium into a side room and I got in huge trouble because the moving of …

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Why I’m Moved by the Inauguration of President Barack Obama

I'll be brief. I'm moved... I'm moved by Rick Warren's prayer. It was nice to hear him pray the entire model prayer and to call for civility when differing, which indeed allows for differing. I'm moved by the election of America's first African-American president. That's significant. I'm moved by what his election says about the sanctity of life. What? Well, just watch this. I'm moved by the respect Bush paid to Obama, and likewise. I'm moved by a nation showing …

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Rick Warren Will Pray the Invocation at Barack Obama’s Inauguration

Wow, the media has really enjoyed this particular debacle. The gay rights movement is up in arms over Barack Obama's choice of Rick Warren to pray the invocation at his inauguration in January. This results primarily from Rick's endorsement of Proposition 8, which is essentially a protection of the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman for the state of California. I don't envy Rick for being thrown into such a firestorm. He's been been accused of …

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