Pastor… Get Started Blogging

One of my online heroes is John Saddington. He’s got one of those dream jobs doing tech and social media stuff for Andy Stanley and Northpoint Church. He’s also started at least 23 blogs! One of my favorites of all belongs to John (aka, human3rror), Church Crunch.

Today, John sends out this post on Ten Reasons Your Pastor Should Blog. Not only do I agree with John’s reasons, but if you’re a Pastor and you’re new to the idea of blogging, you need to be checking John’s site often. Just wanted to pass along this great resource, now get started blogging!

Tips for Pastors Who Blog

This is my 401st blog post at I’ve been at it since the middle of 2005 when I didn’t have a clue how to really blog. (Amazing how the word “blog” has become both a verb and a noun.) I’ve learned a lot about the art of blogging over the last three and a half years and wanted to impart some knowledge to fellow church leaders who may also be interested in blogging. Just some simple tips, nothing too technologically advanced…

Continue reading Tips for Pastors Who Blog

Abortion is a Deal-Breaker for Me

Al Mohler published a blog article today entitled Is the Abortion Argument Changing?. It’s excellent. At the end, he references a sermon by Russell Moore that makes the argument that Joseph (Jesus’ step-father) was a “single-issue evangelical.”

I’m fairly progressive. I’m quite forward-thinking. But when it comes to the issue of life in relationship to politics, elections, legislation, etc., abortion is still a deal-breaker for me. Am I a narrow-minded single-issue evangelical? Absolutely. Why? Because the whole time we’re focused on…

  • The environment.
  • Unemployment.
  • Taxes.
  • Welfare.
  • Healthcare.
  • The war.
  • Foreign relations.
  • The economy.
  • Defense.
  • New energy sources.

God is focused on the innocent. He always has been. He always will be. We can say “just look beyond this one issue.” As far as I’m concerned, that’s like asking the guy who is having a heart attack to focus on his runny nose. We have a problem for which God will surely pour out His wrath. They are ultimately his babies, after all.

And here’s another point: Abortion IS Racism! Read or watch…

A Little Taste of Three Or More Kids

Well, we’ve been the parents of but one child for almost five years now. I remember Bill Cosby saying something about us not being allowed to use the title “parent” until there were at least two. This morning, we had three. Me, Angie, Ella, Jayden, and little Quinton all headed down to the Hotel breakfast area… so the adventure began. It was a packed house and we found one little tall table in the corner. We made about six trips for food, napkins, drinks, forks, and then some more napkins.

Then on to the pool where we promptly got in and started having fun… until I felt my wallet which was still in the pocket of my trunks. After handling the wallet, along with a boy who splashed a bit too much and a girl who can’t stand splashing, I noticed some very scary looking elements floating around in the pool. Yes, you guessed it, somebody else’s kid (thankfully) had decided he or she just couldn’t hold it any longer. So we made our exit and notified the front desk of the potential health hazard floating around. My shirt was soaked because my four-year-old had used it like a towel and left it laying in a puddle of water… we’re still working on the whole “be considerate of others” thing.

After blow-drying my wallet’s various contents and getting settled back down in the Hotel room, I sat down to the computer to write this blog and reflected on what great champions all of you multi-kid parents really are. On a serious note, please pray for us. Angie had an ectopic pregnancy last fall, which was one of the hardest things we’ve gone through. But it’s really just part of a larger struggle to expand our family. Knowing that others within our church family are struggling with the same issue, some of whom don’t have children yet, makes us rely on the Lord that much more to invade our varied situations and bless with more little munchkins.

For a few hours we tasted having three or more kids, and how sweet it really was!!

Life… In All Its Complexity

The blog has been put on hold for a couple of weeks now, primarily because of all that my wife and I have been experiencing in our personal lives. Here’s a recounting of it…

On Monday evening, October 30, Angie left her ladies’ Connection Cafe meeting feeling well, but by the time we drove from the church to our house (just a couple of minutes) she was in terrible pain. We decided to go to the emergency room. Our beloved friends, Cory and Lachelle McCaig, came to sit from about 10:00 pm until 4:30 Tuesday morning while Angie was subjected to numerous tests, which found essentially nothing wrong.

On Tuesday morning, October 31, we went for a follow-up visit at her physician’s office and he became concerned about some possible internal bleeding. He decided to admit her to St. Mary’s hospital where he would perform a laproscopic procedure simply to explore any potential problems. He, like the emergency room physician, sought to rule out the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy. One he began the procedure, he discovered the worst scenario, an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy, which can be deadly.

The short, one-hour procedure turned into a two and one half hour operation with a large incision. I was so moved as I waited in the surgery waiting room as about two dozen members of our church surrounded me, waiting to hear that Angie had come through the surgery okay. We were delighted to hear that she would be just fine. The physician explained that she had sustained heavy internal bleeding and that her risk of possible death had been higher than he had anticipated.

Angie’s Dad brought her Mom down from St. Louis to help take care of her for a few days but her stay was interrupted by yet another family emergency. On Thursday, Angie’s grandmother suffered a heart attack and was in intensive care in Washington, Missouri. The family had hoped that she was improving, but in the middle of Thursday night, a call came alerting us that she had taken a turn for the worse. Angie’s Mom borrowed my car and drove through the night to be at her mother’s side. Ella Briggs (our daughter’s namesake) went home to heaven on Friday, November 3.

Later that afternoon, Angie and I loaded up our van and began the trip to St. Clair to attend the funeral, but wisdom along with some forceful but loving input from our family, prompted us to turn back and stay at home. Angie was recovering a little each day, but it may be a total of six weeks recovery time before she is completely healthy again. We’ve taken a much needed one night sabbatical to a nearby vacation spot and have attempted to settle back into a routine, with Angie returning to work on this past Monday, November 13.

The Sunday before all of this began, my text included Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to His purpose.” That Monday night, Angie testified at Connection Cafe that she had (at least we thought at the time) a miscarriage, but that God was faithfully teaching us to trust Him. It isn’t merely a cliche that “everything happens for a reason.” When you’re a believer, nothing is left to chance anymore. You realize that God has a sovereign plan that allows His children to endure some very difficult crises in life in order that we might enjoy “the fellowship of (Christ’s) sufferings.”

Since we learn how to be disciples through the tough stuff, what have I learned from all of this?

First, I’ve learned the importance of God’s timing. Had Angie not been persisent with her physician in his office, he would have sent her home where she may have bled to death. We’ve heard numerous testimonies from others who experienced the same trauma and were in grave danger. God rescued Angie just in time. On a similar note, I’ve learned the mysterious nature of God’s timing. Why would Angie’s grandmother pass away just after Angie’s surgery when her mother would have to make a midnight dash for Missouri and when Angie could not attend the funeral? All I can conlcude us that God is ultimately wise.

Second, I’ve learned the value of a loving church family, a fellowship of believers. I was surrounded in a waiting room by numerous friends and members of our spiritual family. Once home, people provided meals as well as company with their visits. We’ve experienced an outpouring of love and compassion for which we will be forever grateful. I’ve often heard others say, “I don’t see how people make it through things without a church family.” That statement was exemplified in our tragedy.

Third, I’ve learned what a beautiful and courageous woman I married! I sat in the surgery waiting room virtually helpless. I could do nothing to ensure her safety except to pray. I could do nothing to help her recover except play nurse and fetch water. Yet I watched as Angie handled the situation like a champ. Note that champions have weak moments, moments of curiosity about the activity of God and moments of emotional break-down. Tears rarely come from cowards. I’ve learned a new respect for her. While it was our baby that died so prematurely in a pregancy complication, it was her body that experienced such drastic trauma. I wish I could be half as strong as her!

More than anything, we’ve learned “in all things (to) give thanks unto God, for this is the will of God for (us) in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) At our former church, we used to have a responsive chant: “God is good… all the time… and all the time… God is good.” God really is good. We don’t always get what we expect or want, but God never ceases to be holy or loving. God has been glorified in our lives in so many ways in the last few weeks, all we can do is humbly give Him praise, cry our tears, and go on in faith that God will always be good!

Living In Jesus’ Name – Part 2

In my last blog, I explained that living in the name of Jesus means living with His approval. Today, we need to learn that living in the name of Jesus also means living under His authority, and also living in the power of His authority.

Jesus said to His church, “All power in heaven and in earth is given unto me… Go ye therefore…” We are commanded to go in the authority of Jesus. We can be victorious over life’s struggles only in the power of Jesus. This authority over evil and suffering only comes, however, when we are rightly related to the authority of God and others in our lives.

A quick study of Colossians 3:18-4:1 or Ephesians 5:18-31 for example, shows that wives are under the authority (servant-style leadership) of their husbands. Kids are under the authority of their parents. Employees (endentured servants) are under the authority of their bosses (masters). And Romans 13:1 teaches us that we are all to be under the authority of the governments God has ordained in the world.

There are times when obedience to God, our highest authority, requires that we act in disobedience to these other authorities in our lives, but on the whole God has placed these authorities in our lives for our own good. When we respond to them in obedience, we also respond to God in obedience. If we are not rightly under proper authorities, we cannot be over anything else with the authority of Jesus.

Walking in the name of Jesus means to live with His permission and approval. It also means to carry His authority as a police officer carries the authority of the government which has sworn him to enforce the law. Are you wearing the name of Jesus in such a way that you respond to and use authority properly in your life? Doing so brings glory to His name!